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Showing posts from July, 2011

Really, right there in the middle?

I was reading through Genesis and as I came across Genesis chapter 3 a question leaped out at me. First let me share the verse with you.

"'Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,' the woman replied. It's only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, 'You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.'" Genesis 3:2-3

Now, Eve, is being tempted here and she is trying to prove her case as we all do when we are tempted. Funny we can change things around and make every excuse for why we should other than why we shouldn't. But what stands out to me is this. Why did God place that tree in the middle of the garden? I mean right smack dab in the middle? Why not place it off in the corner some place where they wouldn't see it daily and be tempted by it? I must say I have been pondering this question.

"The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over…

There's love in them actions

We face the day with trepidation. We want to soar, but we are not quite sure we can make it off the the ground. We wake wanting to feel refreshed and all we feel like doing is crawling back under the blankets. No one really knows what we are facing. We have kept quiet for so long. We don't want others knowing. We don't want pity. We just need love. We need someone to care. Does anyone care?
Just think what would happen if all we did was love. I mean really unselfishly love those around us. We would see friends soar. We would witness miracles happen as people threw off their worries and grabbed a hold of the hope that is no longer out of reach.
Think you can't encourage another? Is it just not your gift? I think we just don't think we can be of much help. What would we say? We can all encourage. It's simple. Send a text of just, "Hello, I'm thinking about you." Email one across the miles. Pick up the phone and let another hear your voice of compassion.…

Searching for direction

If you have stopped in on a Friday you may have noticed there was not a Lets Chat spot appearing. I want to share with you that Lets Chat isn't over, it's just on hold for a bit. I love Fridays and I love interviewing people. This highlight has been a rich blessing in my life, but it is time I take a step back for a bit and look at the view. Not my view, but God's view.
I have been spending time in prayer asking God, "What direction do You want me to go?" I haven't heard a definite answer yet, so I am waiting and trying hard to be still. When you love to write, or maybe I should say, when writing is your passion, it's pretty hard to sit back and wait. He hasn't told me to put my writing on hold, but He is asking me to expand my vision. I jot down everything that seems to have meaning. I have all these notes and it's like trying to put a puzzle together. Finding where all the pieces fit is not always easy. It is a journey and I gotta say, as I sit …

THUNDER DOG: A Blind Man, His Guide Dog, and the Triumph of Trust at Ground Zero by MICHAEL HINGSON and SUZY FLORY

Here is how Thomas Nelson describes this beautifully written book:
A blind man and his guide dog show the power of trust and courage in the midst of devastating terror.


It was 12:30 a.m. on 9/11 and Roselle whimpered at Michael’s bedside. A thunderstorm was headed east, and she could sense the distant rumbles while her owners slept. As a trained guide dog, when she was “on the clock” nothing could faze her. But that morning, without her harness, she was free to be scared, and she nudged Michael’s hand with her wet nose as it draped over the bedside toward the floor. She needed him to wake up.

With a busy day of meetings and an important presentation ahead, Michael slumped out of bed, headed to his home office, and started chipping away at his daunting workload. Roselle, shivering, took her normal spot at his feet and rode out the storm while he typed. By all indications it was going to be a normal day. A busy day, but normal nonetheless. Until they went into the office.

In Thunder Dog…

When there is no end in sight turn to the One who gives light

"Discouraged not by difficulties without, or the anguish of ages within, the heart listens to a secret voice that whispers: "Be not dismayed; in the future lies the Promised Land." Helen Keller

We wake with such disappointment. What we expected has turned into the unexpected. Our smile that formed so easy on Monday has now turned to a frown on Friday. Life seems to change so very quickly. It's like driving down that country road on a brightly lit Sunday night as all is quiet and there it happens before the blink of an eye. A deer crosses your path and a life comes to an end.

Ever feel as though your seatbelt was not on tight enough? The car seems to stop so abruptly and your thrown from the comfort of your seat. Now your left with trying to understand what has happened. Nothing seems right and you have no idea how it all fell apart.

Sound like your life today? Was everything going smoothy until you woke this morning? Maybe those divorce papers arrived for signing …

ENEMIES OF THE HEART (Breaking Free from the Four Emotions That Control You) by ANDY STANLEY

Andy Stanley is AWESOME!! I opened this book and did not put it down until I was finished! I love how the Lord sends a book my way just when I need it. Perfection only by God! Do you have a heart problem? Lets put it this way, you may have a heart problem and not even know it. I did, or should say, I do. I have been holding in such anger and had no idea why. The very things I thought I was angry at wasn't even the problem. I had to dig deeper.

Andy takes us through our heart conditions that effect every facet of our lives. Anger, guilt, jealousy and greed. If we do not carry these in our heart we know someone who is. They effect everyone at some point in our lives. The point is, how do we rid ourselves of them?

Andy takes us through each one and not only shows us what the symptoms are, but the cure. Yes, he points us to healing. Change doesn't happen overnight, but we must make a choice within to begin change. Once we can identify our heart condition God can begin His work i…

STRIKING A MATCH (The Complete Series) by TRACIE PETERSON

Tracie Peterson has taken me to Alaska, Montana and now Texas. What an experience it is to travel along with Tracie. In her newest series, Striking A Match, we meet Deborah Vandermark. What a life this young girl leads. In the beginning of the series with book 1, Embers Of Love, we meet her best friend, Lizzie Decker. They have gone to school together, something many girls of this time didn't have the chance to do.

Lizzie isn't so sure she wants to wed a man she doesn't love so she travels to Texas with Deborah. Life is totally different for Lizzie in Texas. She is use to the comfort of having everything done for her and now she will learn how to do those things for herself. She is shocked at how things are so different in the south.

Deborah lost her father to a logging accident and her brother was badly injured. Guilt has become part of G.W's life. Deborah already has her sights set for playing match maker. We follow the love that is kindling between G.W and Lizzie,…

Empty yourself of all that clutter

We all have one. Most of the time it's in the kitchen hidden by the look of the smooth cabinet drawer. Yes, that junk drawer. Why? We all seem to have that one drawer in which we throw every unwanted item. Why do we not throw it away? Wouldn't that be easier? No, we want to hang on to it. You never know if your going to need it, right? But then, we never use it. Most of the time we don't even really know what it is used for, so what happens? One Saturday we pull that drawer open and say to our bored selves, "Ya know, I think I am going to clean this thing out."
We begin the task and we even make piles. Those gadgets to throw away, those gadgets to maybe keep and those gadgets that we must ask someone else if they belong to them. Okay, most of the time I have no idea who these gadgets belong to and for some reason they have ended up in my drawer. Every once in a while we will pick something up and say, "Well, there that is. I have been looking all over for t…

THE DEAD SAINT by MARILYN BROWN ODEN

What a read! The latest book I have pulled off my shelf is, "The Dead Saint", by Marilyn Brown Oden. The cover of this book says it all. You throw in a New Orleans Saint, cross hairs, and the White House and you have yourself a story that keeps you captivated all the way to the last page.

Here is how Abingdon Press describes, "The Dead Saint."

It begins with a single gunshot, and Bishop Lynn Peterson watches in horror as a good friend, who is a member of the New Orleans Saints, collapses on the street.



When a medal the player wore—a medal Lynn had promised to return to the man's family—disappears, Lynn is thrust into a suspenseful and fast-moving journey through four assassinations, an attempt on her life, conflicts with a mysterious and ancient society, and a behind-the-scenes conspiracy that reaches all the way to the White House.


The turbulent, unstoppable intrigue challenges Lynn mentally, physically, and spiritually as she engages in a desperate battle wit…

SHROUDED IN SILENCE by ROBERT L. WISE

The latest book I have read is, Shrouded In Silence, by Robert L. Wise. The amazing thing about reading is there is something for everyone. Here is the description Abingdon Press has about Shrouded In Silence.

Determined to find an answer, Jack and Michelle Townsend set out on a quest to find the original ending to the Gospel of Mark.


Following ancient clues, they head for Rome, but what starts out as a scholarly search turns violent as two separate groups strive to stop the Townsends, plunging their quiet research into chaos.

After a bomb destroys their office, the Townsends are pushed to the limits of their determination and commitment to God’s will. Can faith in God’s purposes endure in a swirl of conspiracy and espionage that brings the couple to the brink of death?


"This is a story of well-hidden biblical secrets that have endured throughout the ages and of a couple's devotion to finding the truth. It's a story fraught with death, danger, and deception--of never know…

Sometimes where your standing makes all the difference

I have been spending time reading, "Crazy Love", by Francis Chan, and last night I came across something he shared. "Having faith often means doing what others see as crazy. Something is wrong when our lives make sense to unbelievers." Isn't that wonderful? It was just what I needed to hear at the moment. I sat and pondered over these words.

We always try to figure the world and it's actions out. We simply cannot. If we are living in our Christian faith and seeking God on every level, we will not understand why the world does what it does. Just as if we are living our Christian faith, the world is not going to understand us. There are going to be times when we look simply crazy. Our lives and the world are not to match up. If our lives are making sense to the world/unbelievers, then something is wrong. That was profound for me.

This is where we seem to butt heads with others and have disagreements that make us cringe. If someone doesn't believe in God…

Leave the light on a little longer

One of my most cherished times of the past is when my children would get so excited for bedtime. You ask, "What? Excited for bed?" Well, they knew after bath time, everyone crawled in mommy's bed for a good read. We would spend hours at the library picking out books. They would get a few they could read and pick out those that they wanted me to read to them. I remember that sweet sound of, "Momma, peeez read it again." With a smile and a joy in my heart I would read again and again.

Now, I find myself wishing we could go back to such a simple time. Such a sweet time. We turned each page and the kids would take time looking at each picture. You could just see their little minds churning. For the most part, they knew how the story ended. We had picked out books and read the same ones over and over again, but they didn't care. It was a time they loved. It was a win-win for all of us. I was filled with a joy over the moon as I read and they opened their hearts…

CRAZY LOVE by FRANCIS CHAN with DANAE YANKOSKI

Before I begin my review I want to share some things aboutDavid C. Cookpublishing. In reviewing, I have the opportunity to work with many publishers and authors. This has been a great blessing to me. I teach Junior High Awana or Trek on Wednesday nights at church. A group of kids searching for answers. A group of kids that tugged at my heart. I wanted to bless this youth group with something special, but it just was not in our budget.

I contacted David C. Cook through email and shared this with them. I am not sure what I expected, but I believe God was at work beforehand. David C. Cook Publishing not only gave me a book for review, but they blessed me with twenty books for my students to read throughout the summer. Can you believe it? This is a group that is reaching out to the world and sharing the gospel of Christ. Through this one act of love and kindness only God knows the blessings that are to follow. To them, I want to say, Thank you.

Here is what David C. Cook has to say abou…

Where's your sign?

We love to point out sin don't we? Well, just not ours or the ones we are willing to accept. We seem to place a price tag on sin. You have bad sin and you have not so bad sin. We try to say, "Oh, murder is a big sin." While on the other hand we say, "Oh, gossip isn't that big of a deal." Friends, sin is sin. Sin is ugly and none of us want to admit we have it. We like to point to others. We even like to pretend as Christians our sin isn't as bad as say, someone who isn't saved. Ever wonder why people don'tlike the church? Oh, it's not the pastor or even what is being preached. It's the people who seem to hold themselves above all others.

We have all done it at one time or another. Shame on us. Shame on me. I know I have looked upon others and said to myself, "I would never do such a thing." What is it they say, "Never say never?" A few days ago I had simply made a post on face book about sin. I had no idea it would r…

Salvation seedlings

My husband loves to grow a garden. He grew up on a farm, so gardening comes natural to him. When we were first married I took it upon myself to surprise him by putting out the garden. He was off at work and I just thought, "It will make his day when he sees this." I had no idea of gardening. I purchased all the plants I knew he wanted to put out. I got the soil ready to go and started planting. Now, may I remind you, I have no idea what I am doing. You know, as you make the rows they are suppose to all be one way and well, there is just a way to plant and a way to place everything perfectly.

As my husband came home he took one look at the garden and didn't say a word. There was just this huge grin covering his face. He was excited to see that I tried. I put a lot of work into that garden. Lots of sweat and this girl hates to sweat more than anything. I planted everything the way I thought it should look. I didn't make straight rows and I didn't plant every same p…

Why can't the road be smooth?

As I pull out of the drive on our country road I look both ways and say a prayer of protection. As my husband cares for our car he always tells me, "Now, try to stay clear of those pot holes." Pot holes can do damage to your car. One of the most damaging things is to be off balance. Your car just doesn't move right. It doesn't flow any longer. The wheel pulls to one side and you are fighting it all the way to town and back.

It's funny, my husband, can get in our car and pull down the road a bit and ask, "Have you hit a pot hole lately?" Now, why is it that he thinks it's me? lol I gotta tell ya, sometimes I see them up ahead and no matter how much I try to miss them I still end up falling in.

Life carries many kinds of pot holes. Those we are able to see up ahead and those we are blinded by. You know them. Your husband loses his job. Wham, pot hole. Your mother becomes ill and has to have a hospital stay. Wham, pot hole. It's time for your car…

LOOK TO THE EAST (The Great War Series) by MAUREEN LANG

WWI is beginning to rage. Young men are lining up as they go off to battle a war they are yet to understand. In a small quaint town in France we find Juliette Toussaint, a young woman, with a strong grounded faith. Although she is adopted into the Toussaint family, she is not quite accepted. People see her as beautiful, yet strange. They know she prays and her prayers are answered. Those around her are not quite understanding her strong faith, but the gifts and works that come from it.
The Toussaints and de Colvilles have had a feud for years. No one really knows the reasons or beginnings of this feud, but these families are ready to come together as the war ignites and moves through their little village unknown to the world.
Juliette falls in love with one that she is forbidden to love. We see this young girl grow in faith and show a village what faith is all about. This was a lovely read. Maureen Lang brings her best and her books are page turners and leave you with a feeling of jo…