Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Tutor's Daughter

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

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  With the death of his wife he has unfortunately withdrawn from his career and his daughter.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

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

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

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

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

Monday, December 24, 2012

Live Second

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Change of Fortune

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, December 15, 2012

When Life is Hard

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Dangerous Stage

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Twelve Unlikely Heroes by John MacArthur

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Top Ten Books

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Good Wife's Guide

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

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

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

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

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

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