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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

When Jesus Wept

a good book with a hot cup of tea

I enjoy reading but I am very selective (picky, actually) about what goes into my mind.  Everybody should be that way. 

Our health is shaped by what we eat, we become like those people with whom we socialize, and our thoughts are molded by what we read. Soak a white towel in blueberry juice -- it turns purple. Okay.  I'll get off my soap box. You get it.

Last Sunday afternoon we had a rainstorm with thunder and a strong wind blow through here.  It was a perfect time to snuggle in my recliner under a blanket and finish reading When Jesus Wept, by husband-and-wife-team, Bodie and Brock Thoene (pronounced TAY-nee).  It is the first in their Jerusalem Chronicles series.

Without being a spoiler, I will just say this is historical fiction based on real people who lived during New Testament times. The cast of characters includes Jesus Christ and his twelve disciples, the family of Martha, Lazarus, and Mary, and key Roman and Jewish leaders of that time.  Other fiction people were added to fill in the story plot, both lovable and not. There was plenty of drama, conflict, and romance. Although I know Bible stories pretty well, I didn't always know just which direction this book's plot was going to take.

A fair amount of interesting facts about grape vineyards were woven into the tale, things I had never heard before, but that could be lined up with the scripture found in the New Testament, Gospel of John, chapter 15, verses 1 through 8. As is my way when reading anything, I kept a pen handy so I could underline and make notes beside pithy statements

The authors, Bodie and Brock Thoene, are well-known in the world of Christian fiction for their deep research and many novels (67 at last count). They say that in their fiction, "there is truth based on research, and there is imagination, based on [their] minds and perspectives." 

The book was an enjoyable, fast read for me because I found it hard to put it down. The pages filled my mind with a clean story based on history and scripture.  The players were a good study of character and consequences of decisions. It would be a good selection for a book club discussion. It's also a book I am not ashamed to leave out in my spare bedroom for sleepless guests. 

The next book in the series is on my nightstand now, Take This Cup. But read first When Jesus Wept so you've got continuity of story.

This book is available in hardback, paperback, and on Kindle. I prefer to buy most of my books in paperback (call me old-fashioned). I like to give my shopping dollars to Lifeway Christian Book Store and Mardel Christian Books and Education; however, the book is also available from Amazon and other retailers.



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