Book Review: The Miting

>> Friday, May 23

The Miting: An Old Order Amish Novel
by Dee Yoder

Even though Amish fiction isn’t my “thing”, I was looking forward to reading Dee Yoder’s debut novel “The Miting”. Being familiar with Dee’s ministry to former Amish, I knew I was in for an education. But I didn’t expect to be utterly blown away. Not only was the story compelling and the characters life-like, Dee Yoder’s novel is an eye-opening look inside Amish life and faith.

For example, I didn’t know that there are different Amish groups who are as diverse in custom, tradition, and religious doctrine as Baptists are from Catholics. The novel’s main character, Leah, grew up Old Order Amish – one of the strictest of the strict.

What I love about Leah is that she doesn’t resent her home, her chores, or the expectations laid upon her. She doesn’t even resent the rules we would consider unreasonably strict. She loves the church and her family, enjoys her life and her work, and overall is satisfied. All she wants to know is why the rules aren’t consistent among the Amish, and why she can’t read what God says for herself. And the yearning to know burns in her heart, refusing to be quenched.

But reading the Bible in English is forbidden.

For the first time in her life, Leah rebels against her Amish faith and her parents. She digs out a dusty Gideon Bible she was given as a child and searches out the answers that no one is willing (or able) to give. Torn between the Truth and Life she finally finds in Scripture, and her heartbreak at her parent’s anger and unwillingness to understand who Jesus really is, Leah faces a decision she never imagined she would have to make.

Dee Yoder has created characters so real, they almost became a part of my life. The Miting is a fabulous novel, and I’ll probably read it again. And again.

My Rating: 4½ stars.

Available in e-book or paperback at AmazonChristian Book, and other fine retailers near you. 

Click here to meet Dee Yoder  Learn  about her mission to the former Amish and why she wrote this book

Peace be with you,

Catrina Bradley
"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes." Psalm 18:24 (Msg)


God knows...

>> Sunday, May 4

Four weeks ago, I knew exactly what I was going to write about for Jewels of Encouragement this month. Three weeks ago I told a few people exactly what I was going to write about. Two weeks ago, I started writing. One week ago I had struggled through about 250 words.

Today it hit me.... I SO wanted to share a certain message, and I was SO sure God wanted me to share it , I think I forgot to ask him. (Ironically, forgetting to ask God is part of what I was TRYING to communicate.)

But THIS is the message I wrote in 5 minutes, and edited in 10.

So THIS is the devotion I posted. I set aside MY idea, and went with God 's instead..That decision has never failed me yet.

Love and blessings,

Catrina Bradley
"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes." Psalm 18:24 (The Message)


Oh, the Suffering

>> Friday, April 18

From my archives... originally posted in March of 2009.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
Romans 5:8

Much focus is put on Christ's resurrection (and rightfully so!), but I tend to dwell more on His sacrifice. Romans 5:8 is one of my favorite verses. The words that strike me to the core are "while we were still sinners". Not after we turned our lives around and decided to be good; not after we have made great strides on the road to holiness; but while we were rotten to the core.


I didn't realize the extent of Jesus' sacrifice until I read "The Case for Christ" by Lee Strobel. Mr. Strobel spells out, quite graphically I might add, the horror, the pain, and the suffering the man-Jesus endured. He didn't have to endure it. He could have called a legion of angels to protect Him. He could have called on His divine nature to avoid it. But to save us, He DID endure it, with all of the emotional and physical agony any man feels. I haven't looked at the Cross the same since.

Take a moment to reflect on what Christ's gift to us cost Him, and don't forget to thank our Father for His Love, His Grace, and His Mercy.

In His most Holy and precious name,


Jewels of Encouragement - A Thorny Confession

>> Friday, April 4

Who remembers this song from the classic TV show "HeeHaw"? Come on, sing with me!!

Gloom, despair, and agony on me
Deep, dark depression, excessive misery
If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all
Gloom, despair, and agony on me

On a similar note (see what I did there?), I'm posting about a prickly subject today at Jewels of Encouragement.   Please come visit -- we have a first aid kit with a big cross on it. :)

Peace and love,


Book Review: Angels of Humility

>> Tuesday, March 4
Angels of Humility
A Novel
by Jackie Macgirvin

Oh. My. Wow.

If you’ve ever doubted the power of praying… read this book!

If you’ve ever thought that your imperfect prayers didn’t matter, read this book!

If you are a prayer warrior, praise the Lord! And read this book!

And if don’t believe in prayer, or even know who to pray to, I hope you will consider reading this book.

When I see a Kindle Freebie with 18 reviews and 17 of them give five stars, I can’t help but be skeptical. Especially when the majority have a common thread. In the case of Angels of Humility, that thread was “I’ve never read anything like it… A life changing book… My prayer life will never be the same.” I don’t let skepticism stop me, however. I like fiction about spiritual warfare, and there were enough positive words NOT in common to sway me to pick it.

About four chapters in, I had decided this was a 4-star book. It’s extremely well written, and it’s readable. The story and the characters drew me in – I wanted to keep reading. But I felt the plot wasn’t entirely original, and I considered it to be heavily influenced by Frank Peretti’s “Darkness” duo. (Not a bad thing!)

It wasn’t long, though, before Angels of Humility set itself apart as something different, and my rating climbed to 5 stars. By the end of the book, I knew why all of the Amazon reviews were high. I was gasping in awe and wonder.

Many of us have no idea what an overwhelming gift of responsibility and power we carry – untapped. And, though it sounds cliché, I can honestly say … “I’ve never read anything like it… A life changing book… My prayer life will never be the same.”

(This review is completely unsolicited, unless you count the promptings of the Holy Spirit.)

Blessings and prayers!


Jewels of Encouragement: Indisposable

>> Tuesday, February 4

Has it really been since before Christmas that I've posted here? Wow, I need to get my rear in gear.

I haven't been writing much lately, but I do have a new devotion to share with you today at Jewels of Encouragment. The original title was Disposable, but when it came time to type it in the Blogger "title" block, I thought about what I wanted you to "take away", and  typed Indisposable instead.  Click through and tell me if I made the right choice, even though  spellchecker says it's not a word. :)

Love and Blessings,



>> Friday, December 13

My friend, "Aunt" Bonnie, is a Christmas Elf. She has been posting on Facebook about at least one "act of kindness" she's done each day this December. (She doesn't normally "advertise" her elfisms ,but I have no doubt she's on silent duty 365 days a year. Her goal in this is to encourage others to be "elves" also.) Today she posted that she was distracted by the passing of a friend and hadn't done any good deed except to pray. (The most important good deed in my book.) I replied that I'd done three elf acts so she was covered, and she asked me to tell her about it. My answer is way too long for an FB status reply, so I'm posting it here...

I have some awesome work hours at the church. On Fridays, I get off work at 11:30 am -- technically, that is. In reality, I rarely leave on time (be it Friday, Thursday, or any other days.) I don't mind; an extra 30 minutes or an hour is nothing compared to God's many gifts to me, so how can I honestly complain? But today... well...Ummmm, no.

Today is the Friday before the third Sunday of Advent. You can imagine how crazy-busy it must be at a church at this time of year, so I didn't get home today until my regular quitting time, and then answered work-related texts and worked from home until close to 6pm. And my shopping still isn't done and my Christmas tree is still in the attic. I had planned to take care of those things, plus laundry, etc. this afternoon.

Yeah, I know, I've got it rough. *wink* But I'm not here to complain - I'm here to tell you about how God used those extra hours I put in, not only to complete stuff that had to be done, but to bless others through me.

If I hadn't been there this afternoon (when I really wanted to be somewhere else) none of the following might have taken place:

 - A homebound, senior adult just out of physical rehab wouldn't have lights or heat tomorrow morning.
 - A 10-year old, coatless girl wouldn't have a brand-new winter coat - her only one.
 - The family attending the memorial service for their beloved patriarch might not have meat for their fellowship lunch tomorrow.
 - A mother might not have Santa presents under the tree for her children this Christmas.
 - A single mom might not have food for her children tonight.

I didn't orchestrate or provide any of the above needs--I was just God's liaison; His hands and feet--used by Him to ensure that His blessings were received by others. Sometimes, all we have to do is be there, in His place and at that time, in order for God to work through us. It doesn't take any effort on our part except to show up.

Back to Aunt Bonnie.... last night she shared this Facebook meme:

and I replied, "But is it okay if sometimes I DO ask God to make my life easier?" Being Bonnie, she answered, "Absolutely, just remember He may not answer the way you wanted or expected..." Boy, she got that right. And so did I when I said, "I always love His answers, and I love that I can ask Him anything..."

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