Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Catching Moondrops
by Jennifer Erin Valent

This week, my friend Narelle Atkins has dropped in to share her book review of Catching Moondrops by Jennifer Erin Valent. Welcome, Narelle!

Catching Moondrops (Tyndale 2010) is the third book in Jennifer Erin Valent’s Summer series. A confronting and heart wrenching love story set in a small town in Virginia.

Jessilyn Lassiter lives in a town with a dark history. It’s 1938 and racial prejudices resurface after Tal Pritchett, a young black doctor, moves to town. Jessilyn’s best friend, Gemma, starts working for Tal as his assistant. Gemma falls in love with the kind hearted doctor, despite the danger she may face by working with him.

Nineteen year old Jessilyn has loved Luke Talley for many years, and it seems like Luke may soon be ready to act on his feelings. As Jessilyn dreams of a future with Luke, the townsfolk are divided over Tal’s presence. Klan members pursue their hateful agenda and Jessilyn is forced to deal with her own anger and faith issues.

Catching Moondrops provides an insightful and hard hitting perspective into the hearts of those who are full of anger, hate and prejudice. The harsh reality of racial prejudice and injustice, and the devastating consequences for all involved, is brought together in a brilliant climax with a page turning ending. I would recommend Catching Moondrops for those looking for a compelling and honest love story that deals with the tough issue of racial prejudice.

Tyndale House Publishers provided an Advanced Reader Copy of Catching Moondrops for reviewing purposes.

You can visit Jennifer Valent's website at: http://www.jennifervalent.com/

Narelle Atkins is a member of the International Christian Fiction Writers group blog at: http://narelleatkins.com/index.html

You can also visit her website at: http://narelleatkins.com/index.html

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Hugeness of God

Last week I attended a new Bible study class about the "hugeness" of God.

There is so much that could be done with the concept of God's hugeness; so many lessons that could be taught. But the first class in this study went in a direction I could never have imagined. Even now, almost a week later, I'm still filled with wonder as I think about it.

It was amazing, delightful, and almost overwhelming. I was awestruck as I watched a demonstration of just how big God really is.

We watched a DVD filled with pictures taken by the Hubble telescope. I'd seen a couple of them before. But most were new to me. There were galaxies I'd never heard of. These two, millions of light years away, were my favorites.

The Sombrero Galaxy

The Whirlpool Galaxy

I always knew the universe was big. But I was struck anew at just how huge this universe, called into being by God, really is.

We were asked to write down our immediate reaction after watching the film. My reaction surprised me. After watching this, I should feel incredibly small. But I didn't feel that way at all. Instead, I wrote, "I feel so loved." It was chilly in the room that night, but as I wrote those words a warm feeling encompassed me.

This week, as I've thought back over those amazing pictures taken in the huge expanse that is space, I thought about God and what his purpose was in creating the universe. Could it simply be about showing us the wonders he's capable of? About showing us his power? Maybe.

But then I had another thought. Maybe he wanted to show us that, in spite of how huge he is, God loves us as unique individuals. We're not just minute specks on a blip in this incredible universe. We are loved and adored by the very one capable of breathing all of this into being.

Imagine this. God knew us before we were even born. He knows our names, our thoughts, our hurts, and our laughter. In a universe so large, with so much happening every second, he never forgets about us. He still hears my prayers. He still gives me peace and comfort.

This is a picture of the center of the Whirlpool Galaxy, over twenty milllion light years away:

Wow. This struck me speechless when I saw it the first time. Even now, I'm still humbled by it.

I encourage you to take a look at some of the pictures taken from the Hubble Space Telescope and as you do, think about God and how huge he truly is, and that he loves us so much more than we could even begin to imagine.

Photos courtesy of Hubble Site: