Following God One Step at a Time

Nonfiction November 2


I am really enjoying doing Nonfiction November!

This week we are suggesting a pair of books on the same subject — One is fiction and one is nonfiction. (to find more book details follow the –> below)

So here is my pairing —

I have two fiction choices that tell interesting love stories with families and all their complications included —

1 –>The Beach House by Mary Alice Monroe — This is a popular book that I just loved, and it was made into a movie too!

Beach House Cover

2 –>Book Woman of Troublesome Creek (by Kim Michele Richardson) – This is a love story as well as an historical-fiction story.  This book hit on a lot of my favorite subjects:  books, libraries, Appalachian Mountains, and a brave heroine!

BookWoman ofTroublesomCreek Cover

The true life love story written from actual diary entries and written letters —

3 –> “Devotedly” by Valerie Elliot Shepherd Valerie is the daughter of the true love couple, Elisabeth and Jim Elliot.

DevotedlyCover BH-Devotedly-3D

For other interesting pairings, go to the Nonfiction November sponsor’s blog —

–>Sarah’s Bookshelves

If you would like to share a book with us, add a comment below —

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NonFiction November


This week I am joining a group called “Nonfiction November”.  We are all recommending the best nonfiction books we have read so far this year (2019).  Since I love nonfiction, I thought I would jump in.  So check out my recommendations, then head over to the main group post for even more great books!

1 — The #1 book I recommended most to friends and family —

–>Finding Beautiful by Rebecca Friedlander

It tells the true stories of 12 women whose lives were a mess, but they were transformed.  This is such an inspirational, hopeful book for women thinking their life is hopeless.  Just look up.

2 — My favorite nonfiction read this year —

–>Something Needs To Change by David Platt

This book is written from the heart!  The author describes his hike in the Himalayan Mountains, that became a heart-breaking call to make his life matter.  This book will challenge you to make changes in your life too.

3 — The theme of the books I have read this year is … Change!

–>Be the Bridge by Latasha Morrison

This is the most recent nonfiction book I have read.  It is definitely about change!  Although there is some history in it, this book tells why we need to commit to making changes in our communities through reconciliation.  I am following up with this book now, by joining their “Be the Bridge” FB group, and reading some of the books that group recommends to read.  This book is making a difference in my life, and in the lives of many other people across this country.

So you can click on the links above to find out more about my top 3 recommendations.  Then you can check out the other Nonfiction November bloggers’ book recommendations.  

–>Check out “Nonfiction November” HERE!

You can make your nonfiction recommendations in the comments below, or even link your blog up at Nonfiction November.  I am really glad to find this group of nonfiction geeks!  I hope I find out about some other great nonfiction reads I have not seen yet!

Thanks for taking the time to stop by here…

Let the truth reveal what’s real!


Hope Springs

HopeSprings Cover

I just read this book and was infatuated from the beginning!

“Hope Springs” is the name of a small town in this book by Kim Cash Tate.

She has written a series of books about the town Hope Springs, and the 2 generations of 2 families in 2 churches in one town, Hope Springs.

This is one of the best Christian Fiction books I have read!  

The characters are inspiring! The main characters are all trying to do what God wants them to do.  They pray.  They struggle to do the right thing.  They forgive.  Of course they also have lots of problems to deal with.

There are several plots that intertwine into a superior fictional read!

I have not read the other books in this series, but “Hope Springs” stands on its own if you want to read just this one.  I suggest that you keep straight from the start who is in the 2 families — the Sanders and the Dillons.  Then all the characters will fall into place.

An earlier book in the series is “Faithful”.  The sequel to “Hope Springs” is “The Color of Hope”.  I will probably read the next one in the series so I can read what happens to some of the people from “Hope Springs”. 

–>Click here to get “Hope Springs”.

–>Go to the author’s website for a complete listing of her books.

The author, Kim Cash Tate, is a talented actor, teacher, and writer.  She has a great video series available online, “Cling”.  –>Check it out HERE!

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Be the Bridge

BeTheBridge Cover

“Be the Bridge” by Latasha Morrison is a combination history and self-help book.

“Be the Bridge” is also the name of her organization, and the key to her vision of how to improve relationships between Blacks and Whites and other nationalities.

The history she outlines in the book is Black history in the U.S.  She points out the issues with White culture and attitudes toward Blacks.

The self-help part of the book is learning about each other so we can have better relationships. 

The author suggests education through books or movies to better understand Black history in the U.S.  Then the next step is small discussion groups to share experiences and feelings to improve our attitudes about each other, so we can be friends.  She points out that churches or schools would be a good place to start these groups.  

Latasha is very honest about what she sees as problems, and how to change that dynamic.  It was enlightening to read her point of view.  I appreciated learning about the attitudes she sees as a Black woman.  I liked reading about her personal thoughts and attitudes to compare it to my perceptions.  

Although the discussion groups sound interesting, she did not give much information to actually start a group.  If you are interested in joining a group —

–>check out the information HERE at her website.

The author does include Scripture references and prayers that can help us improve relationships between Blacks and Whites, and give us the right attitude toward each other.

This book is not radical.  It is very middle-class normal.  The book can be useful for any age 16 and up, men or women, church goers or not, and any political affiliation.

->Click to see a copy for sale.

I received an early Kindle version of this book from –> 


Double Blessing

DoubleBlessing Cover

The new book “Double Blessing” by Mark Batterson is all about —

— optimism!

It is not about politics, not about climate change, not about terrorism, not a murder mystery…

It is about a mystery though, 

the mystery of how giving more yields more…

more happiness, more joy, more money to give, more people you help.

Mark Batterson describes this mystery as a “Double Blessing”.

The idea is to give away blessings you received.

The challenge Mark gives his readers —

Give away more than you are now giving!

Mark gives many examples from his life and from inspirational people who are champions at giving.

Mark has been on the receiving end of gifts when he desperately needed them, and he has blessed others by giving more than he received.  The math doesn’t add up, but therein lies the mystery.  Giving more, yields more.

Mark believes in what the Bible teaches.  He uses Scriptures to back up what he teaches us about “Double Blessing”.

If you have read any of Mark’s books before, you know he is an optimist, and a very successful one.   His advice is to stop complaining about the darkness,  and light more candles!

Oh and one more thing Mark tells us —

when you get a blessing,  it came from God!

When you give a blessing to someone,

you are thanking God for your blessings!


–>Click here to get “Double Blessing”.

I requested and received an early copy of “Double Blessing” from the publisher, Waterbrook Multnomah.

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Jesus in Me

JesusInMe Cover

First I need to tell you, that the book “Jesus in Me”, by Anne Graham Lotz, is about the Holy Spirit! 

Many of us don’t know much about the Holy Spirit.  You won’t get everything you need to know about the Holy Spirit in this book.

But what you do get are some real examples of the Holy Spirit working in Anne’s life.

I appreciate Anne explaining what the Holy Spirit does for her, and how the Holy Spirit communicates to her.  

Anne says that to her, the Holy Spirit is a necessity. We absolutely need the Holy Spirit in our daily life.

Anne talks about the ways the Holy Spirit helps us.  He is our comforter, our counselor, our strengthener.  He guides us and equips us.  She gives real examples of these in her own life.

For me, this book makes the Holy Spirit more real.  After reading this book, I think I can find Him working in my life more.  I am more aware of His presence.

If you want to know the Holy Spirit better and have Him working in your life, then take a look at Anne’s new book.

–>Click Here for “Jesus in Me”.

(I did receive a copy of this book from the publisher Waterbrook Multnomah.)

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Politics As Usual

I am frustrated with politics.  Are you?

Well I am even more frustrated now than before the last Presidential election! That’s when I wrote this post originally, but it holds true today.  I could use some encouragement and ideas on how to stay positive and make a difference in other people’s lives.  How about you?

There are so many lies and name calling and egos getting spread around.

So many false promises are being made.

The election is more than 1 year away, so we will only get more of this stuff!

What is the answer?

We can’t depend on Congress or the Supreme Court.

They haven’t done much to stop all the violence in our country in the last decade.

They haven’t done much to end poverty either.  Some things never change.

I want to focus more on what I can do.  What we can do!

We have a real chance to change things for the better.

We have more control over what gets done in our homes, in our churches, and in our neighborhoods than in national politics.

So, yeah, you say, but what can we actually do?

We can get neighbors together to talk about cleaning up the neighborhood.

We can ask neighbors to volunteer to help those who are sick or elderly or poor,

by painting their house, mowing their lawn, fixing a leak in their roof…

We can join a ministry at our church, to collect school supplies,

to collect new shoes for the homeless…

We can change hearts.  We can show people the love of Jesus.

Politics can’t do that!

So let’s forget all the empty political promises, and start doing things that Jesus wants us to do.

Let’s forget the empty political promises, and do things that Jesus wants us to do!

— Pray for those in need.  Love God with all your heart and mind and strength.

— Try not to be resentful, jealous, bitter or angry with every new political issue.

These were some of my own ideas, but I wanted more ideas,

 and I found this advice from a college student (very helpful)– 

–>15 Ways to Live with Compassion

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May It Be So

MayItBeSo cover

This is an unusual book — “May It Be So” by Justin McRoberts & Scott Erickson

It combines a line or two of words with a black & white drawing.  The drawing is to help the reader think about the meaning of the short text. 

The drawings have hidden meanings, much like the drawing on the cover shown above.  It shows a lighthouse on a piece of land with sailboats on the water.  But there is also a sailboat upside down in the water below the lighthouse.  The text that accompanies it speaks of grief being used as a gift for others.  It’s an interesting concept.  It is fun to figure out some of the hidden meanings in the drawings.

The subtitle is “Forty Days with the Lord’s Prayer”.  The 40 days is not because it will take that long to read the book, because it actually is very short.  The 40 days refers to 40 drawings.  The idea is you would read the text and look at the drawing and think about the meaning that day.  I definitely only thought about the meaning for a few minutes each.  I read the book over several days.  But I did mark a few of my favorite pages, so I could think more about some of the drawings.

The book does refer to the Lord’s Prayer in several sections in the book.  It is by no means a study of this prayer.  The author and illustrator hope that this book will change the way you pray and help you include God in your every day life.

If you don’t like to read much, this could be a good book to get, because there is very little to read.  If you are a bit of a doodler or enjoy sketching, you might want to get this book to enjoy the simple drawings with hidden meanings.  If you like a mystery, get the book and see if you can figure out why they picked the title “May It Be So”…

–>So click to get the book!

(Because this is such an unusual concept for a book on prayer, I requested this book from the publisher


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Sunday Hope #2

NightSky WithMoon

Our Father God in Heaven loves you.  He loves me.  He loves each person, because He made us in His image.  We belong to Him.  

He wants us to call out to Him.  He wants us to love Him.  He loves us tenderly.

He has put in this world everything we need — water, food, sunshine… and He has given us so much more for our enjoyment.  He gives us things for our pleasure — beaches, cool breezes, colorful flowers, the flavors of spices and herbs, the sweetness of fruit… This is how He shows us how much He loves us.

God has given us the earth, and the sky, and the stars to live in, to gaze at, and enjoy.

Today in my prayer time I prayed, “Father, I am truly Yours.”  Over and over with each breath in, “Father”, then breathing out, “I am truly Yours”.

This prayer brought peace and gratefulness to my heart. Perhaps you can say this prayer today just for 1 minute or two.

And this prayer brought me understanding that every person has enough pain.  I do not want to hurt anyone.  I do not want to add to the pain.  Instead Lord, let me add love, or joy, peace, or kindness, tenderness, or forgiveness. My hope is that I will be able to do this from now on, with the help of God’s Holy Spirit.

We can hope to bring more love, joy, peace, kindness, tenderness, and forgiveness into this world, because of God’s love for us, and our love and gratefulness for Him.



Something Needs to Change!

SomethingNeedsToChange cover

Something needs to change!

Isn’t that the truth?  

Actually many things need to change, and we probably each have different ideas about what needs changing.

But this book, “Something Needs to Change” by David Platt looks at the lives of people in the Himalayan Mountains.  He goes on a hike in the mountains with some other guys, and he comes back from his trip knowing… that Something Needs to Change!

That “Something” he says, is his life and our lives too.  I know that seems like a big job, but not everything needs to change, just something in our lives needs to change.  I think most of us would say, “yeah, something in my life does need to change”.

David Platt says we need to change our focus to notice the needs of people in poor areas and do something to help.  If we all do something, we can make important changes.

David also says that our churches need to make the same change and more.  Instead of focusing on church programs, big expensive buildings, entertaining worship music, and such things, focus on meeting the needs of people NOT in our churches.

In the Himalayas, David’s heart was broken for the people living there.  They lived in dangerous areas in severe poverty.  Most of the people had never heard of Jesus.  David knew that it is urgent that we reach these people, and others like them, with physical and spiritual help.

Reading this book was like taking a mission trip to the Himalayan Mountains.  David writes from his heart and soul, telling us what he sees, and what he feels about the people he meets there.  He says that his life will never be the same.

So, if you haven’t been on a mission trip before, or if you are curious about what living in the Himalayas would be like, why not read this book?  I am sure you will learn something.  I learned a lot!

David’s book does challenge me to think about how I can help poor people who need food, clean water and health care, and how I can help more people learn about Jesus Christ.  I am doing this to some degree already, but David shows how dire and urgent the needs around the world are. 

I need to do more!  David is doing more.  

Can you do more?

If you need motivation to change something in your life, read this book.  You will see how dire the needs are.  You will feel the need to change something.

–>Click to read “Something Needs to Change

–>Click for videos,articles, and more from David Platt


(I did receive an early reader’s copy of this book from the publisher Waterbrook Multnomah.)


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