One of the two best books so far this year!

Burdy by Karen Spears Zacharias; 2015; $15.00; 182 pages; Mercer University Press, Macon, GA; 978-0-88146; 539-6; purchased from; 9/4/15-9/8/15

A follow up to Karen’s debut, Mother of Rain, Burdy begins to receive someone that she thought was dead.  As she corresponds with him she decides to visit him and see if she can determine while he has hidden his true fate from those who love him.  She decides to visit him and learn from him what happened.  Her adventures while traveling far from the hollers of Tennessee are extremely moving.  There are things that I did not see coming and I was incredibly moved by the story.

Grade A+

Did I enjoy it?  Yes, I was incredibly moved by some of the passages in the book.  There are several dog eared pages in my copy because I want to remember Karens’ phrasing.  I am looking forward to the third book.




“Dwell in the Presence of the Lord”

Where’s Your Jesus Now? Examining How Fear Erodes our Faith by Karen Spears Zacharias; 2008; $18.99; 218 pages; Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI; 978-0-310-28386-7; purchased from; 8/26/15-8/29/15

This is definitely a book that I will read over and over.  I was left with the sense that the way to not let fear erode our faith is to dwell in the presence of the Lord.  Karen takes stories ripped from the headlines and applies them to our lives to show how we are letting fear rule our lives.  She points out ways that the media and government play on our fears to herd us sometimes like shepple.  We need to dwell constantly in the presence of the Lord.  We need to realize that we need not play into the fears that are laid out for us by others, but to constantly look elsewhere for our hope.  We need to closely examine those things that are presented to us as things we should fear and see if it is something we actually fear.

Did I learn anything?  I learned to be more investigative when I am presented with another thing to fear.  Check it out and see if it is something real or not.  This is a book that I will something new from each time I read it.

Grade A

What is with the title of the review?  This is a phrase that I think of every time I read this, look somewhere other than this world for peace.

A groundbreaker in several different ways

Benched, The Memoirs of Judge Rufe McComb by Rufe McComb with Karen Spears Zacharias; 1997; $29.95; 215 pages; Mercer University Press, Macon, GA; 0-86544-570-7; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Central; 1/29/15-1/30/15

Rufe McCombs was the first female elected to a judgeship in the state of Georgia. She started her legal career early on when very few women went to law school.  Here she tells the story of her life from childhood to retirement.  It is a joy to read and very engaging.  I learned a few things about the south and about attitudes in the 40’s and 50’s.


Did I enjoy it?  Yes it was a story well told of a life, which faced obstacles that I couldn’t have imagined.

What is with the title of the review?  Rufe McComb was a groundbreaker who was one of the first female lawyers in Georgia.  When she was elected to the position of judge she was not only female but a senior, she didn’t run for office until she was in her 50’s.


Read this in the middle of the day.

A Silence of Mockingbirds, A Memoir of Murder by Karen Spears Zacharias2012;$25.00; 322 pages; Macadam Cage, San Francisco, CA; 978-1-59692-375-1; 364.1523092 Z16s; Checked out from Multnomah County Library, Troutdale; 1/20/15-1/23/15

Back in October of 1984, 5 months before I got married, 17 months before Daniel was born I read a book that kept me up all night.  I read Pet Sematary by Stephen King.  I remember turning the radio and a light on and trying to sleep, I think between then and now another book has not bothered me to do that do me.  Until now, it is 12:50 AM as I type this and I can’t sleep, I don’t want to sleep, but I have to go to work in the morning and work a full day.

At 1:53 PM, Friday, June 3, 2005 Karly Sheehan died.  She was 3 years old. She was beaten and tortured by her mothers’ boyfriend until she died.  It could have been prevented, if the system had worked the way it was supposed to.  Too many people took the abusers word for what had happened, too many people believed the narcissistic mother, too many people wanted to blame the father, too many people didn’t want to deal with it.

Karen Spears Zacharias had given the mother a place to live when she was a teenager and so was very familiar with the mother in the story.  Karen I don’t know how you did the research and wrote this, I would have been crying through the entire research and writing.  This is a story of a system that betrayed a young life.  The story of Karly Sheehan changed laws in Oregon so hopefully no child falls through the cracks.

The story is well written and compelling to read, it was like watching Titanic, I knew what the ending was going to be but I kept hoping someone would step and change things.  Unfortunately this is real life and not a novel. There is no happy ending.

I really enjoy Karens’ writing but as the grandfather of a three year old I shouldn’t have read this because I kept seeing my granddaughter.

I went to bed at 1:30 after finishing the book, starting this review and starting my next book.  I never felt like I got to sleep just hovered somewhere on the border of being asleep and being awake.  Several people at work today commented on how tired I looked.


What is with the title of the review?  This is not a book that should be read in the evening or just before bed.  This book is scarier than anything Stephen King could write, because it is true and shows the inhumanity of man.

Thanks I Needed that!

Where’s Your Jesus Now?~Examining How Fear Erodes Our Faith by Karen Spears Zacharias; 2008; $18.99; 218 pages; Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI; 978-0-310-28386-7; purchased from; 12/26//14-12/30/14

I don’t know what to day about this book except that I was terribly moved and cried at least twice.  I will be reading this again.  Karen makes so many points that many of us have missed for years that occasionally it felt like I was being slapped, but Thanks I needed that.  She speaks of the church of certainosity where people would rather be right than redeemed.  She writes in such a way that it is humorous to see where my foibles are.  Thank you Karen for pointing things out to me.


Did I learn something?  Yes and I will continue to as I read this every year.

What is with the title of the review?  There were times while I was reading this that I felt like I had been slapped but it was done with love to snap me out of my doldrums and wrong thinking.  I need to have things pointed out to me often, I don’t do well with hints, just ask my wife.