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.