Friday, October 14, 2016

Currency Of The Heart (Secrets on Sterling Street Book 1) by Loree Lough

You can give me a Loree Lough novel every day of the week and twice on Sunday. She writes real and poignant. She brings characters that battle circumstances that can touch our lives today. Yes, characters I can relate to makes me care even more about those that are being unveiled before my eyes. Loree allows us the see the heart of the character, the good, the bad, and the ugly, but never without hope. 

You can easily pick up any of her books for simple enjoyment of reading, but you too know when you close the last page you are walking away with something more, something of the heart to ponder.

I first fell in love with Loree's writing when she sent me a copies of Maverick's Heart and Beautiful Bandit. I knew then that her writing was special and set apart from others. There's just something so personal about her writing. 

Welcome to Colorado in the 1880s. We meet such strong characters. Characters with integrity and honor. Okay, everyone needs a Sloan Remington in their life. Just the name alone says, man of strength, right? 

His character leaps off these pages. Oh, the depth Loree can go by sharing such generous details and bringing these black and white pages to life. Courage is another attribute Sloan carries, but he too carries a deep wound. A burden secret that he has kept all his life.

It isn't a secret for him to carry any longer. We are introduced to Shaina Sterling. Oh, what a beauty she is. At first glace she is a women who has had an easy and carefree life. True on many levels, but she has carried her own burdens. As Loree weaves her story more of her personality is revealed and we are blessed to see the life she has lived. Through her life we are able to see the grace of God, His strength living in those who love Him, and a profoundly grateful heart. 

Together these characters teach us so very much about letting go and trusting. Taking a chance and taking that leap of faith, knowing that God is always in control. 

There are so many characters to love in this novel. One of my favorites was Mable. Just like we could all use a Sloan Remington in our life, we too need a Mable. That strong and steady woman who loves mighty and gives advice with grace. That woman to stand with us and to be there in times of need, never judging, but always reaching out, leaving a legacy to follow. 

A favorite line in the novel? Yep, I have one of those. "Never let what you want become more important than what your mate needs." That is powerful, right? That's what I mean about a Loree Lough novel. You get everything you are searching for and so much more!

I fell in love with Abe and Elsie. These two characters are so young and innocent, but even in their youth they are wise beyond years and both have hearts that reach beyond themselves. They are characters that leave a smile on your face. 

Oh, and something remarkable. Shaina Sterling is from Missouri. She's from Portage Des Sioux. That's right where I spend much of my young years growing to be a young woman. Even in something so simple it was super cool connecting with this character in such a way. 

Sterling Street is a place you are going to love visiting. You're going to want to return in book 2, Guardians Of The Heart, which I am reading now. I cannot wait to share with you! 

If you are searching for a great fall read this series is perfect! Love, friendship, romance, faith, a little suspense and a whole lot of awesomeness!!
This book was a gift from Whitaker House Publishing for sharing my review with you.

Loree Lough Once upon a time, best-selling author Loree Lough literally sang for her supper, performing before packed audiences throughout the Midwest. Now and then, she blows the dust from her 6-string to croon a tune or two for her grandkids or to sing at weddings or funerals, but she mostly just writes. Over the years, her stories have earned hundreds of industry and Readers' Choice awards and 4- and 5-star reviews.
Loree has nearly five million copies of her books in circulation, and in March 2014, she added her hundredth published book to the shelves. She has written fiction and nonfiction for kids and adults (2,500-plus articles and 68 short stories), and four of her novels have been optioned for movies.
To date, there are almost 66,000 letters in her "Reader Mail" file, and she has answered every one, personally. (A carton of books is on its way to Corinna P. of San Antonio, Texas, for writing the 65,999th letter. Corinna said she plans to donate the books to her local library!)
Loree loves sharing learned-the-hard-way lessons about the craft and the industry, and her comedic approach to teaching makes her a favorite (and frequent) guest of writers' organizations, book clubs, private and government institutions, and college and high school writing programs in the U.S. and abroad.
A writer who believes in "giving back," Loree dedicates a portion of her income to Soldiers' Angels, Special Operations Warrior Foundation, and several other worthwhile organizations (see the "Giving Back" tab at her Web site,, for a complete list). She splits her time between a tiny home in the Baltimore suburbs and an even tinier cabin in the Allegheny Mountains, where she continues to perfect her Critter Tracks Identification skills. She shares her life with her real-life hero, Larry, who rarely complains, even when she adds yet another item to her vast collection of "wolf stuff."

Thursday, October 6, 2016

What's In A King's Hands?

Get this. The King of the world loves you!! I know, how can it be that you and I are known and loved by the One who created the universe and all it holds?! 

He created the gigantic and the tiny. The wide and narrow. The highest of mountains and lowest of valleys. But He didn't stop there. He created love, hope, and faith!! 

In His hands He wove this world for you and me!! That's not just fascinating, that's extraordinary! There is nothing more powerful than His love. Within His hands He molded our lives and set in motion perfection for our days. 

Although we don't always understand, how can we doubt Him? How do I doubt a love so mighty? A Creator who not only created this vast world and everything in it, but me. He created me! I am known and I am valued by my Lord. 

I always try to take in my tiny hands what He holds so masterfully in His. His hands are strong, yet they are gentle. Why are we always trying to take from Him, know more than Him, and reconstruct with our own thinking what we think to be best? 

Oh, if only we could worship Him with all of our being, remaining focused on Him, and never wavering. Ah, but He knows us, remember? He knows we will waver. He knows we will question. He knows we will stumble. But there He is always reaching out. Forever making a way for us. Always giving us room and opportunity to see His beauty. 

Today will hold so much we do not yet know. How could we possibly know? But the King of the universe knows and He holds in His hands all that love Him. Today we can open our hands with trust and He will place in our heart a kind of peace that will carry us through this day of unknown minutes. It's up to us to see Him and all His glory. 

He's waiting to show us so much of Himself. In fear we hold back. I open my hands to give Him everything, but then it gets scary and I take it back. I am trying to wrap my mind around why I so easily try to take back what I give Him. I mean, all I am and all I love belongs to Him. I so want to just leave things in His hands, but at what cost? Didn't He already give everything of Himself for me? The cross says it all. 

This life isn't about easy. In our uneasy He will cover us and fill us with everything of Him. Right now in this very minute His glory is being unveiled to us. Let's choose to see all the King of the universe is doing on behalf of all who love Him and even those who yet know know Him. We don't want to miss out on what He has for us today.

I easily accept the love and laughter. All the good things that come that give such joy. These are from Him. I open my hands and say, "Yes, Lord, more of this, please"! But when things get difficult how can I not open my hands? It's easy to close up my hands and say, "No, Lord, not this". Doesn't everything that touches my life first go through His hands? The same hands that molded me into life? 

I'm learning that when I fully open my hands to Him my faith comes alive. Hope and trust come with obedience. I either believe in all of Him or none of Him. So, here I am today opening my hands to Him. Laying everything in my life before Him. 

He is capable, isn't He? Of course He is. I give to Him and then I try to take it back as if I can somehow protect my family better. I can rest in Him, weary and anxious, with every amount of trust He has instilled within me. 

Where is my belief? Why am I constantly waiting for disaster to happen? This fear comes in the middle of the night. So, I open my hands. I pour out each of my loved ones to the Lord and pray. His ways are higher than mine. He sees far past my vision. He knows the heart of each of my children and grandchildren. He sees the needs of parents and friends. He sees the depth of my love for my husband. Yes, He knows every exact need. 

I am a warrior when I'm praying! Sometimes it is just all overwhelming, isn't it? Do you too know these fears?  As these fears overwhelm me I pray for protection, mind, body, and soul. The names of many flow from my lips. I pray for their heart to fall into place exactly where God wants them to be in this life's journey. 

To be known and loved by a King, not just any king, but the King of kings, tells me that I am valued and precious to the One who created me. In that alone, it is enough. It is enough to be loved by Him. 

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is He who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword> As it is written: "For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter." Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:31-39

"See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me." Isaiah 49:16

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths." Proverbs 3:4-5

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Jesus Always (Embracing Joy in His Presence) by Sarah Young

I love devotionals. How about you? There are some that stand out among others. This is one of those special gems. Like me, maybe you have read Jesus Calling. It's a devotional that changed my sweet times with Jesus. Maybe you have never picked up a devotional. This is your opportunity to pick up something that will bring blessings you have yet to experience. 

Sarah Young opened up a whole new world for me through this one gem of a book. Why? We often think we don't have time to study. Mornings are rushed and well, lets face it, nights are just exhaustion waiting to meet our pillow. Sarah Young brought about a devotional to help people like me know that all it takes is a moment and a willing heart to meet with God. When we make time for our Jesus, life changes. 

I too have Sarah's devotional, Jesus Calling (Morning and Evening). I absolutely LOVE this and use it daily. How does Sarah's devotionals help me in my faith journey? They are personal. Written as if it were God speaking to my heart. His words and Sarah's passion brings the Word alive more and more for me. 

As I have followed the dates I can share that there have been many times that what I read that morning applied to my day! Reading it sets me on a course to a deeper relationship with Jesus. The devotionals are one page, just two paragraphs, and include two or three verses for deeper reading. It's Sarah's devotional that speaks to me, gets me pondering the Word, my Jesus, my heart and where I am in my walk. As I dig into the verses it's there that the Spirit speaks to me, bringing me to the place where I say, "Yes, Jesus"! 

Sarah's newest gem is just awesomeness of 365 devotionals that are powerful and poignant leading the reader to a deeper walk with Jesus. Who doesn't need joy? Even more joy! Can we ever be too full of joy? This devotional is concentrated on bringing us to the place of embracing joy in a whole new way. This is why Sarah's devotionals are so wonderful. They are life changing. 

I use them in many ways. I follow the date, but sometimes, especially if I'm having a day I just open up one of them and read until I feel the Spirit move in me, lifting my weary soul and replacing it with peace, joy, and hope. 

They can be used for teaching tools, for added study, and this gem would make a great gift for anyone. These are not just geared toward women, but anyone seeking to walk with Jesus.

This devotional is small enough to carry in a purse, a bag, keep it on a desk, and even in the car. It's an easy access to finding joy in a day that is a  mess of emotion. 

This is a devotional you could easily read together as a family. Oh, and to read it together as a couple! Yes, it's that good. This little gem is a powerful gift for the soul. It is one you will enjoy to read even after the 365 days have pasted. It's a keeper for sure!!

This devotional was a gift from Thomas Nelson for sharing my review with you.


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