Wednesday, August 17, 2022

A Life Without Dreams

My cousin reminded me I had dreamed of being a writer since I was young.
I'm thankful God had given me the opportunity to fulfill that dream.

Do you have a dream? Something you've wanted to do?
Has God placed a desire on your heart?

Ask God for guidance and a chance to make the dream come true.


 

Saturday, August 13, 2022

The Smell of Crayons

Psalm 32:8
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
       I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.

Pray for students, teachers, and staff.

The back-to-school sales are on, the smell of crayons and sharpened pencils fill the air. Teachers are prepping their classrooms and children are counting the days until they see their friends again.

We have several educators in our family, and they're setting up their rooms, attending trainings and meetings, and working to make the start of school successful. I’m thankful for the people who teach, whether in public school, private school, or homeschool and the folks who work in support roles. Many of the people who instruct our children in academics also work to instill confidence and positive behavior. The kiddos are blessed to have people in school who care about them and want to fill their buckets with kindness and joy.

Jesus, the best teacher—taught by example. Through parables and sermons He shared scripture and taught us to pray. Talk about hearing from the best. There is no better place to learn than at the feet of Jesus. I love to hear or read every parable, word of wisdom, and proverb Jesus shared. I'm thankful the writers of the Bible penned God's words, and I’m excited I have the very words of Jesus (red letters in many Bibles) to read and tuck into my heart.

God wants his people to keep discovering Him. Every day brings a new experience, a new perspective, a new way to learn and share Jesus’ story as He fills our buckets with blessings.

If you have a minute, pray for all the parents and caregivers sending their children to classrooms, as well as teachers, staff, administrators, and students heading back to school. Pray for wisdom, confidence, kindness, and safety. Encourage your children to embrace learning and to respect their teachers and fellow students. I remember a few teachers who believed in me, and I’ll always be thankful.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Old Age

I love this promise God speaks to Isaiah. 
God told him, He had made him and He planned to stick by him even in old age. 

As my hair has turned white, I've grown to  appreciate 
God's constant presence in my life. 

I'm sure when I was younger, I took God for granted, 
but with the ups and downs of life, 
I've learned that He sticks with me and never gives up on me.

For that I am thankful!


 

Saturday, August 6, 2022

What the World Needs Now

1 Corinthians 13:13
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

While faith and hope may be more personal, love is meant to be shared.

Growing up in the sixties and seventies I listened to a lot of music, mostly pop and soft rock. Songs like What the World Needs Now and Put a Little Love in Your Heart by Jackie DeShannon, and I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing by the New Seekers focused on spreading love in the world. In my bedroom as I belted out the songs, in front of the mirror and into my hairbrush, I believed I could be an instrument in sharing love with everyone. As you might guess, I was a bit naïve. I didn’t understand what loving the whole world entailed, until I understood how much Jesus loved me.

Most of the time when I hear 1 Corinthians 13, I’m at a wedding where the pastor reads the passage and talks about what it means to love. The other day I was reading 1 Corinthians 13 and I came to the last verse. Often verse thirteen is skimmed over. Instead of flying past it, I paused and read each word.

Faith, hope, and love remain. Three of the most important words in my vocabulary stand out as three of the most important ideas in this passage. My faith in Jesus is personal. Through my experiences and His grace, my faith has become the springboard for my relationship with Him. My hope in Jesus is also personal, without the hope of heaven and the hope of brighter days ahead, I’d bewell, hopeless. Love is different. According to verse thirteen, love is the greatest of all three, and I believe that’s because love is to be shared. For people to understand my faith and my hope in Jesus, they need to see the love He spills over me as I in turn pour love over others.  What better way to share my faith and hope than to model and live the love mapped out in chapter thirteen.

Share Jesus love with a world who still needs Him.

Friday, August 5, 2022

Contemporary Romance Review: The Last Way Home by Liz Johnson (Book 2 Prince Edward Island Shores)

What It's About:

When Eli Ross left Prince Edward Island to join the NHL, he left a broken family behind. More than a decade later, he's broke and headed home to an uncertain welcome. He wants to make things right with the family he wronged, but his mom's business partner isn't making it easy. To top it off, the coaching job he's accepted turns out to be far more difficult than he anticipated. 

For years, Violet Donaghy has put everything she had into making Eli's mom's ceramics shop a success, and she's not eager to forgive the man who hurt the family that's taken her in as one of their own. But when the kiln at the shop starts a fire that nearly destroys the studio, she'll need all the help she can get to save the business and their summer income.

Can these two strong-willed people come together to mend the broken pieces of the Ross family? Or will the ghosts of the past continue to haunt them?

Return to Prince Edward Island for a romantic story of family, forgiveness, and the power of love.

My Thoughts:

I’ve read all of Liz Johnson’s books and enjoyed them, but this series, Prince Edward Island Shores, is my favorite. And The Last Way Home is her best yet. She has mastered the characters, their personalities and their flaws. Her description made me feel like I was in the story watching the scenes unfold. Violet and Eli are both broken in their own way, yet they are drawn together by the very secrets they guard. If you enjoy excellent writing, an interesting story, and wonderful characters, you’ll want to read The Last Way Home. Thank you, Liz Johnson, for another wonderful story. I’m anxious to read book three. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

 

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

A Simple Way

It's not hard to be kind. A smile, an encouraging word, 
a moment listening, a gift of food or money.

God calls us to be kind and to love one another.
He asks us not to judge, but to love. 


 

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Romantic Suspense Review: Deception by Patricia Bradley

The Story:
After being forced to kill an FBI agent gone rogue in self-defense while working in the violent crimes unit for the Investigative Services Branch, ranger Madison Thorn is comfortable with her move to the fraud and cyber division. At least numbers don't lie. So she's less than thrilled when a white-collar crime investigation in Natchez, Mississippi, turns violent. She could also do without being forced to work with former-childhood-enemy-turned-infuriatingly-handsome park ranger Clayton Bradshaw.

When a woman who looks just like Madison is attacked on the same night Madison's grandfather is shot, it becomes clear that there is something much bigger going on here and that Madison herself is in danger. Madison and Clayton will have to work together--and suppress their growing feelings for one another--if they are to discover the truth before it's too late.

My Thoughts:
If you enjoy romantic suspense, I recommend this series set in Natchez Mississippi. Deception is book three in the Natchez Trace Rangers series and can be read as a stand-alone, but the series is so good! I especially enjoyed this one. Madison is a tough lady who focuses on her work, but has a soft spot when it comes to her grandfather. Clayton is an officer with flaws and a big heart. As the two of them work to solve a crime against her grandfather, secrets unfold in unexpected ways as more crimes come to light. Bradley is a top-notch suspense writer. If you enjoy Colleen Coble, you’ll love Patricia Bradley’s books. I received a free copy of this book with no expectations. My opinions are my own.

Monday, August 1, 2022

Cozy Mystery Review: Murder Goes Solo by Malissa Chapin Book Description:

What's the Story?
Piper Haydn is on the case when murder comes to peaceful Cranberry Harbor, Wisconsin. With her piano recital hours away, Piper's last need is a piano problem—or a murder problem! When her new piano arrives with the body of her ex-fiancé inside, suspicion rests on Piper. To avoid a murder charge, she must shift her attention from music to murder. With a killer at large, Piper calls off the recital and closes the academy. Believing that she and her friends can solve the murder, Piper tries to clear her name and tries to discover what happened to her secretary Lisa. As the investigation crescendos, Piper leans on the support and creativity of her best friend Roosevelt and fellow music teacher Trefor to help solve the crime. Can Piper and friends solve the mystery before the killer solos in on another victim?

My Thoughts:
Murder Goes Solo is a well-written and fun mystery. Poor Piper is faced with a terrible situation. The new and very expensive piano she ordered arrives with a dead body. Not just any bodyher lifeless ex-boyfriend. Piper and her best friend Rosie work to figure out who killed him. In the meantime, they have to avoid the press and work with the “Hunky” police officer. Piper’s family tries to protect her, but she’s determined to bring the killer to justice. Chapin does a beautiful job weaving in Piper’s love of music and sets up a great cozy story. If you enjoy cozy mysteries, you’ll love Murder Goes Solo. I hope there are more books about Piper, her bestie, and maybe even the “Hunky officer.” I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.