Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Tutor's Daughter

Hello World,
We have had such an amazing Christmas holiday, from playing in our Christmas Eve services, to opening up gifts with the kids in the morning, to seeing family and friends :)  It is a special time for our family, and we are truly grateful for it all.  How are you all doing? 

The Tutor's Daughter by Julie Klassen is the story of Emma Smallwood.  Emma is the daughter of a learned man who owns a small academy for society's young noblemen.  With the death of his wife he has unfortunately withdrawn from his career and his daughter.  In one last final attempt to get her Father back, Emma writes to a former family who's eldest sons had attended the academy.  With the letter comes an invitation to teach their two younger sons at their home by the Cornwell Coast.  What follows is a mystery to set any reader on their toes :)

This book is really an amazingly complex piece of work.  Ms. Klassen does an excellent job at weaving an interesting tale that has so many twist and turns that if you weren't paying attention you would soon get lost in the maze of the story.  I loved how vividly Ms. Klassen paints the pictures with her words, and the tension she uses with the characters is brilliant.  She draws the reader in with her words and then describes the characters faith walk in a very real and compelling way.  I would highly recommend this book to any fans of the Jane Austin like period as well as anyone who loves a good mystery.  So dear readers go ahead and don't wait to purchase this book.

*This book was given to me via netgalley in hopes of my honest opinion and I honestly gave it.

John 3:16
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

This truly is a beautiful verse.  Recently I have been listening to James MacDonald's sermons on this verse, he does such an amazing job at explaining this verse word by word.  I don't think we will ever fully comprehend how much God loves us, how deeply and incredibly beautiful that love is for us.  How easy our Father made it for us to be with Him in heaven.  To have eternal life and to not die all you have to do is believe in Jesus Christ.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Live Second

Hello World,
Do you ever find yourself stopping in the midst of a frantic to do list and thinking I need to calm down :)  Sometimes (like today) I found myself more concerned with getting my to do list done then spending time with the people God has placed in my life i.e. my husband and kids.  If you're trying to get everything done before Christmas morning remember to take a break, stop and look at the amazing things God has given you and breathe.

Live Second 365 Ways to Make Jesus First is a daily devotional for those people with crazy busy lives.  It's a stop what your doing and take a breath moment where you can align your heart and mind back to Christ.  This devotional will take you daily to the scriptures with the people who have sat on the big ol' white chair.

I really think this is a neat devotional with great insights into the Word of God.  I loved that you could scan a bar code and see the person's story that was being featured for that week.  It was nice to see how the book included that just in case someone had never seen that specific I Am Second video.  I also enjoyed the questions to each devotional, a lot of times I see a devotional that is more for reading instead of digging deeper into your faith walk.  So dear readers if you want a great devotional to start off the New Year's please read Live Second.
*This book was given to me via booksneeze in hopes of my honest opinion and I honestly gave it :)

John 7:37-38
Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.  Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.

Have you ever experienced real thirst?  I can think of several times where I have truly been thirsty, sometimes I can drink two whole glasses when I'm that thirsty.  I always have satisfaction after I'm done drinking my water.  The only problem is that I will always get thirsty again.  So when Jesus says let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.   My ears perk up, I truly desire that kind of contentment, but as the Scripture's say I need to come to Christ for rivers of living water to flow from within me. Through Christ I will always be content and satisfied and never thirst for any other thing again.  How sweet that is :)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Change of Fortune

Hello World,
We got a pleasant surprise this afternoon at Kylar's ballet class :)  My wonderful husband got sent home early for the holidays!  I think one of my favorite things to see is my kids seeing Todd when he comes home or shows up unexpectedly.  Their faces are so incredibly full of delight when they see him.  Do you have a favorite memory or image that you like to see?

A Change of Fortune by Jen Turano is the story of Lady Eliza Sumner.  She has come to the United States for one reason only, and that's to get her fortune back from her families greedy stealing financial adviser.  What she didn't intend was to run into the dashingly handsome Hamilton Beckett or his two adorable children.  What happens next is a fun adventuresome romance.

This witty book had me laughing through the whole story.  Eliza is a fun and adorable character that I immediately fell in love with.  Ms. Turano did an awesome job at developing an interesting story, and characters to boot.  Not only did I see myself being pulled into this book, but I also was second guessing how Lady Eliza would get her money back!  This truly was a fun read with tons of wit, fun challenges, and insightful moments of truth.  So dear readers if you're looking for a winsome book, please read Ms. Turano's A Change of Fortune.
*This book was given to me via Bethany House a division of Baker Publishing Group in hopes of my honest opinion and I honestly gave it.

1 Peter 4:10
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace.

What a great reminder to us all that God has given us amazing gifts.  Are you using it?  To the best of your ability?  A while ago I was convicted of this when I was asked to play for our church.  I was allowing fear to get a hold of me and stopping me from using my gift for the Lord.  Thank goodness we have a gracious and loving God :)  and He convicted me of what I was doing.  So dear readers, each of you has a gift, remember to use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

When Life is Hard

Hello World,
With a sad heart I'm writing today.  It's hard to imagine why someone would ever do the violent act that happened in Newtown, Connecticut.  I can only pray that our Father comforts those affected by the violence.  My words have left me during this time, but I encourage you all to follow this link to read John Piper's blog on this, please click here

A lot of times we can question why God allows things to happen in our life or others; whether it's violence, sickness, loss of a job, or life being just plain hard.  James MacDonald wrote a very eloquent book on this topic called When Life is Hard.  I read this book when I was going through a difficult time and I'm very glad I did.  Mr. MacDonald takes four sections in the Bible to walk through a step by step process for your hardship.  I know I've discussed this book previously, but sometimes it's helpful to have another reminder of a great book that can help you.

I'll leave you with a quote from Mr. MacDonald's book.

  "I've come to see that being tested by God is very loving.  Frankly, I'd rather find out now that I don't have the real thing than get to heaven and be surprised.  You want your faith tested.  You want to put your full weight down on the faith that you have in Christ and see if it holds up, because if your faith hasn't changed you, it hasn't saved you.  Better to find out while there is still time to get it right."  James MacDonald.

Psalm 119:50
 My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.  

I leave you with this verse if in any way you are hurting, please cling to the Lord and the words that are life changing the Bible

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Dangerous Stage

Hello World,
We are all warm and cozy in our cute little house.  Have you ever stopped to think about what our lives would be without a heater?  I know my cute little house would not be as warm and cozy.  I think sometimes I take for granted that my is full of sweet little blessings that I don't even really have to think about like the heater.  What is something that is a blessing in your life?

A Dangerous Stage by Camy Tang is the second installment of the Protection for Hire series.  This book continues Tessa's story as she grows in her new faith as a Christian.  In this story Tessa has been hired to protect George Mynheir and his daughter Hannah; while he is competing in Grab the Mic a singing competition.  As she struggles to separate her life from the yakuza (an organized crime syndicate originating from Japan) and her precarious relationship with Charles Britton (her lawyer) she must also find out who is trying to kill her clients.

I kind of jumped into this series with this book.  Let me tell you dear readers, I usually don't like doing that, but this book was so good I didn't care.  I loved the action and the added side story of the yakuza.  I had never heard of the yakuza and you know how much I love new information.  Ms. Tang did an excellent job at describing a culture that I'm not very knowledgeable on, she made it come alive and seem very real to me.  She is an excellent writer with great ideas.  I'm excited to read more from her and to see where she'll take the character Tessa.  So dear readers if you like a little action, a little yakuza :), and romance to boot please read A  Dangerous Stage.
*This book was given to me via Zondervan in hopes of my honest opinion and I honestly gave it :)

Jeremiah 9: 23-24
This is what the Lord says: "Let not the wise man gloat in his wisdom, or the mighty man in his might, or the rich man in his riches.  Let them boast in this alone: that they truly know me and understand that I am the Lord who is just and righteous, whose love is unfailing, and that I delight in these things.  I , the Lord have spoken!

I love everything that the world considers important is very small in God's eyes.  Wisdom, might and riches don't really matter unless the person that has that truly knows God and understands that He is just and righteous, His love is unfailing, and He delights in all of those things.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Twelve Unlikely Heroes by John MacArthur

Hello World,
Well today I'm just recovery from a pretty bad stomach flu.  As hard as being sick is, I'm grateful that I got sick on the days that my husband is home.  He's kind of amazing :)  Not only was the house cleaned and the kids had clothes on, but he truly knows how to take care of a sick wife.  Are you grateful for anything today?

Twelve Unlikely Heroes by John MacArthur is a journey through the Old and New Testament to find( what I would like to say) childhood Bible characters that we all seem to have grown up with.  Well... Enoch probably wasn't in your childhood stories, but for the most part these people are made alive in this nonfiction book by John MacArthur.

I really appreciate how well researched Mr. MacArthur is.  There doesn't seem to be a stone left unturned in his quest to really do these people of the Bible justice.  I am a book worm, I love researching what words mean, the history of the story, and the application that can be used in my life.    This book is definitely up my alley :) I also loved that Mr. MacArthur doesn't speak above me, I can understand what he's saying and gain a lot of knowledge because of it.  So dear readers if you're looking for a book that can help you dig a little deeper into your childhood Bible heroes this is a book for you.

*This book was given to me via booksneeze in hopes of my honest opinion and I honestly gave it.

Matthew 14:19
 but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”

Right now my sweet Livie Lou is sitting next to me, eating a snack and fully entertaining herself.  She cracks me up, her laughter is a belly laugh, her zest for life insatiable, and her trust unbelievable.  What a blessing she is in my life, and how grateful I am that our Savior Jesus Christ recognized the value of my sweet baby girl.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Top Ten Books

Hello World,
I wanted to do something fun today and give you my top ten books of 2012.  Books that I would re-read over and over, and that I want to share with you as my favorite for this year :)

1.This book had all the makings with suspense, surprise and adventure.  It was written Pre-Civil War and it was sweet.

2.  The characters made this book incredibly memorable.  The dialogue was witty and I'm still chuckling over some of the scenes.

3.  Her scenes are absolutely breath taking and while I'm reading her books the images are so vivid and memorable that you won't want to put it book down.

4.  I love a good story and this is exactly what I got when I read this book.  You'll love Katie and Robert's story.

5. This book had me guessing until the very end.  If you like a good mystery you'll like this book

6.  For all of you chiclit readers you'll enjoy this sassy book with a snitch of poignancy.

7.  I loved this sea faring tale, it was fun and had me imagining a good adventure on the high seas.

8. In your face truthful, and I recommend it to all you married ladies out there.

9.   A really neat story of undercover agents, a damsel in distress, and railroad robbers.  It was a read until your done kind of book.

10.  Fast pace and suspenseful you won't regret reading this book.  

Enjoy reading dear readers, I most certainly did this year :)

Romans 4:20
No distrust made him waiver concerning the promises of God.  His faith grew stronger as he gave glory to God.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Good Wife's Guide

Hello World,
It's cloudy with a chance of meatballs today :)  well... maybe not with a chance of meatballs, but it is cloudy. Right now I have an amazing husband who is making breakfast and the kids are playing house.  Some days aren't always this relaxed so I'm cherishing these peaceful moments knowing that at anytime a fight could break out, or my husband could be gone on a business trip.  Are there any moments that you cherish?

The Good Wife's Guide by Darlene Schacht is a comprehensive book about being a help meet to your husband.  Not only does it break down what a help meet is, but it also shows how a help meet is important in your husbands life.  Along with that it will give you great examples of keeping organized, building yourself up in a godly manner, and bringing out the best in your family.

Ok ladies, a few years back I did a help meet Bible Study with a couple of new mommies.  I think I was forever scarred by that study thinking that being a help meet would be a very oppressive and sad thing.  I was confused by how it was Biblical and also how a very strong willed self  i.e. me could ever be a help meet.  Then I ran into a blog called the time-warp wife (click here to see the blog).  Ms. Schacht is a help meet and she explained specifically what a help meet was using Biblical principals and how we as wives can truly embrace this meaningful calling.  From her blog comes this book and it really is a great little read.  If you're a wife who wants to be able to joyfully embrace your role I highly suggest this book :)

*This book was given to via her blog subscription program.

Hebrews 13:8
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

This month starts off a very important time of year for us Christians :)  It helps us remember the importance of why Christ was born and why He had to come.  Don't forget dear friends why Christ came to earth don't forget the importance of His birth, death, and resurrection.  He did it for you, and that will never change.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Debt-Proof Your Christmas

Hello World,
How are you doing?  Sometimes this time of year can be overwhelming, sad, or busy.  I hope you're doing well and that even if this is a hard time for you that you are clinging to the Lord's promises.  If you ever need prayer feel free to comment and I'll be sure to be praying for you and your situation.

Debt-Proof Your Christmas by Mary Hunt is a neat little book to help you manage your money during the holiday season.  Not only will it give you an outline of the do's and don'ts, but  it will also give you great ideas for saving money, making your own Christmas presents, and how to truly enjoy a debt-free holiday season.

This book has a lot of nifty ideas, and I really appreciated the last couple of chapters where Ms. Hunt gave recipes, home made gift ideas, and bargain gifts.  I loved how she stressed the importance of it's not the price of the gift, but the thought goes into it.  Dear readers, please be aware that Ms. Hunt is trying to appeal to the secular group as well.  You won't be finding a lot of Christ in this book, but that isn't to say that the ideas or message isn't helpful.  So if you're really wanting to get a handle on your Christmas debt please read Debt-Proof Your Christmas.

*This book was given to me via Revell a division of Baker Publishing Group for my honest opinion and I honestly gave it.
“Available September 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

John 4:23
But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.

I need to admit something, today has been so busy that this is the first time I'm sitting down let alone having a quiet time.  Some days are like that and yes I highly encourage sitting and reading your Bible, but some days I need to remember that there are several different ways I can worship God.  I need to remember that my acts of service to my family can be done in worship.  My typing this blog can be done in worship.  That anything I do can and should be done to glorify the Lord.  I need to remember that the hour is coming, and is now here, when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for He really is seeking such people.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Christmas Roses

Hello World!
We are enjoying a much needed mini vacation to Dallas this Thanksgiving weekend :)  So far we have visited parks, and a farmers market.  We love doing things that are... well... cheap or free :)  Todd found an app for his Iphone that takes where you are and tells you interesting places to go.  It's a fun way to see the city and to try something that you would have never thought of doing.  What do you like to do on a vacation?

Christmas Roses is Celia Anderson's story.  Celia runs a boarding house, and is alone with no one else to get help from.  It is her dream to be able to provide for her daughter and not have to rely getting married out of need instead of love.  She is a beautiful woman and she doesn't lack for suitors, but will one of them love her and her daughter for who they are, or what they both can get out of the situation.

This is a cute little novella chalk full of insightful wisdom and a unique historical aspect to it.  Ms. Cabot does a great job at bringing characters to life and I found myself immersed in this tale.  I also loved Celia she was a woman I respected, and a woman who wasn't willing to cave to peer pressure.  So dear readers if you want a quick read for the holidays please read Christmas Roses by Amanda Cabot.

*This book was given to me via Revell a division of Baker Publishing Group for my honest opinion and I honestly gave it.
“Available September 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Today I would like to open up the small devotional with a question and hopefully I'll get some comments :)  What is your favorite verse?  You never know if your favorite verse will encourage someone today. So I'm asking you, dear readers, to go ahead and tell us what your favorite verse is :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

To Whisper Her Name

Hello World,
It's nap time right now.  I'm pretty sure Liv is the only one who is officially napping...  Some days are like that with my bebs.  How about you?  If you have children is it a struggle to get them to nap?  What do you do to instill nap time?  Do you even have your kids nap? So many questions :)  For our family we require all of us to have a quiet time where they have to stay in their bedroom and play quietly.  It gives all of us a nice little break, and for me to sneak a square of chocolate that I have hidden in our freezer.

To Whisper Her Name by Tamera Alexander is the story of Olivia Aberdeen.  Emotionally scarred from her abusive husband's death, Olivia seeks refuge in Nashville's historic Belle Meade Plantation.  Her Aunt is the mistress of the plantation and gives her sanctuary when she has no where else to turn.  In mourning and recovering from the past Olivia runs into Ridley Cooper a man with his own secret past.  These two walk life's path together in post Civil-War growing and finding themselves in To Whisper Her Name.

Ms. Alexander does an incredible job at describing the South in the Post Civil-War era.  Never before had I fully imagined what it would be like to be a sympathizer, but also a southerner still very convicted over their beliefs.  You will fully enjoy this in depth book and realize that some decisions aren't always cut and dry.  I will say that this book is not something that you can just breeze through, and it had me thinking about a lot of things regarding my faith, convictions, and actions.  So dear readers if you are in the mood for a book to do all of the above please read To Whisper Her Name.

*This book was given to me via netgalley in hopes of my honest opinion and I honestly gave it :)

Psalm 107:1
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!

Tomorrow us people from the good ol' United States will sit down and have a humongous meal in honor of Thanksgiving :)  I just have one question for you dear readers and please comment, you just might win a free book ;-)  What are you thankful for?

Monday, November 19, 2012

Against the Tide

Hello World!
Today I am making bread for Thanksgiving :)  Don't you just love the smell of bread baking.  I most certainly do, and the smell of fresh brand new books too (just in case you were wondering).  I will admit that I'm slightly giddy today.  One of them being that Thanksgiving is near, but two is that I have been inundated with a lot of great books, and you dear readers will be benefiting from this :)  So hold on to your pants, grab a cup of something warm, and get ready, because this week is going to be awesome for all the books I have to review.

Against the Tide by Elizabeth Camden is the story about Ms. Lydia Pallas, and Mr. Alexander Banebridge.  You may remember Alexander a.k.a. Bane from Ms. Camden's debut novel The Lady of Bolton Hill (review of that book click here).  At the end of the story Bane had just recently accepted Christ and was fleeing from some rather nefarious deeds he had done.  In this story we will see how he has grown into a pretty amazing Christian with a mission to accomplish. With that mission in mind Bane needs a person to help him out.   Lydia is an incredible translator for the Navy and Bane hires her to help him right the wrongs of his past.

Can I just say that I literally giggled when I finally figured out that this was a story about Alexander Banebridge!  Ok ladies, I know I am a married woman with my own amazing husband, but I'll admit I love characters who exemplify Christ with a little bit of an edge (maybe that's why I married Todd :)  Bane is a man's man. I also loved how the interplay between Lydia and Bane was done.  Not only is Lydia quick witted, but she was able to keep pace with Bane's repartee.  You will not be disappointed with this book, you'll stay up all night wanting to finish it.   The plot is interesting, the faith thread is just right, and the romance perfect.  So dear readers, I don't think I can recommend this book enough, but hopefully I truly persuaded you in reading Against the Tide.  Oh and don't worry if you have never read The Lady of Bolton Hill, you'll be perfectly fine and will  not be left in the dark with anything.

*This book was given to me via Bethany House a division of Baker Publishing Group in hopes of my honest opinion and I honestly gave it.

Isaiah 65:20-24
 No more shall there be in it an infant that lives but a few days, or an old person who does not live out a lifetime; for one who dies at a hundred years will be considered a youth, and one who falls short of a hundred will be considered accursed. They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.  They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat; for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be, and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labor in vain, or bear children for calamity; for they shall be offspring blessed by the Lord— and their descendants as well. Before they call I will answer, while they are yet speaking I will hear.

While I was reading this passage something inside me rejoiced.  Something inside me gave pause to the wonderful sense that never will we have to even think about death, or not being with our children.  Never will my labor be in vain or worry about times being too tough for my child, because everything will be blessed by the Lord.  He will hear my need and answer it before I even finish asking.  What an incredible passage.  I hope you take hope from this as much as I did :)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Heaven Changes Everything by Todd & Sonja Burpo

Hello World!
Yesterday I went grocery shopping for Thanksgiving.  I love doing that, I love being able to put a meal together and getting the nice dishes out.  Traditionally I grew up with a formal dinner at least four courses sometimes five and the food was always diverse (once my mom served gazpacho).  Now that we live so far away I have the honor of making the menu and preparing a dinner for my family.  It's fun and I really do love doing it.  Do you have a fun Thanksgiving tradition that you do?  Maybe it's family style with your whole family, or maybe you go out to dinner.  I would really enjoy hearing what you do :)

Heaven Changes Everything by Todd and Sonja Burpo is a great little devotional.   It will take excerpts from Heaven is for Real and dig a little deeper into what God was doing in their lives and how they grew from that amazing experience.  If you've read Heaven is for Real you will enjoy remembering with the Burpo's certain experiences in their lives.  They will also dig deeper into scripture and the way they were changed during the whole process.

 This book is for all you devotional readers out there.  It's the perfect blend of scripture, insight, and wisdom.    Hopefully, it will make you look at your life and want to change certain aspects of it so you are continually growing closer to Christ.  I will say that it would be difficult (not impossible) for someone to read this devotional if they did not read Heaven is for Real.  What Mr. and Mrs. Burpo do is take excerpts from that book, dwell on the experience and then they use scripture to encourage the reader to grow as well.  So dear readers if you are a fan of Heaven is for Real you will definitely love this devotional.

*This book was given to me via Booksneeze in hopes of my honest opinion and I honestly gave it.

2 Timothy 4:7
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

I really need to memorize this verse.  Why?  Because I want to live every day of my life as if it were my last. I truly desire for my walk to not be drab, but to live fully for the glory of God.  So when I have this verse in my mind I can ask myself every day, Breanna have you fought the good fight today?  Someday I will face the Lord, and I want to be able to say to him, Father I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Christmas Pony

Hello World,
Can you believe that next week is Thanksgiving!  I just started going through my cookbooks, and food network app to see what I'll be making.  Amazingly, Todd's job gave us a turkey.  So if you're in the medical field and are looking to update your software please contact Micro4 1-800-235-1856 :-)  and yes I am shamelessly advertising my husbands work, it's called job security.  So are you doing anything fun for Thanksgiving?  Any traditions that you do?  I would love to hear from you.

The Christmas Pony by Melody Carlson is a meaningful short read about a small town in 1937.  Here we meet sweet Lucy Turnbull who was told that with God anything is possible.  With this in mind she prays for three things; a pony, boarders for their house, and to see her mother's smile.  What seems to be impossible changes when a quirky pair happen into town.

I really enjoyed this book, I could perfectly read it during the kids nap time :)  I loved how Ms. Carlson told the story from Lucy's viewpoint.  It had such a wonderful childlike innocence to it, and it made me really think how Christ has asked all of us to have childlike faith.  This is the perfect book to begin your holiday fun, or maybe reading it together with your daughter.  Either way you'll enjoy this book and the true meaning behind it.
I was given this book via Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group in hopes of my honest opinion, and I honestly gave it :)
 “Available Sept 2012  at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Matthew 19:26
But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

We have a house in Wisconsin that still hasn't sold, it has been three years.  Three years of paying on a house that we no longer live in.  I can not tell you how many times we have been told to just foreclose.  Both Todd and I have come to the conclusion that if we don't have the money or we can't eat that month we won't make a payment.  Here's the thing dear readers, we have never been late on a payment!  It's not easy, there have been times where I really have no clue how we got the money.  The only thing I can say is God made it possible for us.   Sometimes a random check would come in, another time we would get a bonus.  Every time we have had to lean on God to help us and He has indeed helped us.  Are you struggling with something?  Something that you feel is too much?  Please remember this verse and cling to the promise that with God all things are possible. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Measure of Katie Calloway

Hello World,
Yesterday marks the last day of soccer season, and my poor husband came home terribly sick.  Can I tell you something...  I like it when he's sick because then I can baby him :)  It's nice to get him a cup of hot tea with honey, or a tablespoon of my own little cold remedy.  It gives me the opportunity to pour love into him when.  What do you do for you loved one when he/she gets sick?

The Measure of Katie Calloway by Serena Miller starts off with an attempted murder.  Our character Katie flees for her life with her brother Ned and ends up in a loggers camp.  Never did she imagine the challenges of cooking for the rough looking men.  Challenges like waking up on time, a half starved Native American and her baby, and unwanted feelings towards her boss.  Will Katie be able to measure up?  Pun intended :)
Dear readers, this story is full of incredible written images of post Civil War, and the difficulties that each side had to face.

 I actually requested this book after reading about Katie and Robert in A Promise to Love (if you're interested in reading this review click here).  I don't often contact the author, but these two characters drew me in and I was captivated by their interaction with each other.  Luckily Ms. Miller wrote about Katie and Robert in the book prior.  What a relief :)  Their story was incredible, their faith in God was true, and the historical aspect fun to read.  I love it when you have a gifted writer like Ms. Miller, it makes the story come alive and the time fly when reading.  She has definitely become one of my favorite authors and I look forward to reading more from her. So dear readers if you want an incredible read please read The Measure of Katie Calloway.

Romans 8:28
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

What an awesome verse.  I love that God has specifically called me and you to His purpose.  He has a purpose for us and that not only does He have a purpose He has also worked everything out for good, for anyone that loves Him.  Rest in that dear readers, because now you know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


Hello World,

Today is extremely windy...  Honestly my poor Livie couldn't walk straight because the wind was blowing so hard.  On days like this I like to make home made bread, and lemon chicken soup.  If you have never had lemon chicken soup it's amazing!  I first had it when Todd and I were in Poland teaching an English camp.   For years I tried replicating it, but just couldn't find the right recipe until I ran into it in a book called Sweet Blakava.  Believe it or not it's actually a fictional book that has amazing Greek recipes in the back.  So if you're interested in my lemon chicken soup go ahead and leave me a comment and I'll give you the recipe.  Have a great windy day dear friends.

Placebo by Steven James is the first installment of the Jevin Banks Experience.  Jevin Bank's job is uncovering phony gimmicks. His next assignment is posing as a married couple with his assistant at a neurological research program. There he  uncovers  a controversial connection between the United States Department of Defense and a Philadelphia Pharmaceutical.  What happens is a story full of suspense and thrills to make any reader stay up late.

This book would be great for the person who absolutely loves thrillers/suspense.  It is a hold on to your pants, read until it's finished kind of book.  Steven James is the bestselling author of the Bowers Files thriller series and he seems to have another bestseller with these books.  Readers will appreciate how he rights about Jevin's relationship with Christ and his struggles too.  So dear readers if want a good thriller please read Placebo by Steven James.
*This book was given to me via Revell a division of Baker Publishing Group in hopes of my honest opinion and I honestly gave it.
“Available November 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Proverbs 12:24
Work hard and become a leader, be lazy and become a slave.

 My day can be full of laziness or working really hard, it all depends on my attitude as a mom.  I can be active with my house cleaning it, spending time with my kids, and making sure that my husband comes home to the house smelling good and dinner almost ready.  OR  I can be lazy have the dishes pile up, ignore my children, and let my husband fend for himself when he get's home.  It's my attitude and desire to really serve with a whole heart or do nothing at all.  How are you doing?  Are you a hard worker?  Or are you lazy?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Fire in Ember

Hello World,
Can I just say to you that God is in charge.  The United States voted for their president yesterday and the results are in today so dear readers; whoever who you voted for yesterday, God is in charge.  It's like knowing the end results of the football game, there is no need to even worry :)

The Fire in Ember is the story of Bert, a girl caught stealing a horse and is rescued by John Timmons just before she hangs.  Owing a debt to John is no hardship for Bert, what she's most concerned about is putting the Timmons's family in jeopardy.  Her past is one of hardship and brutality can she trust them before anyone gets hurt?

DiAnn Mills will not let you down if you're looking for a wild west adventure.  She puts the romance back in the west and high adventure in every scene :)  Dear readers if you're a fan of such a book, then I highly encourage you to read The Fire in Ember.  You won't regret it, she does a great job at entwining the message of Christ with intense adventuresome moments.

Revelation 2:17
Anyone who is willing to hear should listen to the Spirit and understand what the Spirit is saying to the churches.  Everyone who is victorious will eat of the manna that has been hidden away in heaven.  And I will give to each one a white stone, and on the stone will be engraved a new name that no one knows except the one who receives it.

WOW!!!  Isn't this the neatest present God could give us as believers?  Have you ever been labeled negatively, have those labels followed you throughout your life?  Dear readers, you have a new name waiting for you, a name that will be honored, and loving.  Don't forget that, and don't lose hope.  God loves you and wants the best for you :)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Anger Workbook by Carter and Minirth

Hello World,
It's a nice cozy day.  I love it when we have to turn on the heat, for some reason I just think it's comforting.  It's the feeling of the impending winter with hot chocolate and fuzzy slippers.  When nights are too cold to go outside so me and my hubby have to snuggle beneath a blanket  on the couch and catch up on all of our favorite movies.  I personally love this time of year :)  Is there a time of year that you absolutely love?

The Anger Workbook by Les Carter, Ph.D. and Frank Minirth, M.D. is a comprehensive book on how to work through anger issues that the reader might be having.  It's a workbook that you can do individually or in a group.  It addresses not only violent manners, but the quiet anger.  It will challenge the reader to really look and see how you are managing your anger.

Well dear readers you won't believe, but I your Jesus Book Girl blogger has anger problems.  Oh not the aggressive kind, but the simmering just below the surface kind.  This book is something that  I highly recommend to everyone.  I think it's real easy to ignore the small issues, but the problem with this these add up and can become big issues.  This is a great book that uses the Bible as the cornerstone and then builds from that to help you solve the issue of anger :)  So dear readers if you have anger problems please read The Anger Workbook.

*This book was given to me via Booksneeze in hopes of my honest opinion, and I honestly gave it.

Ephesians 4:31
Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.

We've been learning about the Holy Spirit at our church recently.  So many times when we don't have the fruits of the Spirit because we are filled with bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking.  Put these all away dear readers, ask the Lord to empty yourself of these things, so that the Holy Spirit can fill you in.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Flight of Fancy

Hello World,
How is everyone doing today?  For some reason I have been cleaning like the mad hatter.  So far everything is clean except the kitchen (I really loathe cleaning the kitchen).  I also made some cornbread muffins that were a perfect snack for the bebs and me :)  I'll tell you a little secret... I used eggnog instead of milk in it, oh boy was it nummy.  Do you use anything in a certain recipe that makes it special for you family?

Flight of Fancy by Laurie Alice Eakes is the story of Cassandra Bainbridge.  Considered a little bit of a bluestocking the only thing that seems to distract her from her studies is the handsome Geoffrey Giles.  Soon to be married to him they can not seem to contain their passions and an unfortunate incident happens that chases both their dreams of wedded bliss away.  As both seem to pick up the pieces of their relationship, danger and mystery creeps in.

Dear readers if you are a fan of regency novels you will certainly love this one.  I thoroughly enjoyed Cassandra and Giles.  A midst all of the the angst of unrequited love there was danger and mystery with Giles business.  With threats of death and who dunit, you will be immersed into a great read.  I hope you pick up the book Flight of Fancy, I'm pretty sure you won't regret it.
*This book was given to me via Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group in hopes of my honest opinion and I honestly gave it.
"Available October 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Isaiah 53:7-9
He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word.  He was led as a lamb to the slaughter.  And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth.  From prison and trial they led him away to his death.  But who among the people realized that he was dying for their sins-- that he was suffering their punishment?  he had done no wrong, and he never deceived anyone.  But he was buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man's grave.

So many times I don't stop to think that Jesus Christ had to suffer for my sin.  He had to be punished for my sin, as the verse says "who among the people realized that he was dying for their sins".  He who did no wrong and had never deceived anyone was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word.  Lord Jesus may I never forget what you have so willingly done for me.  Thank you.

Friday, October 26, 2012

A Farmer's Daughter

Hello World,
Today all the kids slept in til about 7:30!  Do you realize how incredible that is?  Todd and I got to sleep in :-)  It was a beautiful thing to wake up when the sun was coming up instead of the dark.  Another cool happening is that we started kitchen renovation.  About a year ago we bought a really cute home that was structurally sound, but needed a few touches here and there.  We have been saving up to start renovating our kitchen and yesterday we started with taking our washer and dryer out of our kitchen and putting it into a brand new utility room :)  Are you doing any renovations in your home?

A Farmer's Daughter by Dawn Stoltzfus is a cookbook that takes modern day cooking and blends it with Mennonite recipes.  I love how Ms. Stoltzfus had quick and easy recipes for any cook to use, but she also had some really amazing sauces, desserts and breads that are simply mouth watering.  Here is one of my favorite recipes to make on a busy night.

     Pg. 93
               Ham and Cheese Sticky Buns

           This dish is wonderful to serve at a birthday party or as an appetizer!
                3/4 lb. deli ham (I prefer Virginia baked ham), sliced thin
                1/2 lb.  provolone or farmer's cheese, sliced thin
                 1 dz.  mini sandwich rolls
           Sauce ingredients:
                 1/2 cup  salted butter
                 2 Tbsp.  poppy seeds
                 1/4 cup  brown sugar
                 2 Tbsp.  Worcestershire sauce
                 2  Tbsp.  prepared yellow mustard
                 1  Tbsp.  onion flakes

This fun little recipe is a favorite with my kids and husband, and me as well because it is so easy to make.  The sandwiches are warm and gooey, and absolutely perfect for a winter meal.  So dear readers if you are looking for a good cookbook that has easy directions and delicious treats like this recipe here please read A Farmer's Daughter.

*This book was given to me via Revell a division of Baker Publishing Group in hopes of my honest opinion and I honestly gave it :)
“Available October 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

1 Peter 4:10
 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace:

Have you ever stopped to think what your gift is?  God has given each of us a gift in His varied grace to be good stewards and to serve one another.  Stop and think what the gift you have received, and if you are using it to the full extent.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Promise to Love

Hello World,
Some mornings (such as this) is full of one crazy happening after another.  I'm sure it doesn't help that the kids woke up early, thus making me wake up early.  Or having two slightly crabby daughters.  So dear readers if you're reading this today say a prayer to your ever faithful Jesus Book Girl blogger I could use it :)

A Promise to Love by Serena B. Miller is the tale of Ingrid Larsen and Joshua Hunter.  Ingrid has ventured to America to find her brother who seems to have disappeared.  Joshua is a cherry farmer recovering from the death of his wife and the after effects of the Civil War.  These two are thrown together when Ingrid asks Joshua marry her to rescue his five beautiful children.  If Joshua doesn't marry Ingrid he loses his children after recently losing his beloved wife.  Will Joshua be able to marry Ingrid and if he does will he be able to find it in his heart to love once more?

I can't tell you enough about how incredible this book is.  The characters were so real, and the historical aspect spot on.  Not only that but the biblical truth that was immersed in the story even affected my walk and drew me closer Christ.  Books like A Promise to Love is very rare for me.  When an author can write a beautiful romance, but also entwine a message of biblical truth to the reader, it's only done by a masterful writer.  This book is a book that I've been reading over and over again.  So dear readers if you like a good historical romance with a great message please read A Promise to Love!

*This book was given to me via Revell a division of Baker Publishing Group in hopes of my honest opinion and I honestly gave it
“Available October 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Colossians 3:23
Work hard and cheerfully at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.

I'll admit I am not a great stay at home mom.  Seriously, I would rather be sitting down and eating chocolate than cleaning.  I love being a mom, but the mundane things like picking up, cleaning, folding, or sweeping is really hard for me and trust me dear readers there is no way I do it cheerfully.  Then while I was reading A Promise to Love Ingrid said something that hit me
        Pg. 155
            "From now on, she wouldn't just be diapering Bertie, or scrubbing clothes, or washing sticky little hands and faces-- she would be serving the Lord.  Every meal she cooked, every bucket of water she lugged from the well-- all of it would be in service to the Lord.  Everything she did in caring for these precious children, this fragile mother, this damaged man-- would be, in her heart, a sacrifice of love to Christ."

Oh how that paragraph went to my heart, and I felt the Holy Spirit nudge me and say "Do you do that with your cleaning?"  I had to admit to myself no I don't!  So from that moment on I decided that every little mundane act that I do during for the day will be done cheerfully, as though I'm working for the Lord rather than for people.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Circle Series

Hello World,
Today we are celebrating a very important day :)  The day of my husband's birth.  Yes sir Bob, my Todd is 38.  I am so blessed to have him share this amazing adventure called life.  He has made every low slightly better, every joke funnier, and just in general a fun guy to be around.  So for today we are doing something a little different with the blog.  I asked my dear sweet husband what his all time favorite book was (other then the Bible :)  And he said "By far Ted Dekker's the Circle Series".  So this blog is for you Babe :)

The Circle Series is the story of Thomas Hunter.  Thomas lives a fairly normal life until he takes a pretty big blow to his head.  Then all of a sudden he wakes up immersed in a completely different world.  What Thomas doesn't realize is how integral he will be to both worlds.  The worlds will be either saved or destroyed by his choices.

What proceeds is an intense science fiction to make any man or woman look at life a little differently.  What I appreciated about this book is the way Mr. Dekker creatively wrote a different world.  It was life like to me as I read it, the characters were not foreign, or disengaged.  I loved how he made each one real and could actually exist in a parallel world.  This book is really only appropriate for adults, it's intense, violent, and graphic.  Luckily, he wrote a circle series for children too :)  So dear readers if you're looking for a great science-fiction please read Ted Dekker's Circle Series.

Isaiah 6:8
And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”

This is Todd's favorite verse :)  Something that Todd has, is an intense urgency and love for people.  He truly wants everyone to know the love and saving grace that God offers us through the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  His burden is great and it truly is a part of him.  So when he read this verse a couple of years back it resonated with him.  I pray that this verse moves you too!  Is the Lord calling you to do something?  Whom shall the Lord send and who will go?  Will you be willing to say... Here am I! Send me.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Twice Promised

Hello World,
It is a beautiful fall day here in Amarillo and because of the cooler weather we've been having, we've been enjoying the changing colors.  The air is crisp and the sun bright you can't ignore these fun days.  Are you enjoying the fall?  Are you doing anything fun this week?

Twice Promised is the story of Greta.  Maggie Brendan brings the time old tale of a mail order bride alive with her story.  As Greta get's off the train in hopes to meet her groom she comes in contact with another mail order bride named Cora.  As the story comes out it was Jess's brother Zach who wrote to these two ladies in hopes that Jess will choose one of them.  What they didn't plan on was Jess saying his brother Zach had to court one of them.  How will Zach and Jess choose between these two expectant brides?

I love good wholesome romances.  This book in general made me just sit back, relax, and enjoy a cool winter night snuggled in my bed reading.  I loved how Ms. Brendan wrote the story with God's grace, forgiveness, and love in it.  I truly appreciated that these characters walked daily with our Lord and Savior.  Also, like a frosting on a good cake I got to enjoy seeing how Jess and Zach handled their feelings for two incredibly godly women.  Don't miss reading this fun book dear readers, and while you're reading it be sure to snuggle down into soft blankets, and a good cup of cocoa in hand :)

This book was given to me via Revell a division of Baker Publishing Group in hopes of my honest opinion and I honestly gave it :)
“Available October 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Titus 3:4
But then God our Savior showed us his kindness and love.

On days like this where I'm constantly going, cleaning, reffing (yes I call being a parent reffing sometimes :) and talking to a carpenter about our floor that had been water damaged I need to breathe and remember this verse.  You see my day can get full, and I can feel this overwhelming sense of urgency to do good and to please.  Dear readers if you're like me take a moment to fully digest this verse.  Stop whatever you are doing and remember who shows us love and kindness.  Yes, that would be God our Savior.  Thank you Jesus for this simply good verse.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

What Your Husband Isn't Telling You

Hello World,
We have had an awesome week!  I had the privilege of having my parents here.  Not only were we incredibly spoiled but the time was meaningful and truly fun.  I feel fortunate to say that I have a great relationship with both my parents and we always have great conversation.  It's great to stay up when the kids go to bed and discuss issues and listen to their years of experience and wisdom.  Our time together seems to fly by and then we're dropping them off at the airport.  As my daughter Kylar says "I don't need you to leave right now".  Those words could not be any truer.  Do you have great parents?  If you do, what qualities do you appreciate in them?

What Your Husband Isn't Telling You by David Murrow is one of those blunt in your face books.  Last week I discussed a book regarding your teen children, and I highly encouraged parents to read it.  This week I'm addressing wives and mother's with sons to seriously pick this book up.  What this book talks about is the inner thinking process of man, but not only that.  It's the facts of what has happened to him in recent years, how his mind functions, why his mind functions the way it does, and how we as wives can promote a healthy relationship with him.

As I'm typing I'm trying to get you to understand the importance of this book.  This book isn't pretty, it isn't written to appease women.  Sometimes we women will put grace into truth.  I'm not saying that's bad, it's how we're made and it balances man.  This book is the ugly truth, and the realization of that made me stop and think how I can pray for my husband and son differently?  This world is set up to make them fail in numerous places.  We as wives and mom's can be buffers in a world that means to drag them down.  The reason why I am saying mom's too is because your son will be growing up in this world, they will deal with the same issues your husband does.  Wouldn't it be prudent to start praying for him now?  That's why dear readers, I am highly encouraging you to read this book!  Go ahead buy it now, don't hesitate :)

*This book was given to me via netgalley in hopes of my honest opinion and I honestly gave it.

Matthew 6:25
Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on.  Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?

I would say you have three great needs in life one food, two clothing, and three shelter.  We strive in life to fulfill these three things and to fulfill them to capacity.  Sometimes they can bring us down, we can have sleepless nights thinking where can we get these three things, and sometimes we have put ourselves into binds with wanting instead of needing.  Here we have an amazing Father telling us to not worry, that there is much more then life then these needs.  Truthfully, we have a Father who would provide these needs for us, and wants the best for us.  With that in mind our focus can then be taken away from the basics and drawn to what our Father has for our life and His purpose for it.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

When A Heart Stops

Hello World,
We are getting small projects done at my house today.  Fixing an electrical socket, removing carpet, installing laminate wood flooring, and looking at painting my kitchen.  I love these things and the weather has turned colder, so now it's time to look at our sweet little home.  Are you doing any home repairs?

When a Heart Stops by Lynette Eason is a suspense mystery romance novel (uftah what a sentence).  Serena Hopkins is a medical examiner who has helped the FBI in the past with unsolved crimes.  Now she has been called for her expertise once more to help solve a series of murders.  What looks to be a copycat has turned for the worse when former classmates of Serena's are showing up dead with a doll look a like next to them.  Along with the help of her childhood crush now FBI agent Dominic Allen, Serena has to find the killer before it's too late.

Hold on to your toes dear readers, this is a great suspense book.  I literally was on the edge reading it because it was that good.  Not only will you be reading Serena's point of view, but numerous others, one of them being the killer.  That for me is what made the book.  Seeing all the points of view and wondering who really is killing these people made me want to stay up late and finish it.  So dear readers if you want a book to make you screech from the suspense please read Ms. Eason's When a Heart Stops.
*This book was given to me via Revell a division of Baker Publishing Group in hopes of my honest opinion and I honestly gave it.
“Available October 2012  at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Philippians 4:13
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

What a beautiful thing.  Have you ever stopped to really think about this verse?  I can do all things. What does that mean to you?  For me, it means that anything I put my mind to I can do it no matter how big the challenge may look, as long as I have Christ who strengthens me, I truly can do all things!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Tough Guys and Drama Queens by Mark Gregston

Hello World,
Today has been a great day.  Sometimes you just have days where you can look back at it and be grateful for what God gave you in the people you spent time with.  Have you done anything fun today?  How are you doing today?  Seriously, are you having a good day?  I would love to hear how you're doing and be able to pray for you if you ever need me too.  If you do have a prayer request please feel free to leave it under the comments.

Tough Guys and Drama Queens by Mark Gregston is a book for parents with teenagers.  This book talks about the challenges for today's teenager.  Mr. Gregston goes in depth about what they are feeling, what they are dealing with, how to handle certain situations, and how to parent the way  God would want you to.  Not only will you read about the facts, but you'll read about real life situations with teens and parents.

I can't recommend this book enough.  We live in an incredibly sexual, violent, and scary world.  Not only are our children being exposed to things that we as adults have probably never had to handle, but they're being exposed to it at an extremely young age.  Mr. Gregston does a great job at fully writing a picture of what our children have to go through and how we as parents can not only handle it, but grow closer to our children during it.  This book is complete in how to handle situations and gives questions to help get your child talking.  Parents please read this book, this is a book that I plan on reading and re-reading over and over again.

*This book was given to me via Booksneeze in hopes of my honest opinion and I honestly gave it.

Isaiah 40:22
It is God who sits above the circle of the earth.  The people below must seem to him like grasshoppers!  He is the one who spreads out the heavens like a curtain and makes his tent from them.

What a mighty thing, too many times I lose my perspective of our Father.   These words pain an incredible picture for me and reminds me that  The Almighty God should be revered.  Revered means to show devoted deferential honor to: regard as worthy of great honor.  I know God loves me, but sometimes I don't show devoted deferential honor, I forget His mighty power.  Father may I never forget that you sit above the circle of the earth.  That we the people below seem like grasshoppers.  You are the one who spreads out the heavens like a curtain and makes Your tent from them.  Thank you for you greatness, and your mercy.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Life with Lily

Hello World!
Yesterday it hit me that this would be the last year of pj's all day long, or sleeping in on a weekday.  Kylar will be going to school next year, and with that is added responsibility of waking up early, getting ready on time, and leaving the house.  These days are numbered and it made me grateful for them all the more.  Are you thankful for anything?

Life with Lily by Mary Ann Kinsinger and Suzanne Woods Fisher is a book about a little Amish girl.  Lily lives in Upstate New York with her mom, dad, and two brothers.  Her life is full of adventures and learning experiences.   With her responsibility to her family, learning at school, and growing up Lily is a very busy girl.

This book would be excellent for you to read to your sweet little girl, or maybe even have her read it herself.  The lessons that your little one will learn from reading about Lily is Biblical, and wise.  I also appreciated how Ms. Kinsinger and Ms. Woods Fisher wrote about Amish life.  So dear readers if you have a little girl in your life that would like to learn life lessons and have a few laughs to boot you should read the book Life with Lily to her.

*This book was given to me via Revell a division of Baker Publishing Group for my honest opinion and I honestly did.
“Available October 2012  at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Psalm 20:4
May He grant you according to your heart's desire, and fulfill all your purpose.

Sometimes I forget that God wants the best for me.  That He truly desires a life blessed, and complete.  So when I'm feeling down in the dumps or mopey I look to this verse to remind me that God wants to grant me my heart's desire, and to have a fulfilled purpose in life.  Don't you forget that either dear readers.

Monday, October 1, 2012

A Love Surrendered

Hello World,
We are very fortunate today to have Todd with us.  My amazing husband :)  The kids love having him here too.  Now Todd and I are sitting together enjoying the quiet of nap time and each other.  I know I have things to do, groceries to get, but right now I'm loving this sweet moment.

A Love Surrendered by Julie Lessman is the story of Annie Kennedy.  Annie has just recently moved to Boston after the death of both her parents.  Feeling alone and abandoned by God she throws her cares away wanting to live the free and easy life.  Steven O'Conner doesn't want sweet innocent Annie to be taken in by speakeasies, or wild friends.  Taking on the protective brother coat he wants to make sure Annie doesn't get in too deep.  Will he be able to stop her from making an unwise choice?

This book is full of high drama, romance, and emotions.  I know Ms. Lessman is extremely popular and her books always makes me curious as to what happens next.  A few of the scenes are quite steamy, and there were some moments in the book where I felt weren't scriptural.  For instance Annie had been sneaking out of her Aunt's house to go to a dance hall.  Feeling convicted she approached a spiritual mentor to ask her if she should come clean to her Aunt.  Here let me quote what follows.

Pg 158
              "Good for your soul, maybe, but not Aunt Eleanor's.  Yes, honesty is crucial in
               our walk with God, for sure, but the Bible tells us that although some things
               are lawful, not all are profitable or edify.  It's the rule of love God is so partial
               to -- let no one seek his own, it says, but that of the other.  Which means,"
               Faith said with a pointed look, "we have to weigh every word out of our mouth.
               Although what we want to say may be the truth, if it doesn't lift the person up
               encourage, or set free, more than likely we need to keep it between God and

This excerpt is Biblical up until the last sentence.  Everything Ms. Lessman says is true, and I agree that we need to lift people up, but what I don't agree with is when we should keep things from someone we lied to. I sought help from one of my pastor's at church because I wanted to make sure I wasn't taking verses out of context.  He discussed how not only is confession good so you can be healed, but also it allows forgiveness.  When you don't tell the person you've been lying to about the lie it doesn't allow healing for either of you.  When you lie it causes sin and unfortunately no matter what it's going to hurt people, but that's what sin does.  Sin is painful, but when you hide something it stops accountability and it stops you from having a closer relationship with them.  So that's why James 5:16 is written.  A person who doesn't confess sins (such as lying) will never be fully healed and can be tempted to do the same thing again.  The Bible doesn't tell us to hide the truth, because it will be more damaging then good.  With that being said, Ms. Lessman made a great fictional book full of memorable characters and lively conversation.  A book that you will read quickly.

If you're interested in knowing more about what the Bible says about lying, my church (Hillside Christian Church) just did a great series on it.  Here is the link (HillsideMessages)  click on the Camouflage picture :)

This book was given to me via Revel, a division of Baker Publishing Group for my honest opinion and I honestly gave it.
“Available October 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

James 5:16
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.  The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results.

How important it is to handle our sins in such a matter.  :)  Don't ever forget what confessing your sins to others can do for your soul.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

You Are What You Wear

Hello World,
What a rainy day it has been.  I had the great privilege to be able to play with my church's worship team tonight and tomorrow as well.  It's always fun to play well arranged pieces with a band and great singers, but then to add worshiping our amazing Father in heaven, well words can't describe it :)  Are you doing anything fun this weekend?

You Are What You Wear by Dr. Jennifer Baumgartner is a book about clothes and what certain clothes reveal about you.  I was drawn in (as usual) by the cover.  It's an interesting cover and it made me think about my years of trying to  be comfortable in what I wear.  Our author known as  Dr. B is a wardrobe consultant, but also has a doctoral degree in psychology.  She looks in to her patients wardrobe to really see what is going on with their life and style.

I would like to preface these next few statements with, this is not a Christian book.  I know that generally speaking I don't review books that aren't Christian, but this is just a book that I needed right now.  I've struggled with style for a good portion of my life, so I really wanted to read what a doctor would say about it.  This book was refreshing, and honest and really dealt with a multitude of problems us gals can have mental as well as physical.  Not only is it honest, but it's eloquent.  This book made me look at myself and my wardrobe and really see what I like about my style, and what I can potentially get rid of.  So dear readers, if you're feeling frumpy, or in a rut over what to wear please get the book You Are What You Wear.

2 Timothy 1:7-8
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.  So you must never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord.  And don't be ashamed of me, either, even though I'm in prison for Christ.  With the strength God gives you, be ready to suffer with me for the proclamation of the Good News.  

Sometimes I'm timid, and I fear the repercussions of inviting someone to church.  Why?  I seriously have no clue.  I have never felt any physical punishment from me inviting someone, maybe an odd stare but that's it.  So when I read this verse I feel convicted and a very real reminder of what God has given me.  I have been given a spirit of power, love and self-discipline.  Why should I be ashamed to tell others about God or invite them to a place that worships him fully.  What a relief, what an immense feeling to have that burden off my shoulders.