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Showing posts from September, 2014

Learning To Follow A Pattern

Do you love to crochet? Maybe you're a knitter. I enjoy creating scarves and afghans for my favorite people. I get excited as I walk into a shop to pick out new yarns for a project. I let the colors speak to me. I ponder what it would look like all finished. Creating something new stirs my heart. Once I get started on an afghan I almost get lost in the stitches. I take this time to pray for the one I'm creating a piece for. Then to give it as a gift brings so much joy. To see a friend wrapped in  a scarf I created, to see my grand-children and children all snuggled in an afghan warms my heart. 
It takes time to create something from a string of yarn. Amazing what happens with a hook and yarn and a bit of imagination. Color comes together and a pattern begins to form. At first it doesn't look like much. But once we continue in the process beauty appears. 
I have always used easy stitches for my projects. Now that I have mastered them I want to move on to more difficult patte…

Hands of Faith

I have always loved the story found in Mark 5:21-43, Matthew 9:18-26, and Luke 8:40-56 that share with us the story of two remarkable healings.  A woman who had suffered for twelve years and was healed, and a little girl, the age of twelve, who was healed. I've written about them many times. Each time I read over this story I am once again blessed with God revealing something new to me. 
I have always marveled that the woman suffered for twelve years and the young girl was the age of twelve when healed by Jesus. I don't believe in coincidences. Why was it important for the age of the little girl to be known? Everything in God's Word has importance. I have always pondered what the connection is. 
Jesus had just crossed over the western side of the Sea of Galilee. A large crowd of people had already gathered. Okay, can you vision Jesus crossing over and the people knowing about His coming? They are seeing Him approach. Jesus is about to step on the land that their same feet …

When Was The Last Time You...

The trees are about to speak to us. Their glory is about to shine forth in an extravagant way. They are shouting out to all of creation; "Look! Open your eyes and enjoy. See the splendor before you. Take time. Slow the rush. Live in this moment. Soak it in deep. Explore the opportunities around you to simply experience God." 
We live as if we have forever. The seasons forever change. We cannot stop them. They were created by God. Each one to serve a purpose. Signs to teach us. Times to embrace.
We put off treasures that we could enjoy today. We delay today as we plan for tomorrow. We give excuses. 
We'll get together sometime soon.  I'm just too busy right now.  You know how it is. There's never enough time in the day. I must get all this house cleaning finished.  I must work all the overtime I can get.  It'll just have to wait.  Maybe next year we'll take that trip. I can't play right now. 
When it comes right down to it, we are busy with what we want to be b…

My Letter To My Friend, Bobbie

Friday, September 12, 2014 was a morning that began like all others. A family waking to the glorious day God created. Waking early. Wiping sleep from their eyes. Good-mornings are being said. Hugs being given. Preparing for the day ahead. It's apparent little Phoenix isn't quite up to going to school. Today she will stay curled up with her momma. Third grade can wait. In her momma's arms is where she needs to be today. A young man gets ready early. He grabs his rifle and heads out to seek the wooded area where the squirrels were just beginning to awaken. A bit of time out in the wilderness makes his heart soar. What an amazing way for a fifteen year to begin his day. 
Donnie knows it's time to head out to the bus. Close your eyes. Imagine his smile. Imagine this precious boy waiting with backpack on his shoulder. That first bell comes so early. The day is waiting. 
At fifteen life is full of promise. 
Earlier in the morning, around 3:30, the sun not even up yet, four m…

Christmas Tree Giddiness

"Oh, Nanny, look! Look at the Christmas trees. Aren't they so pretty? I wish I had a Christmas tree like that one in my house." I'm sure you can picture the excitement of my three year old granddaughter as she sees all the lights and ornaments. 
While out with my daughter and grandchildren, Peyton's giddiness over the beauty of the trees could be heard by everyone. When she's excited she wants everyone to be excited with her.
To me, in that moment, my first thought was, "You have got to be kidding me! Already? We aren't even out of September!" Okay, that was a BIG thought that held a wee bit of aggravation. I know what you're thinking. How can I get angry over a Christmas tree? Well, I think the stores take advantage and to them Christmas is nothing more than money and more money. To the Christian Christmas means something valuable and holy. It's the celebration of the birth of our Savior. 
I love Christmas. I love the beauty of the sea…

Paul (90 Days on His Journey of Faith) by Beth Moore

Do you love studies? Well, friends, this is one you want to grab up! It didn't take me 90 days to get through this study. I sat each morning and absorbed Beth's words into my soul.

First I must share how beautiful this book is. This signature series is just exquisitely gorgeous.

Beth has a gift to create inviting. Hospitality on paper. Penned from the heart to the heart. I have read Acts before. Many times. Read the books penned by Paul. I have always admired him and found him fascinating and inspiring.

Beth's words are wonderful and powerful. I walk away with a better understanding of Paul and of God's Word. I read these words with an open heart. Praying for God to show me His Word and to be changed. He did and I am. I was touched sweetly, convicted, and found the same treasured grace in Jesus that Paul also found.

Paul's life is truly encouraging to the Christian. We see his life as Saul. The sinner saved on the road to Damascus. We witness his transformation. H…

Let's All Be Brave (Living Life with Everything You Have) by Annie F. Downs

Annie Downs has a gift for reaching young women. Her writing style is hip. She shoots with truth and shares the bravery she needs in her own life. That isn't always easy to admit. We like to think we're brave, but it takes a humble and genuine girl to say, "Yep, I need some courage for these hard days". 
I enjoyed her writing style. I think this book is geared towards young college age girls, but anyone can truly walk away with a bit of inspiration. 
I love that Annie shares the coffee house she penned each chapter at. It somehow brings a warmth to the book. As though we are able to see Annie sit down with her cup of coffee and ponder the thoughts she shares. 
I find her very inviting. You know, that girl that easy to talk to. The one who isn't afraid to be herself, to share stories where she has skinned her knees, and one who is comfortable to laugh at herself. 
This is an easy book to sit down and enjoy. Annie basically just shares her thoughts, her faith, her…

I shall Be Near To You by Erin Lindsay McCabe

Wow!! This is McCabe's debut novel!! Debut! Girl, you ROCK!! The cover is beautiful and telling. I absolutely loved this novel. I want to read more from this writer. Excellence!! 
I think I experienced every emotion possible. The writing is superb. I couldn't read fast enough. Once I began reading I knew I was going to love Rosetta. A character that embodies love, strength, and beauty. Rosetta is a woman to be honored and treasured. 
If you enjoy historical fiction this is a selection for you. McCabe takes us back in time to the Civil War. We often read and hear about the men of the Civil War, but not much about the women. McCabe highlights the women of this time and brings us to look back with praise and honor. 
This is one of those beautiful stories that belongs on the big screen. McCabe gives a writing portrait that creates a wonderful glimpse into another time and place. She gives the reader the gift of visualizing Rosetta's life. We feel her emotion. Her anger is rea…

Colliding with Destiny by Sarah Jakes

This book is geared more for younger women, high school and college age. Women of all ages can read it and walk away with a sweet journey with knowing Ruth more. But, I think younger women will grasp hold of Sarah's story and be able to see an example that isn't easily found in today's world. 
Sarah does a great job in connecting with the reader. She is transparent as she shares her own life. This is a book about collisions. Life isn't always as we plan, but if we focus on Jesus we see His greater plan. We see this in Ruth's story. Sarah shares scripture and gives us glimpses of Ruth's life. We open our imagination to a Ruth we can still relate to today. 
I enjoyed learning about Sarah and how she has grown as a young woman of God through all of the collisions that has touched her life. I must be honest and share that I wanted more of Ruth.
The take away from this book? Be true to yourself and above all, seek Jesus. 
This book is a gift from Bethany House for s…

The Desire by Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley

I LOVE this series. Love it!! Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley have come together to bring a series that is real and has the potential to be powerful for the reader. They share issues that families face today. Issues that many times we are afraid to share. We keep these things hidden and try to remain perfect in a very imperfect world. 
Could you read, "The Desire", as a stand alone? Yes, of course, but you will be missing out. This is a series that begins with, "The Dance", and follows with, "The Promise". (check out my reviews). This series follows a family. It begins with introducing us to everyone, but in the first of the series the focus is on, Jim and Marilyn, the parents. The second installment takes the focus to, Tom and Jean, the oldest son and his wife. Now we get close to, Allan and Michele. Michele is the daughter of, Jim and Marilyn. 
The title gives us a clue of the main theme. Desire. Jim and Marilyn want a child of their own. But there is more …

HCSB Study Bible Personal Size, Black/Tan LeatherTouch Portfolio

First I must thank B&H Publishing for allowing me to review this beautiful Bible. There isn't a study Bible out there today that can compare with a Holman Study Bible. It is my absolute favorite Bible. I have a Holman Study Bible in the hardback form. It is simply AMAZING!! What is it about this one that I love so much? The size is perfect. This Bible is exquisite in every way. 
This is the black/tan 'leather touch' edition. Although 'leather touch' it is very sturdy and would last a lifetime. You can click on any link that I add here and check out all of the details and even get an inside view. You can find it on Amazon as well. 
I have also reviewed the Holman HCSB Ultra Thin Reference Bible, which is gorgeous.  A leather-bound edition that also another great choice if you're searching for a reference Bible. 
The HCSB translation is my favorite to study. This Bible has everything. It is filled with every tool you need to understand God's Word. 
I love …

Nowhere To Turn by Lynette Eason

Lynette Eason ROCKS at suspense! Another hit for Eason. She is that writer that you expect nothing less than excellence. She weaves a story together with characters you enjoy knowing. Okay, maybe the bad guys not so much. But she has strong characters. Characters with purpose and passion. The story always points to God's perfect timing and how living a faith-filled life empowers us in our journey. 
I get so excited when she has a new release. This is a series that I'm loving. The Hidden Identity Series is one that will keep you turning pages and on the edge of your seat. I've been blessed to review all of Eason's series, "Women of Justice", "Deadly Reunions", and her newest series, "Hidden Identity". The first book in the "Hidden Identity Series", is entitled, "No One To Trust". (Check out my review). 
The cover is very telling. Where do you go when you're on the edge and shadows are all around? Ah, do you see the …

What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days by Holley Gerth

Holley Gerth has become a sweet favorite of mine. I've been blessed to review all of her books and now this newest gem. When it arrived, I took it out of the box and smiled. This is absolutely cheerfully cute! This little hardback edition is pocket sized. Perfect! It would be impossible to pick up this book and not instantly feel better. 
For me this is much more than a devotional. Sure, you could use it as such. Read it daily for inspiration. Set aside one evening a week to enjoy a sweet concoction of Psalms and Holley's encouraging words. I will most likely keep it on my desk for moments I need to just take a step back and breathe. It too would make a great gift!!
I've shared about the packaging. Now, for what's inside. Who doesn't need a dose of Psalms when the day is looking haggard? One of the devotionals is entitled, "God is Bigger Than Your Problems". The Psalm that Holley shares is: "The mountains melt like wax before the Lord, before the Lord …

Move On (When Mercy Meets Your Mess) by Vicki Courtney

Cleanup on aisle one! Now who hasn't been there? Messes are everywhere and most of all, right smack in our own lives. As soon as I opened this book and read the Preface I knew I was going to travel on a journey. A messy one, but one that was going to be filled with grace. 
This is my first book to read penned by Vicki Courtney. When I seen the cover and that red umbrella I was intrigued. Barefoot and running. Been there. Trying to run through the rain without getting wet is like trying to make it through the mess without getting dirty. 
Vicki had my attention quickly. When she started off with a personal story, she not only shared a mess, but she gave the perfect picture of God's grace. 
She is transparent and real. I love that she doesn't just give us scripture and say, do this and don't do that. Which you will find in chapter 6, "Law and Order". But she shares God through her own life. This is how we reach the world for Christ. She isn't afraid of being…

Morning Dew Feet

As I was walking through the morning grass I realized my feet were now wet from the dew. My toes were now covered with green. 

My heart was now churning in full speed. I knew there was a lesson to uncover. I was just waiting for my morning brain to catch up. And there it was. The lesson!

Whatever my hands and feet touch it is sure to cover me. 

"God, create a clean heart for me and renew a steadfast spirit within me." Psalm 51:10

As I looked down at my dirty feet I noticed the clover sprinkled with dew. Each clover holding three little hearts. Glory caught in my throat. Tears were ready to escape. I knew the Spirit was moving in me. I had not been paying close attention to where my feet were stepping. 

"Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily snares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for …

Moved by The Spirit

Can you picture the apostles walking along, side by side, talking with Jesus? It's a lovely portrait to capture in the heart. Oh, the expressions upon their faces, shining with joy, as the Savior shares story after story. While the sun is hot upon them they are engaged in conversation. The laughter they must have shared in the cool of the night. The meals they feasted on together, no matter how small or great, gave opportunity to grow even closer together. Fishing wasn't just for fun, but life lessons for them to carry as they would come to share the gospel with the world. I can clearly see them pondering thought and asking questions that stirred the heart. Jesus in His patience answering each one in perfect time. 
Do you ever wonder what it was like for them to sit with Jesus? The Savior and the apostles, friends, brothers, family. Jesus' hands reaching out to them to follow Him. Arms wrapped around one another in love and friendship. All different, each with their own gi…

At Least I'm Not Like Her

Sitting in our pews we find comfort. We search around with our eyes until there, right before us, is someone we can compare ourselves to. Then we begin to whisper with our heart. 
Oh, wow, I can't believe she wore that skirt to church. 
I can't believe she has tattoos on her arms. 
Look at that couple. They aren't even married, but they are living together. 
Yep, there's Tom. I seen him last night walking out of the bar and look at him now dressed in his yellow tie and new suit. 
There's Mary Jane. Did you hear about her family? Poor thing. She and her husband are divorcing. Turns out he was having an affair. 
Check out Marcie. That girl is something else. Always chatting it up with someone. I can hear her gossiping all the way over here in my quiet little pew. 
I can't believe Nancy and Tom have five children. They are having such troubles with them. People like that don't even deserve kids. 
Do you see how much weight Betty has gained? 
Carl is over there smells l…