Sunday, May 28, 2017

Fiction Review: Unintended Consequences by Dan Walsh

Book Description:
Jack and Rachel leave Culpepper for their long-awaited honeymoon trip, a driving tour through New England. On day three, they stop at a little bayside town in Cape Cod to visit Jack’s grandmother. After he gets called away to handle an emergency, Rachel stays and listens as Jack’s grandmother shares a remarkable story about how she and Jack’s grandfather met in the early days of World War 2. It’s a story filled with danger, decades-old family secrets, daring rescues and romance. Jack is named after his grandfather, and this story set the course and direction for Jack’s life to the present day. After hearing it, Rachel is amazed that anyone survived.

My Review:
Even though Unintended Consequences is part of the Jack Spencer series (book 3) this book is a great stand-alone read. And that's how I will review it. I like both Jack and Rachel. They're smart and kind. When they stop by Jack's grandmother's home on their honeymoon, I find them even more endearing. After Jack heads home for a quick few days, Rachel settles in to visit with Grandma Renee. That's when the real tale is told. During WW2 Jack heads to England to find a long lost relative. At the same time, Renee flees there to avoid the attacks on France. The story is a little slow to start but once it does, it's filled with action, romance, and the realities of war. I found the perspective of fighter pilot's interesting. My dad was in the Army during WW2 and didn't talk much about it. He's was proud of his service, but I think the terrors of it all were too difficult to discuss. Although this is fiction, it's an interesting and fact filled story. If you've read the other Jack Spencer books, you'll find the history in Jack's family interesting. If you haven't read them, this book stands alone just fine. On this Memorial Day weekend as we remembered those who gave their lives for our freedom, I find this an appropriate and entertaining read. I received a free copy of Unintended Consequences from the author.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

They Will Walk and not be Faint

Isaiah 40:31
...but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

When I worked in an elementary school library, I met a lot of children. Fortunately for me, my path has crossed with many of them over the years. I enjoy learning who they've become as adults. I've even had a few of them work for me at the college library. Today my story is about one little girl. As clear as day, I still see her sweet face peeking at me over my desk as she waited to check out a book. She had a beautiful smile with a hint of shyness. My husband delivered bottled water to her family, and he'd told me a little bit about them. "Good people," he said.

Hannah attended our school for a while, but eventually moved to a different district. But the Lord had plans for our paths to cross. We met up again at church, where I got to know her family. Though our journeys have taken us different directions again, I still keep in touch with her folks. The other day, her dad posted Hannah's photo on Facebook. In the picture, she's wearing glasses, her hair is pulled back, her cap pulled down and she's carrying a huge pack. But under it all is the sweet, shy girl I remember. And that sweet girl is all grown up and going through basic training as she prepares to serve her country. I'm thankful we have people like Hannah, who love God and the USA. God has blessed me just by knowing her.

This Memorial Day, I say a prayer of thanks for the men and women who gave their all for our freedom. I also ask you to pray with me for those who are fighting the fight. I pray the words of Isaiah and ask that "They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Some fun for #WorldTurtleDay

A Poem

Sea Turtle

Imagine the ocean as home.
The vast water, salted.
Haddock, lobster, jellyfish, porpoises, sharks. Neighbors.
Imagine floating.
Wings without feathers— flippers— gliding, guiding.
Weightless.
All I did was imagine— crammed under the granules of siliceous rock. 
Brothers and sisters piled in a heap.
Until one day. We boiled up out of the nest.
One by one, we skittered across the pebbly sand.
One by one, we scooted to the vastness.
The sea.
The beautiful blue-green sea.
Imagine. Freedom!


A Matching Game

Sea turtles swim, eat, and sleep in the ocean. The females travel to sandy beaches to lay eggs, and then they head right back to the salt water. As soon as the babies hatch, they work their way out of the sand and move toward the ocean. Let’s see what you know about sea turtles!
Can you match the sea turtle with its fact?

Length Weight

1. Leatherback sea turtle 52”-70” 550-2000 lbs.

2. Kemp Ridley sea turtle 24”-28” 80-95 lbs.

3. Green sea turtle 32”-48” 144-450 lbs.

4. Olive Ridley sea turtle 24”-31” 85-100lbs.

5. Hawksbill sea turtle 30”-35” 95-165 lbs.

6. Loggerhead sea turtle 34”-49” 176-440 lbs.

7. Flat Back sea turtle 30”-39” 154-198 lbs.



___My large head looks like a log.

___I am the largest sea turtle.

___I eat green sea grass and algae that makes my fat green.

___I float in the sea and let birds sit on my smooth table-like shell.

___I am the smallest sea turtle.

___My mouth is shaped like a bird’s beak. I use it to find food in small spaces.

___There are more sea turtles like me in the ocean than any other kind. 

*Answers at the bottom of this post

Sea Turtle Facts:

  • Leatherback sea turtles would rather eat jellyfish than jelly on toast. 
  • If sea turtles lived on the land, they would need eyeglasses. Their eyes are made to see in the ocean with perfect vision, but once they leave the ocean they are nearsighted. 
  • If you see a sea turtle crying, they are not sad. They are emptying extra salt water from a gland behind their eye. 
  • Sea turtles flap their front legs like a bird flaps its wings. They fly through the water like a bird flies through the air. 
  • Some leatherback sea turtles measure as long as a person does tall. They can grow up to 6 ½ feet tall. 
  • Green sea turtles don’t take bubble baths to get clean. They let the ocean’s cleaner fish slurp off their grit and grime so they look sparkling clean. 
  • Even though the black sea turtle looks black, it is considered part of the green sea turtles’ family. 

Books kids might like to read about sea turtles:

Baby Sea Turtle by Aubrey Lang
Little Turtle and the Song of the Sea by Sheridan Cain
The Life Cycle of a Sea Turtle by Bobbie Kalman

*Answers: 6, 1, 3, 7, 2, 5, 4.

Work Cited

"Marine Turtles." NOAA Fisheries Services. 2008. NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service. 03 Mar. 2008 <http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/turtles/>.

"Sea Turtle Information." North Florida Field Office. 31 Aug. 2007. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 01 Mar. 2008 <http://www.fws.gov/northflorida/SeaTurtles/seaturtle-info.htm>.


Spolita, James R. Sea Turtles : a Complete Guide to Their Biology, Behavior, and Conservation. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 2004. 24-119.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Purpose and Passion: Mary of Bethany

Matthew 26: 6-13
While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table.

When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.”

Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me.  The poor you will always have with you,  but you will not always have me. When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

In Jesus time, before a person was buried his loved ones poured oil on the body as an acknowledgement of their love and to help with the decomposition. When the woman in the story poured her perfume on Jesus head the disciples didn't understand. But the woman did. This woman who is the sister of Martha, from the Martha and Mary story, loved Jesus. He was her mentor, her teacher, and her friend. And she knew his time on earth would soon end.

Mary of Bethany is one of my favorite women in the Bible. If you remember, she was the one who sat at Jesus feet while Martha prepared food for their company. Now she's going against the societal grain again and preparing Jesus for his death, when he hasn't yet died. The beauty in Mary's story is her obedience. God gave her a task to do and she listened. Both times, in Simon the Leper's home and in her own house, she worshiped Jesus. Without doubt, Mary understood Jesus inevitable demise, but she also knew in her heart he was the King of kings and he'd keep his promise to return.

Mary had a heart for God, faith in Jesus, and an understanding of her purpose. Someone said the other day, find your passion and you'll find your purpose. Mary's passion was obeying God, her purpose was being a dear friend to Jesus. I believe God places our purpose on our hearts and guides us in them day-to-day. Mine is encouraging and giving hope. I can't change the world, but I can share my love for Jesus and offer hope in the midst of strife. I pray I have a heart for Jesus as Mary did; that I'll do beautiful things for my Lord.

Friday, May 19, 2017

May is...

May is a month of change. The school year is winding down. Seniors graduate. Flowers bloom and flourish. Baseball is in full swing. A longing for outdoor activities ignites. 

May is a busy month in our family. Grandsons play baseball. Granddaughters are in programs and graduating to the next grade level. Our great-nephew graduates from high school and our recently married great-niece and her sister both finished college. We've had parties and plays, ball games and events.

May is a time to celebrate the joys in life, the changes, the growing up of children and the beauty in nature. 

I pray May is and has been a good month for you. 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

YA Book Review: It Started with Goodbye by Christina June

Book Description:
Sixteen-year-old Tatum Elsea is bracing for the worst summer of her life. After being falsely accused of a crime, she’s stuck under stepmother-imposed house arrest and her BFF’s gone ghost. Tatum fills her newfound free time with community service by day and working at her covert graphic design business at night, which includes trading emails with a cute cello-playing client. If Tatum is reading his emails right, her virtual Prince Charming is funny, smart, and talented—and he seems to think the same about her. Too bad he’s spending his summer across the ocean in Ireland…not that Tatum would be allowed to go on a date anyway.

But over the course of the summer, Tatum will learn that sometimes going after what you want means breaking all the rules. And when Tatum discovers she’s not the only one in the house keeping secrets, she finds she has the chance to make amends with her family and friends. Equipped with a new perspective, and assisted by her feisty step-abuela-slash-fairy-godmother, Tatum is ready to start fresh and maybe even get her happy ending along the way.

My Review:
I haven't read many young adult novels recently that I've enjoyed as much as It Started with Goodbye. Tatum's story, much like Cinderella's, is about a misunderstood teen who's been wronged. Her stepmother is not so much wicked as she is stern, and her father is out of the country for much of the book. Tatum's stepsister has her own issues while Tatum's BFF is avoiding contact. These characters all make a great cast in a delightful story. Have I mentioned that I loved Abuela and "Prince Charming?" If you like fairytales with a modern twist, like I do, you'll love this book. Christina June writes entertaining dialogue. The teens in this book aren't perfect, but they tell a good story through the scope of friendship and family. Whether you are or you have a teenager looking for an entertaining book or you're older like me and like a good story. Pick up a copy of It Started with Goodbye. Well written, I give it a 5+. P.S. I found myself smiling through much of the story, which = pure delight. I received this book free from Zondervan.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

God Freed Mary from the Ordinary

Luke 2:6
While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she [Mary] gave birth to her firstborn, a son.

Acts 1:14
They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.


From beginning to end, Mary loved her son, Jesus. She cuddled him in the manger and stood with him at the cross. And she prayed.

Day after day, Mary labored beside her family members, probably her grandmother, mother, sisters, aunts and cousins. Between carrying water, preparing food, and watching out for the families children, she worshiped God. She loved her heavenly Father and followed his direction. When he called on her to be the mother of Jesus, although she was troubled, she obeyed.

Luke 1:38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

I've been reading a book by Sharon Jaynes, How Jesus Broke the Rules to Set You Free. She tells the stories of several women in the Bible and how Jesus gave them respect and love. In Mary's chapter she writes, "God freed Mary from an ordinary life and freed her to fulfill an extraordinary purpose." Isn't that beautiful? In obedience we're set free! God requires obedience, not because he wants to control us. But because he has an amazing life in store for us. Mary's life was truly incredible. She was the mother of Jesus. I can't imagine how extraordinary that would be. She knew him in a way no one else did. And he loved her as only a son could.

John 19:26-27 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple [John] whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

As a mother and daughter, I've been blessed beyond anything I could imagine. I pray that I continue to obey the Lord and pass the blessings on to my mom and daughters.

Happy Mother's Day and God bless!




Jaynes, Sharon. How Jesus Broke the Rules to Set You Free. Eugene, OR, Harvest House Publishers, 2015.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Children's Book Review: Jesus Loves Me, A Sing-Along Book illustrated by Gynux

Book Description:
Read or sing along with your little one’s favorite song! Jesus Loves Me pairs sweet, snuggly illustrations with the text of the familiar children’s song. This newest board book in the beloved Sing-Along series also features a padded cover perfect for little hands, and is sure to delight children and parents alike.

My Thoughts:
I love sharing Jesus' love through nature. Jesus Loves Me, Sing-Along does just that as we follow the creatures of the woods singing about their love for Jesus. The fun-loving animals in this sweet book will bring smiles to little readers. Gynux illustrations are cheerful and colorful as they show the animals joining together. The soft, padded cover is sturdy for little hands, and the board pages will endure many readings. I'll be sharing this with my granddaughter who loves to sing this song. 5 stars!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Life is Not a Checklist

1 Thessalonians 1:3
We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

I like lists. I have, for as long as I've put pen to paper. On my desk at work, a pad of lined paper rests between me and my computer. I use the notes I jot down to prompt me to complete tasks I've been given. At the top, I've written the typical things I do each week, plus the emergency phone numbers for the college. Under that, I list projects, reminders, social media needs, and anything else I should remember. By the end of the week, I've checked off finished items, made addendums, and recorded new ideas. Without my notes, there's a great chance I'd forget to do something important at work.

As much as I like lists, I can't live my life by checking off boxes. Organization works wonders for a project. But not so much for life. Living life is more about prompts, nudges, crossroads, inspiration, and endurance. Life in Christ includes hope, conviction, the nudgings of the Holy Spirit, opportunities to serve, and unexpected joy. I've seen a cartoon that depicts life in two boxes. What we think life might be, a straight line from point A to point B. Or what life really is, a squiggly line that curves every which way from point A to point B. There have been stretches in my life when I've tried to live off of a check list, trying to get from A to B with the least resistance. Each time God has had other plans.

If you're a parent, take time to play with your kids. If your children are teens, hang out with them. 
If you're married, date your spouse. 
If you're single enjoy the adventure God's given you.   
If you work outside the home, stop and ask your co-worker how their day is going. 
Take the walk, pet the dog, smell the flowers.
My point--God has plans for me. If my head is focused on a list all the time, I'm going to miss out. I want to live like the Thessalonians who were prompted by love and inspired by hope. 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Love a Rainy Day?


Saturday morning-
I heard the rain.
The rhythm-
the beat
of my heart on the window.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Oh, to be a Bird

Matthew 6:25-27
 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?"

The gold finches and house finches visit the feeder beside our porch. We hung it at the beginning of spring and have been blessed with fluttery visitors ever since. After work, I often sit in my Adirondack chair, camera in hand, hoping to catch a photo of these sweet beauties. If you're a fan of gold finches, you've noticed that the male bird's feathers dull with winter. This mechanism of molting hides him from predators. With spring, his plumage returns to a bright yellow to attract his mate. I am amazed how God takes care of the tiniest details of his creation.

Finches love to eat thistle and milkweed. Even though I enjoy having them at my feeder, they don't depend on me for food. God takes care of them. He supplies their need. How much more does he do for me? And why do I worry? I read the other day that worry causes stress and anxiety, but concern results in action/prayer. Worry blows circumstances up to ridiculous proportion. While prayer offers peace and guidance. Jesus is telling us to stop worrying about the basics and keep our minds on the spiritual. Eat what we have, wear what we have and be more concerned about our souls. Feed on spiritual food and grow in him. Praise God he values us!


Matthew 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

What a Joy to be Daughters of the King

On Saturday morning I attended a Princess tea party with my daughter and granddaughter. When each guest arrived, two princes graciously opened the door and gave a royal bow. 

Inside the hostesses had created a little princess's dream.

Each table, set with crystal tea cups and lovely centerpieces, welcomed visitors. The breakfast table was spread with quiches, donuts, cheese and crackers, sweet treats and more. Attentive young ladies served tea and lemonade.

To top off the morning, Ariel and Cinderella sang songs and told stories to the excited little girls.

I enjoyed seeing delight in the little princesses as they enjoyed games, crafts, and fun.

This lovely event was put on by Empower Youth.

You may believe a princess is only found in fairy tales. That they live in castles and ride in fancy carriages. 

But I want all little girls to know they have a future as a princess.

Each one can become part of a royal family—God's royal family.

Each young lady has the opportunity to be a daughter of the King. The most spectacular of all Kings. As a daughter of the King, each girl, young lady, and woman can honor her 
Father by showing compassion and love to everyone.

You see, the true qualities of a princess are not outward beauty or perfect manners and speech.

The true qualities of a real princess are found in Galatians 5:22— love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

A princess who wears such lovely traits is a princess indeed.


Monday, April 24, 2017

Children's Nonfiction Review: The Bible Explorer’s Guide: 1,000 Amazing Facts And Photos By Nancy I. Sanders

Description:
The Bible Explorer’s Guide lets children come up close and personal with everyday life during Bible times through photos, maps, and illustrations illuminating, people, places, objects, and buildings of the Bible. What did Noah’s Ark really look like? Who was David and whom did he fight? How did 1st century citizens of Jerusalem live? Each two-page spread is filled with images that bring history alive and drawings that help bring life to people and places that we can only read about. With fascinating, brief text and full-color captivating images, this is a reference that kids will come back to again and again. A great addition to any home or school library.

My Review:
The Bible Explorer’s Guide is a great book that helps introduce the history of Biblical times. The book has great photos of artifacts and architecture. They feature various tools and artwork along with maps of the area. Each two-page spread shows information on a particular theme. So often we try to put the Bible into the context of modern times. With this book children can get a better idea of the world Jesus lived in. The book covers Old and New Testament times. This would be a great gift to anyone who is interested in exploring the Bible times. It's also a great study tool for children who want to learn more about the Bible. I received this book for free from Zonderkidz.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

A Sower of Seeds

1 Corinthians 3:5-9
What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.  The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor.  For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.

Early this morning I went outside and dug a little ditch behind our lilies. In the row I sprinkled seeds, zinnias and forget-me-nots. The seed packets suggested I plant them in April, where they would grow in full sun. Zinnias have filled my flower beds with color before. I love the bright reds, pinks and yellows. The blue forget-me-nots will be pretty with the orange tiger lilies. Hopefully in a few weeks, I'll see little green sprouts pop out of the ground.  But, all I can do now is water and wait. I can't make them grow. That's up to God.

As Christ followers, we may plant the seed of God's word and truth in the heart of a friend. We may even do a little watering through prayer and compassion. But God is the one who brings growth. He's the one who causes the sprout to burst through the ground and mature in to a blooming flower. He's the one who leads our friend on the path to him. We have a purpose, in planting and watering, but God has the ultimate task of bringing growth.

When I was a young Christian, I thought I had to win people to Jesus all by myself. My heart ached when I couldn't find a way to bring someone completely to Christ. I even found myself getting in God's way. As I grew in the word, I began to understand my purpose. Once I figured out that I was a planter, a sower of the word. I found peace. As a Jesus' follower, plant the seed, sprinkle the water, and allow God to do the rest. He knows what he's doing!

What seeds do you like to sow?

Thursday, April 20, 2017

A Little Throw Back Thursday-Way Back

I think I was about three or four years old when this photo was taken. Obviously mom got me all set to have this darling picture taken. Including cutting those super short bangs. I've had a love/hate relationship with my hair for years. I prefer it long. It's easier to take care of and so stick straight that it falls back into place most of the time. But over the years I've tried short hair, curly hair, and dyed hair. Now that I'm hovering near sixty, I'm happy to have my natural white hair down my back in a pony tail. And oh yeah-I try to keep the bangs a little longer than when I was four.


I'd love to see your childhood photos.


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Children's Book Review: Love Letters From God; Bible Stories For A Girl’s Heart by Glenys Nellist , illustrated by Rachel Clowes

Description: 
In this heart-warming picture book designed for girls, author Glenys Nellist tells the inspiring stories of incredible women in the Bible. With beautiful illustrations by Rachel Clowes and sweet lift-the-flap envelopes, each story delivers a special message for children to open as they read their own personal love letters from God. Full of warmth and love, this picture book will fill girls’ hearts with the wonder of the Lord. The stories of Eve, Miriam, Esther, Mary, and more will delight children and remind them of the bond they can share with God, just like the women of the Bible.

My Thoughts:
I love this book. Glenys has chosen several wonderful stories about women, in the Bible, to retell. She's written each one in easy to understand language and shows that God values girls as the daughters he's created. The lift-the-flap letters from God are encouraging and uplifting. Rachel's artwork is just lovely. The colors, drawings, and ephemera she uses to create each piece goes beautifully with each girl's story. As my daughters grew up I wanted them to know that God loved them and valued them. This book is a great place to start if you want to encourage young ladies in their relationship with God. I will share these heartwarming stories with my granddaughters.

Glenys Nellist was born and raised in a little village in northern England.   Her stories and poems have been published in children’s magazines where her writing reflects a deep passion for bringing the Bible to life for young children. Glenys lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with her husband, David.

Rachel Clowes grew up in South London and studied illustration at Cambridge School of Art. She began her career in children’s magazines and has been illustrating ever since. Rachel lives in Yorkshire, England with her husband, also an illustrator, her three sons and two cats.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Good, Good Father

Luke 24: 1-6a
On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb,  but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!"

I don't think it's an accident that we celebrate Easter in the spring, the time of new life.

Two places bring me closer to the Lord than any other. One is the ocean, the other is the woods. Tim and I hiked through one of the local wildlife preserves on good Friday. And I couldn't help but think about Jesus. I spied trillium as blood red as the blood Jesus spilled. White trillium reminded me of Jesus' forgiveness and how he will make us whiter than snow. Patches of purple dwarf larkspur wore their royal robes, like those of the King.


As we walked, the peacefulness of the forest calmed my busy mind. With worries and stress quieted, the beautiful song "Good, Good Father" whispered in my ear. At one point I closed my eyes and let the music fill my head. God is a good, good father and without doubt he loves every one of his children. So much so that he sent his own son to save us from sin and offer us the road to heaven.  

Spring is the time to rejoice in new life. The flowers, the greening up of the trees, but most of all the resurrection of Jesus.

Let's celebrate Jesus this Easter. 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Bible Review: The Woman's Study Bible (NKJV)

About the book: 
The Woman's Study Bible poignantly reveals the Word of God to women, inviting them to receive God's truth for balance, hope, and transformation.
Special features designed to speak to a woman's heart appear throughout the Bible text, revealing Scripture-based insights about how godly womanhood grows from a woman's identity as a Christ-follower and a child of the Kingdom.

Now with a beautiful full-color redesign, 
The Woman's Study Bible reflects the contributions of over 80 women from a wide variety of ethnic, denominational, educational, and occupational backgrounds. Since the publication of the first edition of The Woman's Study Bible under the editorial guidance of Dorothy Kelley Patterson and Rhonda Harrington Kelley, this landmark study Bible has sold over 1.5 million copies.

Features Include:
-Beautiful full-color design throughout
-Detailed biographical portraits of over 100 biblical women
-Thousands of extensive verse-by-verse study notes
-Over 300 in-text topical articles on relevant issues
-Insightful essays by women who are recognized experts in the fields of theology, biblical studies, archaeology, and philosophy
-Book introductions and outlines
-Hundreds of full-color in-text maps, charts, timelines, and family trees
-Quotes from godly women throughout history
-Set of full-page maps of the biblical world
-Topical index
-Concordance

About the publisher:
In business since 1798, Thomas Nelson is one of the oldest Bible publishers in the world and the largest publisher of the King James Version. Their mission is to inspire the world by using our talents, assets, opportunities, and influence to engage and equip people with Scripture and draw people to a deeper study and understanding of God's Word.

Find out more about Thomas at https://www.thomasnelsonbibles.com.

My Review:
As reviewers we were asked to look at a profile or study feature of a particular book of the The Woman's Study Bible . I chose the book of Colossians. To highlight the messages in Colossians the authors have inserted beautiful text boxes filled with wisdom. The insert for "Creativity: Expressing Your Gifts" caught my attention. I've always considered myself to be a creative person, delving into many crafts over the years. But what I love about their insight here is the talk of creativity beyond arts and crafts and how we can be creative in so many other ways. Some they include are: solving a problem, stretching a budget, hatching an idea. God has given each of us gifts. What a joy to know we can use them for Him. Other inserts in Colossians include "Identity in Christ: A Member of His Family," "Fruit of the Spirit: Kindness," and "Employment: The Rewards of Work." These are all beneficial and encouraging in our walk with Jesus. One other insert I love is the one called "My Identity in Christ." The writers list who I am "As a Christian" with "Scripture Reference." Along with the uplifting messages, there are footnotes that explain the scripture's meaning. The Woman's Study Bible is a lovely rendition filled with interesting and useful information that will encourage and uplift women as we study God's word. I also love the colorful flowers on the study cloth cover and pink tint to the gilding on the pages. The attractive cover invites me to open God's word and dig in. I highly recommend this beautiful Bible. I received this Bible from Thomas Nelson.


Colossians 1:29-2:1-3 To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Fiction Review: Sandpiper Cove by Irene Hannon

Description:

Wishing for things that can never be is foolish . . . or is it?

Hope Harbor police chief and single mom Lexie Graham has zero time for extracurricular activities--including romance. Ex-con Adam Stone isn't looking for love either--but how ironic is it that the first woman to catch his eye is a police chief?

When Lexie enlists Adam's help to keep a troubled young man from heading down the wrong path, sparks begin to fly. Could it be that God may have a different--and better--future planned for them than either could imagine?


My Thoughts:

I love that Sandpiper Cove is all about second chances. This is the third Hope Harbor story I've read. And I've enjoyed each one. A trend I've noticed in several of the books I've read recently, is the added viewpoint of a child or young adult. In this story a young man named Brian is at a turning point in his life. I like how his story is intertwined with Adam's. Lexie's mom and son Matt also play an important part of her story. They ground her character and add the voice of reason at times. If you enjoy a solid story with a bit of mystery and romance you'll like Sandpiper Cove. I received this book for free from Revell.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

The NKJV Woman's Study Bible' Grow in the Word Giveaway

You're invited to receive God's truth for balance, hope, and transformation in the fully revised and redesigned The NKJV Woman's Study Bible. The new edition features a beautiful, full-color redesign and poignantly reveals the Word of God with Scripture insights and the contributions of more than eighty women from a wide variety of ethnic, denominational, educational, and occupational backgrounds. Special features designed to speak to a woman's heart appear throughout the Bible text, revealing Scripture-based insights about how godly womanhood grows from a woman's identity as a Christ-follower and a child of the Kingdom.

This spring, cultivate your heart's spiritual roots and enter to win the Grow in the Word Giveaway!


One grand prize winner will receive:
Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on April 27. The winner will be announced April 28 on the Litfuse blog.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Where the Spirit of the Lord is...

2 Corinthians 3:17
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

This week we remember Palm Sunday as Jesus trekked through the streets of Jerusalem on a donkey. The people met him and waved palm branches and sang, “Blessed is the king of Israel!” In Jesus' humble way he knew his future was death and his celebration meant freedom for all who followed him.

He knew the road led to torture and sacrifice, yet he took the path anyway.

Why would this man who understood his destiny walk right into death's door? 
Because he loves us. He knew he offered the only means to forgiveness and eternal hope.

Jesus death and resurrection offer a freedom like no other.

Freedom from the weight of worry.

Freedom from the love of material things.

Freedom from anxiety.

Freedom from the opinions of politicians and Hollywood stars.

Freedom from society's values.

Freedom to pray at any moment of the day.

Freedom from sin.

Romans 3:23-24 ...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 

Jesus is the only road to heaven. He gives forgiveness, freedom, and hope.

On this Palm Sunday weekend, know that Jesus died so everyone would have an opportunity to live in freedom. Praise the Lord for his Son!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Poetry Month Haiku #1

April is National Poetry Month. One of my favorite types of poetry is haiku. I'll be posting these little poems all month.

I love this particular one written by my husband, Tim. We share a love of lighthouses and watching the great blue heron.


Saturday, April 1, 2017

Don't Lose Sight

Matthew 24:42-44 
“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him."

Tim and I drove to a local lake to walk the dogs. With spring weather, we hoped to see some of the blue herons that nest in our area. As we pulled into the parking lot, we noticed two of them resting nearby. I lifted my binoculars and took in the sight of a male great blue heron on one shore and a female who perched on a limb in the water. As I watched them, I wanted to keep my eyes on both at the same time, an impossible task. Just as I turned toward the female, the male took flight. He didn't go far, but I missed his majestic rise into the air. I'd lost sight of him in a blink. That's all it took to miss my chance to watch one of my favorite birds glide above the water's surface. I wasn't ready to sit and wait on the him.

So many times in my walk with Jesus, I'm preoccupied. My mind is on anything but serving the Lord. In Matthew, Jesus spoke to his disciples, who were often sidetracked and sometimes confused. I mean—they spent every day with the Lord, but sometimes they just didn't get it. In Matthew, Jesus laid the future out for them. He warned them to keep watch, because once he died and rose again he'd be back. We wouldn't know when, but he promised he'd return "with power and great glory."

Last week God gave me three words to think on, "Don't lose sight". I wasn't sure why at first, but I truly believe he was reminding me to be prepared. He wants me to keep my sights on him and be ready for his return. I have no idea when Jesus will come for his followers or when I might leave this world. But what I do know is, I want to be ready. I pray we'll all be prepared to meet Jesus when he comes.


Praise God for Jesus!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

A Divine Appointment

Acts 2:38
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

2 Timothy 1:7
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

Galatians 5:25
Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 

I love it when God makes an appointment for me. He sets up a time for my path to cross that of another person, without my knowledge. On Thursday, I was meeting family for dinner and I had a little time before our meal. As I drove into town, I stopped by the local library for a restroom stop and just to browse. As I wandered among the shelves I heard a familiar voice. A dear friend, and fellow librarian, was sharing some fun book titles with a young lady. I peeked through the shelf and sure enough there was my good friend. Neither of us work in this library, yet here we both stood. We hugged and had a great conversation God knew I needed.

You see, I believe the Holy Spirit prompted me to stop at the library. I could have gone to a gas station or even the restaurant for a bathroom. But God knew I needed to go to the library and talk with Sharee. One of my daughter's will be traveling out of the country soon. I'll be honest—I've been nervous about the trip. Sharee's daughter had traveled to the same country my daughter intended to go to, so she had knowledge of the area. She messaged me later after she'd looked up the target mission. Her words and information gave me great comfort and reduced the stress I'd experienced about the trip. I know without a doubt, the Holy Spirit nudged me to stop by the library. I had a divine appointment with Sharee. I love this about Jesus. He knows our needs and meets them, no matter how small. It's my job to listen and respond to the Spirit's prompting. Now I am excited for my daughter and the mission she's pursuing. I pray for safety and that her team can help those in need and touch the people with Jesus love. Pray with me, if you would.

Praise God for divine appointments!