Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Big Story



Genesis: In The Beginning, God... 
This is the first thing Justin Buzzard, in his book The Big Story, tells you to drill into your head.
What kind of drill would you need? 
My thick head needs more than my 12 volt Kyobi or 18 volt Milwaukee could penetrate. 
I got the point! 
I used to think that this victimized society of ours was part of modern America. 
Justin Buzzard points out that the first "victim" to blame someone or something other than themselves was Adam. He blamed Eve. 
Eve was second, she blamed the Serpent. 
This book, The Big Story: How the Bible Makes Sense out of Life, is a good read. It is 170 pages, easy to handle. You will see yourself in it. 
The Bible is about God. It still makes sense of our lives in 2013. 
Get yourself a copy. It will put something in your head. 

Review by Kirk Farrell 
Thank you Moody Press for my review copy. 

I smile every time I see this...

     
In The Heat of The Night


The Sparta PD. 

Friday, June 28, 2013

Sapphire Ice and Greater than Rubies... Robin's complete story.


 


Hallee Bridgeman has understaken to tell the story of three half-sisters whose love for each other is whole: Robin, Maxine and Sarah. Three girls who had been raised in absolute brokenness and desperation, yet managed to come back together and love each other fiercely. In telling their stories, Mrs. Bridgeman has gifted us with an exquisite set of books, the Jewel Trilogy

And I have been given the honor of reviewing Book One and a novella inspired by it, which both tell the story of the eldest girl, Robin, and which are now offered in one volume! 

Robin Bartlett is a capable, resilient survivor. At 28, she is providing for her newly reunited sisters with single-minded devotion, almost working herself to death tending the bar at 
Hank's Place during the night and then waiting tables at Benedict's during the day. 
Her charm, skill, and undeniable beauty make her a favorite at both the simple and the elegant restaurant.  
It was that combination of qualities that attracted Tony Viscolli's eye his first evening at Hank's. 
A now-successful Boston businessman with a story of his own: 
a sad past and a testimony of God's restoring Love. 
 Tony had come to Hank's to scope out a buying opportunity, 
and the next day he was at Benedict's for a breakfast.
The same lovely woman was working at both places, and both times she caught his eye.
Tony soon finds a will of steel behind that loveliness, 
and the two qualities together draw him like a magnet. 

When Tony encountered Robin, he knew he had met someone unlike anyone he had ever seen before. Tony was intrigued by this woman, and once he met her sisters and heard her story 
in bits and pieces, he was determined to pursue her. 
The only thing that stood between them were years of abuse and distrust, 
solidified into a high wall around her heart.
 Could a tide of sacrificial, respecting love convince her of her own value, 
and help soften her enough to love in return? 
If it can, it will be God's love and Tony's that washes over her and carries away the walls. 

With three awesome sisters as protagonists, two of them scheming to help Robin fall in love, 
and all of them understanding each other and supporting each other, 
how could this book be anything but a winner? 

Then add a love story of epic proportions, a story that hearkens back to the tale of Cinderella and looks forward to the joyous union of Christ and His Church: a love story of a Groom who delights in and treasures his Bride, and a Bride who must be won with agape and who will give her whole heart to her Groom. That is the story of Tony and Robin. 

Thank you Mrs. Bridgeman and Fred and Nora St. Laurent at The Book Club Network, 


Hallee Bridgeman lives with her husband and their three children in small town Kentucky. When she's not writing Christian romance novels (hallee.bridgemanfamily.com), she blogs about all things cooking and homemaking at Hallee the Homemaker (halleethehomemaker.com). Hallee started writing when her oldest child and only daughter was a baby, but a busy professional career and being the wife of a deployed soldier had her shelve her books for another time. Two more children, a cross country move, and God's perfect timing brought the books off of the shelf to be dusted off and presented to you now. Hallee loves coffee, campy action movies, and regular date nights with her husband. Above all else, she loves God with all of her heart, soul, mind, and strength; has been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ; and relies on the presence of the Holy Spirit. She prays her books are a blessing to you and would love to hear back from you. You can reach Hallee by using the contact information on her websites.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Stealing the Preacher.




If Joanna had made a poster to advertise her town's need and her own hope, 
it may have read like this: 

NEEDED: 
One godly, dedicated man with a fire in his bones for Christ and His Word. 
He must be willing to accept a difficult but worthy mission: revitalizing a tiny country church. 
Please, if you feel the Lord calling you here, hurry! 
My father and many other men and women need a shepherd's care 
to help them come to the Lord. 
All we ask is a man who will not give up on us, 
A man who will be a brother and sister in the Lord to us all. 

And if a man had answered this ad, it may have been Crockett Archer. 

The only problem is, Crockett didn't come to Joanna's church because he voluntarily answered an ad. He came before the lady with his hands bound, being prodded along by her daddy's gun. 
He was a birthday present. 
Yes. Her daddy had heard Joanna say she that all she wanted was a preacher,
 and a preacher she was given. 
Now she only has to convince the preacher that he may find his 
life's work right here at their neglected church. 

With this premise, the story of Stealing the Preacher flies off to a great start in the opening pages
 and then gallops along like an outlaw's horse 
until the tale (and the couple!) finally ride away into the sunset. 
Between the intrigue of the West, the blossoming dreams of a young lady's heart, 
and a mix of Church goers both wonderful and worrisome,
you'll be glad you were along for this ride! 

Thank you Bethany House and Karen Witemeyer for my copy 

Ever since my young reader days when I journeyed with Laura and the Ingalls family through the pages of Little House on the Prairie and shared the adventures of a spunky, red-headed Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables, I have nurtured a passion for historical fiction. Something about those simpler times resonated with me. Neighbors helping neighbors instead of hiding behind closed doors. Spirited women working beside their men to tame the frontier. Communities where faith in God was expected and commended.
Whether you are a kindred spirit or a reader who enjoys a wide variety of genres, I'm glad you dropped by. Take a seat on  one of the porch rockers while I fetch some lemonade. If you'd like to talk books, we can visit the library. Or perhaps you'd rather sit and chat about some of your favorite characters. I'd be happy to introduce you at Character Corner. Enjoy free books and giveaways? I can get you connected with contests and other fun goodies. If you're a history hound like me, you might fancy a peek at some of my research gems. On my Links page, you'll discover some of the historical sites I use for researching my books as well as a list of the blogs I frequent. But if you would prefer to just sit on the porch and talk, I'll kick off my shoes and join you.
For those who enjoy stories of true love set against a backdrop of the American West, you've come to the right place. It is my prayer that through these romantic tales, you will be drawn into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ, the Rose of Sharon, and the lover of your soul.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
~ 2 Corinthians 13:14 ~

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Jungle Fire




BREAKING NEWS: I have just been introduced to a talented suspense author and her latest novel from Moody Press: Dana Mentink and Jungle Fire!

I am so happy to have this book gracing my shelf now, and I am thrilled to have the challenge of expressing my admiration in this review. 

My review will go something like this: The setting, Guatemala, was so deftly described that I felt like I was there: in the river, in the moist hot vegetation, driving on the gravel and mud roads. 

And the characters? Well, I knew I wanted to get to know them the first time we met, 
and by the end of the book I felt like I did know them. 
Shaw Wilder: His 'voice' in Jungle Fire is authentic for a man...something I am particular about. His thoughts and words let us know what life means to him and how he thinks about things, 
and his actions tell us even more about him. 
He is tough, with a never-say-die mindset that gets him where he needs to go. 
He has a really cool backround too: explosives detection with the police here in the States,
 which gave him training and the law enforcement edge. 
Shaw is a great hero, though I doubt he would want that title, so he can share it with Axel, his dog. Axel is an explosives detection dog, and he and his master had plenty to do in Guatemala what with the land mines left after the bloody civil war. Together they are an awesome team!

Nina Truman: a fine example of sturdy femininity. A missionary nurse with a gentle touch and a brave heart, Nina has dedicated her life to serving the people of Guatemala. 
She has fears, but she knows her Heavenly Father is mighty.
Nina and Shaw were wonderful people to meet. 

And they inspired me: I read about Nina and Shaw's fortitude and determination as they escaped through the harsh terrain of Guatemala, and I hoped that I would have that strength in me. 
 I thought about how little help they received from the villagers who had been bought off by the drug cartels, and yet how willing Nina remained to reach out and tenderly touch and care for the sick and wounded she met, and I knew I wanted that too. 

As I read, I was right there in the action along with Nina and Shaw. It takes a special writer to craft good action scenes, the kind that get your adrenaline pumping and yet still make sense. These were good!  


Review in six words: Jungle Fire is a great read. 
Thank you Dana for my copy to review! 


Dana Mentink lives in California where the weather is golden and the cheese is divine. Her family includes two little girls (affectionately nicknamed Yogi and Boo Boo.) Papa Bear works for the fire department and he met Dana doing a dinner theater production of The Velveteen Rabbit. Ironically, their parts were husband and wife.
Dana is an American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year finalist for romantic suspense and an award winner in the Pacific Northwest Writers Literary Contest.  Her suspense novel, Betrayal in the Badlands, earned a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award. Besides writing, she busies herself teaching third and fourth grade. Mostly, she loves to be home with Papa Bear, Yogi, Boo Boo, a dog with social anxiety problems, a chubby box turtle and a feisty parakeet.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Claudia, a new Biblical novel from Diana Wallis Taylor.

                                 

Young and beautiful, naive and sheltered, Claudia is only sixteen when she is delivered to Pontius Pilate as his bride.
Having been held prisoner in her villa with her outcast mother since she was a child, Claudia knows nothing of what (or who) waits for her in Israel.
Once married, a dangerous voyage from Italy with her slave girl Hotep as her companion leaves her in a foreign world. This girl is dropped in the midst of a huge, interconnected web of politics and rulers vying for dominance, and she begins to understand that being the wife of Pilate is no simple thing.

On every front, the powers her husband represents clash with the Jewish people he rules over.
The Jews, including the kind midwife who tends Claudia in her labor, worship One God, who is invisible as far as Claudia understands. Pilate scoffs, but is forced to respect the Jew's devotion to their God. They worship Him like He is real.
The Romans, meanwhile, bow to many idols of wood and stone, giving lavish offerings and prayers to their statues, but in their hearts many do not revere the idols.
Claudia's discussions with the Jews she meets about who God is are worth reading and pondering. How do you explain our transcendent, omnipotent, merciful God to someone caught in a false religion? How was God presented to you when you were saved?

Diana Wallis Taylor has changed our mental conception of Claudia from a sparse outline to a richly colored, thickly layered painting with a greater scope and depth of field, including Claudia's youth and her love of life as well as her wrestling with questions of faith.

If you have ever wondered who the woman behind Pilate might have been, this book will leave you with some ideas, and an imagination ready to wonder more about this woman of Scripture.

Thank you Revell and Diana Wallis Taylor for this book!

**Available June 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.**


Recently named “Writer of the Year” by the San Diego Christian Writer’s Guild, Diana Wallis Taylor has been writing since the age of 12 when she sold her first poem to a church newspaper. Her third novel, Mary Magdalene came out May 2012 and she recently completed her fourth novel of Biblical Fiction for Revell, Claudia, Wife of Pontius Pilate. She won first place in the San Diego Book Awards for her short story, “Phipps and the Jay”; First place in Christian Romance for her book Smoke Before the Wind. First place in Christian Fiction for her manuscript, “House of the Forest”; Second place last year forMartha all in the Reader’s Favorite Book Review and Award Contest. Her collection of poetry, Wings of the Wind came out in 2006. Her writing contributions appear in various compilation books and magazines. Diana wrote the words and melodies to an Easter cantata called “Glorious” recently completed with her fellow collaborator, Carolyn Prentice, who did the orchestration.
Diana lives with her husband Frank in San Diego, California. Between them they have six grown children and ten grandchildren. She enjoys speaking and sharing her heart with women of all ages.


 Click here to buy  Claudia, Wife of Pontius Pilate: Diana Wallis Taylor  at Christianbook.com! 


       

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Not by Sight



This is one of the best mysteries I have ever read, all the way from the cover to the last page.
Not by Sight is earnest, wholesome, and gripping, with scenes that I easily imagined myself in. 
Oh yes... I was right there with Abby. 
I could feel the damp ground, the darkness, the terror of being...
well, I can't really say where she was, but when you read it you'll understand.

I love the Cummings family. 
Hawk, 21, the eldest son. 
A sharp young man who has resigned himself to living without his father and baby sister...
even if his heart does a double take every-time he sees someone who looks like Riley Jo or their Dad. 

Abby, the oldest daughter, age almost 16. 
Abby fell into the arms of her Savior six months ago and knows that all things are possible with 
Him. She is not imagining this little girl who looks so much like Riley Jo, and 
she is willing to step into the fog and walk by faith to restore their family. 

Jesse, age 10. This little boy is old enough to manage the hummingbird feeders by himself this summer, and has just discovered the God whom his Grandpa loves. 
This child's faith is going to help uphold the family in the fiery trial. 

Mrs. Cummings, who has mourned her husband and daughter for five long years. 
God seems distant and prayer seems purposeless, all she wants is closure.
Any reality that she needs to face would be welcome, in a heartbreaking way...
even confirmation that they are not coming home.

Grandpa Cummings, the godly man who leads their home. 
He is wise and loving, helping his grandchildren and daughter deal with their tragedy. 

And there is Angel View Lodge, a peaceful retreat deep in the gorgeous Ozark Mountains. 
It was Micah Cumming's dream, and his wife and children continue it in his memory.
  Every description of the inn and the mountains made me want to go there and stay. 
Thank you Mrs. Herman for sharing this favorite place of yours,
and making it a favorite place of mine through this story. 

I read all Christian fiction, because I love the way the authors grapple with spiritual themes. 
I have read a lot of books that explore belief and doubt in excellent ways, 
and Not by Sight is one of the most real. 
The conversations they have, the growth they experience, I loved it. 
(The inclusion of the guardian angel theme was so cool,
 because I do believe that the angels of the Lord surround those He loves!) 

In short, THANK you Mrs. Herman for your sweet surprise gift of this novel. 
I wanted to tell the world how good it is, so I wrote these thoughts. 
Thank you again for writing this book.
I can't wait for the rest of the trilogy. 

:-) 


The Brotherhood Conspiracy.



Prophecy, Intrigue, and Terrorism...
It all boils down to The Brotherhood Conspiracy.

This sequel to The Sacred Cipher begins with Tom Bohannon and his team back in the US, 
alive by nothing short of a miracle.  
His last journey took him underground and into an ancient secret, uncovering more questions than answers. Now, as he watches the dust rise from the rubble of the Temple Mount earthquake, 
there are even more doubts rising in his mind.  
The Third Temple, built in the caverns beneath the Mount, has been destroyed. 
Islam is pursuing the blood of the infidel, desiring to conquer the globe. 
Israel wants to reclaim the entire Temple Mount.
America's president is studying his Bible to see where this is all meant to lead. 
Is the end of the world being ushered in? 
And is there another message on the mezuzah...
a message calling Tom and his friends' names again? 

The message seems to indicate that not only was the Temple waiting to be discovered, 
but the Tent of Meeting itself, lost for over 3,000 years. 

Is finding, and restoring, this Tent to the Mount God's mission for their life? 
Or is this a futile attempt that will cost more than it is worth? 

Tom and his team chase the meaning of these hieroglyphics across the world, 
from Jeremiah's Tomb in Ireland to the Lebanese border. 
Their intense journey is one of geographical traveling, 
one of physical testing and one of ideological exploration. 
The message on the mezuzah forces them to consider the roots of Islam's Arab Spring,
 to evaluate Israel's plans to sacrifice on the Mount once more,
 and to consider America's foreign policy toward both Muslims and Jews. 

Although the timeframe of this book is July 21 to August 28, the story is told by drawing us back into several ages of history, 589 BC Jerusalem, 1937 Iraq, and 1978 Lebanon among them. 

After carefully setting the stage for the story in the first chapters, 
The Brotherhood Conspiracy  gains speed and action until the final pages. 
I was turning pages really fast... anxious to know how they would survive, and what it all meant. 

This book leaves you sobered as you ponder what is happening in the Middle East, 
what has happened historically, and what will/may happen in the future. 
This conflict in all of its brutality involves the souls and bodies of real humans. 
We need to be praying about that corner of the world, for sure. 

Thank you to the author through Kregel Blog Tours for sending me my copy to review. 


A journalist for 22 years, Terry started as a sportswriter, including seven years with the Sports department at the Philadelphia Bulletin. Moving to newspaper management, he was Editor and/or Publisher of newspapers in Pennsylvania, Illinois and New York. He then spent more than a decade as Vice President of Operations for a Christian ministry to the homeless in Manhattan. Husband to Andrea, father to four adult children, Terry's committment to his faith in Jesus Christ defines his roles as husband, father and servant. A lifelong writer, Terry may have adopted the Lower East Side of Manhattan as home, but he will forever remain a Penn State and Philadelphia Eagles fan.
 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Dale Allan's




I know why Dale Allan's book Prayer for the Devil won an excellence award.

At first the title alone scared me away. Now, after I have read this book, I need to tell you that y'all can go get a copy and read it. Indeed you should read this one.
For anyone with similar fears: this book is not creepy or needlessly scary at all, and that the title, A Prayer for the Devil is very meaningful. You will see how as you read.

So why did it win an excellence award and why should you read it?
You read this book to experience life as part of the Miller family, to sleuth along with Father Miller, to meet people you wouldn't otherwise have met and to think about issues that deserve rational thought.

Luke Miller's father is Jewish, his mother Roman Catholic. They had two sons, identical twins.
Luke's name was chosen by his mother, a New Testament name that turned into a sort of prophecy: Luke answered the call of Christ in high-school. His brother Aaron bore the name their father chose, and the continued in the religion he taught them.

Aaron married a beautiful Jewish wife, had two precious children and worked hard to establish a good career as a lawyer. One of his last accomplishments was becoming the campaign manager for Brad Thompson, favored Presidential Candidate, and Aaron Miller died tragically in a terrorist  bombing that claimed the life of the Mr. Thompson along with six others.

This devastating loss pulled Luke Miller from his chosen life as a simple priest, and drew him back into his brother's family. Aaron's widow and his children become increasingly dependent on Luke as they process their grief, and for the first time Luke understands the kind of loss that he had previously only observed from afar.
When the case stalls and there are no leads, Luke decides to hunt down his brother's killer himself.

As he begins to investigate, he finds a long and tangled trail of clues and a rather unlikely collection of compatriots to help him on his way.
The people Luke Miller meets are just as interesting as the clues he chases, and that is saying something.
There are homeless men in his city park, a man named Sal who offers Father Luke his "connections", and a fiery Muslim woman whose name means Beautiful, these are all part of the cast of characters in A Prayer for the Devil.

I like a mystery that allows me to look over the protagonist's shoulder as he collects evidence. This one does. At times the cleverness of Father Miller and his friends had me doing fist-pumps, saying "Yes! That's how to catch 'em!"

And whoa! The ending...I mean literally the last sentence... that was a punch that came out of nowhere! Can't tell y'all what it is exactly, you'll just have to find out.

I was given this book through the awesome site for readers and also reviewers: Bookfun.org!
Thank you Nora and Fred St. Laurent for sending me my copy to review! 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013




Fear Has a Name begins with several scenes of fear.
A man dressed all in black methodically breaks into a home where a wife and two sweet girls are spending a quiet day. They run to the neighbor's for help, narrowly escaping a fate of who knows what. Meanwhile, the man stays in there house for almost fifteen minutes, until the police come.
What was he doing in their home?

The police rule it a burglary, after all he stole Mrs. Crittendon's jewelry. He will never be back, they say. It was a crazy man committing robbery for drug money.

Meanwhile, as the man was forcing entry into his house, Jack Crittendon, news reporter, was beginning to chase a story on a disappeared pastor. 
Beloved and godly Pastor Evan McDaniel left his house with many medications and apparent suicidal intent, says the first reports that Jack is given. Trace down the truth, Jack is told, and he determines to do so as soon as he  reassures and comforts his wife and children after their scare. 
 Jack knows one thing: God is the Crittendon familys' faithful protector, 
and God has appointed Jack as Pamela's husband and Rebecca and Faye's daddy. 
God will give him strength to defend these precious lives,
but surely there will be no need, the man is gone and won't return. 

But the man in black did more than just break in, and he never sold the jewelry for drug money. 
As Pamela calms down and begins to re-take her home, she finds strange and foreboding things: 
Jack was slashed out of their wedding photo and her Bible was stolen from their room. 

Equally perplexing, where did Evan McDaniel go? 
Why did he leave his dear wife whose love he proclaimed at every marriage seminar he taught? 
Why would he walk away from beautiful boys who adored him? 
As allegations swirl and revelations come to light about Pastor McDaniel, his life and his disappearance become harder to understand. Whom and what should Jake believe? 

When the identity of the Crittendon's stalker is discovered, it rocks Pamela's world.  
And the story behind the person should rock yours. 
May we never allow the truths of Christianity to be deformed the way they were in that household, 
where Divine law was twisted and human laws were enforced, resulting in a torturous upbringing 
that turned a man away from His Lord instead of calling him closer. 

And may we have the Grace of God to help those who are drowning in a sea of fear, afraid that their depression makes them less than Christian. May we grind the head of that lie into the dust and offer love and support to all the people like us: people who don't have it all together, who are frail, who can't be super-Christians. 

After shocking me many times through this book, (in a good way)
 something Pamela does at the end shocks me even more, in a very good way.  
Would you and I make the same choice? 

Thank you Creston Mapes and David C. Cook for my review copy of Fear Has a Name.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Slow Moon Rising, the end of the Cedar Key novels.


 

The luscious cover on this book is what first caught my attention, the family epic inside is what held it.
Slow Moon Rising does not falter once through all its 376 pages of story.

I am left wondering: who is the woman in white alone on this sunset beach? It could be any of the women whose stories are revealed inside the cover...

It could be Anise, who fell in love with a newly widowed man over 20 years her senior. She married Ross Claybourne, and grew to love his four daughters even they rejected her and resented her place in their father's life.

The woman could be Kimberly, the Clayburne's eldest daughter, with her two sons and her broken heart...
Or she could be Jayme-Leigh, the next girl, who became a physician like her father.
She could be Heather, who may understand better than anyone what their mother Joan went through...
Or she could be Ami, the youngest Claybourne, whose story is achingly sad with the potential to be stunningly beautiful. Ami, who carried a secret for the longest time.
The woman in white might even be Rosa, a woman who lives in Cedar Key and who is part of this story in a way the four daughters never expected her to be.
These are the women of this book, all of whom experience both wounding and the beginning of healing.

This novel is a tapestry, woven full of experiences that make up life, events and changes and trials that every woman has encountered at some time in her pilgrimage on earth. I think the phrase "a book like a river" describes this one well. There are many currents under the suface, all braiding together, there is a journey that the story is taking, and the pull of the flowing writing sweeps you away. Yes, a river is a good metaphor for this book.
I like the way that the point of view transitions from one woman to another through the chapters, so as you read you are allowed to see inside their world and to look out with their eyes.
As I read Slow Moon Rising I found that I really cared about all of the women here...I am so glad I got to meet them!

Thank you Eva Marie and Revell for this book!

**Available June 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.**

Eva Marie Everson is an author, speaker, teacher, wife and mother. She has a passion for studying and teaching the Old Testament and for anything that draws people into a deeper relationship with God.
Favorite Verse: John 6:66-68You do not want to leave too, do you?" Jesus asked the Twelve. Simon Peter answered him,"Lord to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”



Friday, June 14, 2013

Preaching Christ... Steven Lawson's new book.


"I take my text and make a bee-line to the Cross," 
Charles Spurgeon on preaching. 

"I preach as though Christ were crucified yesterday, rose from the dead today 
and is coming back to earth tomorrow!" 
Martin Luther on preaching. 

This book by Stephen Lawson spreads a grand and Biblical vision for preaching Christ 
and Him crucified. Listen to a few quotes from this book, first, why Christian preaching must be preaching Christ, because Christianity is Christ:  
"The essence of Christianity is centered upon the Lord Jesus Christ. The sum and substance of being a Christian is trusting Christ with the entirety of one's being. The height of the Christian life is adoring Christ, the depth of it loving Him, the breadth of it obeying Him, and the length of it following Him." 

"Simply put, God honors the preaching that honors his Son. If our proclamation departs from this glorious focus, the blessing of God will be far from it. God will abandon the preaching that abandons Christ."

"Great preachers always preach Christ. Wherever they may be weak, 
they must always succeed in proclaiming the matchless greatness of the Lord Jesus.
 Regardless of the culture in which they serve, the expectations of their listeners, 
faithful preachers are committed to upholding the unrivaled supremacy of 
Jesus Christ in His saving death."

How on earth do I review a book that just needs to be read? 
This book reminds me why we listen to sermons and preaching in the first place:
 to hear about Christ, to exalt Him, to learn about Him.
All the other benefits come because each verse is a road that leads to Him!

Perhaps the idea that hit me the hardest was the truth that we continually need 
to hear Christ and His full work preached. 
I mean, I used to think that the "Easter story" should only be preached at Easter. 
And Luke Two was great at Christmas but surely wouldn't you get odd looks if you read it any other time? In other words, I didn't understand that the full work of Christ needed to be proclaimed all year, every year. 
It is way too easy to put Christ's work on the cross out of your mind after you are saved, to think "I don't need to hear that again every week... we can move on to other topics." But there is no other Biblical topic that doesn't lead back to Christ and His work, His Glory, His Love! 

I want to thank Harvest House for my review copy of The Kind of Preaching God Blesses.
Steven J. Lawson is the senior pastor of Christ Fellowship Baptist Church in Mobile, Alabama. He is the author of more than a dozen books, including the Long Line of Godly Men series. He also serves as Professor of Preaching at The Master’s Seminary and a Teaching Fellow at Ligonier Ministries and Visiting Professor in the Doctor of Ministry program at Ligonier Academy.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Jennifer, An O'Malley Love Story... my first meeting with the O'Malley family.





    Jennifer is the prequel to the O'Malley books, the previously unpublished tale of what went on in the youngest O'Malley's life right before the official series began.

I have heard much about the O'Malley family, enough to know that the seven books about them are my Birthday Book List for this year. I had decided on that before reading any of them, and so I was absolutely delighted to have the chance to read and review Jennifer from Bethany House's blog review program. Now I will have begun in the proper order, with the very first story.
And I can say that my first meeting with the O'Malley's will not be my last.

What a wonderful book this is! I understand that the other O'Malley books are all a few hundred pages in length and suspense with romance whereas this book is only 154 pages long with no crime mystery, but that in no way makes this less of an O'Malley novel.
Jennifer is a portion of the O'Malley saga, and their full story would be incomplete without it.

The back cover copy really has it right for this book: This is a story of Love, Divine and human. Jennifer is falling in love with Tom and with Jesus, and both loves are shown in a way that is so real.

In fact, from what I have heard "real" is the way to describe all of Dee Henderson's stories... real men and real women coming to know a real God whose Son Jesus really died for us and really cares about us.
I am so blessed when I meet a book like that. Here's to the O'Malley saga!

Dee's website... stop by and maybe write her a little note?

Award-winning novelist Dee Henderson excels at creating believable, challenging characters. Dee is the author of several series, including the Uncommon Heroes series and the O'Malley series of romantic suspense novels. Her books have won a host of awards, including the prestigious RITA Award, Bookseller's Best Award, and National Reader's Choice Award. True Honor is a finalist for the 2003 ECPA Gold Medallion Award for Fiction, The Truth Seeker and The Protector were finalists for the 2002 ECPA Gold Medallion Award for Fiction, The Guardian won the 2002 Christy Award, Romance category.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Dreaming of a Father's Love by Sharon Lavy

 


   Dreaming of a Father's Love is women's fiction that is worthy of our attention.
This book spins a grand tale, of several young ladies growing up in Ohio in the 1970's. All their lives intersect at Alexanders, a large plant nursery owned by Birdie's family.

Birdie wants nothing more than to tend her plants, prove her worth as a worker beside her brothers and uncle, and earn her father's respect.
A valedictorian with a bright educational future, Birdie doesn't want to go away for four years of college. She wants to attend local Packer University and learn more about horticulture, so she can  become even more skilled in the nursery. Surely her father can see that Alexanders is her world, and she never wants to leave it!

Alexanders secretary is Sara Brubaker, adopted as a small child into a German Baptist family. Sara is 24 and trying to find herself amidst the craziness of those days. On one side of her heart are her adoptive parents, the only mother and father she has known. They are kind and loving, yet seem afraid of losing her when she begins to question who her biological parents were. Mr. and Mrs. Brubaker insist the records are sealed, that she will never know who she came from, but on the other side of her heart is a desire to find why she was given up.
Should she settle into life as Sara Brubaker, should she join her family's German Baptist Church? And what should she say to Jason, Birdie's brother, home from college for the summer, who complicates Sara's life even further?

Then there is Irene West, one of Birdie's best friends. The Wests run a landscaping business that requires them to be in close contact with Alexanders nursery, something Birdie enjoys.
Irene's brother Luke West would like to marry Birdie, has wanted to for years. Maybe the first step toward such a reltionship could be asking for her help on a large landscaping job at a beautiful old house. Birdie could help him do a stellar job for Mr. Billingsworth, the owner, and at the same time Luke could prove that he cared for her.
Irene would be delighted to have Birdie as a sister-in-law, even though the two old friends seem to be growing apart these days. Irene is dressing wild and flirting even more wildly, and Birdie is glad to say she never has done either. Birdie finds it hard to be kind and understanding with a girl like Irene who is pushing all decent boundaries. Can't she see what she is doing?

And then there is Kathy, a girl none of them three expected to meet but whose life will tie into theirs in an unexpected fashion, bringing a chance for healing and joy after tragedy.

When I began this book, I never imagined how deeply I would connect with all of the main female characters. Each one let me into her story, asking questions and making discoveries that resonated with me. The 400+ pages of this book flew by, and the theme was woven so skillfully and naturally that when the answer was presented at the end the revelation surprised me as much as it did them.

The theme of this wonderful read is one we all need to fill hearts with: in all of us is a desire for a father's love, and we struggle and strive to keep, earn or find that love. This book holds up the truth like a mirror, and when we look into it we see ourselves held fast in the Love of our Heavenly Father, whose love is given freely, richly, everlastingly. Infinitely.

Thank you Sharon Lavy for sending me this book through Bookcrash.com's review program.



Sunday, June 9, 2013

"An Open Heart" an epic novel by Harry Kraus.




I started reading An Open Heart by Harry Kraus on June first, just as an evening thunder storm began. The intensity of this book matched the storm outside and I almost forgot where I was as I read. I say "almost" because this book is so good and so powerful that I had to pause every few minutes and look up to breathe, thereby seeing my own surroundings once again and being reminded of where I was. 
I don't want to give away a single plot surprise in this review, because I want you to discover them for yourself so I will limn out the story line very briefly and then try to give my reaction to this epic novel in a few words. 

Jace Rawlings was a missionary kid whose formative years were so steeped in African culture that   their traditional cuisine and their chai tea remains his idea of comfort food.
Even after all the years as a very skilled and successful heart surgeon in America, Jace remembers.
He remembers watching his father operate in the clinic, he remembers all the details of the ministry's work and the sacrifice and painful choices that missionary doctor's must make.
He remembers his twin sister Janice.
And he remembers the songs, prayers and Scriptures of the faith he is running from.
He can't forget any of it.

Jace leaves America amidst a firestorm of malevolent media attention and allegations of an affair that he can can neither counter nor substantiate.
The near death experience that gave him amnesia also seems to be calling him back to Africa. And so he returns.
He returns to the beauty and cruelty that is Kenya, a land of contrasts: the crystal clear stars spread over the corruption in the cities and disease in the slums.
He returns to the place where he grew up and the place he tried to grow away from.

Leaving his wounded and questioning wife in America, he reenters this world and takes the reader right there with him.

With hearts stopped on the operating table, their owners suspended above death, and a battle for the surgeon's soul raging, there is enough controversy to fill all 400+ pages of this book, and I'm not telling you a quarter of all the secrets that are revealed.

After ending this book you will be moved to go and open up your Bible. I am going to read my Bible as soon as I finish this review.

I will leave you with two quotes from the book that should further intrigue you, and hopefully encourage you to pick this novel up: "In Kenya, we are used to facing obstacles."
And: "Most who give up so much are motivated by gratitude," He paused and looked across the table at Jace. "Or guilt."

And now to pass my copy on to my Dad, who wanted to read An Open Heart after seeing my face as I read it and hearing my run-down of it. Thank you Mr. Kraus and David C. Cook for sending me my review copy!




Harry Kraus's tagline is Grace From the Cutting Edge, and that is a perfect description of his books.

I'm a ragamuffin, just a fallen man who struggles with all the same problems you do. But I've discovered the wonder of a relationship with God, who reached out to me in the most spectacular way.
God's grace is a theme that runs through many of my novels as well as my non fiction books. Our self image, our self worth, needs to be derived from God's love for us, not by something as changing as our own performance. 

Harry Kraus, M.D. is a board-certified surgeon, medical missionary to East Africa, and accomplished writer of both non-fiction and fiction. Medical realism and gripping plotlines distinguish his writing, as he gets most of his ideas with a scalpel in hand. Dr. Kraus resides in Kenya with his wife Kris and the youngest of his three sons.




Friday, June 7, 2013

In The Heat of The Night TV Show. {Spoilers included!} A Continuing Post...


In the heat of the night
I've got troubles wall to wall
In the heat of the night
Must be an ending to it all, oh

But hold on, it won't be long
Just you be strong
And it'll be alright


(In the Heat of the Night)

Theme Song, Quincy Jones. 


     I am so glad that Youtube episodes of Tv shows exist. 
We recently rediscovered In the Heat of the Night
that southern detective show from the 80's. 
And we like it.
We really like it. 
Two seasons out of eight in, this show has been intense with out being graphic, occasionally humorous without being vulgar, and is steeped in morals and values that we can admire.
    The pilot episode of this show centered on breaking up a pornography business that lead to the corruption of a bunch of young girls and one girl's murder. 
The murder was then blamed on an innocent young black boy.
     I was amazed that in 1988, when this was made, pornography was still rightly seen as wicked and filthy by decent men such as Chief Gillespie. 
When they get the search warrant, and enter the house, the Chief picks up three pictures {which aren't clearly shown} shows them to Virgil and then turns them facedown in revulsion. 
 That left me astounded.
 What is readily available and even somewhat approved today was shown as a source of shame in Sparta, Mississippi in 1988.
That really reassured me that this would be a good series... 

So lets meet the characters, shall we?

Chief William Gillespie.

This man is truly Chief material.
His insights, wisdom, and the way he treats people are timeless. 


This is Chief Gillespie, comforting a witness who had been afraid to come forward after the death of her best friend. 
He sat down with her, held both her hands, and talked to her softly. He reminded her that he had known her forever, in fact he had driven her and her Momma home from the hospital when she was born. Now, she needed to talk to him. And she did. 


I love how this Chief negotiates. He is strong but not threatening. 
He is bold, but he stays controlled. 

He is at his best when his fatherly heart is showing through. 
Never maudlinly sentimental, but tender, the Chief is a very good character. 
Watch his people skills and learn. 
To an irate man whose truck was stolen: "Well I just think that if you just put that word 'blame' out of your mind, a feelin' of peace will come over you." Said with an edge of sarcasm. 


The Chief, tending Virgil after he was beat up. 
"Take this advise as if it was from your own Daddy," he said. 

And talking to Bubba after Bubba ia accused of a crime he didn't commit. 
The Chief talks to his men like they're his sons... He's tough on them when they need it, puts a hand on their shoulder when they need it, and aways has a good word for them. 


Notice him leaning forward, listening intently to Bubba try to explain what happened to him. 
The Chief is sitting on the hospital bed, listening, trying to find a way to break it to Bubba that the victim's account implicates him as the perpetrator.

He trusts his men because he makes them earn his trust. He respects them and they respect him.
He cares about them. 






And Virgil himself. Articulate. Intelligent. Educated. Professional.
Honorable. Persistent. Homicide Detective par excellence. 
Detective Virgil Tibbs. 
{Pronounced more like 'Vershil' with a soft slurring if you're the Chief.} 



Virgil and Althea. I love them as a couple. So far, their relationship has been sweet, clean, and loving. Exactly what it should be.   


This is Althea working as a mediator between Virgil and Chief... This lady has some serious diplomatic skills! :-) 
Althea: "Its been so gracious of you to share your office with Virgil until he gets one of his own." 
The Chief: "One. Of. His. Own?!" 
Althea: "Mmhmm. I think I'll go get that coffee now." 


"Life, is very...precarious, isn't it Virgil?"


"It was sweet of the Chief to send this recipe over to us, wasn't it?" 
Althea loves Virgil and she is a woman of good character. 


And Bubba Skinner, first a Lt. then a Captain.  
Throughout the show, Bubba experiences several redemptive moments, when choices he makes leave him broken and he needs to straighten up again and be redeemed. 

The first good thing we learn about Bubba is that he doesn't lie. In Episode one, after a prisoner is killed in the jail cell when Bubba is on duty, Virgil suspects that he was involved. 
Bubba is able to look at the Chief and say "I ain't never lied to you. And you know that." 
The Chief does know, and that is why he defends him to Virgil. 

 

This is Virgil and Bubba apprehending a moonshiner, who also happens to be Bubba's cousin. The cousin threatens to "put {Virgil} in his place," and Bubba says: 

"No. You're not." 


"First, because I think he'd take you, and second cause I'd have to write you up for assaulting an officer as well as speeding."

That look there pretty much sums up Bubba. 
He doesn't take anything from anyone, and he has the art of looking-unaffected-by-things patented. Just standing there with his thumbs hooked in his belt, staring down at anybody giving him trouble. And he almost always wears his hat. He has the hat patented too. 


The Hat. 
And a wrecked cruiser in the background. 
It was a bad day for him. 


This is a scene where Bubba was in between Virgil and the Chief, during a hostage situation where an armed fugitive escapes jail, kills three people in town and takes Althea as a human shield. 
Virgil is not fully convinced that Bubba can make the one sniper shot needed to save Althea. 
While the Chief reasons with Virgil: "Bubba is very good with that rifle," and
"She is your wife, but she's my responsibility." 
Bubba keeps looking up the shack, knowing that time is draining away for Althea.  
Bubba is sure of himself, but in a good way. 
You can tell that he is worried about doing this right. 

Note: There is an episode in Season two with too much seduction shown to watch straight through, but some final scenes worth watching twice. 
 Bubba ends up in a bad relationship with a woman who is involved in a crime. 
Everyone knows she's bad news, but he falls hard like Proverbs seven warns.  
{This show has consistently shown Biblical morality. 
Sin is never pretty in this show, and the consequences are truly shown to be death.} 
He is so torn up about it when he finds out what he has become a part of, he says he isn't fit to be a police officer anymore. He leaves his badge on the Chief's cruiser, and he runs. 
 In the one of the final scenes of this episode, the Chief talks to Bubba. 
I wanted to see what he (both of them) would say. 
The Chief reminds Bubba of some events in his youth, when his character showed through, 
and then he tells him he is one of the best men he has ever known. 
Then he tells him, with the raggedness of regret in his voice, 
"I just can't stand to see you doing anything foolish."
 And Bubba sits in silence, because he knows he already has. 
Then the Chief reaches over, and tousles Bubba's hair, and walks away. 




And Bubba finds his badge left beside him after the Chief walks away, 
a promise of purpose and dignity restored, man to man, father to son. 

And later, as the woman is taken away in hand-cuffs, Bubba is left standing there with the saddest mix of disappointment and almost self-loathing on his face: wishing he would have seen what was coming, wishing she had been for real, wishing he could forget what he had done... It almost reminded me of King David, and his sin with Bathsheba. Two 'good' men whose desires took them down and who find that only repentance will bring them back again. 


 
"What's goin' on?" 
This would be Junior Abernathy. 
Young, but with some experience he'll be a good cop. 


Junior, learning from Virgil.  
"Why don't we just drive it {the empty van} in?" 
"Cause its evidence!" 
"Of what?" 
"I don't know yet." 

There are a couple scenes where Junior is all but leaning over Virgil's shoulder, watching him work on something. 


Virgil, testing a substance with Junior watching him. 

'Earnest' and 'eager to help' describe Junior, along with an insanely big smile. 
He grins almost all the time. 

There is one scene when Junior and Bubba are taking turns guarding a patient at the hospital, and Althea is sitting beside the patient's bed, watching him and working on her needlepoint. {I love Althea's character, sweet and strong.} When the patient starts to wake up, Althea hurries to the front desk to get the doctor and call the Chief. Junior is walking down the hall to take over his shift at the room, and sees Althea on the telephone. He taps her on the shoulder, gives her a big grin and a wave and walks off, looking like his day has been made because he got a smile from Althea. 


Aaahh... Parker. 
Parker, to Virgil: "There's a man on the phone for you. He wouldn't give me his name."
Chief: "That's probably because he didn't want *you* to know his name." 

His name is pronounced 'Parkah' by the Chief. 

{Chief says something.}
Virgil: "I think I've heard that before."
Chief: "I told it to Parker yesterday. He probably spread it all over town by now." 


Parker, listening in on the telephone. 
Chief: "How many times have I talked to you about that?" 
Parker: "Well, I needed to know if it was business or personal, for the record." 

Parker is dependable and good-hearted.

 

And that's a blessing, because he knows everybody's business!


He can get dead serious real quickly. 
Parker has the right heart for police work: 
the desire to help the people and serve the town he loves.
He seems almost shy, he is hurt when people snap at him... and occasionally he acts like a kid. 
Some of my favorite scenes are Parker William's scenes.
Like when the racist men come to the house to scare Virgil and Althea away from attending the
"white" church they have been invited to attend.
 Althea is alone, and is scared to death as they surround the house.
Virgil comes home and chases the men off, but he is called away again,
and Parker comes over to help Althea clean up broken window glass
and to protect her 'til Virgil gets back.
When Virgil walks in, Parker and Althea are sitting at the table playing cards,
 and Parker is winning. "How do you do that?" she protests, as he wins again. "Just a knack," he says. He had helped calm down and distracted her for a while with the card game, and then before he leaves he apologizes on behalf of all the good people of Sparta.
'Thank you," Virgil simply says. And Parker nods, gives his smile, and replies
"No problem, Detective. More than glad to help out." 


Parker is perceptive in a way few people are. 
Season Four, episode 7, the Chief is sitting at his desk lost in thought, looking at his beloved wife's picture, a picture taken when she was pregnant with their child, right before they both died. 
Parker comes in, stands behind him, and quietly says: 
"I know what you're thinkin', Chief." 


And the Chief says "Well, what am I thinking?"



And Parker says "You're thinking about how you and your wife wanted a baby in the worst way, and you didn't have it. You lost it. 
And here we have somebody throwing a baby away. And we'll never know what that child might've become."
And he had seen right to the heart of the Chief's sadness and loss.  



Lonnie Jamison  

So far, he has been quiet. Almost pensive. 
It was hard to even find a scene with him speaking in the first few episodes. 
In real life, he was the Chief's son, and his life ended tragically.
This makes watching him in the show a bittersweet experience. 
He plays the piano in the evidence room, and does the homicide/crime scene
 photography for them. 
He strikes me as being a capable and gentle soul, 
Almost innocent.... he is a very good character. 

The Chief with Jamison, father and son in real life. 
In their exchanges, you can hear a the father/son tenderness.
"Goodnight, Chief," "Yes, goodnight."


Lonnie Jamison. 


Smiling, a beautiful smile, and laughing because they sent Parker down to the bus stop to pick up Officer Chris Rankin
who was joining the Sparta force, and Parker found out that she was a woman: 
Officer Christine Rankin! 



He is also their sniper, marksman in several episodes, 
including Crackdown and My Name is Hank




Lonnie Jamison in Season five, The Littlest Victim.
A sad but hopeful episode that really showed Lonnie's character. 


And this is Sweet, who becomes Lonnie's partner.  


Sweet was hired right in the middle of a hideous copycat murder that involved a 
young girl sucked into the abyss of witchcraft. He said, after Virgil told him to help hold up a dead man found at his desk: "I should have joined the Marines. I wouldn't have had to see half the dead bodies." Wilson Sweet has a military bearing to him, standing real straight and saying yes sir but he believes that obeying authority without question stifles his individuality. 



He becomes one of their best officers...and when he is hurt {I won't tell you how} 
you should see the way Bubba looks at the man who is responsible. 
If Bubba hadn't been needed to carry Sweet out to the car, he would have pounded that guy.
Just sayin'. 



We have Officer Christine Rankin, who adopted the Sparta Police Department as family 
the first day she met them, inheriting a whole bunch of brothers and a father in 
Chief Gillespie. She was Sparta's First Girl, and her one episode is named after her.
The scene where they welcome her in is precious. 
Parker sewing the patch on her sleeve, 
Sweet making sure that her paperwork is properly filled out, 
Lonnie helping her with her gun belt, 
and Bubba ending the welcome with prayer over her. 
What a great police department! 


Officer Rankin with brothers Parker Williams 
and Wilson Sweet. 

And this is Officer Luann Corbin, 


Sparta's second girl. 

This show is set in the south, deep south, 
meaning that we have swamps and lonely highways and red dirt roads. 
We have pickup trucks and those old, long cruisers. 
We have plenty of crime and corruption. 
We have all of the seven deadly sins in the small town of Sparta, 
just like Dorothy Sayers warned us. 
We have serious prejudice lingering in pockets of ignorance 
and we have hope that hearts and minds can change. 
We have really nice, thick southern accents. 
State-wise, I am as far North as you can go and not be in Canada. 
I love listening to Southern accents. 
"Yes, suh" instead of "Yes, sir."

They are doing remarkably well operating out of a solid moral framework. 
Pornography, adultery, sexual sin, lust, murder, greed, have all been exposed in all of their evil. 
Although there are some lines/words I will ignore so I can enjoy the show, and I am sure I will see things that were written in to appease the politically correct monster, the parts that disagree with common sense and goodness don't even fit the characters anyway.


There are dozens if not hundreds of scenes that are heart-breaking and heart-filling, where life and all its questions is examined through the eyes of Chief Gillespie and his men, where justice and mercy are shown and pondered on, where the goodness of living is displayed and the fight rages on to protect life against those who steal and destroy it.
There are scenes drenched with the Gospel and episodes brimming with the longing for redemption.

Remember the worthy stuff. 

Like Parker and Bubba. 


Like Junior and Parker


Like Virgil and Bubba. 
Watching these two work together, fight each other, and become friends is 
one of the best parts of the show. 


Like Virgil, Junior, and Lonnie. 


Chief and General Robert E. Lee's portrait on the wall behind him.


The Chief making his famous barbecue sauce with Virgil and Althea. 
Yes, this Chief makes barbecue sauce with his Chief of Detectives. 


Captain Tom Duggan, brought out of retirement 
to be acting Chief while Chief was at Quantico.




Oh yes, there is a lot worth watching. 
Now, I am a real fan of accuracy when I read FBI/Police mystery novels, 
and I know that the "45 minutes and the case is solved" model is highly inaccurate. ;-) 
However, I really watch this show for the characters. It is very character driven, with a 
background of mysteries and investigations. 
I watch it to see them interacting with each other and dealing with life. 


Bubba, Virgil and the Chief trying to get the truth out of a young, abused
prostitute. The Chief takes his jacket right off and gives it to the girl. 
And at the end, it is Virgil who convinces her to leave the streets.


Miss Lofton, witness to her neighbor's murder.




Miss Lofton, who is blind, with Officer Williams and the Chief
This episode, Laid To Waste is one of my favorites. 


Sweet glaring at Parker because he just found another stray cat that he needs to take home.
"Sweet, you got a problem with cats?"
"No. You got a problem with cats. You got Fuzz Face, Old Man and now you're taking in Wrencher." 

Lonnie and Sweet, 
radioing in to the Chief. 



The themes in this show are very serious.
After watching an episode, I am left with that full-of-the-story-and-slightly-dazed feeling that books leave me with.
A wise woman I met on her blog called it "book shock," and it happens with all stories that engage your mind and emotions, in book or Tv show form. 
These stories stay with you and make you think. 

Thank you to Infinitig2013 on Youtube for uploading and sharing all these episodes!!!
Favorite Episodes (in the order that I would watch them. :-)
Season One: 

In The Heat of the Night Pilot Episode, Parts One and Two. *

Fate. *

Blind Spot 1 and 2. *

A Necessary Evil * 

And then You Die. *

Season Two: 

The Hammer and The Glove.

Prisoners. *

Gunshot. *

Stranger in Town. *

Tear Down The Walls. *

A Trip Upstate. *

A.K.A Kelly Kay. *

Intruders. *

The Creek.

Walkout.

Accused. *

Fifteen Forever. *

Ladybug, Ladybug.

Missing. *

Season Three: 

Anniversary...part two of Missing. *

Rape. *

First Girl. *

Murder Most Ancient. *

Crackdown. *

Time of the Stranger. *

Epitaph for a Lady. *

Triangle.

My Name is Hank. *

Hello In There. *

December Days. *

A Loss of Innocence. 

Bubba's Baby. *

An Angry Woman. *

{I haven't yet seen 
Night of The Killing
or Citizen Trundle 1 and 2} 

Season Four:

Brotherly Love parts 1 and 2. *

Lessons Learned. *

Perversion of Justice. 

And Justice for Some. *

Quick Fix. *

A Final Arrangement. 

A Problem Too Personal. *

Family Matters. *
{Watch Ruda's Awakening right after this one. It gives closure
and resolution.}

Blessings. *

Shine on Sparta Moon. *

An Execution of Trust. *

Paper Castles. 

Child of Promise. *

First Deadly Sin. * 

Laid To Waste. * 

No Other Road. *

A Turning. *  

Season Five: 

A Woman Much Admired * 
(Lt. Jamison drives the Chief to Gulf Port in the episode, where Chief 
meets his daughter Lana for the first time. Sad, powerful, excellent.) 

Baby For Sale * 

The More Things Change* 
(Excellent scenes here, like at the Policeman's Ball.) 

Sparta Gold. * 

Sweet, Sweet Blues. * 

An Eye for an Eye * 
Vey cool scene when the DA is kidnapped and Bubba and Lonnie, 
the sharpshooters, ride horses into the woods to access a remote cabin and
rescue Gerard Darnelle. 

The Littlest Victim * 

Odessa * 

Love, Honor and Obey * 

The Landlord * 

A Time to Trust* 

Trundel's Will be Done * 

By Means Most Foul * 

Moseley's Lot * 

Sanctuary * 

The Law on Trial * 

(So thankful that this wasn't the end of Heat, as was planned in 1992!) 

Season Six 

A Small War, 1 and 2 * 

Brother's Keeper * 

Random's Child * 

An Occupational Hazard 

Last Rights 

When the Music Stopped *

A Step Removed * 

Falsely Accused * 

A Deadly Affection * 

Judgement Day * 

The Leftover Man 1 and 2 * 

A Dish Best Served Cold * 

Legacy * 

Even Nice People * 

Lake Winahatchie * 

A Correct Setting * 

Season Seven. 

Child's Play * 

Hatton's Turn * 

Good Cop, Bad Cop * 

Conspiracy of One * 

Poor Relations - comic. 

The Rabbi * 

Time's Long Shadow* 

Hard Choices * 

The Last Round * 

Dangerous Engagement * 

Give Me Your Life 1 and 2 * 











A list and episode breakdown can be found here: 

Note: I do not own any rights to any of these images, they are all screen shots that I created to share this series.  :-)