Into the Book


Posts by Jasmine Ruigrok

  1. Any Christian who hasn’t heard a song by Keith Green has pretty much been living under a rock. His music shook the church as a whole back in the 70’s, and continues to move people in powerful, God-inspired ways even today. But how many of us know the story behind the man? Keith’s wife Melody has written their story from the very beginning of their Christian walk, documenting the journey God took them on up till – and proceeding – Keith’s tragic death in a plane crash that also took the lives of two of their children. One might assume this to be just another ordinary, typically dry biography of some face behind a career. But it’s not. It’s far from it.


  2. Faith and doubt. So often we think these words are opposing poles on the belief scale, but are they? Is it possible to have faith in God, yet still struggle with uncertainty? Many people say they have “stumbled” in their walk with God by doubting His existence, but is having a questioning mind proof that you aren’t a true believer, or proof that you could be a real one? In this book, John Ortberg masterfully approaches the subject of faith and doubt not as a dividing line between hostile camps, but as a razor’s edge that runs through every soul.


  3. Smashing all the preconceived notions of dating and courtship, this book is based upon some mind-bending questions: what if being in love isn’t a good enough reason to get married? What if dating isn’t about finding “the one” but about serving the One who loves you most? What if it’s not about who you marry, but why? Read on, it gets deep.

    Many of us want to get married, but not many of us stop and ask ourselves why, or even how we should go about it. Marriage is an intrinsically precious gift God has given mankind, so doesn’t it stand to reason we should treat it as such in the search for it? Gary Thomas leaves no stone unturned and no question unasked in this book. I even dare to say – cast all other books on dating and romantic relationships aside. This is the one.

    I have to say I was impressed by Gary Thomas’ approach to this topic. The entire book is based on the concept found in Matthew 6:33 – “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added unto you.” It was objective and to the point, and as I have had many questions over the years about the subject of dating, courtship, relationships, waiting, etc. I found it relieving and inspiring to see that the author did not shy away from answering the tough questions. Gary also didn’t pamper or play to singles, which was refreshing. So many books seem to pat singles on the head these days and reassure them that “God has a plan”. Many others praise singleness loudly so that those who are unmarried don’t feel bad for not having a significant other. This book brings the entire argument down to the simplicity of Scripture:

    “Paul’s advice in 1 Corinthians 7:39 clearly left the choice of marriage up to us in the clearest, most explicit of terms: “She is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord”… Scripture thus tells us that it is our choice whether we want to get married and who we want to marry. This isn’t a denial of God’s providence, nor does it preclude God leading two people together in certain cases. Rather, it’s the Bible’s way of saying that while marriage is really important, it’s also something God lets us decide whether we want to be participants in, and who we want to be participants with. God has given you an awesome responsibility, so choose wisely. (pg. 63)

    Some of the chief constructive insights I took away from this read were the dangers of infatuation, the myth of finding “the one” exposed, the differences between passive and active waiting, what character traits, flaws and backgrounds of a person will either benefit or detriment a marriage, and the importance of family ties (taking your future family into account when choosing whom to marry is of utmost importance). However the book also goes very deep into some of the horror stories of bad marriages that evolved out of poor choices or as a result of sordid pasts. Some of the chapters gave me chills of dread, and in a couple of the final chapters that deal with rough pasts and addictions, the sexual references are very high and would be disturbing for unprepared readers. Even so, the wisdom therein is still well worth taking into account.

    I all but devoured this book. The writing style is easy to pick up, and though some may find Gary’s blunt opinions offensive, I found it challenging and motivating. On the whole, I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Every person considering marriage should read it. It not only teaches you how to view marriage and begin the search for a spouse, it gives you valuable insight and constructive criticism on what you ought to be doing about yourself. You may want to be married, but are you ready for it? The things you are looking for in a spouse, do you have? Most importantly, why do you want to get married?

    Let me give you [the worst] nightmare: a marriage without a mission, a life without purpose, a relationship without any end beyond its own “happiness”. Matthew 6:33, seeking first the kingdom of God, will breathe life into any marriage and remains, I am convinced, the single best reason for two people to join their futures together. Such couples aren’t lost in simply pursuing a pleasant five or six decades; they are determined to live a life with eternal impact. (pg. 248)

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  4. Singles are getting conflicting messages from today’s culture, both Christian and secular. Is it okay to want to be married? Is there anything a never-married woman can do, within a biblical framework, to “assist” the process? Good news! There is. Candice Watters from  Focus on the Family’s Boundless webzine knows what she is talking about, and since she is successfully married and in a godly, thriving marriage, I found her wisdom well worth heeding.

    As a currently single young woman, I have recently been frustrated by the amount of relationship counselling books that are (for the most part) written by singles. What’s up with that? Doesn’t that seem like the blind leading the blind? So one of the first things I did when I saw this intriguingly titled book was to check up on the author. And hey! She’s married! So obviously, I could sit down and pay attention. I know of many people who often go through their lives to-ing and fro-ing in their quest for whether or not it’s “God’s will” for them to be married or single, and this book – once and for all – turns that thought process on its head. Read on.

    Using clear-cut guidance from Scripture and the wisdom of older mentors, Candice Watters lays it out plain: unless you have specific Paul-like qualities, tendencies, and traits in your life that all but guarantee you the rank of celibacy, you are meant to get married. Period. It all comes quite simply back to God’s first mandate to man:

    “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” – Genesis 1:27-28

    Even in sight of this, the author in no way makes marriage an idol to throw your life after. She quite clearly states being “careful for what you wish for, because you might just get it”. Having said that, since marriage is no light task, she makes the point that the effort invested in reaching that objective should not be assumed easy, either. I felt emboldened and encouraged by the fact marriage is something that can – and should be – sought after with the same degree of prayer, passion and anticipation as any career. It can be prepared for, it can be a purpose to strive after, and though the results and timing are ultimately in God’s hands, there are things women can do to take advantage of the opportunities God brings across our paths to speed the process.

    God is sovereign. And God works through means… We get our bread from the hand of God through the hands of all the people who had a role in making it possible. Just as with bread, I believe God provides husbands and wives for those who desire to marry. Ultimately, it’s God who brings us a mate. But not the way He dropped manna from heaven. This is a book about means – about how God can provide marriage through the work of our lives and those around us – not in a frenzy of desperate activity, but in a symphony of faithfulness among a community of believers pursuing the lives God has called us to live.

    Packed with wisdom and solid guidance it may be, it wasn’t the easiest read. It took me a while to get engaged with the flow of the book, and some of the chapters felt extra long. This is more the kind of book you read a bit at a time rather than sitting down to consume it cover to cover. Yet if you take the time to do so, you will mine a lot of valuable advice from its pages. Though predominately directed at women, I also feel this book would be a good eye-opener for men desiring marriage as well.

    If marriage is something you feel called to but aren’t certain of God’s will concerning it, read this book. It’s a well-aimed call to singles to rise up and seize hold of the purpose they know God has placed on their lives, and to not be afraid in reaching out for it.

    ~ Jasmine

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  5. Twelve years old, a millionaire, a genius – and a criminal mastermind. However Artemis Fowl’s most dastardly plan is yet to be unleashed. After he kidnaps a fairy for ransom in order to get his hands on real fairy gold, Artemis finds out that fairies are not quite the pushovers he expected, and ends up with a challenge on his hands that transcends any plot he has ever put together.

    I was sceptical of this book, however I was pleasantly surprised by it. Far from the expected spoiled rich brat who just wants his own way in everything, Artemis is cool, smooth, clever, and doesn’t just want to please himself. His father (supposedly) perished at the hands of criminals after which they robbed him of his enormous fortune. Though not exactly out for revenge, Artemis wants to return his family fortune to its former glory – no matter the method. And this is where being twelve years old comes to his advantage.

    Young enough to believe most things, Artemis is convinced in the existence of fairies. After extensive research and globetrotting, he turns out to be correct. He locates the whereabouts of a fairy and steals the sacred book of their laws from her, with the design of kidnapping a fairy when one comes to the chosen place of renewing their powers. It is here he ends up kidnapping Holly Short, an LEPrecon officer, and that’s when all hell breaks loose below ground – the realm of fairies.

    The book is well paced, and kept me interested the whole way, which is a good thing. Reading about young criminal masterminds isn’t something that really grabs me, and good reasoning had to be foundational for me to like it. The author played the balance between guilt about what he was doing and passion for restoring his father’s legacy very well; it was subtle enough to pick up on but not in your face. I also loved the humour. Eoin Colfer’s good old Irish snark shone through with hilarious brilliance. The fairies were also incredibly well done. Most of the time when you ask someone, “think fairy”, the first image is something fluttery, twinkly and pretty. Not so in the world of Fowl. They are tough underground little people with quick wits, trim uniforms, and futuristic technology. Their high-tech weapons and flying machines makes them highly militarized, and I was impressed by the extent of their underground cities and “airports” to the surface. The world really was breathtaking.

    However it was not without flaws. I found some places to describe things a bit crudely, especially some of the underground creatures’ habits. The cast isn’t solely of humans and fairies, but a great many other mythical beings are included, and as such, aren’t all as “nice” as others. There was no bad language, however I did have a chuckle that Colfer had invented a fairy cuss word (D’arvit). That’s not something I’ve come across before, but I thought worked well in the setting.

    All in all, it was a fun read – high tech speculative fantasy has earned a win for me with Artemis Fowl. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

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  6. What if they’d invented rock ‘n roll way back in the 19th century? What if it could take over the world and change the course of history?

    In the slums of Brummingham, the outcast gangs are making a new kind of music, with pounding rhythms and wild guitars. Astor Vance has been trained in refined classical music. But when her life plummets from riches to rags, the only way she can survive is to play the music the slum gangs want.
    A book that celebrates steampunk and music. Honestly, can it get any better?

    Having previously read Richard Harland’s Worldshaker and enjoyed it, I immediately latched onto this book when I saw it advertised at a book store. I was captivated by the title and theme, and curious as to how it could be pulled off. Steampunk and music, in a book no less? I was not disappointed. 

    When Astor, a young lady brought up in a well-to-do British home visits the powerful Swale family with her mother and step-father, she is under the impression that the intended purpose of their visit is to arrange a proposal for her to marry the youngest Swale brother. Not so. Her step-father has contracted her out of the house to become a governess to the Swale’s three bratty youngsters, and Astor is horrified that her position has been so drastically lowered. The children make her life a misery, and no amount of effort on her part can possibly make them learn, so Astor is reduced to trying to keep order whilst the young Swales make mischief out of everything. 
    The one comfort she was granted was a servant from home, however Verrol seems to be much more than he appears. After the two eavesdrop on an important political conversation between the older Swale brothers, Astor’s letter to her influential step-father warning him of the Swales traitorous dealings is intercepted and causes both Astor and Verrol to flee from the household into the dirty slums of the outer city. 
    It is here they come across “gang music” and its players, but it is nothing like the delicate harp and stringed music Astor has known. However it being their only hope for protection, Astor and Verrol join the band and before Astor realizes it, the music has captured her; and it may become the key to how they can fight back against the looming revolution.
    Though not a particularly fast moving book, this was one compelling read. My biggest concern was how well the appreciation for music would be portrayed, since the plot was so pivotal on this point. I needn’t have worried. There were so many moments throughout this amazingly fascinating story that stood out for me as a musician – the author knew exactly what he was talking about. The essence of the musical world was captured so fully, I found myself grinning with delight or laughing with the dialogue because I knew the feelings so well. 

    The whole band was as if bonded together in a single state of euphoria. When they started to speak, they all spoke at once.
     “I hit that note and just kept following it‒”
     “It was bouncing off the walls‒”
     “What about our fast version of‒”
    “How did it even manage to work?”
    “Remember that bit in‒”
    “That was you‒”
    “We were all waiting for that chord, and you kept holding it off‒”
    “The audience almost stopped breathing‒” 

     I also love the author’s recognition of the power music has. It’s not just a pretty noise, or a pointless art; music is a movement, and it can state a belief or conviction with more passion than words alone. Music is God’s gift to mankind, but like all His gifts, it can be perverted. We as Christians often need to be reminded to recognize what a powerful tool music is and be responsible stewards of it. Music can be the voice of God, or the voice of the devil.

    He stopped pacing and faced the group around the table. “It’s a power that can be used for good or used for evil. It’s our responsibility to use it for good. We choose. We can create feelings of joy and warmth, or we can create feelings of rage and revenge. It’s up to us.”

    Bang on, right there.

    The world and setting of the book is gritty and authentic; a very real, tangible depiction of what futuristic 1846 could well have looked like. The book – though not fast nor slow – moves through the story at a good pace, and the characters grow and mature over the way; not changing so fast that the facts are spat at you. The historical elements were also very believable, as were the political references.

    Content wise, there is nothing to speak of. The book is clean language wise, and although this could also be dubbed a ‘gaslight romance’, I feel that the romance is so well written that it is on a deeper level than today’s general romantic fiction. There are no kisses or anything physically romantic shared between said characters, but the heart of the matter was clearly visible. Definitely one of the more brilliant examples of romance in fiction that I have come across. This book is proof that a romance can be pure and simple, without anything physical shared or really even said. This is showing-and-not-telling at it’s best.

    In closing, I give Song of the Slums five very hearty stars out of five. I will definitely be on the lookout for more of Mr. Harland’s steampunk works.

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  7. Will West is careful to live life under the radar. At his parents’ insistence, he’s made sure to get mediocre grades and to stay in the middle of the pack on his cross-country team. Then Will slips up, accidentally scoring off the charts on a nationwide exam. Now he has been invited to join an exclusive prep school, whilst also being followed by men driving black sedans. When Will suddenly loses his parents, he must flee to the school. There he begins to explore all that he’s capable of – physical and mental feats that should not be impossible – and learns that his abilities are connected to a struggle between titanic forces that go way back before he was even born.

    This book was like several books thrown together – I Am Number Four, The Last Thing I Remember, and Alex Rider. Think a science fiction meets fantasy action/adventure rollercoaster. The opening chapter hits the ground running, taking off into the plot from page one. I will give it points for being a page turner, because at over 500 pages long, it’d want to be. If you like a good fast-paced story with colourful characters, clever plot twists, and mysteries that bend your mind, you can’t go wrong with this book.

    The upsides – From the very beginning, I had decided I would like this book, solely for the paragraph where Will describes his parents:

    All the kids he knew ripped their parents 24/7, but Will never piled on. For good reason: Will West had won the parent lottery. They were smart, fair, and honest, not like the phonies who preached values, then slummed like delinquents when their kids weren’t around. They cared about his feelings, always considered his point of view, but never rolled over when he tested the limits. Their rules were clear and balanced between lenient and protective, leaving him enough space to push for independence while always feeling safe.

    Pick up almost any other YA piece of fiction and you will have either A. a parentless main character, or B. an MC with parents that s/he hates. Will’s respectful and honouring relationship with his parents throughout the entire book was stellar. Add to the fact Will has a good character, courage, intelligence, humility, and super-human abilities and you have an all round awesome character in an intriguing story.

    As for the story itself, the plot is convincing; its mysteries and intricacies slowly unveil over the impressive length, yet it never lags nor gets bogged down over unnecessary details. I found it quite a pleasure to read such a long novel without getting bored with either the characters or story, or becoming annoyed by bad writing. The action scenes are believable, as are the chase scenes. One other big plus for me was the humour – honestly, this book cracked me up. I was laughing out loud to the point of tears at one stage, especially after my two brothers read it and we could quote pieces to each other’s amusement.

    “Amazeballs,” said Nick, astonished. “You know what this means, don’t you?”
    “No,” said Will.
    “The Village People are getting back together,” said Nick.
    “Apparently at a Renaissance fair,” said Ajay.

    Another bonus that the author included in amongst the story was “Dad’s rules”. Will’s Dad kept a list of rules and lived by them, and some of them reminded me a lot of the book of Proverbs. Some were funny, some were practical, and a lot of them held a goodly amount of wisdom. Every time one of the rules would come into play in specific situations, he would quote the rule. A few examples: Don’t confuse good luck with a good plan. Be quick, but don’t hurry. When everything goes wrong, treat disaster as a way to wake up. There are plenty more good insights to be find throughout the whole book.

    Now you might have noticed I have sort of avoided an actual summary of the main plot so far. Coming at it from a theological standpoint, it is definitely an interesting and pondersome one. After Will’s life is thrown into jeopardy, his “guardian angel” comes to him and tells Will that he is in the middle of a war between different worlds. Turns out, before humans walked the earth, there was a big mess of evil critters and creatures that Will’s guardian Dave and his gang had to remove because they were too wicked, confining them to a place in space called the “Never-Was” (does this backstory sound somewhat familiar?). Will has frequent encounters with these “fuzzies” (Dave’s pet name for them) and they aren’t very pretty characters. I believe they are loosely based on creatures from Greek myths, or other related fantasy beings. Depending on where your convictions lie, reading about creepy evil creatures that border on disturbing in certain scenes may not be your cup of tea. However they are clearly depicted as the “bad guys”, such is often the case in fantasy battles between good and evil. Theologically, normal books like this with so many fantasy elements either exclude God, or have a fantasy/sci-fi substitute for Him. However it is interesting to see that the plot of this book does not exclude God, nor has an equal fantasy counterpart for Him. When Will questions whether or not Dave’s realm is governed by God, Dave laughs and says “that one’s a thousand orders of magnitude removed from us”. It’s as though Dave’s realm comes somewhere under God’s, and they have been given the task of keeping the universe in order. It’s an interesting concept, not one I’ve seen before, but I think it was well executed.

    The one other downside to this book is the language. Though there are no uses of extreme profanity, there is a liberal amount of PG13+ swearing throughout the entire read. I personally did not have that big an issue with it, however it was definitely substantial enough to warrant a very obvious mention.

    On the whole, despite the language and creepy crawlies, I do recommend this read. The book ends tidily enough with a great set up for the sequel, and I am definitely looking forward to reading it. It’s a fun and thrilling read that I think I’ll definitely want to read more than once.

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  8. Following Jesus is more complex and challenging than anybody expects when they start out on the journey. It’s not just attending church, reading your Bible and minding your Ps and Qs; it is an adventure filled with wonder and difficulty, with unlearning and relearning. Rick Bundschuh shares in this book what he has discovered about shuffling after Jesus, and invites readers to wrestle, grieve, re-evaluate, redirect, focus, contemplate, be still and get real about living the life of a disciple. Rick’s “extremely profound thoughts” written in the form of story-like musings, are a contemplative look at the Christian way of life that warmly invites the reader to stride, stumble, shuffle or crawl in the footsteps of Jesus.

    I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I picked up this book. More often than not, books written by pastors are generally very practical and instructive. And this is often necessary, since we frequently need good solid teaching on doctrine. However I was pleasantly surprised to find that, instead of teaching the reader, Rick Bundschuh instead relates what he himself has learned over the course of his Christian life. It was refreshing to read a book that was a peek inside someone’s heart, to be able to relate to so many different musings, and be encouraged by the lessons learnt by another. If you’re looking for some deep and solidly theological teaching though, you won’t find it in this book.

    Each chapter of the book covers some lesson the author has learnt, but they are written like short stories, rather than a book-long biography. Anecdotes and experiences fill the book with the essence of a scrapbook; snapshots of the writer’s life with a Biblical moral of the story as each one’s conclusion. The concept of how often we are reluctant to follow Jesus is explored throughout, and I love the encouragement that even though we have our days where we are only crawling towards the finish line, any forward motion is progress. Rick is quite a history buff, so he has woven in different facets of history and how they can be applied to the Christian walk (many Christians wear a metaphorical hair shirt, for example. Definitely one of the best chapters in the book).

    The span of topics covered are wide and varied. Whether it’s dealing with the annoying guy you work with, money and worth (the $3,000 handbag), holiness, loving your neighbour or prayer, it seems like you are seeing each lesson through the eyes of the learner, without feeling you are being taught. Plus, the author is a full on surfie that is big on practicality and does not have the air of an office writer, so the style is laid back and easy to read yet at the same time, full of clarity.

    All good points aside however, I would not suggest this book for younger readers. Content wise, there is one chapter solely based on his experience in dealing with homosexuals, and the difficulties he had having to work in such an alien environment. There are also several references to other maturer topics scattered throughout it, mostly in context with Bible stories. There are no crudely unnecessary or irreverent references, however I thought it would pay to mention.

    In conclusion, would this book change your life? Probably not. It doesn’t teach or preach, and doesn’t give heavy-handed advice or instruction on doctrinal matters. Would it change your thinking? I believe so. Sometimes looking into the heart and mind of another who has walked the same road as you can leave you refreshed, challenged, and encouraged simply by being able to relate to the person’s experiences. It’s a rare book where you can learn a lot from an author who isn’t out to teach you anything.

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  9. It begins with a book, the most boring book in the world, a book so boring no one could ever read it—the perfect place to hide a dangerous secret.

    That was enough to get me interested. A book so boring that no one could read it, a secret so powerful it could change the course of history, and a young man with a memory that never forgets. A combination like that could only ever be awesome.

    When a river floods and threatens the edge of town, best friends Luke and Tommy both volunteer to move books from the basement of their library to higher ground. During the crisis, they happen to discover the only surviving copy of the world’s most boring book: Leonardo’s River. Luke has an uncanny ability to remember everything he sees; his photographic memory constantly awes his friend Tommy. Since they had both been sentenced to research boring books as punishment for a school prank, Luke remembers where he has seen the cover of this book; he knows that it is the one that has been missing for over a hundred years, and the stakes are high for whoever finds it.

    With dollar signs in their eyes, Luke and Tommy brave the rising flood waters to return to the library and steal the book. However it doesn’t take long for them to realize that they weren’t the only ones who had this plan. On their quest, they accidentally stumble into a secret society that goes farther back in time than they could ever have imagined, and the most boring book in the world happens to hide a secret so amazing, so terrifying, that it could change their lives forever – and Luke’s impeccable memory holds the key.

    This book was gripping. It sucks you into the intrigue with the first chapter, and the first sentence captures so much more than what you first realize. It is an art of foreshadowing.

    This is not the most boring book in the world. This is a book about the most boring book in the world, which is a different book altogether. 

     It opens curiously enough, then progresses into the story; slowly but steadily peeling back each layer of the mystery, which keeps you eager to discover the outcome. Luke and Tommy are fun characters, and as the author is a New Zealander, he often throws in little quirks and references to his homeland in his character, Luke. His humour and accent often make appearances throughout the story, and as an Australian, I can appreciate the real sense of our neighboring country’s culture. Also another plus is the fact that so much history can be gleaned from the book, as the boys need to learn certain things from history in order to save the world.

    As for cautions, there may be some infrequent very mild language. Towards the end of the book there is some violence, do to the war setting the turn of events brings the characters to, however there is nothing overly graphic or disturbing. None of this detracts from the story at all. [mild spoiler] A pro to it would have to be the unique spin on time travel. There are many ways this topic is handled, but this one would have to be my favourite. It is new, refreshing, and fun to read. It definitely got my creative juices flowing and took me a while to stop pondering it when I finished. [/spoiler] Also, if you’re a fan of tidy epic endings, this book is definitely one you would want to read.

    So if you’re looking for an adventurous, witty, humorous, action-packed, explosion-riddled, fun read, you’ve found it. I give this book five stars out of five. Plus one.

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  10. Those extraordinary little events in your life happen for a reason. A coincidence – sometimes a silly little thing – changes the course of your day, or even your life. Is it chance, is it luck, or is God communicating with you? This book is filled with true stories demonstrating that God does communicate with us, making incredible things happen in our lives every single day. Through these tangible signposts from God, we receive personalized messages that reassure us, stop us from worrying, chart our path in life, and help us keep the faith.

    I love this book. Plain and simple. If I would have to name any book to get someone out of the doldrums; a book that would uplift and inspire someone, it would be this one. Sometimes there is nothing better to impact a person than a true account of the Lord’s goodness. It is a tangible proof that our Almighty God cares about us when He let’s us know through another’s life.

    So what’s with the title? I love how the author explains it –

    Every time you receive what some call a coincidence or an answered prayer, it’s a direct and personal message of reassurance from God to you – what I call a godwink. It’s similar to when you were a kid sitting at the dining room table. You looked up and saw someone you loved looking back. Mom or Dad or Granddad. They gave you a little wink. You had a nice feeling from that small silent communication. What did it mean? Probably – “Hey kid… I’m thinking about you right this moment. I’m proud of you. Everything is going to be all right.” That’s what a godwink is. Every so-called coincidence or answered prayer is God’s way of giving you His small, silent communication. A little wink saying – “Hey kid! I’m thinking of you… right now!”

    The subtitle may sound a little sketchy at first glance – How God speaks Directly to You Through the Power of Coincidence. It sounds like it could be a little spooky, a little “lining up the stars” sounding, however it isn’t at all. The author wishes to draw our attention to the smallest of blessings in life that we often palm off as a mere coincidence, or pure happen-stance. A phonecall from someone we had just been talking about, a note from an old friend when you recently thought of a shared memory, an unexpected gift, money at the right time; the stories begin so simply, yet they unfold into something that clearly demonstrates God’s loving hand.

    SQuire Rushnell writes this book in such a charming way. Filled with a warm familiarity in amongst the many real-life stories from countless people, he shares his own moments where God has “winked” at him. His confusions, disappointments and joys have such a personable feel to them that you identify with him as though you would with a good friend. It’s this type of feel the book comes with that sucks you in so quickly. Since I ended up sitting on the floor of a library corridor for fifteen minutes reading it after picking it at random, I can say from first hand experience, it is hard to put down.

    Though this book could easily have compiled all these amazing little stories at random, one thing I liked about it is that they have been categorized to chapters for what you need when you need it: hope & reassurance, comfort, prayer, family, and others make it a good encourager for whatever phase you are going through. Scattered throughout them are Scriptures and quotes that correspond with each story. You might find God speaking to you through one of them here!

    On the whole, this book is a clean, encouraging, inspiring read and I cannot think of anything negative to comment about it. It is one of those books that you keep on your coffee table to peek at whenever you get the chance, just to make you smile and feel God’s presence. It makes a great gift, and if I could, I’d buy a copy for everyone I knew. What more can I say about it? It’s a rare gem that I hope many more people discover and read.

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