Sunday, April 21, 2013

Book Review: Tales of the Defended Ones by Beth Guckenberger

About Tales of the Defended Ones: Ben and Joseph lose their mothers, but find a family looking just for them. Antonio is rescued from what seems like a hopeless situation. Caitlyn dares to trust that truth will set her free. Jorani is delivered from slavery into the arms of grace.
Follow these real-life stories as they take you on a journey to foreign places and extreme struggles. Travel through their challenges and see the hand of the great Storyweaver - our Defender God shielding and defending the defenseless in the amazing ways only he can.These are the tales of the ones left wounded and weak-ones made whole and strong . . .

Meet Beth:
Beth Guckenberger and her husband, Todd, are the founders of Back2Back Ministries which communicates a lifestyle of service by sharing the love of Christ and serving God through service to others. Guckenberger travels and speaks regularly at women's and missions conferences, as well as youth gatherings and church services.
Her topics include orphan care, missions, parenting, marriage/intimacy, and faith. Her story-telling style captures audiences, and she draws from her field experience as a missionary and parent for illustrations to biblical concepts. In addition to her Story Weaver series, Tales of the Not Forgotten (Standard Publishing 2012) and Tales of the Defended Ones (Standard Publishing 2013), Beth has written Relentless Hope (Standard, 2011) and Reckless Faith (Zondervan, 2008). She has also partnered with Standard Publishing on the mission content in its 2013 VBS program. The Guckenberger family lives and serves in Monterrey, Mexico. Between biological, foster, and adopted additions to their family, Beth and Todd are raising nine children.
Find out more about Beth at

My Review:

The back cover of the book shows that it is juvenile fiction for ages 8 and up. However, I enjoyed it while reading it to my boys! I've always had a soft spot for children, especially orphans. This inspirational book is based on real-life stories about real kids who face real problems. The book includes the stories of five children: Ben, Joseph, Antonio, Caitlyn, and Jorani. Different situations (death of parents, abuse, slavery). Different places (Ethiopia, Mexico, USA, Cambodia). Same need. All of them needed to be loved, cared for, comforted, and defended.
You will see how God, the Defender-Kinsman, defends and provides for these precious ones and how God, the Storyweaver, weaves His children's stories so beautifully and so lovingly. God's love and light shine brightly through those who are obedient to Him. Each chapter goes back and forth between the life and experiences of the orphan and the life and experiences of the adoptive family.  Sprinkled among the pages are tidbits about countries, definitions of relevant terms and foreign vocabulary, and important points to remember. At the end of each chapter, there are questions to ponder and blank pages for readers to write their thoughts down. This book helps kids become aware of poverty, human trafficking (slavery), abuse, foster care, adoption, and the plight of orphans around the world. Beyond awareness, the author calls readers to say yes to God in caring for the orphans (there are about 163 million orphans in the world). You can do so in many ways such as praying, giving, serving, and/or going.

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27

"Do not move an ancient boundary stone or encroach on the fields of the fatherless, for their Defender is strong; He will take up their case against you." Proverbs 23:10-11

"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy." Proverbs 31:8-9

"When you give yourself to others, He makes you feel even fuller than when you started. He'll bring people and relationships into your life you might not have ever imagined (or chosen!), but if God brings them into your path, it's because He wants to bless you in ways you would have otherwise missed out on!" (p.89)

" Jesus we are all welcomed, wanted, loved, and worthy to be defended." (p.89)

"That's God's way. He can't help but redeem and repair and reconcile and restore and rescue. It's His defender nature." (p.183)

Beth Guckenberger is celebrating the release of her new book in the Storyweaver series, Tales of the Defended Ones, with an iPad giveaway and Facebook party {4/25}. 


 One fortunate winner will receive:
  • An iPad Mini
  • A Tales of the Defended Ones small group kit (books and DVD)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 24th. Winner will be announced at the "Storyweaver" Author Chat Party on April 25th. Beth will be chatting with guests, answering questions, and offering tips about beginning a dialog with children and youth about the orphans around the world, the basic needs of children living in poverty, and what we can all do to help. (It’s okay if you haven’t read the book – who knows, you might WIN a copy!) Beth will also be hosting a fun trivia contest and giving away tons of great stuff! (Gift certificates, books, and more!)

So grab your copy of Tales of the Defended Ones and join Beth and friends on the evening of the April 25th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun, RSVP today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 25th!

~I received a free copy of this book via Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. You can read more reviews of this book here.

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