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Showing posts from June, 2014

Combat That {Junk}

A wise friend once shared with me, "Hon, you can't go to church and allow all the junk to interrupt your worship with Jesus. You have to let all the junk go and fully concentrate on Him". I told ya, right? Wise words. Wise, but is it easy to do? Jesus never asked us to do {easy} for Him. 
This morning I had every intention to study Ephesians, but the Lord had other intentions. I opened my Bible to 2 Timothy and was wowed! Should we expect anything less from our Lord? His Word is living and powerful. I found myself meditating on 2 Timothy 2:1-13 and this is one of the verses that truly shouted out to me and confirmed what my friend had shared. 
"You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier." 2 Timothy 2:3-4
I have read that soldiers at times disengage themselves from home and all that takes their mind away from w…

Fears Come in All Shapes and Sizes Especially in a Lump

Can I share a secret with you? It's a doozy and you just may think I've lost it. But, here it goes. Each day since I was nineteen years old I have felt my neck. Just as women we are told to examine our breasts and do self exams. Well, I have given my neck a once over each and every day. Sometimes, probably more than once. I warned that you would think I've lost it. 
See, at nineteen my dad's battle with cancer ended. He fought for a year with lung cancer. His first symptoms that he ignored? A few lumps in his neck. Well, it started with one and then more came. He kept this a secret. At least I had no idea, but then again I didn't know a lot that was going on at that time. Friends had noticed these lumps in his neck and had encouraged him to go to the doctor. He finally did. By then he had a few more symptoms. He thought he just had bronchitis and needed a strong antibiotic. Nope, that wouldn't be the case. So, now do you understand this fear I have? 
About ten …

God Is Able by Priscilla Shirer

Priscilla Shirer is on fire for God! This is the second book I have had the pleasure of reviewing. I just finished reading, "Discerning the Voice of God". (check out my review). Wow, I can tell you that these two selections were sent to me right on time. God's perfect timing. 
In this extraordinary book Priscilla brings us the scripture verse found in Ephesians 3:20-21. "Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.", and breaks it down in seven segments that have opened my eyes to this scripture in a whole new light. This is a scripture I have read many times, but here as Priscilla opens it up, my eyes have been refreshed. I've had that "aha" moment. Don't you love when God does that for us? 
Right now as I have worked my way through these pages I am facing my own s…

I Have Seen Him In The Watchfires by Cathy Gohlke

I'm not sure I can ever write a review that can exhibit the true beauty of this novel. Although it is a stand alone, Robert's story continues on through this writing masterpiece. Yes, reading it as a stand alone would be wonderful, but reading it after Cathy's first novel, William Henry is a Fine Name, (check out my review), will allow you to uncover more about Robert and how he has come to be the young man he is today.
Are you ready to travel back in time to the year of 1864? The Civil War is raging throughout the countryside. What life once was is no longer to be. Change is an absolute. Robert isn't quite eighteen yet. Oh, how he wants to serve, but he has made promises to wait. 
I love the relationship and respect that Robert and his father share. Robert doesn't take any part of life for granted. He knows what loss is. He too knows the value of life. 
This is one of those great reads. One that belongs in every library and schoolroom across America. Cathy pens a…

One More Last Chance by Cathleen Armstrong

Cathleen Armstrong writes in such a way that you feel she's sharing a personal story. You're able to connect with the characters because even as they are introduced, they feel like family. 
Her writing flows. Nothing fancy. No complications. No distractions. Just simple story writing that grabs your heart right off the bat. These are characters that we can relate to. They are written so well that we long to know more about them. Armstrong gives detail, but not so much so that the imagination has room to dream. 
I had the pleasure of reviewing the first in this series, "Welcome To Last Chance". (Check out my review) This series is entitled, A Place to Call Home. Once you begin to read the story, you understand why. We are all longing for home. Whether that is a place of the past we dream of or one we never quite had growing up. Home is where we are accepted and loved. It's not about who we are or what we can do. It's about the heart. Armstrong brilliantly sha…

The Bridge Tender by Marybeth Whalen

I just love Marybeth Whalen. Really. You can see her sweet spirit through the words she pens so eloquently. She brings a story to life by adding such rich emotion that gives the reader that extra bonus in uncovering the truest form of enjoying a novel. 
I have enjoyed each of her novels. The Mailbox probably being my favorite. With each novel from the Sunset Beach collection we meet characters that are so real. We see their heart etched in the story-line, and their realities become very much our own. 
This is a story that could be on the big screen. I can see Sandra Bullock playing the lead roll of Emily. This novel gives me the same feeling as one of my fave movies, Hope Floats. 
The writer has done their job when you feel the deep pain of a character. When they bring you to laughter, you know they have a rich gift. 
I enjoyed this novel very much. I loved the connection between Emily and Ava. Their circumstances ironic, but so poignant to the story. It would be wonderful if each of…

Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore

I chose to review this book through the Blogging for Books Program. This is the first book I have reviewed that isn't Christian Fiction or Non-Fiction. So, before I continue on with my review I want my readers to understand that this book is in no way a christian based novel. 
Some may wonder why I chose to read a book that isn't christian and post the review on my blog. Well, I am a lover of christian novels, but I too am a lover of all genres of books. This isn't something I normally read, but it intrigued me. Yes, there is some language and sex that I found uncomfortable. With that being said, the story line is fascinating. 
The cover caught my eye. The title was intriguing. After reading the description of the book I was even more captivated. Miranda is a new author for me. I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but I can tell you that I really enjoyed this read. 
The characters were real. We see the beauty and the ugly in people. The story started out with two colle…

The Little Red Bible

When I was a little girl we lived in the country. My mother had befriended our neighbor. She was in her early 80s and was a scrapper of a lady. She was a lot fun. Friendly, warm and inviting. She was like the grandmother I never had. Ms. Fry lived in an old farm house that was filled with stuff. Stuff that captivated me. 
I remember her having a huge garden. She'd allow me to help her. After working in the garden there was always a glass of milk and a snack waiting. I truly enjoyed this lady. 
Some days I would go over by myself and spend the entire day until Mom called me home for dinner. She was very giving and she would go through all her stuff with me. Showing me this and that. Until one day she opened a cabinet and I saw them. A stack of little red books. I had never seen a red Bible before. Had no idea they were Bibles until she shared with me. She even let me hold one. From then I knew I wanted one. But I too knew it would be wrong for me to ask her if I could take one home…

A Little Bottle of Raspberry Wine

A friend and I had a code for those days that were about to take us over the edge. "I need a drink". Those words were code for I'm about to pull my hair out! Together in our sweet friendship we would encourage one another through those difficult days. We would sit and share coffee and talk until we felt peace wash every last bit of, "I need a drink", away. 
I grew up in an alcoholic family. Everyone drank. Mom, dad, aunts, uncles. Everyone.  There were not any family functions in which alcohol didn't play a part. Pick a holiday and I can remember an instance where the drink got to be too much for one and a huge fight would break out. It was normal for our family. Isn't that sad? I grew up thinking this was the norm. 
It wasn't until I was married to my husband and in our first year of marriage we went to a family function that I realized it wasn't the norm. No one was drinking. No alcohol was in the building. I even remarked to my husband, "…

My Daddy's Razor and the Bathroom Sink

As a kid I was mesmerized by my dad. I mimicked everything he did. Each morning he would rise at the crack of dawn. Four in the morning came early. Each morning my mom would make him a fried egg sandwich with cheese and mustard. I would try waking when my dad did, but that's kind of hard when your only six. But when I woke there on the table waiting for me was my fried egg sandwich. I would even eat sardines on crackers with him. EWE! Hey, if dad loved them, I loved them just the same. 
Oh, my dad was pretty great. Even at that young age he was grooming me for softball. He figured if I could throw a baseball and hit one, well, that would make me an even better softball player. You know what? It worked! We may have had a few mishaps along the way. Like when he tossed me the ball and my face caught it instead. Broke my nose. Blood was everywhere. As my mom freaked out, my dad calmly said, "She's okay, aren't ya, Rob?" Well, of course I was NOT, but hey, if dad tho…

Two Cups of Coffee Side by Side

Two coffee cups share a spot on the counter. 
She hopes there will always be two cups side by side. 
So many years together. She had found his love of coffee. She had watched him gently sip the liquid warmth over the years. She now could share in what she understood to be a coveted moment in time. 
Each night before bed she readied the magic brew. Timed it perfect for each morning. She set down two cups side by side ready to to enjoy. 
As the morning sun began to rise the house would deliver the tantalizing smell that awakened them. She readied it at night and each morning he would pour her cup first and then his. He would carry this gift to her every morning and say, "For my princess". They would snuggle in for a few sweet hours of chatting about life, dreams and just silliness. 
They would become best friends. 
His cup held black. Her cup was vanilla. So much about them different. Yet, so much alike. The years had given them a gift of peace and stillness. Both …

Should I Serve You Even Though You're Different?

There are times I struggle with writing from the heart. I want to be obedient to my Jesus. I want to serve Him with the gifts that He has given me. But being transparent isn't always pleasant. What if some are offended? I have gone back and forth about writing this. Some may understand. Some may agree. Some may attack. But what I can share with you is that this is my conviction. 
We are called to serve. Who is that we serve? As I have studied scripture the word I am continually seeing is ALL. Not a select few. Not just those I like. Not those who I can gain something in return. I am to serve those around me with the sweet love of Jesus. 
Let's say I am the owner of a bakery. Okay, now, how sweet would that be? If I could bake that might be a possibility. Not a gift of  mine, but one I can surely work on. Now, I've owned my shop for ten years. I have built a great business. I have a connection with the community. I love my bakery. Love my customers. It is connecting with othe…

Sarah's Choice by Rebecca St. James and Nancy Rue

The cover caught my eye. The description had my attention. The story had my heart. This is a wonderful novel. I was taken by Sarah right away. Why? Her honesty. This is a girl who desires perfection. She strives for nothing less than perfect. She wants to succeed in everything she does. Failure isn't an option. But Sarah soon realizes that one choice leads to another and one poor choice could change her life forevermore. 
But Sarah's life is woven with deep hurts. I could relate to her on so many levels at carrying the wounds of losing her father. My heart bled with her as she shares her family circumstances with a friend. Friendship is something Sarah needs. Seems every friend has advice, but is it advice that is good for Sarah? I love her friendship that blossoms with Audrey. What I love even more is at first glance each of these ladies admits that they didn't like one another. But we see that God knows exactly what He's doing as He places people along our path.