Wednesday, January 19, 2022

He Stands By Me

I've heard the phrase God doesn't give a person more than they can handle
I used to believe that to be true, but life and the Bible
have taught me a different lesson.

I may come across hardships in life I can't handle by myself.
That's okay, because God stands by me, gives me strength, 
and surrounds me with people who care.

For that I am thankful.


 

Monday, January 17, 2022

Historical Fiction Review: The Finder of Forgotten Things by Sarah Loudin Thomas

Book Description:
It's one thing to say you can find what people need--it's another to actually do it.

It's 1932 and Sullivan Harris is on the run. An occasionally successful dowser, he promised the people of Kline, West Virginia, that he would find them water. But when wells turned up dry, he disappeared with their cash just a step or two ahead of Jeremiah Weber, who was elected to run him down.


Postmistress Gainey Floyd is suspicious of Sulley's abilities when he appears in her town but reconsiders after new wells fill with sweet water. Rather, it's Sulley who grows uneasy when his success makes folks wonder if he can find more than water--like forgotten items or missing people. He lights out to escape such expectations and runs smack into something worse.

Hundreds of men have found jobs digging the Hawks Nest Tunnel--but what they thought was a blessing is killing them. And no one seems to care. Here, Sulley finds something new--a desire to help. With it, he becomes an unexpected catalyst, bringing Jeremiah and Gainey together to find what even he has forgotten: hope.

My Thoughts:
I'd heard about The Finder of Lost Things for months and was excited to win a copy in an online giveaway. The story twines with the Hawk's Nest Tunnel in 1930s West Virginia, where the worst industrial disaster in US history occurred. Many workers lost their lives to silicosis from the particles in the tunnel. Although this story is shadowed by sadness, Thomas takes the historical elements and infuses determination, hope, and friendship to create a beautiful story of determination, change, and love. Postmistress Gainey Floyd is an incredibly strong woman who has learned to live alone, content and determined to help others. Jeremiah Weber has been a bachelor for so long, he's not sure he wants to change. And Sullivan Harris, well he's a bit of a trickster who hides his true heart and desires, even as he grows to care about the people put in his path. I love the way Thomas weaves in the tragedy of Hawk's Nest and honors the lives of those lost. She even memorializes many of them by name. I've enjoyed every book I've read by Sarah Loudin Thomas. She's a wonderful writer who touches on the soul of the character and the reader. Opinions written here are my own. I received this book from a contest with no expectation for a review.

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Anytime, Anywhere, Anything

Philippians 4:6
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

The sweetest time of the day is...When you pray...Why?
Because you're talking to the One who loves you the most. -Anonymous

As we gathered around the dinner table in my parents' home, we bowed our heads and my dad prayed. In his eighties, his voice sometimes quivered. He'd served as an elder and deacon over the years, and prayed over communion at church and at the bedside of the sick and shut in. Knowing my dad as I did, he moved beyond his comfort zone, humbled himself, and prayed out loud because he loved God and chose to serve the Lord.

I don't consider myself to be a great prayer. Oh, I talk to God frequently but not eloquently. Sometimes my prayers are thrown up in desperation, at times I find myself begging (maybe not the best idea,) while other times I just talk as if I'm chatting with a friend. The chats are some of the best prayers.

I love that God makes praying easyany time of day or nightanywhereabout anything. There are no walls to break through, no papers to fill out, no meetings determining the proper way to pray. Instead, God just asks us to communicate with Him. He longs to hear from us because He loves us so much.

Sometimes I feel anxious, something troubles me to the point that my stomach aches, my nerves get on edge, and my heart hurts. There is only one cure to calm my soulprayer. Philippians says, in any situationANY situationtake requests to God through prayer. Thank Him and then talk to Him about anything and everything.

One of the beautiful elements of prayer is when I can't find the words; the Holy Spirit steps in and takes my needs to God for me. Prayer is one of the most wonderful parts of my walk with God. I love that I can talk to Him any time or place about life.

Talk to God as you would a friend. He listens.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

He Hears Your Heart

God hears my heart—what a beautiful concept.

Sometimes putting a prayer into words seems impossible.
I fumble over the words, my mind wanders one-hundred different directions,
but the wonder of it all is—the Holy Spirit
takes those words and thoughts and lifts them to God for me.

He helps me pray, and for that I am thankful.


 

Saturday, January 8, 2022

Look to Jesus

Proverbs 15:30
Light in a messenger’s eyes brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.

I tucked Christmas away.

Every year, our home is donned with Christmas displays, trees, and memories. I usually pull out all the treasured ornaments and d├ęcor around Thanksgiving. By early January, I'm ready to take down the beauty of the season and store it away for another year. Wednesday morning, the 4th day of January, I unhooked the ornaments from the tree, wrapped them, and placed them in the Christmas tote. Once the baubles were packed away, I unwound the purple beaded garland, then pulled the plug on the lights, the last remnant of the holiday. When the colorful bulbs turned off, I felt a little tug of sadness. Those little twinklers brought me joy.

When they glowed in various colors, they reminded me of why I celebrate His birth
Shades of pinkHe came as a sweet babe
GreenHe's everlasting
YellowHe's the light of the world
RedHis blood shed on the cross
Blue—everlasting life in heaven

Proverbs 15:30 reminds me to put my sadness away and remember the true light. Jesus came to earth to bring hope. His good news offers peace. When my heart is at peace, the rest of my body feels better.

As Christmas is put away and the new year begins, I choose to look to Jesus as the source of my joy and peace. He loves me more than I understand. I'm a broken human being filled with hope because the King of Kings who came as the only perfect person, loved me enough to die a harsh death on the cross, then gloriously rise to life.

Jesus is grace. He forgives and loves like no other.

Begin this new year looking to Jesus.

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Keep Your Peace

I had this saying hanging over my desk at work to remind me 
so many things I worried about were not worth 
my energy or the peace I lost.

So often the things I worry about never happen. 
By worrying I miss the blessing of now.

I pray this year is less worry and more peace.




 

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Suspense Book Review: Life Flight (Extreme Measure book 1) by Lynette Eason

Book Description:
EMS helicopter pilot Penny Carlton is used to high stress situations, but being forced to land on a mountain in a raging storm with a critical patient--and a serial killer on the loose--tests her skills and her nerve to the limit. She survives with FBI Special Agent Holt Satterfield's help. But she's not out of the woods yet.

In the ensuing days, Penny finds herself under attack. And when news reaches Holt that he may not have gotten his man after all, it will take all he and Penny have to catch a killer--before he catches one of them.

Bestselling and award-winning author Lynette Eason is back with another high-octane tale of close calls, narrow escapes, and the fight to bring a nefarious criminal to justice.

My Thoughts:
In Life Flight, Lynette Eason delivers a heart-pounding, page turner. Penny Carlton is determined to fly her rescue helicopter and save lives. Holt Satterfield is on the tail of a serial killer. With storms and dense woods and mountains causing havoc, Penny and Holt make tough decisions as they work together to capture the killer. I don't usually read books with a serial killer because frankly they scare me. With the main character sharing my name, I had to give this one a try. Eason is a master at suspense, proven by the late hours I spent reading Life Flight. I appreciate the thread of faith that runs throughout the book and the strong characters. Penny is an amazing heroine and Holt the perfect hero. If you enjoy suspense, you'll want to read book one of Extreme Measure. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.