Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Moses Quilt by Kathi Macias

The Moses Quilt is a contemporary novel that bridges racial and generational divides. With a realistic and compassionate look into a twenty-first-century dilemma, multiple award-winning author Kathi Macias introduces readers to a confused and apprehensive young woman, Mazie Hartford. Facing major decisions about the love of her life and her future, she must also wrestle with a nagging question about her family's past. She finds the answer to her questions in a most unexpected way—her great-grandmother's Moses quilt. As her great-grandmother begins to explain how each patch represents a story of courage and freedom, Mazie must decide if she has the courage and freedom to overcome her own personal fears and prejudices. (publisher's description)

I did like the book, but have mixed feelings about it. Starting with the negative: the book was a bit slow paced, and inter-racial relationships aren't all that controversial. I am from Alabama, and we are stereo-typed as being prejudiced but things have changed tremendously over the years. Of course it is still an issue, but it seemed odd to me that she would be seriously dating someone if she was as afraid to commit to marriage simply due to race. I was also puzzled over why the quilt was hidden away and kept secret for so many years.

On the positive: all of the characters were likeable and Mimi was precious. The story of Harriet Tubman was fascinating and covered much more than I remember learning in history class many years ago. I especially loved the way the quilt was used, one square at a time, to tell the story of this courageous woman who clung to her faith and her desire for the slaves to be set free. Her determination to overcome many barriers, and to risk her own life and freedom to help others, is a story that should be told and retold to our children and future generations.

The Moses Quilt  is the first of 3 books in Kathi Macias' Quilt Series. Watch the video below to see all of the stories. All 3 are about absolutely fascinating women and I hope to read them all.

GIVEAWAY: Now that I have read the book, I want to pass my copy on to another reader. Please leave a comment (preferably in a comment on the blog) to enter a random drawing to be held March 2, 2013.

I received this book free from Christian Speakers Services in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

As an added bonus, here is an interview with author, Kathi Macias:

The Quilt Series sounds interesting, but what makes it unique or sets it apart from the many other quilt books that are so popular right now?
First, I must confess to NOT being a quilter. I’ve never even considered taking it up! Second, I love quilts and have always been fascinated by the stories behind them. I combined that fascination with my passion for writing issues-related fiction, and I ended up with a three-book series that is, for the most part, contemporary but told against historical backdrops.

Sounds interesting! Can you tell us a bit about each of the three books in the series? Sure! Book one, The Moses Quilt, involves an interracial romance, where the couple works through their concerns and apprehensions as they learn the story of Harriet Tubman’s faith and courage as told through the patches of the Moses quilt that represents her life. Book two, The Doctor’s Christmas Quilt, deals with the topic of abortion told against the backdrop of the life of America’s first woman doctor, Elizabeth Blackwell, who was strongly pro-life. Book three, The Singing Quilt, deals with a young woman overcoming a physical disability; the background for that story is based on the “Queen of Gospel,” Fannie Crosby.

Was it difficult to do the research on these women, particularly Harriet Tubman? What did you learn about her in the process? I knew more about Harriet Tubman than I did about Elizabeth Blackwell or Fannie Crosby, but I expanded my knowledge of each as I did the research. Harriet Tubman’s amazing faith and courage is what stood out most to me about her life. Here was a woman born a slave, penniless for the majority of her life, and illiterate except for the scripture verses she had memorized (even if she couldn’t read them). Her prayer life was powerful, even as a child. After she escaped to the North and began making forays back into the South to help bring others out of slavery, friends would caution her against it. “Harriet, there’s a reward on your head—dead or alive. Aren’t you afraid?” She brushed off their fear and explained that she believed God had called her to help rescue her people; therefore, He would protect her. When her job was done, He would take her home to heaven, so what was there to fear? Wow, what a dynamic woman of God! I also learned that her achievements went far beyond rescuing slaves, though that’s what she’s best known for. She also served as a spy for the Union Army, worked as a nurse, and opened a home for indigent elderly former slaves. She died there herself in her mid-nineties, and the entire town flew their flags at half-mast in her honor.

Tell us a little more about the contemporary story in The Moses Quilt. The majority of the contemporary story is set just outside San Francisco. Mazie is white and deeply in love with Edward, an African-American lawyer who adores her and wants to marry her but tries to be respectful of her hesitation to make a commitment. What he doesn’t know is that Mazie is disturbed by what she considers secrets in her family’s past, secrets that begin to be unraveled as her great-grandmother, Mimi, tells her and Edward the story behind her Moses quilt, which she bought years earlier in Gee’s Bend, Alabama, a little town famous for its quilts. Edward thought he knew everything there was to know about Harriet Tubman, who had always been somewhat of a hero to him, but Mimi’s story opens up new avenues of discovery for both the young people in this relationship—and takes them straight back to the quilt’s origin in Gee’s Bend.

This sounds like more than just a “feel-good” story. Can it be used as a study book in some way? Absolutely! As with nearly all my books we have free downloadable discussion questions at that will enable The Moses Quilt to be read as a study book for individuals or used as a discussion/study book for groups.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Ken Davis Fully Alive dvd

The Glory of God is Man Fully Alive
You were born to live Fully Alive!
Yet you may fee like many people who lead lives of quiet desperation. Somewhere along the way the passion that once burned in their souls was smothered. It's time to rekindle the flame. 
With his trademark humor and powerful stories, Ken will share his own journey from lethargic resignation to a new life of adventure, spirtual renewal and health. 
You will see the snapshot that started it all, share in the three hours of terror that changed Ken forever and meet a living fossil on a bicycle. You'll laugh and be inspired to live in the power of Christ's resurrection. 
The path to that life is right here, just waiting for you to take the first step. Join Ken and start living Fully Alive today! (description from

Last year I read the Fully Alive book, and it really touched me. When I think back on the impetus it gave me to start moving, and live my life more fully and alive...I need to read it again. The film doesn't have quite the same impact for me, but I really did love it. My favorite form of humor is story-telling, and Ken has mastered the art of telling a tale that will have anybody laughing. Yet, there is also a point and message to some of these tales that are moving. Check out Ken's story of how he went from barely living to fully alive at

See the first 5 minutes below:

Liike Ken on FB

Follow Ken on Twitter

Visit Ken"s website

Fully Alive  is a Jonathan and Andrew Erwin film. Ken Davis is the executive producer, and produced by Gary Wheeler and Brad Mix.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Appealing (Apple-ing?) Proposals

In ancient Greece, it was considered a marriage proposal if a man tossed an apple at a woman...

So, is this how it would happen today? Just doesn't seem to have the same a-peel!!


Thursday, February 7, 2013

October Baby

As the curtain rises, Hannah hesitantly steps onto the stage for her theatrical debut in college. Yet before she can utter her first lines, Hannah—unscripted—collapses in front of the stunned audience.
After countless medical tests, all signs point to one underlying factor: Hannah’s difficult birth. This revelation is nothing compared to what she then learns from her parents: she was actually adopted … after a failed abortion attempt.
Bewildered, angered, and confused, Hannah turns for support to Jason, her oldest friend. Encouraged by his adventurous spirit, Hannah joins his group of friends on a Spring Break road trip, embarking on a journey to discover her hidden past … and find hope for her unknown future.
In the midst of her incredible journey, Hannah finds that life can be so much more than what you have planned. (Jon Erwin)

October Baby (directed by Andy and Jon Erwin) is an interesting film from several viewpoints. I got stuck more on the element of it being a surprise to Hannah (Rachel Hendrix) that she was adopted. I can't imagine with-holding that type of information. So, I can understand why Hannah would feel that her life was based on a lie and be angry with her parents (John SchneiderJennifer Price) . As secrets are unveiled, the lives of each of the people involved in this film do appear to be happier and more fulfillment found...when they were forgiven by others or by themselves.

I am pro-life and I believe life begins at conception. I am appalled at people who can wait further along in a pregnancy to abort a child. I cannot begin to imagine how Hannah felt when she learned that her mom (Shari Rigby) tried to abort her, and then abandoned her after she survived. The trauma of the nurse (Jasmine Guy) when she realized that she had fallen for the lie that a fetus is merely a blob of tissue shows that abortion affects more than just mother and child, but others involved in the process.

Another element of the film I liked was the endearing and enduring friendship Hannah had with Jason (Jason Burkey). I appreciated that that there was not a forced romantic relationship feel to the film, but that we did see the friendship slowly becoming a romance. I thought the elements of friendship, faith, and forgiveness combined well together to make a film that sent out a powerful message.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Blue Like Jazz dvd

Disenchanted by the church and his devout Christian mother, 19 year-old Donald escapes Texas for the liberal Northwest and attends Reed College at the urging of his secular father. At Reed College, Don finds that his classmates, from all walks of life, are more anti-religious and anti-everything than he was prepared for. In an attempt to fit in, and more importantly, in an attempt to find himself, Don joins an activist group which forces him to question what he really believes in. (from IMDb)  It has a great cast, including stars Marshall Allman, Claire Holt, Justin Welburn, and Tania Raymonde. The screenplay was written by Donald Miller (book and film), Ben Pearson, and Steve Taylor (who also directed.

Blue Like Jazz explores the spiritual journey of Don Miller as he flees his conservative, evangelical roots in Texas for the Godless environment of Reed College in Oregon. Very loosely based on the semi-autobiographical book of the same name, I honestly don't know what is fact and what is fiction, but the theme of the film resonated with me more than I expected. I never rebelled or ran quite as far as the main character, but even now there are times when the urge to fit in with others overrides my true feelings. There have definitely been times when being thought cool by others was such a heady feeling that I let it take over.

If you are offended by some vulgar language (*not obscene or profane), this may not be the film for you. There are attacks on Christianity (especially the hypocrisy of some believers) in the film, but I felt it was realistically portrayed. Not everyone embraces Christianity, and all Christians fail on one level or another. This is a rebellion of long-held childhood beliefs and an exploration of other points of view. All was not resolved in the end, but it was a satisfying ending as Don realized his faith had been more about the rituals than the relationship with Jesus. The final scene left me evaluating my own walk with Christ, and I believe that is something we should all do from time to time. I love the lines from Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing, "Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love;" They are so true of me, but I feel that, like Don discovered, Jesus will lead each of us who are honestly seeking right back to Him.

I would not recommend this film for children and younger teens...or those who prefer the more bland Christian films. I really liked it a lot.