Monday, April 12, 2021

Contemporary Fiction Book Review: At Lighthouse Point (Three Sisters Island Book #3) by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Book Description:
Blaine Grayson returns to Three Sisters Island with a grand plan--to take Camp Kicking Moose to the next level. Her dream starts to unravel when she discovers Moose Manor's kitchen has been badly remodeled by her sister, Cam, who doesn't know how to cook. Added to that blow is the cold shoulder given by her best friend, Artie Lotosky, now a doctor to the unbridged Maine islands.
 

As old wounds are opened, Blaine starts to wonder if she made a mistake by coming home. Little by little, she must let go of one dream to discover a new one, opening her heart to a purpose and a future she had never imagined. 

Bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher invites you back to the coast of Maine for a story that reminds you to release what doesn't matter and cling to what does: faith, family, and friendships.

My Thoughts:
At Lighthouse Point
is my favorite of the Three Sisters Island series. Blaine has grown up and come home, bringing along FrenchmanJean Paula delightful, accident prone young man. While her best friend, Artie, doctors Jean Paul underlying tension builds. Her sisters are both expecting, other family members are dealing with health issues, and her dad has a secret. Peg Legg and the other townspeople are back and they are not happy with oldest sister Cam’s push to update the island. The story’s many layers play out into a delightful story of family, friendship, faith and love. I enjoy the setting on a Maine island with a lighthouse and camp. If you enjoy family stories with a spiritual thread, you’ll love At Lighthouse Point. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Praise and Pray

Psalm 145:3-5

Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
    his greatness no one can fathom.
One generation commends your works to another;
    they tell of your mighty acts.
They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—
    and I will meditate on your wonderful works.

Perhaps winter is a time of meditation, spring a time of praise.

I find the change of seasons remarkable. Snow, rain, sunshine, chill all contribute to the nature God has created. For the past few weeks I’ve enjoyed the daffodils, tulips and hyacinth in my tiny garden. One morning, I observed the yellow and white daffodils bowing their heads. In the same plot of soil, the tulips raised their leaves to the sky. It struck meboth stood in a posture of praise and prayer.

In the winter, I tend to bow down and meditate on God’s word. The quiet, sometimes snow-kissed earth allows me to snuggle into my favorite chair and focus on Jesus. But in the spring, I want to shout with the sunshine that Jesus is Lord. Maybe because we celebrate Easter, I raise my hands to God and praise out loud. For whatever reason, spring is a time to celebrate our Lord and Savior.

In observing the flowers, no matter whether I raise my hands like the tulip or bow my head like the daffodil, I am in a posture of praise and prayer. It doesn’t matter how I praise and pray as much as when. And when is every day. I thank God for the beauty of the earth and the people in my life. I don’t need much, yet God has provided abundantly.

As the psalmist says, God is so great and worthy of praise, I can’t even fathom his greatness.

Praise and pray thanksgiving to God the Father, when you bow down and when you rise up.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Praise and Prayer

One morning while the raindrops dotted the flowers, I snapped this photo.

I noticed the daffodil bowed it's head, and the tulip raised toward heaven.

Both were in a posture to praise God. 

The flowers reminded me to check my stance.

Am I prepared to pray in every situation? 
Am I praising God for his mercy and grace?

Praise and prayer go hand in hand.

Raised up or bent down-
Praise God!


 

Monday, April 5, 2021

Book Review: The Shell Collector by Nancy Naigle

Book Description:
Two years after her husband’s death, Amanda Whittier has two children to raise alone, an abandoned dream of starting a business, and a fixer-upper cottage by the sea. She has no room in her life for anything else and little interest in moving on after losing the man she loved. 

Paul Grant is a relative newcomer to the area, and his work with former military dogs needing rehabilitation has been good for the town. Though he loved once before, he’s convinced he’s not suited for romance and is determined to find meaning—alone—through his work and role in the community. 

Widowed Maeve Lindsay was born and raised on Whelk’s Island. Spirited, kind, and a little mischievous, she pours her life into the town. But she carries a secret that shapes her every move. 

Together, these three souls find encouragement in the most mysterious places and discover a love that’s bigger than their pain, healing their wounded hearts in ways none of them could have hoped for or expected.

My Thoughts:
I adore The Shell Collector. This is one of those rare novels that drips with wisdom in the midst of living and appreciating life. Set on Whelk’s Island, much of the novel takes place along a gorgeous beach with sea gulls swooping and sea glass washing to shore. Widowed two years ago, Amanda is raising two delightful children in a cottage near the beach. She cherishes the memories of her husband’s love even as she tries to start over. As she and her children play on the beach, she meets Maeve, a lovely 80 something woman, who has dealt with her own sorrow. Mauve is the mentor Amanda needs to help her move forward. I love the respect Amanda and Mauve have for each other. It’s wonderful to read a book portraying an older adult with such dignity. Then comes Paul. His story will melt your heart along with his kind personality. The Shell Collector is a beautiful story of friendship, faith, love, heartbreak, and joy. Naigle has written a story to be savored and read again and again. 5+ stars. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Saturday, April 3, 2021

The Hope of Easter

Luke 24:36-39
While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”

Luke 24:50-53
When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them.  While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven.  Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy.  And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.

The disciples grieved Jesus’ death.

The apostles, Mary Magdalene, Jesus’ mother Mary, and several other followers watched their Lord and Savior die an agonizing death on the cross. I can’t imagine the heartbreak, especially for his mom.  Jesus’ best friends and family witnessed his torture and his final breath. Even as they mourned, their faith in their Lord did not waver.  

In their hearts they tucked the promise of Jesus’ return. What they didn’t realize was how soon they’d see him again.

Joseph of Arimathea, took Jesus body to an empty tomb he’d prepared for himself. After the body was wrapped in cloth, he placed him inside, then he rolled a stone in front of the opening. After the Sabbath day passed, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to the grave to pour spices over their beloved friend. An earthquake shook them and an angel appeared propped on the rock he’d rolled from the tomb. Then the women received the surprise of their lives—Jesus stood in front of them and greeted them.

Can you imagine?

Jesus keeps his promises. He told his followers he’d raise from the dead, come back to life, and see them again. Yet, they didn’t understand. Kind of like us. The Bible teaches us of Jesus return, his second coming, that will occur so quickly none of us will be expecting him. But Jesus keeps his promises, and he will come here to take his children home to heaven.

Easter is all about HOPE!

Jesus promises new life. Rejoice in the Lord this Easter!

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Thursday, April 1, 2021

Easter Books for Children


Easter Egg Day by Tara Knudson, illustrated by Pauline Siewert
It’s time for Easter eggs—yellow, green, blue, and red! In Easter Egg Day, written by Tara Knudson and illustrated by Pauline Siewert, kids will love watching how plain white eggs turn to colorful zig-zags, stripes, and patterns as this board book celebrates the classic Easter family tradition.

'Twas the Morning of Easter by Glenys Nellist, illustrated by Elena Selivanova
A follow-up to the popular 'Twas the Evening of Christmas from beloved author Glenys Nellist. 'Twas the Morning of Easter tells the story of the resurrection of Jesus in a fresh way, with a familiar rhythm and rhyme that children will love, following the pattern of Clement Moore's iconic "'Twas the Night Before Christmas."

The Berenstain Bears and the Easter Story by Mike Berenstain and Jan Berenstain
Young readers will understand the real meaning behind Easter in this addition to the Living Lights™ series of Berenstain Bears books. Children will discover that Easter is more than candy and egg hunts as they read about the Bear cubs at Sunday school learning about Jesus’ resurrection and salvation.

He is Risen: Rocks Tell the Story of Easter by Patti Rokus
This unique and unforgettable picture book uses rock art and simple text to tell children the story of the miracle of Easter—the resurrection of Jesus. Through the arrangement of a few rocks and powerful words directly from Scripture, the entire Easter story is told in He Is Risen: Rocks Tell the Story of Easter.

These are all delightful books that celebrate Easter. I particularly like He is Risen: Rocks Tell the Story of Easter for its simple, yet powerful format. The Berenstain Bears and the Easter Story is a wonderful book to use to teach young children about Jesus, either at home or in Sunday School. The rhyme and rhythm used in Twas the Morning of Easter will entertain and introduce young ones to the morning Mary found Jesus' tomb empty. Easter Egg Day is a sweet book about a family dying eggs and having funI received complimentary copies of these books. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.