Thursday, April 15, 2010

Just Shy of Harmony/ Signs and Wonders, by Philip Gulley

Just Shy of Harmony
By Philip Gulley

It is Sam Gardner’s second year ministering to the Harmony Friends Meeting. In this second book of the Harmony series, we learn a little more about the members of the church, and some of the conflict that is so often found within church families. During the course of the year, Sam suffers a major crisis of faith, and the behavior of the church members does little to reassure him. Love blooms among a couple of the townspeople, until the wife of the man returns with a shocking secret. The town turns against two of their own who have been blessed with good fortune. A sad situation finally brings the church together.

Signs and Wonders
By Philip Gulley

We return to Harmony for the third year of Sam Gardner’s pastorate. We follow the activities of Bob Miles Jr., as he writes for the newspaper. We watch as the ladies in town try to fix up an available young lady. We watch Sam continue to be troubled by the activities of Dale Hinshaw, and other church members, and cause an uproar simply by changing the church sign. We see two very different ways that Christians approach having a gay person in their church.

I just loved both the second and third installments in the Harmony series. Philip Gulley has a wonderful gift as a story teller. The best part of these books is that, while it makes for cleaner continuity, it is not entirely necessary for one to read every book in the series to still be able to make sense of the stories.

I love the fact that as the books in this series continues, more and more difficult topics are discussed, topics that are sometimes taboo for Christians, such as homosexuality. I love that Sam sometimes disagrees with, and stands up to, the people of the church. He often acts more Christian than any of his flock.

Again, a nice, easy, entertaining read, perfect for low key book clubs. I highly recommend the books in the Harmony series!

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