28 June 2014

The Fragrance Of Crushed Violets by Cathy Bryant, Book review and GIVEAWAY


The Fragrance of Crushed Violets
  • Paperback: 70 pages
  • Publisher: WordVessel Press; 1 edition (May 16, 2014)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1941699003
Also available in KINDLE format

SYNOPSIS:



What do we do when a loved one, boss, co-worker, friend, or enemy seem determined to bring us down through an attack? How do we handle it when their assault is personal, public, deep, unjust, unfair, and unfounded? Take it one step further. How do we deal with meaningless acts of destruction and death, say in something similar to the Twin Towers incident or a school shooting, especially when the offender shows no remorse? Do we file it in our brains and rack it up to “one more senseless act” and chance to think that God somehow messed up?
In short, how do we move past the hurt and anger to a place of forgiveness?
Join us as we examine relevant scriptures about forgiveness and come away with a scriptural understanding of:
  • what forgiveness is and what it is not
  • God’s role in the process of forgiveness
  • what Jesus did at the cross for each of us
  • our mandate to forgive as we have been forgiven
  • what gets in the way of forgiving others
  • how to truly forgive
A companion mini Bible study on forgiveness written to go along with the spiritual theme of the fifth Miller’s Creek novel, A Bridge Unbroken. The book is designed to work for either individual or group study


Quotes from THE FRAGRANCE OF CRUSHED VIOLETS

“God’s forgiveness–by it’s very nature as rooted in His grace and mercy–is something that cannot be earned. It’s a gift. And just like every gift, the choice is ours to accept or reject.”



“Until we recognize the absolute sovereignty of God and bow to Him as Creator, Lord God, and King, we will always struggle with what God allows to happen in our lives and in the world.”





“Refusing to extend mercy and forgiveness to others means that we also deny ourselves God’s mercy and forgiveness.”





"Forgiveness is not natural; it's supernatural"

“…through forgiveness, we reveal to a watching world the perfect illustration of what Christ has done for each of us.”



My thoughts:


In Chapter One of The Fragrance of Crushed Violets, FORGIVENESS: What It Is and What It Isn't, the author acknowledges it is one of the most difficult thing (if not the most) we Christians must do if we are to follow in Christ's steps.


Cathy cites Marc Twain who wrote: "Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it." and 
Corrie Ten Boom who said: "Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart."

However lovely the first quote is, I readily chose the second as more meaningful as you will understand further down. 


Let me begin by saying Cathy Bryant appears to have this kindred spirit people feel drawn to, giving the notion you are meeting with a friend over a good cuppa whilst enjoying the sway of a swing on a comfortable porch perhaps. 
You have this immediate feeling she will open her arms as you near her and make you welcome however a stranger you might be (and unlikely to remain so for long!). 

The wife of a minister, Cathy is well acquainted with devotionals and the power of prayers of course. This particular Bible study on Forgiveness hints at struggles each of us encountered at one time or another in our life. But if we are to call ourselves Christians, we must learn to forgive as He did on the Cross.


Having been raised by someone who survived two world wars, endured starvation, multiple miscarriages and the loss of not one love but two, the word forgiveness brings to mind the following phrase: "An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth!"

Needless to say, surviving must have been at times a difficulty journey for my grandmother yet she fought to survive and I readily accept and forgive the sentiment as I admire her tenacity.
Just so we are clear, "Forgive but don't forget" is another of those sayings never far from recollection to this day, this one from my grandfather who survived four years in the trenches and lost a lung to mustard gas...

Reading Cathy's book reminds me of my personal limitations. Along the years I graduated from that first saying to the second but have yet to go any further: I seem doomed with a memory enabling me to remember every little detail of wrong doing (mine and others!).


At only 70 pages long you might well wonder how effective this little book might be in your own life.

In true Cathy Bryant fashion however, this lovely lady walks side by side with you to bring you not judgement but reconciliation. Instead of fighting our way, she reminds us to place our life in His hands, allowing Him to love us. To simply trust Him, no matter what and thus find peace.

The first step in learning to forgive for this blogger should be to simply have faith!


Let me invite you to take another look at understanding forgiveness and find relevant Scriptures in this companion Bible booklet written by Cathy to go along with her last Miller's Creek novel 'A Bridge Unbroken'!


4 Stars  of course!




Meet the Author:


About Cathy

Cathy Bryant writes Christian fiction set in the heart of Texas. Her popular Miller’s Creek Novels takes place in the fictional town of Miller’s Creek, where folks are friendly, the iced tea is sweet, and Mama Beth’s front porch beckons.
Visit her website (HERE) for additional information, devotionals and special events.





Thanks to Cathy Bryant's generous offer one of Live and Dream a little dream's readers will win an EBook version of her book.
Simply place a comment on this post (be sure to include a safe way to get in contact with you should you be the winner!)
Winner's name to be chosen via Random.org.
Giveaway opened until Midnight 6 July 2014 and since it is an EBook, open to EVERYONE!!

Best wishes to all of you!


Disclaimer:  I received a copy of this book from the author as part of it's promotion. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255 'Guides concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. I was not asked to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are entirely my own. 




8 comments:

  1. Noelle, thanks so much for taking the time to read and review the book. Forgiveness is a difficult topic, partially because we all come to it from varied life circumstances. I appreciate your kind and encouraging words and for offering a copy of the book to your readers. Many blessings, Cathy :)

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  2. Thank you, Noelle, I really enjoyed this. And I am looking forward to this Bible study on Tuesday.

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    1. Thank you Sherlee! Cathy reaches out to people in her own special way and I pray you find the Bible study as interesting as I did.
      God bless,

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  3. Forgiveness is something that is not easy, yet it is so empowering, freeing your mind and soul from bearing the nag ... And with God it is possible to forgive. Thank you for the review!

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    1. Well said Nina and thank you for stopping by.

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  4. Sounds like a good book. My favorite quotes were the second and last one--but also Corrie's quote (BTW, I had the wonderful experience of hearing her speak in Seattle years ago). In my personal experience with extending forgiveness to others, I have had times (twice to be exact) when I first hand experienced this quote "Forgiveness is not natural; it's supernatural". I can't elaborate on the circumstances, but it was a definite instantaneous total GIFT of grace from God that allowed me to forgive. It was as I was the conduit for His grace...hence I really like that last quote, for I believe that it why God gave me grace to forgive this individual (who does not know Christ). He was using me to show who He is ;)
    Blessings,
    Aimee

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    1. Dear Aimee, I love hearing from readers but never more so than when someone shares something as special as the gift your mentioned. Thank you for sharing!
      I am thankful daily that He is so patient with me!
      Hugs,

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