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Showing posts from October, 2015

Keeping Christmas by Dan Walsh

I am a huge fan of Dan Walsh. I have loved every book he has yet to pen. So, when I seen this for review I knew I had to snatch it up. The cover caught my eye with that little gingerbread cookie house that looks so inviting and warm. 
Dan's writing is impeccable. He is a master story-teller. I liked the premise of this story. A husband making way to give his wife a Christmas to treasure. A husband doing all he can and giving all he can to his wife, a wife that isn't so much doing the same to him. 
They are empty-nesters. This is the first time that none of their three children will be home for the holidays. Although Stan isn't so thrilled about the idea, he is quite content and happy to enjoy time with his wife, Judith. Stan seems so gentle and loving. Judith seems pretty caught up in her self. She isn't happy that her children will all be spending the holidays with their own family or friends. She simply wants them at home and nothing else will make her happy. 
Stan …

The Christmas Joy Ride by Melody Carlson

This is a really joyful, lighthearted read. It was a quick afternoon read for me. The writing flows and the characters are lovely. The story-line is sweet and tender. To top it off this novel is filled with beauty and giving.  
I love the premise of the story. Joy is an unforgettable character. This elderly woman is full of life, love, and purpose. She isn't one to look at her own circumstances with pity or question, "Why me?" She's one to give until it hurts. She's a woman to admire as her beauty shines forth in her service to others. 
I too found Miranda to be just as lovely. Disappointment has splashed down on her life and she's in the middle of wondering, "What am I going to do now?", but here is Joy to encourage her and inspire her to not look at the circumstances around her, but to look at life as an opportunity to explore. Joy nudges Miranda to take a trip with her. It's on this journey that the heart of both of these ladies becomes clea…

Where There Is Fear Faith Can Overcome

It isn't by chance that God gives us, "Do Not Fear", 365 times in the Bible. He knew we would fear in this life before us. 
You're not going to hear from me that if you have faith you will have no fear. No, it is in that very fear that your faith will come alive and carry you through. Your faith will give you strength and courage. 
Our fears can consume us. They keep us from living a life in freedom. Can we ever truly be free from fear? In trusting Jesus we can overcome the fear that shackles our feet in concrete. 
How do we trust Him? We believe Him. We either believe He is God and He's in control or He isn't. Each day we have to make a choice to surrender our fears to Him. Ask Him to reveal Himself to us in ways that remind us He never falters, never waivers, never will we slip from His hand. 
Instead of a mind filled with what could happens we need to fill our mind on positive things from above. This world is filled with evil that is very real. Each day we…

Splash in Splendor

Do the trees cry out, "Oh, if only I were a mighty Oak, a tall and slender Elm, a full Maple, a Pine that will one day be used for a Christmas Tree?", or do these trees simply be who they are and magnify the glory of the Creator?  
The hills splash in splendor. The mountains paint glory. They come together and sing, "Hallelujah"! In each season they transform, change occurs, leaves bud, leaves fall, all that happens is change needed. For if there were no season of change we would miss the splendor of beauty that echos God's love and perfect work. 
It is together, as each colors the landscape, that they show us a kaleidoscope of God's magnificence.  Each tree different. None the same. Unique in every way. Different shapes and sizes. The leaves, the trunk, the branches, the roots, all unique. Some are young and some have been around for years, yet they come together in a motion of color that streams a glory that catches the eye and draws the soul to into wors…

Pick Up Grace Instead

Jesus is teaching. People are gathered around Him. A ruckus occurs. Men circle around and there in the middle of them is a woman. Can you see this picture? Stone in hand. Words slurred like poison. Anger and self-righteousness overflowing. There's enough sin here to make the dirt dirty. "So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, "He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first."" John 8:7
This woman caught in adultery. The man isn't present. She is the only sinner today. Oh, these men probably don't really care about her sin, but they are using her to get to Jesus. They are using her to prove a point. 
Jesus is very present. Isn't He always? These men thought they would surprise Jesus. No, Jesus knew what was coming. Little did they know He was already there before these men came on the scene. 
They are accusing. Jesus writes in the dirt. Is it what He writes or what He speaks that gets their atten…

The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning

Amazing that this book was released twenty-five years ago. I've been married for twenty-five years. I read this book years past and walked away knowing more about grace from this book than all the years spent in church. Reading it now for the second time around I am still learning. Praise Jesus for Brennan Manning. I'm so thankful he wrote this book for himself and shared it with the world. 
This book is a life changing experience. Brennan goes deep and shares raw love. He writes with a Jesus passion. His heart is found in these pages. His wisdom will continue to grow in the hearts of all who choose to pick up this book. You cannot walk away from this book the same person as you were when you first picked it up. 
In the beginning of the book Brennan shares who this book is for. This is where I found myself. 
"It is for the inconsistent, unsteady disciples whose cheese is falling off their cracker." "It is for the poor, weak, sinful men and women with hereditary f…

A Better Day or Just A Better Attitude?

Do you ever just wish for a better day? Not even a better day, but a better attitude? I can get so busy. Oh, there are people who think I spend all my time reading. To them I just giggle. Oh, the life of splendor they must think I have. No, I stay busy all the time. 
With my husband's schedule I go to bed around midnight and I wake up around four each morning. I fall asleep at midnight only if I'm not up catching up on a few chores that didn't make it to my list that day. I wake with coffee brewing and head outside with our pup, Stanley, (who I might add keeps me on my toes all day long). Yes, you could say that I need to catch up on some sleep. 
So, throughout the day with chores, on trips to town, grocery shopping and the like, there are times I can feel overwhelmed and become so discouraged. There are people in my life who are demanding of my time. Living with chronic pain isn't a help. In fact it's an added kick in the gut for me. So often I make plans and have…

A.D. 33 by Ted Dekker

This is Dekker at his best! I was blown away when I read A.D. 30 and couldn't wait for A.D. 33 to release. Patiently I hung in there and I was so excited when it arrived! Take a peek at my review of A.D. 30.
You don't have to first read A.D 30 to enjoy A.D. 33, but I encourage you to read it in order. There is so much valuable information in the first novel and having that knowledge about the characters gives you an undeniable yearning to keep turning pages.
The details that Dekker gives is exceptional. I felt as though I was in the desert, camels near, and could hear the heartbeat of each character that Dekker so eloquently and magically drew me into. 
This is an unputdownable for sure. It is a big screen feature on black and white that will touch your soul and bring you to ponder the story as if it were your own. 
There are so many facets to this series. Most of all Dekker uses this beautifully portrayed novel to bring readers to know Jesus in a new way. He brings faith ali…