Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Trouble with those Cowboys

The Trouble with Cowboys, by Denise Hunter

I started reading this book, and loved it! It is a light, funny romance. It is somewhat predictable, but most romances are!
Annie is the main character who has been through her share of heartache while growing up. Which sets the stage for why she chooses a predictable boyfriend.
The character developement is good in the sense that when you've been given lemons, make lemonade. She has been through enough adversity, and has really made a life for herself. She struggles, is helping out her sister who is raising a 4 year old alone.
The book also has witty characters. I love the interaction between her and cowboy Dylan. They feed off each others quirky remarks. They feel the chemistry with each other....but can she get past the old feelings of not trusting anyone?
When I first started reading this book, I noticed it was a third in a series. I suspect that alot of what goes on in with other characters were portrayed in the other three books. Makes me wish I had read them first.
I loved this book, am a avid reader, but had never read Denise Hunters books. I think they will become a collection on my shelf!

I recieved this book fromThomas Nelson publisher for the sole purpose of reading this book and submitting a reivew. I have been in no way reimbursed for reading this book.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Living Fully Alive

Fully Alive by Ken Davis

Fully Alive is a book about well, living Fully Alive. Ken Davis explores what that truly means. Ken takes you on a trip through many personal stories on a journey to live Fully Alive.

Ken Davis a National Speaker/Comedian. I have heard him Live, and watched many of his DVD's. I was thrilled to be able to obtain a copy of his latest book!

One of my favorite stories in the book is when Ken was talking about striving for his father's love. His dad showed love by working and putting food on the table. Davis wrote a heartfelt letter to his dad, sent it in the mail and waited for a reply....that never came. A little miffed and hurt, a few months later Davis and his wife left from CO to MN to visit his parents. His mother showed him a shrine of memorablilia from Davis' accomplishments. The day of his father's memorial services Davis vowed two things....1. to always tell people they are loved. 2. to look for signs of love from other people.
  "I would look for it between the lines in the note from my child. I would hear the words when Diane squeezed my hand. In the sunrise and in the sudden downpour of rain, I would listen to God saying  " I love you". Stop. Take a deep breath. Realize that you are alive and have the hope of eternal life. Do you hear it? Read between those lines. Do you see it? You are love!

Davis says it all so much better. Go on a journey to live fully alive with Davis. His adventures and adventures of some of his closest friends will intrigued you, and keep you reading until the last pages.

I obtained this copy of Fully Alive from Thomas Nelson. I have not been compensated in anyway for my review of Fully Alive.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

21 years....and counting!

This Thursday...July 26th, 2012 marks 21 years that my husband and I have been happily married....Oh we have had our struggles...but when you choose to look back at all the good....five kids, many dogs, a couple states a handful of houses....money, being broke, to being broke....For the most part we have been more happy that not.

We promised, on a warm July Friday night for better for worse, sickness and in health, richer or poor, til death do us part....

I think we have been through all of the above...but I mostly remember health....enough....and better is what he makes me....

AWEsome Faith....

Jenna Lucado (Max Lucado's daughter) has written a book that I gave to a girl who means the world to me. Jenna helps a teen girl know who she is, and uses scripture references to help young girls ground themselves in the Word.




Jenna speaks from her heart, and lays it out for girls to relate to.



I gave this book to a girl who has been through many challenges throughout high school, and to top it off was sexually assualted the night of prom. This broken girl needed some Biblical truths about who God says she is, not who satan was wanting her to believe she is. Jenna's book helped this girl realize some truths about herself.



In our world, "Christianity" has become boring. Church is "boring". Sermons are "boring". It is time this generation is living a faith full of Awe.



Jenna delivers in a easy to read way. A great study for a mom and daughter...or aunt and niece, or a youth group leader to help teen girls stay grounded in what God would have them believe~



Way to go Jenna!



I recieved this book from Thomas Nelson for the sole purpose to rate this book how I saw fit.

The Voice, New Testament version

I was fortunate enough to read through the Voice New Testment. I grew up reading the NIV version of the Bible. A few years back I found a Bible that had three translation in it on clearance...I am a sucker for a good deal! I love to read through the Bible with three versions side by side to get some different meanings to my favorite verses. So when I was able to snatch up a copy of the Voice I was beyond thrilled!
The Voice is written in a story book way...the bottom of the front says "step into the story of the Scripture"...reading through some of the more popular/well known verses really does put you into the story of scripture.

There are actually quite a few authors that were chosen based on their writing styles. I found this interesting. I am an avid Beth Moore Study girl. I love hearing how God has shown her insights into scripture and how they apply to the passage..which in turn helps me to apply it to my life. So having another version of the Bible also helps me to apply scripture in a different meaning to my life.

I am eager to use this Bible for studying with Beth Moore studies...Doing James next~ My only disappointment it the copy I have is of the new testament only.

Grab your copy today!

I am not paid for my review of the VOICE. I received a free copy of the VOICE to read and review how I see fit~

Friday, April 27, 2012

Heal the Wounds

Point of Grace (music artist) have a song titled "Heal the Wounds"
The chorus goes like this...
Heal the wounds, but leave the scars,
A reminder of how merciful You are.
I am broken, torn apart
take the pieces of my heart
and Heal the wounds but leave the scars....

We all have battle wounds. Some are self inflicted. Some inflicted by others. Yet some are accidents. But we all share wounds.

Some of us are able to learn from our wounds, our mistakes. We can take the wound, reflect, pray, seek guidance, have a pow wow with a trusted friend. We can then turn a different direction and not go back to that place. But we will have the scars to remind us of what we have been through.

Some of us gather wounds along the way, and keep going back to get that same wound. These scars are deeper. They reflect more than the wound that happened. They reflect the deeper wounds that inflect our fallen world. Things like drug use, aclohol abuse, physical and emotional abuse...the list can go on. These wounds are because of past hurts that need to be covered up. Yet often cause more wounds that we ever imagine.

How about the wounds that dear children suffer at the hand of their parents/caregivers?  These are life long wounds. Some choose to learn from them, some choose to continue the wounds. Making them deeper, and leaving bigger scars.

May we remember to show love to children with wounds that are bigger than we are. May they view their scars of God's infinite mercy. His mercy prevails...

Monday, April 23, 2012

Devotion for Adoptive/foster parents


Romans 5:5 And this hope will never disappoint us, because God has poured out his love to fill our hearts. He gave us His love through the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to us.

Have you ever poured out love, compassion and much energy into someone, only to have them disregard what you are doing for them? Many years ago, I poured energy into a friendship. I loved hanging with my friend. She had good morals and she was fun to hang out with. We would often get together a few times a week. Our young children at that time would play. We would even talk often on the phone. One day while at a Bible Study together we were all answering a question on having that Best friends. There were varied answers: yes I have a good, best friend, I have several friends that I do different things with; to I am new in this area. My “best friend” said, "I have a friend who I love to hang out with. Not a day goes by that I don’t hang out with or talk to her on the phone".....sounds great huh? Well, she wasn’t referring to me.  The disappointment I felt was crushing my spirit. I didn’t even know this new “best friend” and I had shared my heart and soul with someone who I thought had mutual feelings towards me.

I have learned a lot since that time. I have sat back, developed a satisfying relationship with my husband. Raised my children to adulthood and teens years. Started a non profit. Along the way a good friend has fallen into my lap…something I wouldn’t have orchestrated on my own. But when my children were younger, my husband was working to support us, and I was lonely. I have done some growing up over the years. I am not the same person I was in many ways.

I think of the lonely children in foster care. These children get picked on at school. Teachers don’t even know what to do with “them”. These children are living with parents who are telling them their very existence doesn’t matter.  Who will tell them the truth? Their very life matters, and what would it mean to them to hear that….? More than telling we need to show them they matter. God cares even more than we do. He has given us tools to love beyond anything we could ever ask or imagine. Because His Holy Spirit is at work inside us, we can show these children what love feels like.

Showing love to a child who has never felt it will not be easy. In fact, they are quite used to feeling unloved, ashamed and worthless.  Giving them a time out is actually comforting to them. Step by step, they will try to push you away. When all they are screaming on the inside for is more. More love, more acceptance, more compassion, more nuture and more of a healthy attachment. They are wondering what they could possibly do to make you stop loving them. What they want to know from you is…nothing will ever separate them from your love. You have the tools. There are resources available. Love them and see them with Jesus eyes. Replenish the knowledge in your hearts that God loves you. So you can show that to the children whom God has entrusted into your care. It won’t always be easy. But they are worth every second you have chosen to invest in them.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Faith that Bleeds

I have just finished reading two incredible books by Tom Davis. He has written several books, but the two I just finished reading are "PriceLess" and "RedLetters". Both are about the plight of many orphans globally. Priceless haunted me while reading it, and is still haunting me. It is a fiction novel, however it is based on actual events from the Sex Trafficking trade based in Russia. Red Letters takes the Red letters that you find in some Bibles....Jesus' words and puts them in perspective on how you are to carry out your faith. Calling yourself a mere Christian just isn't good enough. How can you call yourself a Christian and not carry out what Jesus did as an example to us? While Red Letters is a Non Fiction book, it can go hand in hand with Priceless.
In our Country, the US, we are a spoiled bunch. Even when I am wanting more, or just simply waiting for payday to arrive so I can get groceries, I am blessed beyond measure. I have more than most have in Africa. My children have more than orphans in Russia.
While there is Sex Trafficking in my own back yard, I like to think our law enforcement and government (in general) will do something to stop it if they can. In many other countries, the government and law enforcement turn a blind eye. This is so sad. These girls have absolutely nothing they can do to get out of it. If it were not for Christian organizations going over to these countries...putting their very lives in danger, girls would not be saved.
Through reading these two books, God took a hold of my heart. I have not been able to look back. I have to do something....
helpful links:
www.hopechest.org
http://www.sheispriceless.com/
There are so many more to choose from....do a search and it will give you more information~!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Revelation

 Phil Moore has written a series called, Straight to the Heart Series, based on each book of the Bible. I was blessed to receive the Revelation book.

I found this book very interesting. I had just completed Beth Moores' Revelation study when this book became available from Kragel Productions. I was thrilled to dig in to Revelation from another perspective.

I love how he brings aspects of Revelation to life. It is a tough book, and has so much packed into it. Moore takes little bite size chunks, writes them into a small chapter. Moore weaves in past and present to help you better understand what such a tough book might be telling you.

Moore has one for each book of the Bible that can be found at www.philmoorebooks.com I think these are something I will keep adding to my growing book library!


I am not paid for my review of books from Kragel Productions. I receive books for free, and read them to review them on my blog!

What is the right thing?

A phone call from a 17 year old...mom is being abusive....They were fighting....

My steps: call police, they talk to 17 year old, then call the mom. Nothing changes, other than a few unfair texts from mom.

Day 2. Call Police Chief who says he will investigate it further.

Call school to let the counselor know what has happened. She cannot tell me anything because of a minor child situation....

Police chief calls me back...tells me to stop calling people. If I am not careful I will be facing harrasement charges and he offered the parents a restraining order against me. They didn't do it.

I have proof from other adults that this abuse is going on. That this child is often the only caregiver for the younger siblings. That this isn't the first time it has happened. But no one else will stand up to fight for the rights of a 17 year old...long time family friends, family members...or those that have sworn to protect and serve....

How far would you go?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Unwholesome talk?

Goodness...we all talk about other people...we all gossip to an extent...

Is it ever ok to Gossip or talk behind someone's back? What good does it do?

The Bible is very clear on foolish talk, gossip, speaking ill of others...

What is your motivation when you talk about someone?

I have two very dear friends. We meet for coffee of dinner when we have time. We talk/text daily. We lift each other up. We pray for one another. Attend Bible studies every now and then together.

We have a mutual acquaintance. This gal is what we would call a "sandpaper" person. She always has something wrong. Sighs at the appropriate time to catch interest. She is dramatic, and always has it worse than you....We have been known to talk behind her back...After all she makes it easy to do.

When reflecting on this, is it making us any better people? Is it helping her? Are we being a good example for our children that may have over heard?

In proverbs 17:28 the Bible says it is wise to keep quiet. Peter also instructs us to keep quiet and live pure lives....In our fallen world, I believe we will always struggle with this. But God will slowly change our hearts, and He can change the "sandpaper" persons heart also!

1 Peter Chap. 4

Shadows of a servant.

What does a servant heart mean? That you are the smallest of smallest in the pecking order? That you don't mean anything? That you will endure much, and have no say?

A servant to me can be the above....but when you are doing it for God....we are becoming a servant so that others can see how God is shining through us. See how God is working in our lives.

A servant helps others, blesses others, does not keep track of what they are doing. Does not let the right hand know what the left hand is doing.

In 1Peter 2:12 Peter is asking us how to live....live so others can see the good you are doing, so they can see God.

We are often asked to bear the burden of a servant under lock and key by a master....and we are called to live as to Christ. There are times when we are called to be a servant to others less fortunate than us, by the world's standards..we are to treat them like the heart of Christ would treat them...Jesus hang out with the least of these...

Where are you choosing to be a servant? With your family? With strangers?

What does a servant heart look like to you?

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Least of these

When the Bible refers to the least of these, what exactly does that mean? To me, it would mean someone who doesn't have much, who doesn't mean much, who is a cast away...

The Bible often refers to the least of these, when talking about orphans, widows, tax collectors, prostitutes...those less desirable people. People who for whatever reason were social outcasts. People who you didn't want to hang out with. Those with sicknesses, or less desirable profession.

But who did Jesus hang out with?

Matthew 25 tells us that "Whatever you do to the least of these, you've done unto me."

Jesus hung out with the BIG TIME Sinners.... People like prostitutes, orphans, widows...many of whom we would die being seen with.

In my BIG TIME sins, Jesus says come....your sins are as far gone as the bottom of the ocean. He stretched out His arms, bled to death for me, beaten, stricken, and afflicted....because of me...isn't it time I tell other of this? the least of these...whom Jesus longs to shine on....

1 Peter study by Sue Edwards Chap 3

Life has taken on a busy turn for me...I am working on getting chap 3 done, plus needing to finish chap 4!

I just completed chap 3 which is still going over chap. 2 of 1 Peter. I am enjoying digging in to small little pieces of each chapter. I can read through each verse, but never get it's full meaning until I sit down to do an in depth study.

Sue Edwards does not disappoint. WOW is all I can say.

But what I want to blog about is her ending of chapter 3 in the study guide. Page 34 to be more specific. Sue talks about being born into a family....being unwanted. And how the affected her as an adult. Thank God she had people enter into her life and help her heal from that.

Which brought me to thoughts of Hope Blooms, and where my passions come from to keep on keeping on. From being made to feel insignificant by lack of eye contact with important adults in my life. (not my parents) To having a lack of discipline in my life. To meeting the wrong guy in my high school years and everything that went with that. To moving out of my parents house for my senior year and living with my aunt...to get away from the "wrong" guy. Not only did I move out of my parents house, but I moved from Oklahoma to Minnesota....so I MOVED away.

Those were tough years. And not only did it take me along time to recognize how this all affects me, it took me a long time to work through it.

I had made positive changes from the beginning: being available to my children, attending church, Sunday school, being involved in their lives. Building a healthy marriage...but my self esteem was always lacking. My poor husband having to endure all of that....

And now, because of my past, God is doing something good....providing a way for me to help others facing these challenges...my passions for healthy children and healthy marriages!

Because as Peter states in chapter 2, we are a royal priesthood, a holy nation, called to share God's goodness and light.

Some day...I will meet Sue Edwards...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

1 Peter Chap. 1 and 2

1 Peter Study by  Sue Edwards....

January is ending with a bang here in Minnesota. We have had such a mild winter, that has lead to temps dipping far below zero....-16 to be exact...With this, we have had sporadic Internet for the past week and a half. We thought possibly the weather had something to do with that. But low and behold we need a new modem....currently we have had a good stretch of Internet for the past few hours! So praying I can get this posted for weeks 1 and 2.

I am an avid Beth Moore Bible Study fan. I have done many of her studies, and read even more of her books. She really lets you dig in and find things out about yourself that you didn't know you knew. So, to get another Bible Study, that isn't (gasp) Beth Moore! All kidding aside, I am thrilled to see what others have to offer.

Sue Edwards has not disappointed me. I soon was lost in diggin' through 1 Peter. In Fact, my Internet problems sort of reminded me how frustrating things in life can be. Persecution, wandering around the dessert, looking for the promised land. My family is learning how things can be difficult when we come to expect something so simple as Internet. Homework takes on a whole new meaning. Things need to be researched, and we suddenly find ourselves unplugging the modem a million times to catch just 10 minutes of Internet.

Where do we place our value? In the Internet? In what others think of us? In what our spouse thinks of us? Friends? Where is our true citizenship?

I have been on a journey of discovering who I really am...I have spent most of my life being who I am when I am with my husband. He was my security. He was who I did most everything with...I was a mom and wife. I am learning that my value comes from God, and God alone. The people i surround myself with are who help me to fulfill God's will, but that isn't where my value lies...

I think, given our current "winter" chill, (more like Arctic) I will enjoy Ms. Edwards study on learning to find encouragement through the troubles that come in my life. In fact, I will also recommend this study to my regular study with my friends.

(I received this study from Kregel Productions for free. I am not compensated in any way for my reviews.)
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About Me

Minnesota, United States
I am a wife, mother to five children, 2 cats, 3 dogs. Hoping to be a mother to more children someday through adopting waiting children in Minnesota.
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