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.