Let God Talk to You Review by Yvonne Ortega

Some people believe God doesn’t talk to people anymore. I’m grateful He still does. What a privilege to have the opportunity to hear God speak to us.

Many of us go to God with our long list of requests. We know what we want, and we want it now.

However, how many of us expect God to talk to us? How many of us stop our hectic pace and sit in silence to hear from God?

Becky Tirabassi writes with passion and conviction in her book, Let God Talk to You: When You Hear Him, You Will Never Be the Same.

She takes the readers step by step and explains not only that God talks to us, but also why, how, what God says, and when. She starts in the Old Testament, moves through the New Testament, and onto the present.

The author weaves in Scripture, examples, and detailed information on how to set up a prayer notebook to help readers prepare to listen to God. She calls the notebook, My Partner Prayer Notebook.

I challenge you to read this book, follow the steps and sit expecting to hear from God. He will talk to you, and I would love to know what happens.

I read Becky Tirabassi’s book and set up my partner prayer notebook. I cut out TV, the newspaper, and social media for a week. Relax. Becky didn’t say to do that, but I felt led to do so the week before Christmas. God talked to me, and I heard Him. He told me what He wanted me to do in 2012 and what He wanted me to cut out. Unfortunately, one of the things God wanted me to cut out was posting on Christians Read.

I’ve been blessed to be part of this ministry and have enjoyed posting about the many wonderful books available.

May God bless you richly as you read this book and hear God talk to you. He loves you so much that He’s waiting to talk to you.

Yvonne Ortega www.yvonneortega.com

The Spirit of Christmas Review by Yvonne Ortega

Go to your nearest bookstore or go online and buy the book, The Spirit of Christmas, as soon as you can. Curl up in your favorite chair with a cup of hot tea and read this wonderful Christmas collection. Cecil “Cec” Murphey and Marley Gibson have collected forty-two precious true stories. The stories come from authors, teachers, ministers and others from all over the USA and South Africa.

The stories remove us from the rush of shopping, heavy traffic and a frantic schedule and take us to a place of love, warmth and the true spirit of Christmas. You will laugh. You will cry. You will turn page after page and not want to stop reading until you finish the book. Then you may want to read it again.

Cec Murphey wrote the first story, Alone and Broke at Christmas. What a beautiful surprise ending it has.

Get the tissue ready for such stories as Linda Gilden’s A Timely Surprise and Ada Brownell’s A Mysterious Christmas Gift.

You’ll laugh as you read The SPCA Christmas by Nancy Hoag. Many daughters do become like their moms.

And then there’s Twila Belk’s story, At Home with the Hoppes. Imagine opening your home at Christmas time to two adults, their five children, their family friend, and a forty-five pound cat-hating dog. However, you have a cat.

I could go on and on, but I’ll let you find out on your own about all the wonderful stories in the book.

Buy copies of this book for your family and friends. Donate a copy to your pastor, to your church library, to a Christian school in your area, to the nearest shelter and anywhere else you want. This book is a great gift.

The stories are a beautiful reminder that Christmas isn’t just about giving and receiving gifts. It is much more. Hope, love, sacrifice and gratitude are the best ingredients to get into the spirit of Christmas. You’ll find all these ingredients in The Spirit of Christmas.

Yvonne Ortega www.yvonneortega.com www.yvonneortega.blogspot.com www.blogtalkradio.com/hope-for-the-journey

A Christmas Journey Home Review by Yvonne Ortega

A Christmas Journey Home by Kathi Macias is not a warm fuzzy novel. Kathi Macias is a master at writing novels that make the readers think and question the depth of their beliefs. In this novel, she doesn’t disappoint her loyal followers.

Isabella, a pregnant woman in Mexico, lost her family to gang violence. She fears the same thing could happen to her and her husband, Francisco.

isabella’s grandfather provides the money for Isabella and Francisco to pay a “coyote” to guide them illegally across the border to the USA.

Meanwhile, Miriam Nelson in Arizona is furious with God because her border patrol agent husband, David, was killed in a skirmish with drug smugglers. Miriam is bitter and wants revenge for the death of her husband.

The desperate situations Isabella and her husband face leave Isabella overwhelmed with fear and wondering if God will take care of them and the child she carries.

Kathi Macias does not condone illegal immigrants. She does make the readers see both sides of the issue and causes them to laugh one minute and cry the next.

Kathi demonstrates the power of prayer and holds the attention of the readers from the beginning to the miracle meeting of Isabella and Miriam on Christmas Eve.

This is a must read and will make a fabulous Christmas present or stocking stuffer. Include tissue with the gift.

Yvonne Ortega  www.yvonneortega.com

 

Choosing Gratitude: Your Journey to Joy by Yvonne Ortega

With Thanksgiving Day a week away in the USA, many of us may focus on what we will serve for dinner that day. Perhaps before we eat, we will thank God for his blessings to us.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss says, “Gratitude should be an every moment, every hour, every day, lifetime commitment. Will we ever run out of things to be thankful for? Not a chance.”

Nancy says, “If you’ve always wanted prayer to be as natural as breathing, then pave the way with gratitude.” She spent many months looking at what the Scripture has to say about gratitude.

The book is full of specific Scriptures and examples from the lives of such people as Fanny Crosby, writer of eight thousand hymns, who thanked God for the blessing of blindness.

Nancy takes us on a journey “to confront those stubborn weeds of ingratitude and choose to cultivate a thankful heart.” With transparency and humility she gives examples from her own life of how God encouraged her to give thanks for that which broke her heart.

In her book, the author says gratitude is “not a second-tier virtue in the Christian life—it is vital.” She points out that blessings come disguised as problems and difficulties. She asks if the pain will draw us closer to the Father or make us want to withdraw from his grace and fellowship. I pray it will draw us closer to the Father, especially after reading this book.

Nancy calls gratitude her life preserver and says that choosing gratitude is choosing joy. As we read the book, hopefully gratitude will become our life preserver too and we will choose gratitude and thus joy.

Nancy points out that people fall into two categories: givers and takers, lovers and fighters, Type As and Type Bs, free spirits and list makers, and whiners and worshipers. Will we whine or will we worship?

Our journey to grateful worship of God is “going gratitudinal” according to Nancy DeMoss.

To help us to practice gratitude and thus choose joy, the author includes a 30 day devotional at the end of the book.

Buy this book and read a chapter daily. Let the gratitude that flows out of your life be as abundant as the grace that flows into your life.

November National Caregivers Month by Yvonne Ortega

November is National Caregivers Month.

Unfortunately, we all know a family member, friend or co-worker who has cancer or some other life-threatening disease that requires a caregiver. If you need a book written specifically for caregivers for yourself or a friend, look no further.

Cec Murphey wrote the book, When Someone You Love Has Cancer which was published by Harvest House. The gift book has short chapters and beautiful watercolor illustrations by Michal Sparks.

On the dedication page, Cec wrote, “For Shirley, I loved you before the cancer. Each morning I thank God for giving us one more day together on this earth.”

Cec writes in a simple warm manner to show caregivers how to care for their loved ones.

Because Cec walked the journey of caregiver for his wife, he understands the role of caregivers to listen, comfort and encourage the patient.

One of many points that stayed with me is when a cancer patient told Cec, “I don’t want you to do anything. I have people who provide the things I need. I’ll tell you what I want from you. I just want you to be available when I need to talk. Just that.”

Cec ends each chapter with a transparent humble prayer to God.

The Appendix is a gift to caregivers of practical things they can do to help those diagnosed with cancer. He divides the appendix into three sections: Before You Offer Help, What You Can Do Now, and Long-Term Caregiving.

What a wonderful book for caregivers. The appendix alone is worth the cost of the book.

Stepping Through Cancer: A Guide for the Journey

 Deborah Hardy was a caregiver for her late husband. She wrote a detailed step by step guide for caregivers, Stepping Through Cancer: A Guide for the Journey, published by HigherLife Development Services, Inc.

The first section of the book, Medical Steps, covers such things as a CT scan, a PET scan, and a port (catheter) or stent insertion.

The second section is Information Steps. Deborah explains what to do with all the paperwork and information, where to find more information, how to keep tabs on the doctors, nurses, and medications, and what to take to the ER.

The Treatment Steps cover surgery, hospitalization, chemotherapy, radiation, alternative medicine, and hospice palliative care.

Physical Steps cover possible side effects of treatment.

In the Waiting Steps, caregivers will learn what to do while waiting for test results.

Deborah addresses anger, thankfulness, fear, regrets, and grief in the Emotional Steps.

Relationship Steps help the caregiver deal with visitors, recording memories and asking for and accepting help.

One section of the book, Steps You Wanted to Know About but Were Afraid to Ask, addresses the difficult subjects of a coma, a DNR, planning a funeral or memorial service, burial or cremation, how to grieve, learning to live “a new normal” and keeping the memory alive.

Deborah Hardy includes five appendices which cover hints for patients, caregivers, family and friends, additional resources, and one appendix for the caregiver to write his/her own story.

Deborah includes a comprehensive index for this thorough book for caregivers. I highly recommend this handbook for the caregiver. The book comes in paperback or Kindle ebook.

Copyright © by Yvonne Ortega November 3, 2011

Breast Cancer Awareness Month Book Recommendations by Yvonne Ortega

It’s National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in the USA again. Everywhere we look, we see something pink: pink balloons, pink ribbons, pink blow dryers, pink bottles of shampoo, pink candy, pink jewelry, pink clothing.

Remember that beyond that pink power is a concern for people’s lives.

I want to recommend two books to you in alphabetical order by title: Dear God, They Say It’s Cancer (Howard Books) by Janet Thompson and Finding Hope for Your Journey through Breast Cancer (Revell) by Yvonne Ortega.

Janet Thompson and Yvonne Ortega are both breast cancer survivors.

In the book, Dear God, They Say It’s Cancer, Janet Thompson offers practical advice, encouragement, and hope for anyone with a life-threatening illness. Each chapter includes: A Sister Shares—stories from breast cancer “sisters,” Mentoring Moment—lessons learned, helpful hints, encouragement, God’s Love Letter to You—paraphrased Scripture for you to personalize, Journaling Guides—encouraging prompts to help you journal your own breast cancer journey, and more. The Sanity Tools Appendix includes such items as resources and a space for appointments, contact information and other details. Janet says, “A cancer diagnosis affects the whole family, and their world starts to whirl with yours.” This book is a comprehensive, practical guide that is easy-to-read and offers wonderful spiritual encouragement to those who face cancer.

In the book, Finding Hope for Your Journey through Breast Cancer, Yvonne Ortega offers the readers sixty brief inspirational readings. Each one starts with a Scripture reading which she calls a Hope Builder and ends with a brief prayer. Yvonne knows there will be triumphs and setbacks on this journey. However, she reminds the readers that even when it looks like they are alone, God is there every step of the way. This book provides the emotional and spiritual support cancer patients yearn for. Yvonne writes from the heart, sharing her feelings and reactions in a way that will cause you to say, “She understands.” Ride the roller coaster with Yvonne as your seatmate on a courageous, vulnerable, hope-filled journey through cancer. You won’t know whether to laugh or cry—but you will know you’ve found a friend.

Yvonne Ortega October 20, 2011

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