Saturday, June 30, 2012

Introducing the Old Testament

Hello World,
A lot has happened since I last talked to you!  One big thing is that our Liv Shelby has finally decided that sometimes (not all the time) it's easier to walk then crawl.  We're super excited to see our baby girl make such a milestone in her little life.  We also just recently purchased a car, well a Honda Element for that matter.  We have been praying several months for God to provide us with a reliable and inexpensive car for Todd to use.  With Kylar going to preschool next year, and our kids starting to do activities we felt we needed a 2nd car.  God really is good and is always a great provider, we found the Honda at Toyata Street in Amarillo, it was on the lot for over 5 months so they finally priced it below market value.  In our research there were great reviews of the car and $4,000 below Kelly's Blue Book!  What a great deal, I love when God does really cool things like that :-)  Has God answered a prayer for you?  I would love to hear about it.

Introducing the Old Testament is a great guide for what it says introducing the Old Testament :-)  This book is for the reader who desires to understand a synopsis of the books, authorship/date of the books, Genre/style of the books, and Connections to the New Testament.  Oh and Mr. Longman dwells into some theological history too.

First off I am not a Bible Scholar,  I simply am a person who desires to draw closer to God on a daily basis. This being said a Pastor friend of mine told me and I quote " Tremper is wicked smart".  I have to agree with him, the book is extensive without being overwhelming.  It was perfect for me because it didn't use language that was above me, but talking to several Pastor's they wanted to read this book too.  It's the perfect combination of knowledge and wisdom.  Sometimes an author can be full of knowledge, but lack the wisdom to use it appropriately, this is not the truth for Mr. Longman.  So dear readers if you read your Bible (which you should every day :) this would be a great add to your library.
*This book was given to me via netgalley for my honest opinion and I honestly gave it.
James 1:5
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

I'm young, and I have made some really poor choices, but when I read this verse I hope.  All I have to do is ask, and without any reproach God will generously give it to me.  What a delight to know that when I'm not sure about a topic all I have to do is ask and the Lord provides, every. single. time.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Hunter's Prize

Hello World,
One of the things I find truly amazing about living in Amarillo is the fact that we have to water our grass!  I thought maybe it would be fine not to water it.  Unfortunately, just recently I found out that if you don't water your grass the ground can get so dry that it cracks and can cause problems with your foundation.  So every day around 9:00 my grass gets watered :-)  Do you have a regular morning routine?

Hunter's Prize is a multifaceted story, it brings together characters that are so different you would have never imagined the connection.  It is almost like in a crazy quilt, the patches of cloth is brilliantly sewn together to create beauty.  This story brings together Ceddy a boy who just recently lost his parents, Addie a young woman wanting to fly from her parents nest, Pearson a man daunted by a terrible accident, and Priscilla a wry woman with a quick wit.  Like that crazy quilt you would have never imagined the characters together until they were so beautifully written in this book.

I will admit when I first started reading the book I went to the back of the cover several times to see if this was actually the book I was supposed to be reviewing.  The beginning for me was a bit confusing because I was expecting to first see Addie the main character, when I didn't I was slightly confused by that.  After the first couple of pages though, the book took it's hold on me and I couldn't put it down.  Marcia Gruver does a  great job at describing the Autistic Spectrum Disorder in Ceddy the little boy, and I really did appreciate the care and sensitivity in how she wrote.  Addie and Pearson's relationship was fun to see and I thought it was fun to see Pearson's perseverance.  So dear readers if you're looking for a romance/mystery/faith filled book Hunter's Prize is for you.
*This book was given to me via netgalley for my honest opinion and I honestly gave it

Acts 2:44-47
All the believers were together and had everything in common.  Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.  And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people.  And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

Todd and I went to a Bible Study called 2:44 it was in essence this verse. " Where they were together, had everything in common."  We would meet every Sunday night to eat dinner, but then we would dive into a chapter of the Bible and dissect it, discuss it, and apply it.  Not only did we meet on Sundays but we made a commitment to meet on weekdays, or help one another out with moving, or fix a car that was broken (that happened to me) for free.  We lived our lives together, supporting each other, praying for each other, and keeping each other accountable.  Is your church like this?  Do you have a group of believers where you can essentially live the Acts 2:44-47 verses?  If you do, isn't it a sweet feeling, if you don't, start one, you won't be  disappointed!

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Director's Cut

Hello World!
What a busy day I have a lot to do today.  And very random, but I seriously just saw a squirrel fall off of a tree in front of my window lol.  I probably should check and see if the little thing is ok, but I'm laughing to hard.  Oh boy that totally made my day.  Now because this little episode has changed my entire introduction paragraph, I want to ask if there has been anything lately that's made you laugh?

The Director's Cut by Janice Thompson sets the reader in the great shining city of Hollywood.  Where you'll see actors as you walk by, and be introduced to the inner workings of television.  Tia Morales is a woman to be reckoned with, a tough director who likes her world to be organized.  Unfortunately her life isn't as peachy outside of her job as she would like it.  With her family needing her, a house to flip, and a stress level too high what is a girl like her to do?

This book was a hoot to read.  Seriously, it was great.  I found myself cheering this girl on as she  walked in her faith and daily tried to be a Christian in a very secular world of television.  Not only was this book fun to read, but I actually found myself wanting to read the previous two books in the series.  Never has that happened before!  So Ms. Thompson if you're reading this please contact me via my blog I would love to review your other two books in this series :-)  Now dear readers, if you want a book to make you laugh, grow a little closer in your walk with God, and see the inner workings of a television series you should read Director's Cut.
*This book was given to me via Revell a division of Baker Publishing Group for my honest opinion and I honestly gave it.  Also it is “Available June  2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Ecclesiastes 1:2
"Everything is meaningless," says the Teacher, "Utterly meaningless!"

I don't know if I told you but a few months back I felt convicted to read the Old Testament or as Pastor Tommy says the First Testament (a discussion to be had in a later time).  I read today the first chapter of Ecclesiastes, and what a sad thing for King Solomon to say, but I understand why he's saying it.  Without God and the blood of Christ (his death and resurrection for our sins) our life would be meaningless.  We would be forever separated from the one God who loves us fully and completely.  Yes that would lead to everything being meaningless, utterly meaningless.  Thank you Jesus Christ for taking my sins, thank you for loving me.  My gratitude will be forever, my praise for you is too small.  Thank you.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Mary Magdalene

Hello World!!!
How is everyone doing today?  About four years ago Todd and I moved from our town of Oshkosh Wisconsin to the very beautiful city of Amarillo, Texas.  We haven't regretted our move, the people in Amarillo are amazing, and their zest for life is refreshing.  But there are family and friends that we left who will always have a place in our heart.  That's why it's always nice to go home and visit our dear family and friends.  We truly are blessed by the places God has put us in.  How about you?  Do you like where you are living?

Mary Magdalene is the fictional book about a very well known character in the Bible.  We see her prominently in the gospels, but we truly don't know her history or what led her to her interactions with Jesus.  Here, Diana Wallis Taylor takes the reader on a historical journey.  A journey where we dwell deeper into the heart of Mary Magdalene.  Her story crosses paths with memorable characters, and people I have known from reading the Bible.

I will admit, I'm always leery of books that use Biblical characters.  The author has to be extremely good at blending historical facts with fiction, and very few can do that.  Here in Mary Magdalene we have an author who has done an exceptional job at that.  It was a relief to be able to read a book that didn't use historical characters in a completely fictional way.  Diana Wallis Taylor was just amazing at telling the story and not crossing the line (I hope you understand what I mean).  If you are a fan of Biblical characters you will indeed find a treasure with this book.
* I received this book via Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group for my honest opinion and I honestly gave it.  It is also Available June 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”
 1 Chronicles 16:31
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice: and let men say among the nations, The Lord reigneth.

I'm literally on the last day of my vacation, I feel completely rested and relaxed as I sit here at my dear sweet friend's kitchen counter typing this verse.  When I think of the heavens I always look up.  Up to the beautiful clouds, up to the breath taking sunset, and up to the moon and the stars.  When I think of the earth rejoicing, I remember my brother reading a science article where they literally found out that the sun plays melodic cords, oh what an amazing thing to be able to hear that!  So even if man does not say it among the nations the earth and the sun will,  THE LORD REIGNS!!!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

On Vacation

Hello World,
I am taking a break this Wednesday to vacation with my family :-)  I hope you don't mind waiting until Friday to hear about an awesome book.  Truly a sweet story.  Ok I am off now and going to be enjoying life in general.

Oh I wanted to mention Congrats to Timothy Hammond for commenting on last weeks blog review.  Timothy please e-mail me ( your home address for your choice of a fiction or non-fiction book from me :-)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Visions of the Coming Days

Hello World,
I just love family.  Truly it is such a blessing to have an awesome husband, children, and extended family as well.  Right now as I am typing, my husband is seeing to my oldest who is (very dramatically I might add) thirsty.  He is such a servant leader for our family, and I greatly appreciate it.  What kind of amazing qualities does your husband/wife have, and if you're not married what are the qualities that you're looking for?

First and foremost I would like to thank you for your patience with this book.  Last week as I was reading the book I realized that I took too much of a big bite with reviewing this book.  My lack of knowledge on this topic concerned me, and I felt inadequate in giving it a fair review.  With much counsel and prayer, I contacted a well known person on Biblical Prophecy.  His name is Dr. David Reagan.  I e-mailed him and just today he got back to me.  With my research as well as his guidance I came to the following conclusion that I will soon tell you :-) Thank you so much again, and because of your patience I want to reward it with something.  So if you comment on this review I will put your name in a raffle and choose one name from it. You will be given one of my fiction books that I will be reviewing this coming Wednesday.

With Dr. Reagan's guidance and wisdom from his e-mail, as well as my research; I have come to the conclusion that we need to tread very carefully in prophesy and at all times use the Bible as our jump off board.  Well... actually in everything we should use the Bible as our highest standard.  Unfortunately, I can not promote this book or encourage others to read this book.  Though there are some good values in this book I highly recommend that you just read your Bible if you are looking for things on the end times.  If you are interested in prophesy go ahead and start reading Daniel, Isaiah, or Revelation.  This I feel would be best to start off and then there are many comprehensive studies from authors like Kay Arthur, Dr. David Reagan, or Beth Moore.  These people I highly recommend because they use the Bible entirely with their studies.  Ok I know that this was a long winded review, so thank you again for your patience, and I would also like to thank Dr. David Reagan for personally getting back to me via e-mail.
*This book was given to me via Chosen books for my honest opinion and I honestly gave it.

Isaiah 53:5
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.

WOW,  please read this slowly and remember why Christ died for our sins and what a gift it truly was for those who accept it. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Waiting for Sunrise

Hello World,
Today I woke up and it just felt like it was going to be a good day.  It had stormed the night before leaving a clean fresh smell to the air.  I walked outside barefoot to look at my garden, which I might add is not dying!  This would be the first time since we moved to Texas that my garden isn't dead within the first two weeks of me planting it.  Thanks to our dear pastor who came over to help me with it and tell me how to keep it alive. We truly are blessed by our church and the people in it.  Are you growing a garden?  How are you fairing if you are growing one?

Waiting for Sunrise is one of those books that will effect you.  You will not leave this book without being changed.  Patsy Milstrap is a woman in her late thirties with an amazing husband, and beautiful children, but she can't seem to stop herself from feeling lost and afraid.  This is her story, but just as much as her families story.

Eva Marie Everson can write.  This book is beautiful and poignant and will make you definitely contemplate life's choices.  It had me really thinking about how one person's sin can affect a whole lot of people. It also made me see how important God is for healing.  I don't think anyone can be fully healed of a past unless they have the knowledge of Christ's sacrifice, forgiveness, and full love for them.  On a side note, parents please read this book first before you decide to let your young one read it .  Unfortunately, there are things in it that deal with adultery, lust, and abuse.  I hope you read Waiting for Sunrise, it will allow you to see God's amazing grace in a time where it doesn't look like there should be hope.
*This book was given to me by Revell a division of Baker Publishing Group for my honest opinion, and I honestly gave it. 
“Available June 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Joshua 1:9 NASB
I command you - be strong and courageous!  Do not be afraid or discouraged.  For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

I remember when I turned 16 and I walked into the garage after school one day.  There right before my eyes was this cute little black car with a bow on it :-)  It was pure excitement and glee.  Right there in the front was a key and a verse attached to it.  It was this verse Joshua 1:9.  My parents were so great in putting that verse and it's been on my heart.  It's a command to be strong and courageous.  I don't need to be afraid or discouraged.  For God, my God who loves me even more so then my parents ever could is with me wherever I go.  Don't forget that dear readers that He is with you, wherever you go!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Visions of the Coming Days

Hello World,
I wanted to get something out to you today, but it is with an honest heart that I approach this review.  Visions of the Coming Days is a book about "biblically grounded prophetic visions" (taken from the back of the cover).    When I chose to review this book, I thought it was slightly lighter, unfortunately it broached topics that I am not knowledgeable on, and I have no real educational background on this topic.  Because of this I am in the process of contacting Dr. David Reagan a well known theologian and  teacher.  I'm hoping he will help me validate the author's facts and to ease my heart that the author is a sound and biblical prophet.  Here is a small summary about him taken from the Lamb and the Lion Ministries.

"Dave is a life-long Bible student, teacher, and preacher. He entered the full time ministry in 1976 when he was called to serve as the pulpit minister for a church in Irving, Texas. His ordination as a Christian minister has been formally recognized by three different Christian groups."

I hope you understand that I can not give an honest review right at this moment and bear with me until next Saturday when I have more information on the matter.  If you are a pastor reading this please feel free to comment.  I would love to hear your facts on modern day prophets and I would really appreciate your Biblical experience.  Thank you again for your patience.

Isaiah 40:31
Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.
I just love this verse.  Of course it's asking for patience (I'm slightly giggling right now, with what I just asked you dear readers to do with me for my review), but here it's saying why we should wait for the Lord.  We will gain strength, we'll be on the wings of eagles, we'll run and not get tired!  We will walk and not become weary, oh what a beautiful thing God promises us if we just have a little bit of patience on His perfect timing.  

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Hello World,
This week has been inundated with crazy busy errands!  Can I just tell you that if you live in Amarillo, TX and need cabinet work done contact Chris Reed.  He does a phenomenal job, and will give you a fair price.  Don't and I mean DON'T go to Lowes or Home Depot to get cabinets, you'll pay more and you won't support a local business, and if you remember from my review of Year of Plenty (click here for the review) it's always good to support locally owned businesses. So go ahead and google Chris Reed of Amarillo, TX you won't regreat it..

Now on to Lily,
Lily is the eldest daughter who finds herself in a situation where she needs to provide for her youngest siblings.  Not wanting to marry because of convenience she purchases half of a steamboat.  Unfortunately, at the time she thinks that she purchased the full ownership of the steamboat.  In walks in Blake, a man with a serious gambling problem and desperately needing revenue.  What entails is an adventure full of suspense, romance, and fun.

I hate giving poor reviews when it isn't the authors fault...  I really wanted to like this book, but the editing was so bad that I literally had to re-read certain sentences to understand them.  It kind of dampens the reading spirit when you're forced to stop mid-imagination to re-read a sentence :-(  Upon seeing that this wasn't getting better I contacted the publishers.  They were very quick to respond, and I appreciated that, but they were unable to help me obtain a newer edited version.  I hope you understand dear readers that this was not the fault of the author, and this book could be really good.  I just can't say that it is because of all the editing problems.
*This e-book was given to me via netgalley in hopes of my honest opinion and I honestly gave it.

Hebrews 6:1 ESV
Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God.

Woowee, these are heedy words.  Words that ask me to stop being immature in my faith, and to already have a foundation in repentance and faith.  To go on with my relationship with God and to grow in Him.  I pray that I'm doing that, are you doing that?

Saturday, June 2, 2012


Hello World!
Well today has been a busy day.  We first did a walk to fight cancer, then I did a wrap party, and then we had to go shopping for a new wall oven, because ours stopped working last night :-(  It has been a day without any of our regular routine and I can tell we're suffering it.  The kids missed their nap because of all the busyness, and our now pretty grumpy.  Hopefully ( I really am hoping)  they'll nap now and won't be so cranky for the rest of the afternoon.  What do you do on Saturdays?

Moonblood, is a science fiction/fantasy book.  It is the journey to find a friend who had been banished from her kingdom, a journey to conquer the deep seeded evil in the land, and a journey to find ones true self.  Booklist has described this series to be like C.S. Lewis' Narnia series, and I tend to agree with them.  There are many mythical creatures that you'll come across, and the world alone is different then earth, but who would read a sci-fi if it was on the planet earth?  Honestly, I don't think anyone :-)

Anne Elisabeth Stengl does a superb job of describing this new and foreign world to the readers, and is extremely eloquent in her writing.  I did however, kind of feel like I was in a row boat without a paddle.  With out reading the previous books, I found myself confused at points where it referenced past stories.  I would not recommend this book to anyone who isn't already fully invested in the series.  Like the t.v. series Arrested Development you will only make yourself frustrated if you start reading this book without reading the prior books.  So if you have already read the previous books in the series or would like to start a new series I highly recommend the Tales of Goldstone Wood, dear readers.
*I received this book via Bethany House (a division of Baker Publishing Group) in hopes of my honest review and I honestly did

Ephesian 4:31-21
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Have you ever just had a bad day?  When I don't get sleep or I don't eat, watch out world you're going to hear from me and it's not going to be pretty.  Here this verse is reminding me to let all my bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander to be put away, not only that but malice too.  Sometimes I need to take a breath when I feel myself getting into dangerous emotions like these I need to remember this verse, and to be kind, tenderhearted, forgiving, and always as God in Christ forgave me.