Is This a Christian book? #2

I just finished reading as wide as the sky by an author I’ve not come across before– Jessica Pack.  The book has an interesting premise:  there are short chapters from the viewpoint of different characters, some central to the plot, others peripheral.  Each chapter begins, not with a date, but with the number of days, years or hours after a particular date –an event that caused the character to “restart” their life because something monumental had changed.

For the main character, Amanda, the reset button is pushed on the day her son is executed for killing nine people in a shopping mall.  We journey along with her as her new life without her child begins.  On the way, we meet others who have been affected by Amanda or her son Robbie.  We learn that people are complicated, and nobody should be judged solely by the worst thing they have ever done.

It left me pondering what moments were turning points in my own life.  It addresses many interesting ethical questions such as:

  • Can/should we forgive someone who has committed a terrible crime of violence?
  •  Is capital punishment an appropriate punishment when the offender is mentally ill?
  • How do we maintain a balance between work and our home life?
  • How do we, as parents, maintain a balance between the needs of our children?
  • How should we care for our aging parents?
  •  How much responsibility should we have for the actions of our family members?

A number of the characters are portrayed as Christian.  There was no inappropriate language (what a relief).  These elements, and the type of themes included left me wondering if the author is a Christian.  I contacted her, and she is.  So this book may never show up as “Christian” on any book list you find, but in my mind it is.  It promotes Christian values in an appealing way that will influence many.  I look forward to reading more books by this author.

VERDICT:  5 stars.  It’s an enjoyable and thought provoking read.  It would be great for a book club.

For a review of a similar book, visit this post:

Is This a Christian Book?



A Family Prayer

This prayer by Rev. R.H. Raasch is from The Lutheran Prayerbook.

O Lord, I thank you for my family.  You have created our lives and intentionally brought us together to live in our home.  It is within the family relationship that we learn how to share Your gifts of love, forgiveness and mercy.  It is here, in our home, that we learn to be patient, as You are patient;  compassionate, as You are compassionate;  and caring, as You care for us.  Bless our relationships that we may serve You here in our home and when we go out into Your world.  In the mighty name of Jesus we pray.  Amen

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New Month/New Theme

Since I didn’t get any suggestions for an August theme, I decided to continue with another aspect of the unity theme:  relationships.  If we go back to the beginning of humankind, in the book of Genesis, we see that God created us to be in relationship with Him and with each other.  These relationships were to be true unions meant to foster wholeness and health.  When sin entered the world, all this changed.  Adam becomes fearful of God and tries to avoid Him;  He and Eve blame each other for the unfortunate state of affairs created by their misdeeds.  Instead of wholeness, we find brokenness;  instead of health, disease and death.

The Bible is a book about relationships:  God and His people, men and wives, siblings, parents and children, teachers and students, kings and subjects.  Feel free, ladies to explore all of them!  How are your relationships going?  What helps keep relationships strong?  What hinders or hurts relationships?  Can broken relationships be restored?

There are an unlimited number of ideas to discuss, and everyone is also free to go “off topic” as the Spirit leads.  Happy blogging!