Friday, August 31, 2012
Today has been a great day, I got to enjoy the love of my life, my kids, and a good book. Oh! and I finished laundry, cleaned the floors, and made sure the kitchen was picked up. My mom would be proud of me :) Well dear readers I have a huge favor to ask you. If you are a regular reader can you please start following me. I would like to join booksneeze but unfortunately I am 17 followers short. Booksneeze is a website that publishers go to post books, bloggers like myself can request said book, and then have it sent in the mail. The only requirement that I do not have is the followers... So please, please (can I say please again) please :) follow me, and then I can read more fun and cool books thus allowing you the opportunity to hear about them. Thank you ever so much ahead of time. You dear readers are greatly appreciated, and believe it or not I do pray for you on a weekly basis.
Beyond All Measure by Dorothy Love is a fantastic historical romance. Ada Wentworth is down on her luck. The poor girl is forced to auction off everything she's owned after her Father's death to pay off his debt. Without any money or place to live she sets off to the Hickory Ridge, Tennessee. A small town that really hasn't been affected by the recent Civil War. Here Ada finds herself watching over the ornery Lillian Willis, who can do just fine with out her, or can she? With feelings of anger towards Yankees, a owner who is smitten, and a business to start Ms. Ada Wentworth has her hands full.
This book was a surprise to me. I love the cover, it's simply breathtaking with Ada herself gazing off into the distance and the train that brought her to Hickory Ridge in the back. Not only was the cover beautiful but the story itself was truly heartfelt. You will find yourself in the midst of a very hard time politically, emotionally, and physically. Many people were affected by the Civil War, and whether their anger is warranted it most certainly was understood. While reading I found myself uncovering the many layers of the tale and really appreciating how Ms. Love took the time to write such a meaningful and tenderhearted piece. You will see Christians struggling with anger, and doubt, and you will see people who aren't Christians struggle with the same thing. What I found interesting is how each group handled it. So dear readers, if you want a story that has many layers and tenderhearted please read Beyond All Measure by Dorothy Love.
No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.”
When I'm struggling I cling to this verse. I say it in my mind over and over and over until it finally clicks that I can give glory to God, my faith can grow strong during this time of hardship. And I should be fully convinced that God is able to do what he promises. In doing so hopefully my faith will be counted as righteousness. What a beautiful thing, what a beautiful promise.
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
It has been on crazy day! The morning was good, too good. Maybe that was the problem, I was able to sit on the couch with a cup of coffee, and not be interrupted for more then five minutes. I should have known that that would be my last second of tranquility. Now it is all quiet once again, the kiddos are down for a nap, and I am typing this fun blog :)
The Homeschool Experiment by Charity Hawkins is a novel. Our leading lady Julianne Miller feels God wanting her to homeschool her kids. How does that work when you have a newborn, toddler, and first grader? Find out how she maneuvers the world of homeschool, and enjoy a glimpse of what could happen.
I was perusing Mardel's and picking out curriculum for our sweet Kylar's first year of homeschool when my eyes landed on this book. As I was looking at it, Drew was pulling books off the shelf, Kylar was laying on the ground, and Liv had started to cry. The picture pulled me in, because by golly that was me! I didn't even look at the back of the cover, just the title and the picture. I bought it with the sheer desire to read how this mom survived homeschooling. Needless to say I'm glad I got it, and I hope you dear readers read this zany funny book called The Homeschool Experiment.
In that day the Lord will make himself known to the Egyptians. Yes, they will know the Lord and will give their sacrifices and offerings to Him. They will make promises to the Lord and keep them. The Lord will strike Egypt in a way that will bring healing. For the Egyptians will turn to the Lord, and He will listen to their pleas and heal them.
I don't know if you've heard of the great violence that has been happening in Egypt. This time for these people is very hard and scary. In the midst of violence there is a city of garbage and an incredible church where Egyptians come to worship God. When I read this verse I am reminded of them, and I pray that more and more Egyptians turn to the Lord, and God will listen to their pleas, and heal them!
To understand more of this situation please go to this link. Garbage City
Saturday, August 25, 2012
Today I'm a little under the weather, but as the world of show business says "The show must go on"! So I will be writing a quick, but efficient review on this book.
Understanding World Religions in 15 Minutes a Day by Garry R. Morgan is a concise book on some of the major (and not so major) religions. You will learn about Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Mormonism, and all the different denominations of Christianity (that's just some of them). Each chapter you will learn about the beliefs of the religion, the history, and how they practice in modern day. I would like to note that this is written by a Christian, he does a great job at writing from an unbiased view, but I think it's important for a reader to know the background of the author.
This book is perfect for the reader who desires to learn more about world religions, but not necessarily desires to take a World Religions course. I liked how each chapter was so descriptive. It wasn't overwhelming when I was reading it. So dear readers if you're someone who really want the basics of the world religions, this is the book for you. I also want to add, with how our world is getting smaller we really need to be able to understand where people are coming from and how to respect what they value. Mr. Morgan does a great job at doing that in Understanding World Religions in 15 Minutes a Day.
*This book was given to me via Bethany House a division of Baker Publishing Group for my honest opinion and I honestly did.
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
With all this discussion of world religions, I thought it might be prudent for me to talk about the only relationship that's real. There will be some who will say that all religions will lead you to the same place, but that just isn't true. Remember this verse, Jesus, who died on the cross, and conquered death, and who is God. He is the way and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Him.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Well it's late afternoon in Texas and my kids took a really long nap. It was awesome, I can't tell you how nice it is to be able to get things done without someone coming in and rearranging the nice clean area that you just left :) I'm not a really a clean freak, but I do like cleaning something and seeing it be clean for more then five minutes. So what are you? Are you a clean freak, or slightly artistic like me?
Dying to Read introduces us to the whimsical, and very cheeky Cate Kinkaid. She's down on her luck and is hoping that this last job will help her out. All she has to do is find out if this one lady lives at a certain house. What she didn't plan on was the hornet's nest she lands on when she knocks on the door. Not only does she have to finish her first job, but now she has a murder to figure out. Through the maze of private investigation you will find yourself meeting some pretty interesting suspects. From the Ladies of the whodunit book club, to the ex-fiance who is a good deal younger then the lady :)
Oh. My. Goodness. this book was hilarious! and I might add Lorena McCourtney used one of my favorite words (if you can figure out the word I'll give you this book). Cate was a delight, and her character was faith filled. The pickles she got herself in was truly fun to read about. Also, I seriously didn't know who did it, and that for me is a big deal. Usually I'm like it was the butler in the library with the candlestick. Yeah, I'm that good. So dear readers if you want an awesome mystery romance, that will keep you guessing please read Dying to Read by Lorena McCourtney.
*This book was given to me via Revell a division of Baker Publishing Group for my honest opinion, and I honestly gave it.
“Available August 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”
1 Samuel 2:2
No one is holy like the Lord! There is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.
In this verse we have Hannah praising God for the birth of her son after being barren for years. God truly blessed her with her hearts desire, but the thing that get's me every time is she never gave up hope. Even after several years of not being able to have a child. Father, may I be like Hannah ever faithful, never doubting what you have planned for me.
Saturday, August 18, 2012
Why is coffee so good in the morning? Seriously, I can not think of a single thing that I do not enjoy most then a cup of coffee (with creamer of course), my journal, and my Bible. When it's been a late night full of struggles of wet beds, a crying baby, or whatever else can happen, that good ol' cup of joe is there waiting right next to my Bible it's a great thing. Is there anything that you enjoy in the morning?
Food Family Style by Leigh Oliver Vickery is a really neat cookbook. The recipes are simple and quick for any occassion. They also have great little introductions at each chapter to encourage family time, and bonding. You will find side dishes, main dishes, breakfast, soups, sandwiches, slow cookers, well... practically everything to make food fun for the family
This truly is a fun book, and the recipes are great. What I really appreciated about the book was how it encouraged the reader to spend time with their families. Food is a great way to talk to your kids and truly get to know them. So dear readers, if you are a cook or wanting to learn how to cook this is a simple but delicous book for you.
*This book was given to me by Revell a division of Baker Publishing for my honest opinion and I honestly gave it.
“Available August 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”
Don't let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you teach, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.
Wise words. Dear readers, don't ignore this verse if you're old :) Be an example! in what you teach, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity. Don't allow yourself to be any different behind closed doors, but always graciously serving the Lord where ever you are.
Friday, August 17, 2012
Today has been a day! Our poor Liv is teething, so it's been a day where my girl is not being herself. days like this especially teaches me to be grateful for the small things, like a great cup of coffee made by my husband, or a small little girl who wants to snuggle because her teeth hurts. What a blessing :) I hope you have these small blessings through out your day too.
Daphne Sweeten has been jilted, by the man of her dreams, and her job filled before she could even blink. The dear girl find herself in a company who works on household products. They're in need of a nose, Daphne being one of the best is hired to save this company from ruin. What she hadn't planned on is a complicated boss with his own troubles a co-workers who don't really seem to be working together. Will she be able to cope with the loss of a fiance, a demanding job, and eccentric co-workers? You will have to see in The Scent of Rain :)
The Scent of Rain was one of those small blessings through out my day. I personally think it is Ms. Billerbeck's best work. Her point of view was especially interesting. Whenever I read a book, almost always I want to know what the guy is thinking? In this book I didn't have to wonder, Ms. Billerbeck did a great job at changing voices, because of this, I was able to enjoy Daphne and Jesse. These two shined with Jesus Christ. Daphne was incredibly sweet and sincere, and Jesse was blunt and honest. Great characters, great message of love, and great book. Oh my goodness I almost forgot one important thing! If you're wanting a book to come alive with description this is a book for you. I found myself wanting to purchase perfume, even now I'm thinking my husband will have to be purchasing something nice for our anniversary :) So dear readers if you're wanting to read a great book, please read The Scent of Rain
2 All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit.
How easy it is for me to justify my actions. I really am good at doing that, and in my own eyes I am pure in my motives. Times like that I need to be examined; to be put forth on the scale to see if my ways are truly are pure. Lord weigh my spirit, convict me of the sin I need to change, and then please mold me into the very image of You.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Today was an awfully busy but incredibly fun day :) The kids and I headed to the park early morning, and then to the library to pick up some books. Kylar and Drew absolutely love going to the library and picking up books like Arthur, or Angelina Ballerina. I like it too, not only do we get the pleasure of borrowing books, but it's also a great way to teach them how to be quiet. After that we headed home for a quiet time, and then we went swimming. To finish off the day we had dinner and watched Toy Story 3. All in all it truly was a blessed day. How's your day going so far?
Serpent of Moses by Don Hoesel is a great conspiracy theory/ suspense book. Let's just describe it as Indiana Jones meets National Treasurer. It really is great and I am a sucker for those kinds of books. Archaeologist Jack Hawthorne was on to something with a big pay off at the end. Unfortunately this ancient artifact is highly sought after, and comes with more intrigue then a set of tapes from the Nixon period. He needs to get the artifact back to his buyers to gain the amount of money promised. With the Israeli government wanting the artifact and men seeking to kill Jack left and right you won't be able to put this book down until the end!
Truly dear readers, if you like a good book you will definitely like this one. Remember it is fiction so don't take to heart some of the parts that might stretch a Biblical story. Some people might not like that as much because it is taking a piece of Biblical history and using a what if theory to base the story on, but man it really is a great book. So please read Serpent of Moses by Don Hoesel.
*This book was given to me via Bethany House a division of Baker Publishing Group for my honest opinion, and I honestly gave it.
And, fathers, do not provoke your children to anger; but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Oh man that verse is a kicker to me. Sometimes I feel that I am to exacting as a mother. I don't think about what my children need, only what I need out of them. When I read this verse it's a clear reminder to me to set aside my needs and desires for my children. For example: church... I truly want my kids to look good, matching clothes, bows in the hair ect... My eldest is a fashionista she mixes and matches clothes I didn't even know could go together. Should I enforce my will on her to wear the clothes I want? I don't think so, because this is where I can provoke her anger. Better to bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord, not of the Breanna.
Monday, August 13, 2012
I have gotten a lot of awesome books this week, so I figured I better get a good head start on them before my deadline is up :) Today is the 2nd week of soccer season being in full swing. A sweet friend of mine are in the same situation where our husbands are coaches. We've decided that every Monday night we'll get together to have dinner and just relax. I absolutely love it! Is there a tradition that you do with a friend?
The Haven by Suzanne Woods Fisher is a compelling story of Sadie Lapp. Sadie is a shy young Amish woman who just recently returned from a visit with her sister. Little does she know that her quaint little farm is being inundated with people because of a rare bird. Will Stoltz has been asked to watch the birds so know one will do the birds harm. Gideon Smucker see's Will as an intruder for his affections of Sadie. Sadie has a choice between these two gentlemen and her world is turned upside down with surprises left and right. How will this young lady cope with it all?
I really loved this book. The characters had such a genuine faith. Not only did they struggle with situations, but they prayed through the hard situations. They breathed, ate, and slept their faith, and for me it is truly admirable. So dear readers if you are looking for a book that deals with every day struggles as well as a few surprise turns, please read The Haven by Suzanne Woods Fisher.
This book was given to me via Revell a division of Baker Publishing Group for my honest opinion and I honestly gave it.
“Available August 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”
This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
When ever I read this verse, the song This is the Day is going through my head. A beautiful song from my child hood. I remember sitting on the grey/blue carpet with the worship leader in front clapping our hands and singing at the top of our lungs. "This is the day (echo) this is the day. That the Lord has made (echo) that the Lord has made". Oh dear readers when days are tough for me sometimes I just have to sing this song with wild abandonment not caring how foolish I look. Because truly this is the day the Lord has made, and I will rejoice and be glad in it!
Saturday, August 11, 2012
I am up early, not because anyone else is up, but because of this book. It's been making me think. So I have been praying about how to handle this Saturday's review. I'm going to let you know that this will be a lengthy review, because I'm going to be opening up about myself and my history. Also this why I have such an opinion on this topic. To tighten your seat belts this is going to be a crazy ride :)
A note to Ms. Hunt, please understand I know where you're coming from and I respect everything that you had to write about. If you have any comments or questions concerning my review, I would love to hear from you either through my blog or my e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Raising Financially Confident Kids by Mary Hunt is a book for the parent who wants to start teaching their child how to handle money. It's the in's and out's of the world of consumerism, and giving you tips on how to avoid debt, and increase ones awareness of finance in general.
Ok... I grew up with this. I have been told (by many finance and money planning books) that this is very rare. For a child to learn from their parents how to be able to save. For me it was second nature, because my parents fully immersed me. I had to work for everything I wanted when I was young, and then as I grew older more and more financial responsibility was handed to me. I never accrued credit card debt, or jumped off the deep end with a major spending spree. So this is my back ground and why I have such an opinion on this topic. I do not have a degree by any means in finance. I do have a Bible that talks about it often, and I was raised to pray through anything financial.
Mary Hunt does a great job at giving a very easy to do practice for the family with kids. I especially liked the Uncle Harry chapter and the chapters listing age appropriate finance. The book was all around a really good book for parents looking at wanting to teach their child about finance and not knowing how. I did have some concerns about it, please understand that I'm trying to not bash the author and her book. She put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into it, but there were a few things that made me stop and think.
1. I know Ms. Hunt's background and that is why I wish she had put more scripture in the book. She is an awesome woman of God so this fact was a little confusing to me. Money is the biggest thing talked about in the Bible and I can only remember her using scripture twice in the book (pg. 80 and pg.115).
2. Being content with what God has given you. I don't think a child will understand finances until he/she learns contentment. If there is no contentment the need to buy will happen. This need to buy was discussed in the beginning, but not contentment. As Paul says he is content in any situation, and so should we. There was a time in our marriage where the only way we had food on our table was because of God. We had to be content that God would provide, and He never let us down.
3. The idea of being poor was portrayed as something to be not discussed with your child. I want to address that. I don't think being poor is a bad thing (I don't think Ms. Hunt thinks that either). God takes care of all of us, and when we look at it from God's perspective I feel it is something you can discuss with an older child. The moments when Todd and I struggled the most were the moments we fully leaned on God's understanding. Other scripture is brought to mind; of the widow in 2 Kings, she had one jar of oil left and God provided Elisha. Or the widow who gave her last two pennies to God. These are stories of poor people that in their greatest need they trusted God and were blessed.
4. Ok, now on to every financial author's biggest fear... Credit cards. This is all I'm going to say about it. Before I got my first one my dad said this to me "Breeze, that credit card is like a gun. It can be helpful or it can kill you". I never forgot that statement. Do I promote a person who is addicted to spending to go out and get a credit card NO! But I don't think they're evil either. The Bible talks about the borrower being a slave, but also in the Old Testament there are checks and balances for people to take out loans, and even says that parents shouldn't charge interest to their children. Credit cards are like that in some ways, with checks and balances it can be helpful. Don't forget what my dad said, "it can help you, but it can also kill you". Again don't forget that statement dear readers, you'll be more apt to not spend if that's in the back of your head. Death is not pretty.
5. Lastly, with all of this heady stuff Mary Hunt truly does a great job, but for me the one big thing that was left out in all of it is God. I'm not sure why, maybe because she was hoping to reach a bigger audience, but even then God is too important to ignore, and that is something I feel really needed to be addressed. So I leave you with this verse to remind you how important your finances are, and how important it is to include God in them.
Philippians 4:6 ESV
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
*This book was given to me via Revell a division of Baker Publishing Group for my honest opinion and I honestly gave it. It is also available August 2012.
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Yesterday we had the most beautiful rain shower. I love rain like that, where it gently falls to the earth covering it with a fresh clean smell, and erasing the dryness of the several weeks. What a blessing it was for our yard and garden :) Have you had any blessings recently?
Lethal Legacy by Irene Hannon is a mystery romance. Kelly Warren is convinced that her dad did not commit suicide. She is trying to uncover every last bit of evidence to show the detectives on the case to bring it out of the files. What she didn't bargain for was the handsome Detective Cole Taylor, or the danger that comes when she does find evidence of foul play.
This was a really (and I will say really again) really good book. What I enjoyed about it was how incredibly researched it was. Ms. Hannon did not skimp on her research of the Mafia or the programs that the government has set up to protect those against them. Not only did we get an inside look, we also got different view points from other characters. What amazed me was how easily she transitioned from each character, and I found myself sympathizing with each one. She weaved mystery and romance so well together I was up late at night once again finishing the book. So dear readers if you want a great mystery romance that doesn't skimp on the love God please read Lethal Legacy.
*This book was given to me via Revell a division of Baker Publishing Group for my honest opinion and I honestly did.
* “Available August 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”
It is possible to give freely and become more wealthy, but those who are stingy will lose everything.
I want to talk you about a man who has had an enormous impact on my life, who is wealthy by some people's standards, and exemplifies this verse. He's my Dad, and I learned how easy it is to give because of him. His wealth comes from giving so freely, but not just money. He has learned the value of giving time, giving money, and giving a listening ear. For me, it was an amazing opportunity to watch him give with an open and loving heart. Never being stingy, but always freely. So dear readers is it possible to give freely and to become more wealthy? Yes... yes it is.
Saturday, August 4, 2012
We had an early morning accident in the Parker household today. My sweet Drew's diaper had exploded! Literally it was every where. It was a full hour of cleaning in the wee hours of the morning. So when the world hands you lemons or explosive poopy diapers we Parker's clean it up and go to the Farmer's Market :) At the time of the situation I'll admit I was exasperated, but looking back I could see that if that hadn't have happened we would have missed Farmer's Market because we slept in. What a big blessing our early morning wake up call was. Has something happened to you that you thought was horrible but looking back turned out alright?
31 Days to a Happy Husband by Arlene Pellicane is a great devotional. Each chapter is a quick read that you need to do every day. For one month this devotional will take you on a journey of respect, sex, honor, and many other areas that make up your husband. If you follow the instructions it should make him giddy, gleeful, and yes happy :)
I would kind of say that this book is a self help book. For me it was the perfect book to see if I needed to work on anything in my marriage. It was a good check point for me. I would not say that this book is for couples who are seriously have problems in their marriage. Please if you are having trouble you need to find counsel (preferably a Christian counselor), but if you can't afford that look at the book Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs. I generally don't recommend another book when I'm reviewing, but I wanted to give advice if your marriage really is on the rocks. Ok sorry for the side trail :) so dear readers if you are interested in a good devotional that will give you a happier husband read 31 Days to a Happy Husband.
*This book was given to me via netgally for my honest opinion and I honestly gave it.
2 Corinthians 4:8-9
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
Sometimes I feel that the world is against me. My day is chaotic, my kids are being disobedient, my husband isn't understanding, and I feel pressed down on every side. What a great reminder for me that I'm not crushed, I'm not in despair, and I'm not abandoned or destroyed.
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Today is not only my blogging day, but also the first of the month! Do you know why I love the first of the month? Well it's because it's pay day lol and also the day we pay all of our bills. I know what you're thinking ugh bills they are horrible. Bills for me are the exact opposite, I love seeing how God provides for our every need. I love that every month I get to see the blessings that He gives us, it's just such a cool thing and I am ever grateful that we can pay our bills, have enough for food, and also a little fun money. God is so good! How about you? Is there something you look forward to every month?
Something Blue by Dianne Christner is the third book in the Plain City Bridesmaids. Here we have the strong willed Megan Weaver who is proud of her Mennonite heritage and the life that she lives. Never before had her faith been tested until two very unexpected suitors walk into her life. For Megan this will be a time of trusting God and leaning on His understanding.
Oh the love triangle... Don't get me wrong this was a very interesting love triangle, and Megan definitely had to make a very hard choice. The story was full of twist and turns and of course the anxiety of who will she choose? I just had one teeny tiny problem with this book, and I'm pretty sure the author didn't mean to imply it, but there was a section where Megan is trying very hard to ignore and rebuff Chance (a Christian, but not a Mennonite) and she has a slip of paper reminding her to not be unequally yoked. This part bothered me, because if we are referencing that verse it's talking about Christians marrying people who are not Christians. Not Christians outside of a certain denomination. She truly struggled over liking Chance and because she felt it was wrong to like him I can't say that I was immersed in the book. All in all a good book, and a very interesting look into the Mennonite world. If you're a big fan of learning more about the Menonite's and a good romance I highly recommend this book.
*This book was given to me via netgalley for my honest opinion and I honestly gave it.
Romans 10:9 ESV
Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
So simple :) Nothing else is required by our Lord to be saved, no good deeds, no acts of service, just a simple statement made in your heart and said out loud. Please dear readers don't let the world make faith in Christ too complex for you. Remember this verse, and know that you are so loved by the One who created the heavens and the earth.