A Warm Welcome in Last Chance

Welcome to Last Chance by Cathleen ArmstrongCathleen Armstrong pens a strong feisty heroine that jumps to life in the opening pages.  When Lainie Davis’s beat up Mustang dies on the edge of Last Chance, New Mexico she doesn’t know it yet, but her luck has changed. Though Ray Braden, handsome proprietor of the local watering hole, won’t give her the time of day, before the week is up Lainie’s got a place to stay and a job at the local diner.  And by Sunday she is out-manoeuvered by her elderly landlady and sitting in church. Amazed the steeple doesn’t collapse on her head, Lainie hasn’t realized that God is on her trail. She doesn’t know that he’s in the business of turning people’s lives around.

Armstrong’s cast of characters in Last Chance aren’t all pious and pretty, but they’re still familiar. They’re people that look a lot like our neighbour down the street, or the folks who sing in our church choir. And sometimes they look just like us. Either way the people of Last Chance have one thing in common:  They’re all in need of the grace of God.

Armstrong weaves a story with both charm and spunk; a story that sneaks in and steals your heart. So pull up a chair and take a detour into Last Chance, New Mexico. You’ll be glad you did.

The red warning light on her car dashboard may have driven Lainie Davis to seek help in the tiny town of Last Chance, New Mexico, but as she meets the people who make this one-horse town their home, it’s her heart that is flashing bright red warning lights. These people are entirely too nice, too accommodating, and too interested in her personal life–especially since she’s on the run and hoping to slip away unnoticed.

Yet in spite of herself, Lainie is increasingly drawn into the small-town dramas and to a handsome local guy with a secret of his own. Could Lainie actually make a life in this little town? Or will the past catch up to her even here in the middle of nowhere?

“Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group”.

The Spiritual Danger of Doing Good

Peter Greer Quote“The Spiritual Danger of Doing Good,” by Peter Greer is a readable cautionary tale for those involved in biblical ministry. Greer, armed with many examples of leaders who fell from grace, Greer opens with his own near miss. Greer says, “Ministry took precedence over everything,” right up until the day his wife sat him down and gave it to him straight, “You are choosing your ministry over me—and I feel nothing for you.” With those words ringing in his ears Greer was forced to take a personal inventory and he didn’t like what he saw. He realized that, “It’s possible to sacrificially serve God and be completely self-centred in the process.” Greer also observed that, “unless we rediscover the foundation of service, our good works can be all about us: promoting our image, heightening our own vanity and pride. Service becomes a means to achieve our dreams, our purposes, our goals. Phony activism and selfish service will eventually be exposed.” Greer cites the disturbing statistic that only one in three biblical leaders finish well. The lure of power and pride led two-thirds to fall, hurting themselves and often others in the process. All in all Greer’s book challenges us to take a good hard look at ourselves. If success begins in our family, where are our priorities? What motivates us? Do we secretly want people to notice us or is Christ front and centre?

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Greer narrowly avoided self-destruction and humbly offers his story to keep others from making the same often fatal mistakes. Between the pages of “The Spiritual Danger of Doing Good,” Greer alternately warns and challenges us to exemplify Christ. Occasionally his biblical examples seem a bit forced and I found the last few chapters a bit repetitious. Yet, if you are in church ministry, this book is a must read. With a built-in study guide it lends itself as an excellent choice for training material for ministry and leadership groups. Amazing inspiring read!

“Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group”.

Ultraviolet is Ultra-amazing!

Ultraviolet by R.J. AndersonIn Ultraviolet author R.J. Anderson tumbles us into the middle of every person’s worst nightmare. Alison comes to herself for the first time in weeks and realizes she’s in a mental hospital. She’s been afraid for a very long time; afraid that she is somehow different from everyone else. And not in a good way. And now she knows it’s true.

My kids have been urging me to read this book for a while now so I sat down with it this morning and didn’t get up until I’d tasted every last word. Anderson’s fresh and vivid style drew me like a roller coaster and by the last dip and curve I just wanted to do it all over again. It’s in my head now and I find myself sifting through words and objects almost catching hints of colour and flavour that I’ve never seen or tasted before. Wow! I can hardly wait to read the next installment in this series. Science fiction at its best.

Once upon a time there was a girl who was special.
This is not her story.
Unless you count the part where I killed her.

Sixteen-year-old Alison has been sectioned in a mental institute for teens, having murdered the most perfect and popular girl at school. But the case is a mystery: no body has been found, and Alison’s condition is proving difficult to diagnose. Alison herself can’t explain what happened: one minute she was fighting with Tori — the next she disintegrated. Into nothing. But that’s impossible. Right?