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Showing posts from January, 2014

Lone Star Trail (A Morgan Family Series Book 1) by Darlene Franklin

Lone Star Trail is the first book in a six book series. Something I find fascinating is that the books are written by different authors. A series that isn't a must to read in order, but for me, I always feel the need to begin with the first book. 
This was a quick read for me. Darlene gives great insight on what life was like in Texas during the 1800's when life was about settling and calling land your own. This book is about finding your place in an area being settled by many coming from new lands. It is about accepting others and letting go of prejudices. 
Faith and romance play a part in this novel, but for me I mostly took away lessons of giving people a chance. Not looking at others with anger or resentment just because they are different, but accepting them as they are and possibly learning from them and helping us to become more aware and inviting for others to see Christ in us.
There is a new German movement in Texas. This is something about our history that is quite new …

I Just Want To Breathe In Everything With A Jesus Perspective

Sometimes the quiet feels like a graveyard. Until I hear the howl of the wind whipping the leftover leaves up into the air as the seed from the feeders is scattered. We can't see the wind. We don't even know the direction it blows until we step outside and feel it blasting into our face. Sometimes that's how the quiet feels to me. I feel like I can't catch my breath. There is nothing to hear, but I feel everything. My mind wanders as if I'm Alice stuck in a place I simply can't figure out. 
I'm trying to understand what it is I'm chasing. Is it my dream to publish the book I'm working on? Is it something more? I feel stuck in the wind and trying to cross the street with a hand full of papers and just as I think I'm about to make it across the wind picks up and scatters everything in my hands. 
My emotions are all over the place. In everything all I want to do is breathe. I just want to soak in every moment, but in that same mind frame I'm f…

What I Wish My Mother Had Told Me About Men by Julie Gorman

I have to share with you a few of Julie's words that totally blessed me. 

"Julie, quit trying to be Greg's Holy Spirit. Allow me to change in you the things needing change, and allow me to change in Greg the things I desire to change. God's message, through not heard audibly, echoed loudly through my soul. His message resonated within me, I alone am God. I have called you to be Greg's helper (small "h"), not his Holy Spirit." 

Wow! If that were the only thing I read in this book I would walk away with a message my heart needed to hear for years! But there's more. This book is one that every woman needs to read. Every young girl approaching dating age. Every young man who is getting ready to date and for every man who has been married and is still trying to figure it all out. This book is for everyone who will love and be loved.

Julie is totally transparent within these pages. She opens up her life for a world to see just how her Jesus has moved i…

Restless by Jennie Allen

There are times we pick up a book and begin turning pages and we feel the Spirit move over us. We realize this book, these words, were created just for us. This is that book for me. There are times I have felt so restless. Wanting to serve, wanting to move, but feeling stuck and in a rut. This isn't what I was made for. I was created for more. I have a purpose. A distinct plan created just for me. 

I want to share some of the phrases I have underlined throughout this book that wrapped around my soul and stirred my heart. 

"He gave us His very self in the person of the Holy Spirit so that we would never be limited to achieve only what is possible on our best day. Dream big, believe big, and dare big during your one and only life on this planet. Impossible is where God starts and miracles are what God does." Christine Caine

"There is a darkness that tries to spread the disease of "be big". Christ whispers the cure to the ego's disease: Decrease so I can inc…

The Big Book of Laugh-Out-Loud Jokes for Kids 3-in-1 Collection by Rob Elliott

This is a terrific book for all ages. Not just kids love jokes. Maybe I'm just a big kid at heart, but this book is super cute, fun and creative. What a great way to help a child be imaginative in creating their own jokes! 
I giggled my way through this book. Of course, some are corny, but that's what makes most of them enjoyable. Knock knock jokes, riddles and more. This is a 3-in-1 Collection from Rob Elliot. This isn't his first joke book, so you can pretty much guarantee there will be something in these pages to make you smile. Yes, even take you back to yesteryear when your grandparents told you jokes that made you giggle. 
This is a great book to keep on hand for those car rides and doctor visits. All those places where kids get bored a bit easy. Who doesn't love a good, clean joke? I know I do. I shared these jokes with my friends and they got a great giggle. Your kids are going to love sharing these with their friends as well. 
This is definitely a great book …

Dare to Love Again by Julie Lessman

If you have yet to read a book penned by Julie Lessman you are missing out on a great read. Julie is gifted with creating characters with charm and spunk. Something about her writing that I admire greatly is the dialog between the characters. It allows us to feel engaged throughout the story. 
Her storytelling is meaningful and flows with great spirit. Here we are again in San Francisco. Romance is in the air and happens in perfect timing once again as it always does with Julie's novels, but these two characters, Allison McClare and Nick Barone (with a long e lol), are not looking for love. Well, at least not in each other. They can't stand each other. That makes for a great story line, because it gives us room to see just what God can do with these two fun characters. They are both strong and independent. But what both carry that brings about the best in each is the extraordinary love and grace that flows from their lives to the people they love. 
It was such a fun journey w…

The Calling by Suzanne Woods Fisher

I love when a I receive a book penned by Suzanne Woods Fisher. It doesn't matter which book it is. Every book I have read by her has been beautifully penned and has left me waiting for the next to arrive. Seriously, when you are talking about Amish fiction there isn't another writer like Suzanne Woods Fisher. She is the absolute best. 
"The Calling", is the second book in the series, "The Inn at Eagle Hill". In reading the first book, "The Letters", you don't have to read them in order to be blessed, but it will help you to understand the characters more. 
Suzanne's words seem to flow effortlessly. Her novels are flawless as she does deep research to bring us the best reading possible. In this novel we meet characters that we can connect with on some level. The character I connected with her is Naomi. She has migraines and through those migraines she chooses to see beyond and tap into the gifts of God by serving others and calling upon Hi…

Stranger Things by Erin Healy

I chose this selection from reading the description. It sounded like an amazing book. The cover caught my eye as did the author, Erin Healy. I had read, "Kiss", that she coauthored with Ted Dekker and truly enjoyed it. So, I was anticipating a great read. 
"Stranger Things", seemed more like a supernatural read for me. I never connected anywhere in the story. I gotta tell you most of the time I remained confused at which direction the story was moving. I didn't connect with the characters on any level. I would read a few chapters and go back and reread them thinking I missed something. 
This is the description that Thomas Nelson gives of this book:
(In the forest’s burned-out hollow, a house of dark secrets also glows with bright promise. Serena’s career as a high school biology teacher comes to a halt when an angry student makes shocking accusations. Stunned and suspended, Serena retreats to the forest where she usually finds peace of mind. But on this day she …

A 'No Matter What' Kind of Faith

Finish this sentence. I will continue to have faith as long as________. I've been there with you. We keep our faith in this neatly drawn out box in which we remain in the safety zone. I noticed this a few years back when I had gone in for my mammogram. I received a letter telling me to make another appointment. I called immediately. I mean, that is no way for a woman to find out that she needs another mammogram. Something was seen, but it was unknown. For every woman out there whether you have received this news or have not, this sends you in shock mode with a fear that is almost explainable. 
I went in for my second mammogram with fear. As I sat waiting there was a woman seated next to me who was going through chemotherapy. A beautiful woman with a brightly covered scarf wrapped delicately over her head. My first thought was, Lord, please no. Not me. Please don't allow this to happen. I watched this beautiful woman and I noticed she sat with such strength. It was as though i…

Finding My RAWR!

Don't you love those moments in life that stretch us to the absolute point in which we know without a doubt that the strength we just exhibited was not our own? I experienced this last week. Now, I'm not one who is quick to say, "I can't". I am pretty much one determined girl. Some would even say stubborn. But last week put me to the test. 
Here in Missouri our temps plunged below zero. With chill factor we were somewhere in the zone of -35. Even for this winter loving girl that's pretty cold. Bitter cold with winds that cut right through the bundle of clothes we try to put on without somehow suffocating before getting outdoors. 
My hubs had left for Chicago. Another cold destination. But he arrived safely and for that I was giving praise. Only he didn't get to head home on his regular route. He was caught in Chicago and I was here alone with a Red Bone that pretty near outweighs me. With the cold temps I was trying my best to keep everything from freezi…

Ruth's Redemption by Marlene Banks

1830 and we are at a slave auction. The place no human should ever be. But that is exactly where Marlene Banks takes us. She writes with conviction and passion about an era that is past, but will never be forgotten. I found this novel to be fascinating as I journeyed back in time. 
This is not a book you put down and soon forget. It will stick with you as the writing is rich with emotion. It brings me to the story of Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz.   If you love historical fiction this is a book you should add to your shelf. Sometimes the writing was a bit unusual for me. The story line is rich in history and opens our eyes to a time and place where freedom was not taken for granted. 
"Bo's frustrated sigh was heavy. He put his fork down. "Ruth, I want you to understand something. God has set you free from a life of uncompensated servitude and abuse to your body and soul. I will never use you in that way...never." "Dat what Massah Stanley say, but ain't stop his sons f…

Widow of Gettysburg by Jocelyn Green

If you are a lover of history this is a book that will surely captivate you. Maybe you love to read. Maybe your lucky if you read one book a year. If it's only one, this is the one book you need to read. Jocelyn Green is a new author for me, but one that I now admire greatly. Her work here is beautifully created. Her penned words flow as clear as a movie screen before your eyes. The word picture she paints will transport you to another time and place, the Civil War. Specifically to the heart of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and beyond. The time span covered within these pages is June 1863-November 1863.
This is a book that should be in every school and library across our nation. What is it that you think of when you hear the word Gettysburg? Battle? Death? I must admit those were my first thoughts until I read this book. At the end of this novel you will find the Gettysburg Address. Never before have I read these words by Abraham Lincoln with more clarity than I did after finishing th…

Everyday Confetti by Karen Ehman and Glynnis Whitwer

What a great book! "Everyday Confetti", is a wonderful tool for planning events of all kinds. Karen and Glynnis give us ideas for every single holiday and season. This is a planning coordinator for sure, but so much more. It holds LOTS of extraordinary recipes, inspirational stories from the heart of these wonderful ladies, and meaningful ways to let others know just how much you love them. This book literally contains EVERYTHING. 
I found this book to be super helpful. Especially if you have little ones at home or family that live miles apart. They take the stress out of planning and simplify it. Giving us ideas to make everyday special in someone's life. 
This is a book everyone needs on their shelf. It's one to go to again and again. I plan on using many of the recipes they have shared. They give new ways of reaching people with the love of Jesus. They truly give us the tools to celebrate each day and each person in our lives. 
This book was a gift from Revell for sh…

No One To Trust by Lynette Eason

Can you imagine waking to a man hovering over you with a gun pointed at your head? Lynette Eason has brought us another illuminating thriller, "No One To Trust", from her new series, "Hidden Identity". 
The title speaks for itself. Gives a huge clue as to what the book is about, trust. This novel was jam-packed with suspense. I mean around every corner something new was happening. The characters were always in danger. There was a point that I thought, come on, this is too much. But, then isn't that what real life gives us? I thought Lynette brought that out wonderfully through this novel. Just when we think all is well, there is another challenge for us around the corner. 
This is one of those unputdownables! You know, those reads that keep you up at night until you turn the last page. 
I have had the pleasure of reading all of Lynette's books. She is one of my favorites. When I receive a book penned by Lynette I know I will not be disappointed. She is the…

Making Room For Change

I pull in the drive. There are no curtains moving while a little dachshund head pops up with excitement. I walk into a quiet house. No Daisy to greet me at the door with yips of hello and I missed you so so much. With Jake, my youngest child, now staying with his big sister, there aren't dirty boots in front of the door and towels in the bathroom floor. No banjo playing down the hallway. No phone chiming constantly. With these changes I had to be intentional with my own changes. I had to accept that life would be different. But different isn't always bad. With different comes new. It's what we do with those changes that matters. 
With each day comes change in one way or another. We can remain stuck or we can make the clear choice to move in new ways. It's up to us. 
We surrender our day to the Lord and give Him the room He needs to fill it with ALL. If I'm ready and accepting of the good, I too must be ready and accepting of the not so good. You know those changes…

Chasing God by Angie Smith

Angie Smith is a woman after God's heart. I was blessed to read, "Mended", and was totally blessed. I was excited to receive a copy of her newest gem, "Chasing God". 
"The goal of this book is not to present you with a formula for living out Christianity. It's to offer my thoughts on the difference between looking for Him and looking at Him." Angie Smith
"You chase Me because you trust your own legs more than you trust Me. You chase Me because you can feel the air in your lungs, not because you want to breathe true life. And as long as you can chase, you will get a stay. You maintain part-ownership of our relationship. You would run forever in the wrong direction if it meant your flesh didn't have to admit the truth. You chase because it makes you feel like you can." Angie Smith
Angie shares in a transparent way. She shares her story. Her intimate walk with Jesus and all she has learned about the chase. She no longer chases after God,…

When Mountains Move by Julie Cantrell

When I posted my review of, "Into The Free", (check out my review), I shared with you that it was the best book I've read all year. Friends, get ready. I'm about to tell you the sequel is just as spectacular! It's a new year and I have started it off right by reading the sequel, "When Mountains Move".

This novel leads off with the continuing story of Millie and her husband, Bump. The same characters are here to take the journey with us, plus a few new ones that are going to impact you in a great way. These characters add to Millie's journey. They are powerful to her story and they help create the woman of God that she is.

This story has everything. Love, faith, loss, friendship, forgiveness, redemption, are just a few. Romance, family, friendship, joy and anger. With each chapter that passed I was on the edge of my seat.

As I shared in my review of, "Into The Free", it left me wanting more. I couldn't wait to begin reading the sequel.…