Sharing new authors, books, movies, and products with you is such a joy! If you are looking for homeschooling reviews from a transparent relaxed learning eclectic lifestyle with two active middle school boys - - you may enjoy my main blog - .

Monday, December 12, 2011

As Silver Refined, Kay Arthur

As Silver Refined, Answers to Life’s Disappointments

I may be a bit biased. A long time friend of Kay’s. As she she shared, I felt like we were sitting side by side. Tea in hand. Talking of her disappointments in life – sharing her heart and stories with me. I have been with Kay since about 1997, when a dear friend prayed to the Lord to bring people to her home who wanted to study the word.  I was in the second study that gathered at that kitchen table.  Long since walking in my own will and power, I had been raised to love the Lord, love the Word, love His people. However, I didn’t know how to walk that out as an adult.  Kay’s studies taught me how little I knew of the Word. How many stories I had learned from Sunday School by well meaning moms who drew the short straw and had to keep a group of 20 sugar hyped up kids quiet while their parents sat through church .   . .never made their way as truth, set truth, in my heart.

Enter As Silver refined. As I read this book, I walked through a difficult relationship. Between November 18th and December 12th, I would turn on the e-book through Blue Fire on my iPod, and read more of how to get through discouragements. In the middle of this, I walked through a hard set of circumstances. I have about 30 book marks set in the book in the e-reader.  One of my favorite, is from page 61 – to React or Act. It has become something I have said aloud and in quietly to myself, many times since November 29th. It is my choice to act, or react. I have talked to the boys about this. It is changing my days! I wish I could just sit with you and go through the bookmarks. I would come home from a stressful situation, open the book to read, and find the Word and Kay’s words waiting to comfort, direct, and encourage me.  I would walk through a difficulty with a friend, and The word would be there to help share a word with her.

Although I received an ebook copy of this for free to review until December 30th, I will purchase a hard backed copy of this from our local Bob’s Beach Books as well. It will be the first book I’ve reviewed that I’ve bought copies of.

Are you walking through disappointments? Do you know the path of the deadly d’s and how to combat it? If you are walking through any of life’s struggles, or you have a friend neck deep in it, this is going to be an instructive and encouraging read.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Healing is a Choice, Steve Arterburn

Healing Is a Choice10 Decisions That Will Transform Your Life and 10 Lies That Can Prevent You From Making Them

By Steve Arterburn
Published by Thomas Nelson

My copy of this book is dog eared and over highlighted, I’ve been reading it for a couple of weeks. When I first started, it was as a followup to another Stephen Arterburn book, The Encounter, and I wasn’t sure that the book would apply to me. However, I think that this book would be great for anyone – whether you think you are hurting or not!  He gives ten decisions that will transform your life, and then shares the 10 myths that counter those choices. What I think you will find, as I did, is that you think you might “be over” an event, but what you’ve actually done is live in the zone of the myth, and then let time slip by. I recommend this book highly for anyone, but especially if you, or a friend close to you, is in the midst of hurt and pain. This book will remain on my reading table, as a reference and source of direction.  Thank you Stephen!

Get a copy today at Thomas Nelson HERE!


Book Description

Do you want to get well?

The power to heal—physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually—is in God's hands. But the choice to be healed is ours. Everyone, at some level, needs healing. In this book, Stephen Arterburn outlines ten choices crucial to receiving healing and ten lies that can prevent us from making them. Readers will find the wholeness God desires for them in a practical and prayerful way through this book.

Now including the full workbook, this combined release emphasizes the fact that we must choose to let the hurt go and let the healing begin.

The book asks the participant, "Do you want to be healed?" If the answer is yes, then ten choices are provided to make the path toward healing a restorative experience.

Shadow in Serenity, Teri Blackstock

At the age of 17, Carny Sullivan broke free from the traveling carnival and scamming visitors with her dad, and moved to the safe town of Serenity, Texas. Now with a house of her own, a young son and a new life with people who love her, Carny is very protective of her new hometown. But Carny still knows a con artist when she sees one, and when charming, slick Logan Brisco arrives to dupe her town, she is determined to reveal his greedy intentions to all. Carny may be Brisco's biggest match.

Never having had a real family, Brisco becomes comfortable in the quaint, welcoming town, and the lure of the townspeople love may be just what he needs to change his criminal ways. Despite Carny's anger towards Brisco and her attempts to expose his scam to the townspeople, Carny learns the truth about the man behind that suave smile. It would take a miracle to change him, but she's seen that kind of redemption firsthand.

Visit the Site - Buy this Book

Read an Excerpt

Watch the video trailer

From Angie:

I have enjoyed Terri Blackstocks’s writing for many years.  What I didn’t know, is that she wrote under a different name before she came to be a follower of Christ. She shares that this is a re-write of one of her previous books, not set with redemption, and cleaned up for Christian Fiction readers.  I liked the book in the fact that it was a very different story line, the characters had a very unique set of circumstances, and even though I had a hard time relating to the characters or identifying with them, I still read the book to the last page to see what Logan Brisco was going to end up doing. I really wasn’t sure throughout the whole book which way it was going to go. Which, to me, is a good read. Because the story line did not hook my enjoyment, I would have a hard time highly recommending this to my Historical Fiction loving friends, but if you are looking for different – this is a good one. I highly recommend looking into Terri Blackstocks’s other books if you have not read her work before.

Publisher: Zondervan
ISBN-13: 9780310332312
Page count: 352 Pages
USD: $14.99
On Sale Date: September 27, 2011
Genre: FICTION/Christian/Suspense


About the author:
Terri Blackstock has sold six million books worldwide and is a ”New York Times” bestselling author. With over 25 years of success as a novelist, Blackstock's most recent novel, “Vicious Cycle,” debuted on the ”New York Times” bestseller list. The first book in the Intervention Series, “Intervention” is a “New York Times” bestseller and a 2010 Carol Award Winner. Other Blackstock favorites include ”Predator” and “Double Minds,” as well as the Restoration Series, the Newpointe 911 Series, the Cape Refuge Series and the SunCoast Chronicles series. For more information, please

I received this book for free through Zondervan and NetGalley in exchange for mentioning it on my blog.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Would the World be a Better Place without Christ?


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(Leave a Comment to be Entered into A  Drawing for a Free Copy of The Grace Effect!)

What would the world look like – without Christians? How would it function?  The Grace Effect – is a narrative into that world through the eyes of a young child waiting to be adopted. The Vast Differences that the family sees – while living abroad waiting for the paperwork to be approved.  - The tag line – “How the Power of One Life Can Reverse the Corruption or Unbelief” refers to the opening and closing chapters of the book – as Larry Taunton shares openly his dinner conversations with Atheists, his public debates thoughts – and the opening and ending of those, and the effect on his colleagues.

This is not a highly Christian Theological Christian Book. There is not a lot of Scripture used to tell people why they should believe in Religion. After all – I know that you can’t use the Bible to prove a faith point to someone who does not have faith in God or the Bible – and so it seems so does Larry Taunton. 

What this book is for me – is Historical. It opened my eyes to the history of Russia, the Ukraine, the leaders, WW2, Germany, the pool of decisions made that led to what their countries are today. The wave of Secularism, Socialism, and the extinguishing of religion – of Grace.

I have been pondering these words – had a long conversation with a couple of friends – I want to read the book again – But two facts firmed in my head.

1 – I will no longer call myself a Secular Christian.  I’m not sure what I thought that was. Or that I tagged it to myself, but others have.  I had done some research last year about Secular Homeschoolers – and really didn’t like what they had to say on their forums. Here I was, tolerating their decision to use curriculum that wasn’t Bible Based, but they were not tolerating my choice to live a faith in Jesus Christ. I realized through these conversations – that Secular came to mean – Absolutely Without the Influence of the Bible, God, Christ. In the book – Atheism and Secularism went hand in hand, not by the Author’s words, but by the words of those he spoke to, who lived in the freedom to stand and shout what they thought from the rooftops, and then created countries of people to follow them, not only in the 900 a.d. time, but today. I am not Secular.

2 – I will not longer tease about Socialism. I will learn more about Socialism, and share what I find with every. person. I . Talk. To. So beware. This is your warning. How Secularism, and Socialism work hand in hand, has been proven throughout hundreds of years to evolve with intention – has left me speechless. (almost). Teasing about wanting socialism because it means the government will mow the yard in front of my house because they want more tourists to come to town – hurts my heart even more. Do you know that you can go just about anywhere in our town, and use a heated lighted restroom with 2-3 rolls of toilet paper in each stall, numerous stalls, up and down the beach? It would be the perfect place for a pregnant woman to reside! I have heard people complain about the toilet paper being out at a beach spot that sees sometimes a thousand people on a Saturday.  Really?  Why don’t’ we be thankful for heated lighted indoor plumbing with numerous stalls and bring a roll of toilet paper? Sorry. Getting distracted – but I feel like a frog that has been placed in the pan of cold water, and the water is simmering to boil – and we’re all about to get cooked as we stand on what we are entitled to here in America – and we point fingers at who should provide it.

Sigh. Breathe. Focus – Book Review – Right.

The Grace Effect gave me a tiny line – to keep in the front of my mind – when talking to people of other denominations or ideas of how to interpret the Bible – in the end – does it point – to a Grace. A Saving Grace? Is the only objective in the end to have, receive, accept, lean on, the Grace given freely by Christ?  And do you know – what people in America are free do do – because they have felt that Grace – that makes them extend Grace to others? The Grace Effect? Food Banks? Health Care? Cookies? Pot Lucks? Wait. Focus. I think I’m hungry.

I am going to read the Grace Effect with a highlighter Pen. It was another book that I read in a day and couldn’t put down. I am going to research more the historical claims made about the leaders in and around the Ukraine. I am also challenging you to read more about it too!

About The Grace Effect:

"Simply defined, the ‘grace effect’ is an observable phenomenon—that life is demonstrably better where authentic Christianity flourishes.”

What does Christianity give us beyond televangelists, potlucks, and bad basketball leagues?  Not much, according to the secular Left.  The world, they say, would be a better place without it. 

Historian and Christian apologist Larry Taunton has spent much of his career refuting just this sort of thinking, but when he encounters Sasha, a golden-haired orphan girl whose life has been shaped by atheistic theorists, he discovers an unlikely champion for the transforming power of grace. 

Through the narrative of Sasha’s redemption, we see the false promises of socialism; the soul-destroying influence of unbelief; and how a society cultivates its own demise when it rejects the ultimate source of grace.  We see, in short, the kind of world the atheists would give us: a world without Christianity—cold, pitiless, and graceless.

And yet, as Sasha shows us, it is a world that is not beyond the healing power of “the grace effect.”  Occasionally infuriating, often amusing, but always inspiring, The Grace Effect will have you cheering for the courageous little girl who shamed the academic elitists of our day.

The Grace Effect


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Encounter, Stephen Arterburn

Wow. It’s 3 a.m.  I considered going back to sleep, after waking up at one thirty for just a few more pages. I started reading this book this morning, well, yesterday morning, and just couldn’t put it down. I even took it to the park, a walk, and in my truck to read between appointments.  The story, simple and of itself, presents as a mystery, people story – very gripping, pulls you in, fast paced – and urges you to want to know how it will turn out.  From the author, it is a parable about a combination of real life events, to help you identify with one of the characters, and to help you with where you are in life also. If you have a wall built up around you – and the anger, hurt, resentment is killing you – read this book. He talks a lot about walls, the ones we build. Perception. The story we think we know, may not be the truth. We walk though this man’s story – as he works to take down that wall.  I didn’t really come to personalize the story to me – until the final pages of the book.  Page 147 “But you have to go beyond the entitlement of resentment so you can have the freedom found in acceptance”.  This isn’t some big self help you’re going to be fixed book. It isn’t another book saying forgive and forget. It is the very forgetting from hurts long past gone that are causing the troubles. Seeing someone elses persepective, being willing to hear their story, without the tainted glasses of  how that story effects you. Drink it in. Finding a way to forgive through Mercy and Grace. Giving Grace – when you can’t find the emotions for forgiveness. Acceptance.  It is funny that the author is the creator/founder of Women of Faith – this topic of Perspective, Acceptance, and your Role in the Healing kept coming up a lot, and since, in all of my readings of books this past month, passages of scripture, it just keeps coming up.  Meekness. Mercy. Grace. Perspective.

Stephen has another book out about healing, I think I’m going to request it to review next. Again, this book isn’t a fixer type book – but something to help you see – what you may not have even been looking for.

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion from  Again, Thank you Book Sneeze, and thank you Stephen.

From the Publisher:

Book Description

A wealthy businessman travels to Fairbanks, Alaska, to learn why his mother abandoned him when he was a child, and in the process learns that not everything is as it appears to be.

The Encounter, the unique new book from best-selling author and counselor Stephen Arterburn, is a moving parable involving Jonathan Rush, a wealthy and famous entrepreneur, who is tortured by bitterness toward his mother who abandoned him when he was four. He travels to Alaska to find her but instead meets an enigmatic old woman known only as Mercy. Mercy has the information he needs but is strangely reluctant to talk to him. Somehow Jonathan must find a way to persuade a frightened woman to unlock the secrets of his past.

The book includes an invitation to the readers to verify the facts of their own stories, to accept the reality of their existence, especially the most painful ones, and to live in forgiveness. The end result is a healthy new way to look at life with an ability to share hope with others for the future. Healing is possible but requires truth, acceptance, and forgiveness, including of oneself.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Behind the Veils of Yemen by Audra Grace Shelby, a Review


Oh –I REALLY enjoyed this book.  I could have read it in an afternoon, however, I mistakenly started reading this on a Monday, and our Mon – Weds is really packed with activities. I finished it this morning – Weds. I’m not sure what I was expecting when I requested this book from  Bethany House as a free review book – maybe an inside look at the Muslim faith? The trials of the American Missionary in Yemen? What I received, are wonderful quotes, heart felt relayed experiences, Audra’s transparent real thoughts, as she doubts her own faith, her own, walk, her own motives. And – How the voice of the Lord pulled her through each step revealing His Truth. I am definitely passing this book on to a friend, already have had it requested, and it might become a gifting Christmas gift to a few of my friends.

My first favorite passage is on page 12, just a few pages into the story, as she sits on a plane, watching men come back from a Holy Experience type holiday – “How long do you think the spiritual high from the Hajj will satisfy you? Will it be enough?” I wanted to ask. I wondered if they were seeking God or simply pursuing self – fulfillment.” – Wow. I had to seek out my own heart on that question. Coming back from Women of Faith. Seeking out new groups that have been created at our church fellowship, activities around town, homeschool studies. Am I still seeking GOD, or seeking self-fulfillment? Are you?

As you read the book – another favorite part was on page 88. I don’t want to get into copy write laws so I won’t quote more – but it talking about a tree- that seemed strong, but had fallen in a windstorm, revealing disease, and a hollow trunk. I too, want to be careful not to just resemble a safe strong climbing tree on the outside.  She relayed this experience to another – about other faiths, but again, I had to take it to heart in my own life.

Oh, and the tears were a flowin on page 102 when the Lord spoke to her, revealing the difference in her faith and those around her – Jesus is Alive – Oh. Please go read this book! I could have underlined a line out of just about every page.

I hope it is ok, but I would like to share one more passage -

“My heart ached as I looked intently at her. I longed for Fatima to experience for herself what she kept trying to experience through me. She wanted my prayers, my strength and my hope, but she wanted to get them her way. When her way was not enough, she relied on me to provide what she was looking for. She saw the relationship I had with God and wanted it, but she would not accept that Jesus Christ was the only way to have it.  She pondered it, but then backed away.”

Oh my dear friend.  Are you looking, attached to someone – seeking self fulfillment – wanting the peace and hope of their life? Does it always seem just out of reach no matter what church you try, denomination you study, book you’ve read, friends you’ve had? Have you looked to Just Christ. Simply Jesus? Jesus alone to find that peace?  I beg you. Read.  This. Book.

Ya, know, the funny thing is, no where in this book do you come to the moment when they share about any “converts”, where anyone got “saved” or that they “rescued” anyone from sin.  It was about their family, learning all of the detailed ways that the Yemen People lived – helping them – sharing their lives – and showing them the Love of Christ.

From the Publishers:

Behind the Veils of Yemen by Audra Grace Shelby
With only prayer and a faith that always seemed too small, Audra Grace Shelby departed with her family on a one-way flight deep into the heart of conservative Islam. Here she recounts her harrowing journey as a Christian woman thrust into a culture dangerously different from her own. From the friendships she forged, to her gnawing doubt and fear, to her offers of hope when her friends' religion failed them, she gives us glimpses into a world most have never seen. And she shows how the grace of God transforms lives--even in the midst of an Islamic stronghold.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Wonder of Your Love


I received a copy of The Wonder of Your Love by Beth Wiseman from BookSneeze in exchange for an honest review on my blog and

I had a hard time getting into this book, which is rare for Beth Wiseman’s writing.  I restarted the first 35 pages several times (e-reader pages), and then gave it a 4th start to see how I liked it after page 70.  She did introduce a new character and gave a bit of a mystery story line that held my interest to see how it all panned out.  I thought it mixed too much Englisher life with the Amish life, introduced to two people who would marry by the end of the book in the first couple of pages, and didn’t really create the characters or families as richly as her other books. I was sad to see in the end of the book – a few lines of how the Amish judge harshly the Englishers – which would conflict with their beliefs, according to the character – but Beth wrote in a jean and t-shirt or tight pants and mid riff shirt abused teen girl with piercings that wanted to be friends with an Amish male teen as a “good friend” to help her get better. I can see why the mother was not pleased with the friendship. It was such a short story line, but short enough that if this teen came hanging out at my house, I’d discourage the friendship as well.   All in all – I did read it to the end, but only out of a day of feeling ill and wanting to know what the mysterious house would turn out to be. I’m not giving it a great review.

I review for BookSneeze®

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Doctor’s Lady

I was able to review The Doctor’s Lady by Jody Hedlund this week as part of being a reviewer for Bethany House.

The book came at a good time where I needed to take a day’s break and curl up with a good book.  I followed Priscilla from Angelica on the East Coast to Fort Walla Walla on the West.  The characters were richly built, easy to identify with, and quickly sparked the “pulls ya in” quality that I like in a book.  I did /do tire of characters that seem to always whine and wonder to themselves parts of their lives that we are pretty sure will work out in the end, or through the book, so the whining/not communicating part got old. But – for these characters – I do think that on the trail, in few numbers of company, they, like us, only had a few thoughts to ponder on those many months. It reminds me not to continuously ponder a “what we said/what we think might happen” dialog in my own use of time.

I was so pleased to hear that the story had, in fact, been based on Narcissa Prentiss Whitman and Eliza Hart Spalding, the first White Women to cross the pass in 1836. As all good little missionary minded school girls of Oregon – we know / have learned quite a bit about these two courageous women.

Looking for a great book or kindle download? I suggest that you might really enjoy this one!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wrapped in Rain, Charles Martin, Book Review


"Life is a battle, but you can't fight it with your fists. You got to fight it with your heart."

An internationally famous photographer, Tucker has traveled the world and seen both the serious and the strange. But when his brother escapes from a mental hospital and an old girlfriend appears with her son and a black eye, he is forced to return home and face the agony of his own tragic past. Back in rural Alabama, Tucker comes to terms with the ghosts he left behind. Miss Ella Rain once loved Tuck and his brother like they were her very own. Hiring her to take care of Waverly Hall and to keep them out of sight was the only good thing their father ever did. And though Miss Ella has been gone for many years, Tuck can still hear her voice. And she keeps telling him, encouraging him, that by reaching out to this young boy he can redeem his father's tarnished legacy and pass on the good she brought into his life.

A very different writing style. Gripping. Descriptive. Starts at a run right in the middle. So much so – that I couldn’t keep up. We’d be neck deep in a place, a person,  - and then flip. Even in the diving in of a beginning – he was slow to pull out the full story. I was intrigued but almost put the book down. He made me want to know. I wanted to meet Miss Ella Rain. I wanted to protect Mutt and Tuck. I wanted to swoop up the little girl and dress her in wings. He captured my heart with this one. With a husband that suffered child abuse – without reason – I was drawn in. Oh if everyone had a Miss Ella.  My hubby did. He had a Mimi.  If you need a book that will capture your attention, and demand to be read- one that you are a passenger – without knowing where it will go – you won’t know or see any romantic theme – you won’t know what Mutt will do – you won’t know where Tuck’s heart will go – you’ll just ride. I definitely want to check out the other titles by Charles Martin – I am grateful to his amazingly clear writing voice!

I received an free download to my iPod to read in exchange for mentioning the book on my blog and writing a review on a book publisher site. I am allowed to give my free truthful opinion.

I review for BookSneeze®

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Harvest of Grace–Cindy Woodsmall

I love Cindy Woodsmall's family gathering at Ada's House. The Harvest of Grace intertwines so many of her characters - if she would have added some holiday themes or a wedding, it would have felt like a family gathering! I read the book in a day - enjoying catching up with everyone and meeting a few new folks. It makes a great stand alone novel - but you'll get so much more out of it if you have read her other books!
Here is a chance to win a copy of the book!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Sweet Sanctuary–Book Review


"Without the storm, how would we know the sweetness of shelter?" -Ruth

Out of the clear blue, Wren’s Grandma Ruth arrives on her doorstep, dreaming of a grand party to celebrate her 95th birthday. Wren and her young son Charlie love the idea, but it quickly gets complicated: Ruth wants Wren’s estranged siblings to attend and she wants Wren to sing her all-time favorite song: “His Eye Is On The Sparrow.” It’s the very song Wren sang one fateful day during her childhood . . . and Wren hasn’t sung a note since.

Though she’s glad to have Grandma back in her life, Wren’s sleeping on the couch in her own house now . . . and worried about the expenses piling up. After all, her job at the community library is in jeopardy after budget cuts, and the fancy music program she wants for her son is getting farther and farther out of reach. What’s more, Paul—the guy she's drawn to yet avoids—ends up being a major part of an important library project.

With family arriving and old wounds resurfacing, Wren’s about to fly when she discovers something special—a gift of grace beyond her wildest dreams.

I enjoyed this book!  After downloading it to my iPod and starting my iBooks App – I found that I was drawn to the story.  I did tire of the characters constantly “thinking” about all that has gone on and what will happen – for Wren – in the end – it really was the point of the book.  Grace – Peace – Trust.  I really enjoyed the way the story turned out – Sheila Walsh leaves a great big twist – to pull it all together – that you will not be expecting. Well. Ya will now – but I’m not going to tell what the twist is!  A perfect rainy day, rest day, read.

“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” gave me an ebook Reviewer Copy for the purpose of this review.

Grace Card–a DVD Movie Review


(An opportunity to WIN a Free Copy of the DVD
is presented at the end of my personal review.)

Everyone I have met has had that moment.

You’re cruising through life – doing all that “they” said you should do – setting up life just the way you want it to go.

And then IT happens. Outside of your control. Through no great fault of your own, although you’ll spend the weeks or years to come trying to tag it on yourself. Quickly, however, the finger can be pointed to The One at fault.

It doesn’t seem to matter if The One is family or stranger. The seeds have been sown, and time is left to grow the beast into a full grown plant of bitterness, sorrow, anger, rage, depression and despair.

Everyone I have met has their own version of the story. Death. Divorce. Loss. Unemployment. Estrangement. Affairs. Accidents. And sometimes, not just the big things. The big things seem to give one a sense of Entitlement to Anger.

What if – you are not The One was wronged – but The One at fault? What if you offered forgiveness – what if you righted the wrongs as best you could from this day forward? What if you are The One who has to accept that forgiveness? What if people would judge you for the rest of your life – wondering why or how someone could accept their plea and offer them Grace?

I will be praying for you

I watched Grace Card last evening with a couple of girl friends. Based on the rating and the beat of the trailers, we thought it was going to be more of a fast paced action movie. There is action – but it is slow. Deliberate. The type that sinks in. You can feel the pain that Mac and his Wife have been through these past 17 years. You can feel the Pride, and then the Shame that Sam goes through as he finds his life intertwined in Mac’s Anger and Grief. You can feel the regret from Grandpa George as he shares how Grace was extended to his Grandfather, and how his family has walked away from that path to loose a son to words spoken in anger. And each one watching – knows that their story is being played out on the screen.

And just like Sam, and Mac, You have a choice to make. Do you extend the Grace Card? Can you ? Will you? I read a book this week that asks the question – I wonder if one knows the ripples in the pond – how many and how far – are created from a single pebble? If the pebble – or the boulder – has been dropped in your pond – I urge you to watch this movie – and remember how we too – have been saved by grace.

Grandpa George’s own grandfather wrote these words as a boy: “I promise to pray for you every day, ask your forgiveness, grant you the same, and be your friend always.” To whom in your life do you need to offer The Grace Card?

Ephesians 2:8-9

7-10Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It's God's gift from start to finish! We don't play the major role. If we did, we'd probably go around bragging that we'd done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.The Message (MSG)

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. New King James Version (NKJV)

On their website – they offer a 4 week study - free PDF download – Here -

Leave a comment below – and I randomly draw a winner on Friday to have a DVD shipped to your home!

From the Publishers-

 The Grace Card    - Witness the Power of Forgiveness

Everything can change in an instant … and take a lifetime to unravel. When Mac McDonald loses his son in an accident, the ensuing 17 years of bitterness and pain erodes his love for his family and leaves him angry with God … and just about everyone else. Mac’s rage stonewalls his career in the police department and makes for a combustible situation when he’s partnered with Sam Wright, a rising star on the force—who happens to be a part-time pastor and a loving family man.

    Can they somehow join forces to help one another when it’s impossible for either of them to look past their differences—especially the most obvious one? Every day, we have the opportunity to rebuild relationships and heal deep wounds by extending and receiving God’s grace. Offer THE GRACE CARD … and never underestimate the power of God’s love.


  •     DVD Release Date: 8/16/2011
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        “Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services  mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

  • Saturday, July 9, 2011

    PrayerWalk, Janet Holm McHenry

    The Weather is Getting Warmer...Get Outside and Make a Difference!prayerwalk

    Click here to read the first two chapters of PrayerWalk.

    It’s Time to Exercise Your Prayer Life! Years ago, Janet Holm McHenry suffered from depression, weight gain, and exhaustion. Then she began a prayerwalk routine that not only transformed her life but also profoundly impacted the lives of those around her. Learn how you, too, can set out on a journey to increased energy, better health, and greater joy–and experience a rich, full prayer ministry that will have a lasting impact on your loved ones and community–one step at a time.

    Click here to read the first two chapters of PrayerWalk.

    From Angie -

    A desire to daily exercise has been stirring in my soul. I have excuses – pain – knees – starting to exercise to loose weight when the weight itself hinders progress?  One day of walking means 2 days laid up at home? The pool is too far away. The Lake is too cold. The road is too busy and full of hills . . . I got em. Lots of em.

    I requested PrayerWalk to review – to help inspire me to combine the two desires in my heart that seem to be put on a back burner every time something “more urgent” comes to my day.  Prayer and Walking are two things that get stale in my life – and I wanted a jump start. Mind you – I pray. All day long. For every little thing. For every person He brings to mind. For my family, Little shout outs. Quiet moments on my prayer bench. But what I have been lacking is the solid hour of intercessory prayer. A solid hour of quiet. An appointment with the Lord.

    Janet Holm McHenry wrote PrayerWalk in two halves. The first half a step by step detail of how she started walking – with a 30 day guide in the back to get you from a 1/2 mile walk to a one hour walk. She is very encouraging and in instructing.  For Me – I could have had a whole book of the second half.  The How /What/ Who of her intimate prayer life. How often do we get to sit with a sister and listen to her, in a humble but wise and experienced way, as lets you in on the very words of her prayer life. Her doubts? Her struggles? Strongholds? Victories? When things get pale and repetitious? Janet Holm McHenry lets you in. I was encouraged to see that our prayer journey has been similar. Mine on paper, hers on the road.

    I have had my intercessory prayer on paper, but I have the list so memorized that I can stand at the gate for my friends and family what ever the location.

    Since reading this book – and while reading it – I have taken a CanoePrayer action, this summer, to take the canoe to the one mile point or further, praising the Lord – giving Him my worries, listening for His voice.

    I recommend this book to anyone who wants to become “a woman of Prayer, Strength & Discipline.”

    “I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review”

    Tuesday, June 14, 2011

    A Vision of Lucy



    As a female photographer, I really enjoyed reading this tale of a young female working to get her photographs in print, working as a professional taking the photographs of the local townsmen. Sprinkled throughout the book are quotes of Miss Gertrude Hasslebrink, 1878 from The Trials and Travails of a Woman Photographer. These captivating quotes led the storyline for each chapter set in 1882 in Rocky Creek, Texas.  Her opening scene captures ones attention as she dangles from a tree to capture the perfect shot – which launches the storyline that will capture your interest until the last page.  I loved the newspaper’s defense – Pictures are not for newspapers, they are a lazy mans way of reading.  If you are passionate about photography, in need of a cozy afternoon’s read, this book should make you happy in deed!

    From the Publisher -

    Book Description

    Trouble may follow Lucy wherever she goes, but with the help of God and the rugged, reclusive David Wolf, she'll never face adversity alone.

    Lucy Fairbanks dreams of working as a photographer at the Rocky Creek newspaper. If she can earn money making photographs, then maybe her father will see that what she does is worthy, more than just a distraction. And her deepest hope is that he’ll see her as an artist, the way he thought of her deceased mother, a painter. But trouble follows Lucy on every photo shoot: a mess of petticoats and ribbons, an accidental shooting, even a fire.

    When Lucy meets David Wolf, a quiet, rustic man who lives on the outskirts of town, she thinks she can catch the attention of the town with his photograph. She doesn't count on her feelings stirring whenever she's near him.

    Two things happen next that forever change the course of her life: Lucy meets someone who sees her as no one else has—as the compassionate, creative young woman that God made in His image. And Lucy helps David uncover a secret that forces him to change his perspective on an event that left him deeply-scarred.

    God’s arms are around this unlikely couple as they discover the truth about long-held assumptions and the importance of forgiveness.


    I was given, for free,  A Vision of Lucy, a Rocky Creek Romance by Margaret Brownley in the expectation that I write a review on my blog and an internet site like  I will always give my honest opinion of the book and only submit /request books that I think my readers will enjoy.

    Wednesday, June 8, 2011

    Set your TV on Saturday the 11th for NBC at 8

    We enjoy watching movies here – on the TV, Computer or DVD player. However, trying to find a family film – we run into themes that go against the message of our conservative family biblical based ideas.  The norm of most stories is the storyline between the hero and the heroine, how little the heroine wears, how testosterone filled the hero must be, and how little involved the parents are. Throw in a splash of disregard for classical based reading – and you’ve got the story line for just about every movie out there.

    Which – Is Why - - - -

    I am pleased to help promote “Field of Vision”. All of the characters in the story dress modestly – the Senior Football player does have a special girl friend but their friendship and priorities in time spent together are very sweet! The parents are very involved with the entire story line. The idea that a child would not be wanted is a shock to this small town. The idea that any child would be less valuable to another is also a shock to the parents. Older brother protects younger sisters. Senior Teens and the siblings enjoy discussing classical literature together.

    I watched the Producers Cut of the movie – I’m not sure how the slicing will be placed for commercials – or if there is any other footage that will be added. The beginning of the movie is slow, a bit choppy, and it is hard to piece together for a bit. It was worth it to watch it til the end – especially considering your other Saturday evening alternatives.  I am not sure that it really faces the bullying that I have seen in the schools, or between school mates – but it does try to put “doing the right thing” as the honorable choice.

    For my friends who keep their kids entirely away from magic – there is an element throughout the story of a Video Recorder that can send quips of events, it is said to be "like magic”, or “Works when it wants to”, and it pulls the story line together for a few of the players. I enjoyed the line with the video recorder – and would think it was a needed element to this movie.

    Religion – or God – or Faith – was not used to justify any of the characters reasons for being courageous, morally strong, or family based.  We use the “Because that’s what the Bible Says” for a lot of our reasons in our home, and ask each member of the family to pray about decisions and listen to the Holy Spirit.  We talked about this after the movie.

    From the Producers:

    "Field of Vision" is an uplifting movie that addresses bullying in schools and the importance of standing up in the face of adversity. Nearly three-quarters of Americans consider bullying harassment a serious problem and more than 45% of students admitted to having been bullied in school. This movie provides a great opportunity for families to spend time together in watching and discussing the issue of bullying from a biblical world view.

    Star quarterback, Tyler McFarland, learns that some of his teammates have been bullying a troubled new transfer student. Aware that sharing this information with the coach might get his friends kicked off the team and ultimately cost them the state championship, Tyler must choose what's more important: winning or doing what's right. Starring Faith Ford, Tony Oller and Joe Adler this movie airs on Saturday, June 11, 2011 at 8/7c on NBC.



        Mom's for Family TV:

        Dove Foundation Review:


    "Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

    Monday, June 6, 2011

    Already Compromised


    Master Books, A division of New Leaf Publishing Group, gave me the opportunity to review Already Compromised by ken Ham and Greg Hall with Britt Beemer.  It is interesting to note – that their goal of giving these free e-books for review – was stated “to serve as a catalyst for the critical message of Biblical Authority”, wanting to “seize every opportunity to share the truth and counter the lies”.

    I reviewed the book on my iPod using the iBooks App. I love the ability to highlight notes and set bookmarks.  I have over 30 bookmarks and highlights that I wanted to remember to share with you – and save for re-writing the entire book as a review – I thought I’d focus on a two topics that I have heard on Facebook Regarding this book.

    Nowhere, in the pages I read, did I get the message not to send my child to College.  I did not get the message to not send my child to a local community school or a state school. Ever. The authors tell of their times in these institutions as the means to getting them where they are today. This will not be a book that will dissuade you from sending your child to college.

    The opposite is true – what they are wanting parents to know – realize – understand – and act upon – is the war that will be waged on your child – to persuade them to believe – that the Bible is not the inerrant Word of God.  In the Private, Public, State, and Christian Colleges. One might think that investing the Tens of Thousands of dollars to send your child to a Christian College would give them a great Biblical Foundation. This is not true. The other part that was revealed in the polls – is that many, a high percentage, of parents send their children to schools based on the way the campus looks and feels, closeness to home and price. They do not spend time talking to the President or Vice President, or asking about the Faculty – where they were trained, and what they believe.  Looking through the polls of these colleges revealed quite a bit!

    That you are less saved/not saved/  if you struggle to believe that the Bible is the Inerrant word of God.

    Again, the opposite is true – My favorite chapter was actually the Final Thoughts – a Plea for Unity, Chapter 11. He starts out with  this verse:

    My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me (Jesus, in John 17:20-22).  Reputation and pride are at stake, not only for these universities, but for those who have graduated from them. For those who have earned livings based on the Scientific Academics – while quenching, changing, not sharing, or disbelieving the Word of God.

    I have read many websites that accuse AIG on “being divisive, causing unnecessary conflict, and stirring waters that should be left alone.” They state the accusation like this” Only Christ should matter and those elements of the gospel message essential for salvation – and differing interpretations in Genesis should be acceptable and tolerated.”  He goes on – “But this view ignores a larger question – can we separate the centrality of Christ from the authority of His Word? Surely we would all agree that our unity should be centered in Christ. After all, it is only through faith in Jesus Christ that one can be saved. The question, however, is not whether we are saved, but What Christians should hold as being essential for Christian unity. The Christian Church can only know about Jesus Christ through His Word. If the Word of God is not an authoritative document, then how can we know that the message of Jesus and the gospel is reliable? It’s easy to say wonderful statements about how Jesus is all we need for unity and quickly forget that Christ  is not only the Christ of the Cross but also the giver of His Word. Shouldn’t this  then mean that we need to be united in the authority of the document He has given as His message?”

    “Is it possible to de-unify the God of creation from the God of redemption by being willing to accept only one truth in the gospel while accepting the world’s views  in Origins? The Bible tells us that the God of creation IS the God of redemption, so surely this means that unity in Jesus has much wider ramifications than many are realizing. . . .” and he goes on.”

    This is a book about College. Oh wait – that is also not true.  Yes, it’s foundations are the findings of a poll given to 200 colleges – but the root of the topic matter is – the authority of the Bible. Moms, Dads, Grandparents, Caregivers, and the like need to wake up. They need to understand how many opinions are out there – opinions based on man – and not the Word – that will have rule over your children. And – the very people that you are paying to train these children – are the ones that are programming them to believe a lie – or are the ones planting the seeds of doubt – and adding fertilizer to boot.

    Back to the Gloom of Not Sending Your Child to Any State Run School - They promise to “leave you with an Action Plan that will help protect your child and begin to initiate changes in the system as a whole.”

    And why do we need an action plan? Why do we need to face the education of our child from Kindergarten to Graduate school with an action plan?

    Because – “A blind man cannot guide a blind man, can he? Will they not both fall into a pit? A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher. (Luke 6:39-40).

    I have heard from many a Homeschool Conference Teacher – to make sure that your heart – your passions – your directions are made known to your child. That you Light The Fire – for your child. Do not send your child off to a teacher, who has a passion and opinion – without the passion already lit and fueled in their own heart.

    Again, I can’t just type – or retype- the whole book. But I am pleading with you – to read it. To reaffirm why the Authority of the Word is so important – not only to your child – but to you. You will enjoy reading through the

    • Concern for the Curriculum,
    • Welcome to the War,
    • Conflict between the Classrooms,
    • Worth Fighting For,
    • Confusion across Campus,
    • The Battle for the Mind, T
    • he High Call of Taking Action,
    • Ready to Give an Answer,
    • the High Stakes of Good Thinking, the Age of the Earth,
    • Decisions Decisions, Decisions: Choosing the University That’s Right for you,
    • For Students Only: Keys for Surviving and Thriving in College,
    • and the Final Thoughts, A Plea for Unity –

    Wrapping it up with Appendixes

    • Speaking of Newspeak, Do you Really Understand “Worldview”?
    • Documentary Hypothesis: Moses, Genesis, and the JEDP:,
    • Institution Questionnaire.

    The final thing they leave you with , is a link, found in the book, to their list of colleges that came through the Poll as “Creation Colleges”.

    I will probably be sharing my personal thoughts of many of my bookmarks from the book at the Http:// blog – as I am quite passionate about sharing that I believe that My God can and DID do what He, and other first hand witnesses, said that He Did. Any other explanation stemming from a man, opinion or such – just diminishes that My God is All Powerful.  I’m just surprised he didn’t flash create the earth on One Day. Why don’t we start debating why did he even needed 6?

    An Unlikely Suitor, Nancy Moser

    This book will draw you in, and hold your interest, until the last page. A historical fiction – with a bit of romance towards the end of the book – but unlike most Historical Fiction writers, Nancy made sure that you would feel like you were walking the streets – going to work with our characters, walking around their small apartment. She made sure you would want to protect the characters from the villains and heave a heavy sigh when rescues came. She gave the heroines wisdom, intelligence and a voice. The shy shamed heroin that has no idea what to do with her life until the gentleman shows up and rescues here will not be found in these pages. There is mystery – love – and detailed accounts of being in a dress shop in the gilded age.  A wonderful read for sure!

    ImageFrom the Publisher – Bethany House -

    Spend a season in glamorous 1895 Newport in this compelling tale of friendship, devotion, and sacrificial love.

    New York dressmaker Lucy Scarpelli befriends socialite Rowena Langdon as she's designing her 1895 summer wardrobe. Grateful for Lucy's skill in creating fashions that hide her physical injury, Rowena invites Lucy to the family mansion in Newport, Rhode Island, encouraging the unusual friendship.

    One day Lucy encounters an intriguing man on the Cliff Walk, and love begins to blossom. Yet Lucy resists, for what Newport man would want to marry an Italian dressmaker working to support her family?

    Rowena faces an arranged marriage to a wealthy heir she doesn't love, but dare a crippled girl hope for anything better?

    And Lucy's teenage sister, Sofia, falls for a man well above her social class--but is he willing to give up everything to marry a woman below his station?

    As the lives of three young woman--and their unlikely suitors--become entangled in a web of secrets and sacrifice, will the season end with any of them finding true happiness?

    I received An Unlikely Suitor by Nancy Moser from the Bethany House for free in exchange for writing an honest review upon completion of reading the book.

    Plain Wisdom, Cindy Woodsmall & Miriam Flaud

    An Invitation

    into An Amish Home

    and the Hearts of Two Women

    Cindy Woodsmall captured my heart and attention as a great Amish Fiction writer with the Sisters of the Quilt series, When the Heart Cries, When the Morning Comes and  When the Soul Mends. She has written other Amish Fiction stories as well -

    She has a voice that captures the heart of the Old Order Amish Community – sharing their day, recipes, friendships – that tells of one who has lived among them.

    In Plain Wisdom – you get to hear how that journey started – with the written notes of friendship between Old Order Amish mother Miriam Flaud and Cindy Woodsmall. Their friendship started through the written word, and was sealed through numerous visits to the Flaud home.

    Miriam mailed her entries to this book to Cindy’s home, and they worked together to get the text written.

    It is a book of encouragement. First – it shows how two moms, who love the Lord, who serve as wives and mothers – can be so utterly alike and so plainly different all in one sentence. To see the common ground that brought these two together is breathtaking.

    While reading the book, I found that I enjoyed the style of Miriam’s writing – and will hope to imitate some of her writing style in my own blog.

    If you enjoy Cindy’s books – if you enjoy Amish Literature – you WILL enjoy this great read. Each chapter is its own mini essay of sorts, with both voices, and may need time to digest, encourage, exhort and admonish at times. It took me quite a few mornings and afternoons to soak in the wisdom given in this book. Thank you to Cindy and Miriam for taking the time to combine your efforts. And thank you to the Flaud family for allowing your Miriam – to step out – in humility and wisdom to encourage us moms. Thank you to Cindy for the courage and finances that it must have taken to pull off all of the trips and the asking Miriam to write it down. Oh how I wish we could hear those conversations over the dinner table. I am sure that what we read here, is just a fraction of what she has shared with you over the past few years. Thank you.

    I received a free copy of Plain Wisdom from the Waterbrook Multnomah program Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review upon completion of reading the book on my blog, their site and a retailer such as Amazon.

    Wednesday, May 25, 2011

    Spring for Susannah by Catherine Richmond

    After long weeks, illness, fatigue – I reach out for a simple novel to read. Escape?  Ponder what might have been had I lived 100 years or more ago? Amish Novels, Homesteading novels, families traveling west, immigrants making good in sod homes. After reading so many of these, they start to blur together. Like watching old reruns of favorite sitcoms. The family asks – Have I watched this one before?

    On the story line – one might ask – Have I Read This One Before?  Tiny girl, squashed emotionally and physically by the blows of death and running from her life of privilege after reports of her father loosing his monies after death – she escapes as a mail order bride type, to seek the brother of her pastor out on the Dakota Prairie. The ebb and flow of the relationship building is to be expected. Love – Security – conquers all – the Lord is found, along with love.

    The thread of the ideas of this particular story – how it is woven – should make one stop to ponder a bit. Of relationships. Of Public Shoulds. What Should a person do to please others? Their Spouse? Their Parents?  Many a theme from conversations with girlfriends who have or are facing divorce ring through in this story. Loss of income. Loss of Hope. Loss of a child. Geographical distance from a spouse. The entire town encouraging you to marry another. The Loss of everything you worked to build on this earth. Run. Run. Run. The desire to talk with a girlfriend the things not seemly to talk to your spouse about. The loneliness that comes when you do not see your spouse as your best friend, but rather a business partner.  There are questions in the back of the book to help you bring this novel into a common day life question list  - of what is happening to marriage today  - And how to cling to those vows, no matter how thin a piece of paper they are written on – and place your hope and trust in the Lord – and not a man.

    On the Historical Novel Side – I enjoyed the time frame – the events that occur in the late 1860’s. The details of several nationalities forming a town from a patch of grass, forming a community with language and cultural barriers. Stepping up to fill the roles of banker, preacher, and storekeeper.

    The BIGGEST plus I enjoyed about this book – that I will try to always mention in these reviews – is the “thought pattern” of the main character.  In this book we are not subjected to endless thought –retelling – of their life. Thank You Very Much!

    Looking for a way to hunker down and rest for the afternoon – being caught up in the lives of those on the frontier?  I recommend this book!

    Description From Book Sneeze -

    Book Description

    When Susannah goes to Dakota territory as a mail-order bride she finds something she never dreamed she would—true love.

    With no prospects for marriage and her parents recently deceased, Susannah Underhill agrees to go west to the Dakota territory to marry her minister's homesteading brother, Jesse. But Susannah is painfully shy, doesn't see herself as worthy of love from either a husband or from God, and lives in constant fear that Jesse is going to ship her back to Detroit.

    In spite of her petite size and the fact that Susannah doesn't look like she could survive on the prairie, Jesse quickly discovers that his new wife is a greater blessing than he even hoped for. The years she spent as her father's veterinary assistant allow her to save Jesse's ox and twin calves and to help neighboring farmers with their animals.

    But Susannah's feelings of unworthiness are deeply rooted, and she can't believe that Jesse's praise—or the tenderness and love he shows—could possibly last. The thawing of her heart seems almost as distant as Spring in the midst of the winter blanketing the Dakota prairie.

    I received this ebook for free
    in exchange for an honest review
    from Booksneeze.

    I review for BookSneeze®

    Friday, May 20, 2011

    Unleashed–Erwin Raphael McManus

    I have a confession to make. I have not once read this book – I have read it twice – 3 times in parts. I have been carrying it around with me – and plan to read it again this week.

    I received the book for free from Booksneeze in exchange for an honest review.  I saw the cover. Girl Laughing. Saw the Yellow – Unleashed. And set the book down.  I thought – Unleash the Holy Spirit in your life. Unleash the Gal inside of you.

    The first pages of the book seemed to confirm that. Dry. Dad driving with daughter. Conversational boring tone.

    And then. He Explains.

    - he was explaining the “Life that reveals the power of God through an unbridled, childlike faith.  - and urges you to Unleash it.” Page XIX.

    I had been reading through the book, thinking – Oh I Like that – Oh He put that so well – wow that describes my heart – wow I wish 6 of my friends could read this. That’s when I had to re-read it with a colored pencil.

    I marked places where he so easily explains how Christianity has become civilized, domesticated, and complacent (XIX) – of people choosing life defined by security and safety – than life of faith and risk.

    I live the life of risk. Hubby’s job requires that he move at a moment’s notice.  Hubby prayed to go to the mission fields a few years back – and here we are. In a county where there are no thriving youth groups. No failing ones either. Women have selfish views of motherhood and wifehood. Where the external opinions are held higher than the real life truth of the deep. Where people are so shielded and hurt and broken – that they can’t even find healing – for fear that even the healing will hurt. Where people have built bubbles of “Spiritual Truths” that medicate them at their point of comfort level, lies that help sooth them as they use them to justify their current living.  But Wait. That happened in our last two towns – Maybe I just described yours too? Even in the thriving churches – so we see loads of love? Forgiveness? Community? Active Warriors? Praise? War Cries? Servanthood? Wait. Still the same 5 people doing all of the work for the 100 attending?  I thought so.

    I am feeling / have been feeling the call towards this Barbarian Way that Erwin speaks of in his books. He describes the Barbarian Way – as a way that we live our lives – every step moving forward with ever fiber of our being – fighting for the heart of our King. Jesus Christ is my all consuming passion of my life – and this is his description of Barbarian. He says – The lack of respect for tradition or ritual makes them seem uncivilized to those who love religion. When asked if they are Christians, their answer might surprisingly be no, they are passionate followers of Jesus Christ. Pg 6

    He speaks often of those who have become domesticated, civilized. Urging you to live with love, intimacy, passion, and sacrifice. Barbarians love to live, and live to love.

    I talked with a friend last night – of wondering how to write a review – I have most of the book underlined. As it turned out – it is not a book about unleashing anything you have – but having God. Unleash the Faith. Will you dare allow God to unlock your primal spirit, allow him to unleash the raw and untamed faith within? Will you choose the Barbarian Way?

    What if? What if your entire day was lived on Faith?  Last evening we were reading about Sin. It was listed as James 4:17 – To know and not do it. Is Sin.  1 John 3:4 Lawlessness. Is Sin. 1 John 5:17 Unrighteousness. Is Sin.  I think most of us have a handle on those three things – but what about Romans 14:23 – Whatever is not of Faith – Is Sin.

    Did I just read that?  Whatever is not of Faith  - Is Sin.

    Where do you become domesticated?  Where have you believed man’s opinion – man’s law – comforted by science or religion? Are you basing your relationship with Christ on the vision and passion  or past revelation of a historical figure or person in the now? Are you believing people? Do you Believe God?

    In 2 Samuel 12 – The Lord says to David – through Nathan – Why have you despised my Word?

    When you fail to see God for who He is. Fail to See Christ for who He is. When you start living through justifications and domestication. When you need facts to back up every word of the Bible. You fall into the most favorite trap of the enemy. You no longer need to live by Faith. And it is Sin.

    So – Since this is not my Ponderings Blog – but my Review blog -

    I have re-read the book Unleashed, Release the Untamed Faith Within by Erwin Raphael McManus – 3 times in the last week. The corners are bent, and there are markings on every other page. He puts to writing what has been in my heart. He is man. This is his writing of his heart – but I know and confirm from the desires that the Holy Spirit has laid on my heart – that this is truth for our World today. We need to break out of the mold of domesticated Church – and become primal – take on what most would consider insane barbarian actions – not thoughts – but actions – to live out this Faith. I have experienced two congregations that have lived this out – and they are not on fire – they are on Faith. Unleashed.  If you are looking for a feel good, you’re doing the right thing kid, type of read – this might not be the nightstand book for you . If you are looking for someone to put into writing – what you have found hard to articulate to friends – that has been stirring in your heart – read this book. I received this book for free from BookSneeze Blogger’s program in exchange for an honest review.

    Unleashed: Release the Untamed Faith Within

    Saturday, April 23, 2011

    Love Food & Live Well, Chantel Hobbs

    I was excited to read Love Food & Live Well - I am recently recovered from a 5 month illness and really wanted to be encouraged in my kick start to healthier eating. However, this was not the book for that. It was a quick read. Chantel Hobbs wants to let us know that she lost 200 lbs - but since she doesn't want to dwell on the pain of the past - she doesn't really tell us how she did it. It is more of a Don't Eat the Whole Bag of Chips or Cookies, Save some for Next Week sort of advice. Her actual food section is about 6 pages long, 2 recipes each for each meal, mediteranian style. That's helpful. She did give a few workout photos on a bounce ball - that I might use if I get a ball.
    If you have never looked into the food issues at all, and this is your first look at how food can entice you - maybe you might like this book. For the "Author of Never Say Diet", she sure does use that word alot in this book. It seems to be a collection of blog posts, or journal entries, of how much she likes her new body, her new fame, her new job promoting her fame, and how you too, could - I'm not sure. Love food? I really really love food already.

    Chantel Hobbs, Love Food & Live Well
    $19.99/$22.99 Can
    Diet / Health

    WaterBrook Press
    217 Pages, Easy Read

    I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review from Blogging for Books. I will donate this book to the Deschutes Public Library.

    Saturday, April 9, 2011

    The Daughter's Walk

    The Daughter's Walk is a departure from some of the homesteader romance beat the odds type of books, even for Jane Kirkpatrick. There isn't a girl longing for a husband, or a wife supporting her man. There are a cast of strong and courageous female characters doing what they could to get by in a day that didn't value the skills or input of women. Money seems to be key. This could be a quote from today, "My life had been defined by money; working for enough of it, saving for college, then using it instead for family needs". The book has the theme of earning, losing, earning spending, earning losing. Story of my life as well. (Quote from page 103). The story also has alot to do with writing. The value of writing down your story. The guilt and shame you might receive from relatives, the expectations of others - and really claiming the joy of writing. I like it when the character reflects - "It's easer to write than to speak about how I feel." I identify with that with my blogging! Towards the end of the book, Jane weaves us through the later years of the character's lives - she shared a poem, I think by Tagore? "I slept and dreamt that life was a joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I served and understood that service was joy." I see this quote pertaining to moms - even though the character is not a mom. When we learn to love the service, the passion of the work - Joy comes!

    I will have to report Jane Kirkpatrick is my favorite author. I feel connection though our towns, as I was on the Vollyball team coached by one of her friends way back in the day, and then we both share a love for Central Oregon, my living in Bend. However, this was the hardest book to get into. The book is about the walk of a daughter and mother team, but the walk came so quickly, it was hard to know who the characters were - to identify with what they were doing. But the book had to go to the final pages, and your journey reading it, will be time well spent, as their story comes full circle.
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    Wednesday, March 30, 2011

    The Fight of Our Lives

    The Fight of our Lives, Knowing the Enemy, Speaking the Truth & Choosing to Win the War Against Radical Islam –
    by William J Bennett and Seth Leibsohn
    “In The Fight of Our Lives, How this country’s well meaning culture of religious tolerance, coupled with soft and political political leadership, has placed us squarely in the pocket of radical Islamists who have made clear their intention to obliterate everything we value” From Jacket Cover
    We are not a big “news” family. After years without cable – our desire to listen to what Bradgelina was up to, or which over paid teen star needed to get attention going to clubs waned.  Since then, I have not kept up with the details of the War.  This book spoke of many attacks on our soil, both in physically and in words that I had never heard before. It opened my eyes to how the Media portrays what is going on, and how the American Leaders in Government try to play down the threat. For me, a non political follower, I found the book enlightening, an easy read, and riveting. I believe that every family should read this book – and open their eyes – to the war that we are fighting.

    I review for BookSneeze®
    I was given a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of review.

    The Lightkeeper's Ball

    I have been reading this book for the past 12 hours along with my daily activities. I downloaded this book to my ibook G4 Adobe Digital Editions to read. I could not close my iBook! I had to keep charging my battery to keep up with the book. I quickly liked the players and the descriptions of the homes and activities. I did slightly tire of the theme of Should I tell, Should I not tell, but the author weaved the fear of telling to the last page. Secrets, Friendships, Mysteries - turn and twist until the last word. Great adventure and historical fiction as well.

    I review for BookSneeze®
    I was given a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of review.