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I have been an avid reader from as early as I can remember. Since becoming a Christian in my early 20s, my passion for reading led to specifically Christian fiction and this has developed into reviewing them on this blog. I love reading new author's novels or author's who have not had many reviews or exposure and giving them much needed encouragement where appropriate.   
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Wednesday, 18 December 2013

The Penny by Benjamin Reynolds

Description: 

 Randal Cole is the troubled pastor of a small, inner city church. After a prayer meeting, leaves church deciding to resign, but is approached by mysterious man outside who makes an unusual request – to place a single penny in the church offering the coming Sunday. Randal agrees and soon finds himself at the center of a growing global movement transforming lives throughout the world.

But all does not go well. In the midst of his newfound success, a sudden sickness and dark secret threaten to destroy Randal’s family and blossoming ministry. With the aid of a godly messenger and the power of faith, can Randal overcome disappointment, personal tragedy and wavering faith to become an unlikely here able to change the world?

 
Review: 

An Entertaining and Faith Strengthening Novella

 I really loved this novella. This is the first novel of Benjamin Reynolds and I look forward to reading any others he has.

This novella is simple in its story line and it needed to be in order for the author to deliver the message he wanted us to receive: being obedient to God in whatever form He uses to bring back the lost and meet people's needs either individually or corporately.

I enjoyed the description of the wavering faith Randal Cole, the pastor in this story, who founded and pastor a small church with dwindling members, declining income, and lack of commitment amoungst these same members. This seems to be a world wide phenomenon in churches today. I can relate to that very well.

Just when Randal is finally about to give up and leave his calling and the church, God sends a miracle in the form of a stranger who asks him to put a solitary penny in the offering the following Sunday. He decides to honour this stranger's request and receives a monetary blessing very soon after that pays for the church outright and solves the church's financial debt. Then he hears other testimonies from others within his own church, the surrounding areas, the rest of the country then around the world of the same phenomenon: a stranger asks church members to put the penny he gives them in the offering the following Sunday. Once they do, they and their church are financially blessed.

Randal then seeks God's face and is encouraged to set up a fund to finance many ministries of churches around the world in their ministries that advance the Word of God and the Great Commission and meeting people's needs. But whenever there is a blessing from God and people's faith increase, satan sets out to derail their faith and block God's hand. Randal is tested via his health but shines through with his faith and is healed which only strengthens this new ministry God has started.

I would have liked to have seen more spiritual warfare in this story but it is a novella and this inclusion may have taken it past that into a full novel. However, Amazon have this listed as Volume 1 so there may be more scope in successive volumes. I really look forward to the next instalment.

I came away from this novella with my faith strengthened and a determination to trust and obey God more, being willing to surrender the things I struggle with to Him. I know Reynolds has not portrayed God's faithfulness and blessings as poetic licence but has based this on God's character, His Word and this author's own life experience being obedient to God. This gives me encouragement and direction.

I highly recommend this novella. Entertaining but encouragement and food for your faith and relationship with God." 


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