Book Review: Under A Desert Sky


Full Title:
Under a Desert Sky: Redefining Hope, Beauty, and Faith in the Hardest Places
Lynne Hartke

I love this book—cover, content, everything about it. This became an addition to my favorite books right away after reading just a few pages. The introduction got me crying so early.

I do not know anyone close to me who has cancer, but that did not become a hindrance in any way for me to be able to relate to this “difficult beautiful” story.

All throughout the read, I was so amazed at how the author used ordinary words to convey her and her lovely family’s extraordinary story. Her writing was creative, dramatic yet so genuine.

I love how the author incorporated the Word of God into her actual experiences that were written in this book. I also appreciate the author’s candor to tell her story as precisely as possible.

Under A Desert SkyThis made me realize how life can get all too complex and impossible but still beautiful and pleasurable because of who God is and what He does. My emotions got so mixed up that I’ve cried countless times during the entire read.

Even before I got to the end of the book, my hope and courage got reactivated. I was reassured that God is going to be with me in all seasons of this life. I’m more than grateful to have had the chance to devour this book.

I recommend this amazing work to people who are desperate for hope or those who want to see life in a different light. You’ll find what you’re looking for UNDER A DESERT SKY. You’re welcome! 😉

P.S. I thank God for Ms. Lynne Hartke (the author) for answering my questions and assuring me (when I thought the book got lost somewhere as it took a long time) by sending emails to make sure the book would reach me by any means. Awesome, isn’t she? I’m also grateful for the wonderful note cards (made by her daughter) that went alongside the book. Wow!

Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.

Pick up a copy of Under a Desert Sky through the following links:
Baker Book House

Barnes & Noble
Christian Book
Powell’s Books

It’s Okay To Start Small


003-january-3Has this ever happened to you? You wake up in the morning filled with hope. You have a lot of things to do in mind. You’re excited! You opt to do something outside of your plans thinking it will not take long. Then another thing comes up, and you give in to it again. Then you realize later that it’s already nighttime and you’re not even halfway through your plans for the day. You stop for a while and wonder how all those hours passed by so quickly. Then you sleep with regrets. The next day comes, and your hopes are high again, but what happened yesterday will only repeat itself. *Sigh*

I, for one, don’t want to be in that situation ever again. I won’t allow distractions to keep me from the finish line anymore. I will start small. Earlier today, I decided to read this book again. Only this time, I won’t put it off until I read it in its entirety.

BOOK REVIEW: Spurgeon’s Sorrows


Spurgeon’s Sorrows made depression look so normal and acceptable.

Spurgeon's Sorrows

I learned a few things: there are people who are characterized by sadness from the moment they were born; depression can be experienced even by Christians; even in depression, we can consider ourselves blessed; the other side of Charles Spurgeon; God comforts us so we can comfort others; and we experience hardships so we can be better comforters. The book contains a few helps to cope with depression.

I did not find the book interesting. I had to push myself to read it. I’ve even slept a few times while reading it, but it’s an eye-opener. It taught me how to rightfully deal with people who suffer from depression.

I recommend this to people who suffer from depression for you can find a friend in Charles Spurgeon and to people who want to understand and help their loved ones in their depression.

The publisher, Christian Focus, has provided me with a complimentary copy of the book through Cross Focused Reviews.

You can purchase Spurgeon’s Sorrows here:
Barnes & Noble

Hopeless in Life but Hopeful in Christ


Our car (parked just in front of our house) got its driver’s side window cracked, and worse it got holes. We do not know who did it. Probably, it happened while almost my whole family was away and I was dozing. (Tsk, tsk..) We thought it was the car’s battery the culprit was trying to get. Well, this kind of stuff is prevalent here in the Philippines, so to speak.

Broken Driver's Side Window

In this kind of situation, I find it oh so easy to speak words that are not so much wonderful to hear as an outlet for disgust. Some people (actually, many of them) are really desperate to make a living and more often than not it’s at the expense of others (too bad that this time, it’s at ours).

This fact saddens me enough and made me realize how perverted our world has been, and this would remain as such if Jesus would not intervene. This happening also reminded me of what I recently told the young people I do Bible Study with:

“We can do almost nothing to change people who are very much older than us because at their age, they’ve already made up their minds–to either continue doing good or bad. However, we can still do something (actually a lot of things) to lead the young people of today to the right path—JESUS, which is also possible through only Him.”

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that we can do absolutely nothing for those ahead of us agewise. We have God on our side and nothing is impossible with Him (Matthew 19:26; Luke 1:37), and that I still and forever will believe. However, we also have to accept the fact that the time wherein the minds of those people were still open for change has already passed. Perhaps we have not done what should have been done. Had we had, they wouldn’t have been as wicked as they are right now—doing evil things in order to live not realizing that this only makes them lose the life they think they will obtain by doing so (Matthew 10:39; 16:25). At some point, we have to admit that we were not able to wisely use whatever God has given us for this matter. And the worse thing is that: we can’t turn back time; the damage has already been done and much damage is still to be done. However, God says nothing is too difficult for Him (Jeremiah 32:17b). And I think that’s what we should be holding on to from now on.

With what’s happening around and inside of us, we should focus on Jesus more lest we become hopeless and do something that would bring shame to Him. Let’s continue praying and doing at the same time!

What are your insights? Surely, I’d be more than thankful to hear your opinion.

May you realize how blessed you are today! 🙂

Related articles:
Day 51 – Matthew 9:35-11:1; Mark 6:6-13; Luke 9:1-6
Capacity For Hope
Hope in Christ
Christ Our Only Hope
In Christ alone my hope is found
Do you Hope in Christ?
Hope in Christ the Lord Is Risen Today