Sunday, October 9, 2016

Fiction Book Review: Finding Riley by Dan Walsh

Book Description:
An unexpected surprise brings the Mitchell family of Savannah a chance to experience the Christmas trip of their dreams. An unexpected disappointment threatens to turn it into the worst Christmas of their lives. John Finch and his friend Alfred live in the woods. Been doing it for decades. He likes wintering in Florida, but this year’s been particularly harsh. Between the cold, freezing rain and terrifying lightning storms, John’s starting to wonder how much more of this lifestyle he can take. A new friend enters the picture and changes everything. Kim Harper, the dog trainer introduced in Rescuing Finley, is contacted by a billionaire philanthropist seeking her help with a new dog training project that will help the homeless. Is he for real? And is her co-worker right? Does this rich, handsome man’s interest in Kim go much deeper than her dog-training skills?

My Thoughts:
Dan Walsh has written many wonderful books, of them all the Forever Home series are my favorite. Finding Riley is the second book of the series. One of the things I like most about these stories are the chapters where we get to hear the voice of Riley. Written in a realistic way, I could easily imagine the dog having the exact thoughts that Dan portrayed. In the story we are introduced to a homeless camp. I learned from and appreciated Dan's presentation of this. He also does an excellent job of portraying the animal shelter and the role they play. And I loved Jeff, a sweet, sweet boy. And of course I enjoyed the twist of romance lightly threaded through the story. If you love dogs, need a pleasant, uplifting read, or want to escape into a sweet Christmas story, read Finding Riley. I received this book for free.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

All Other Ground is Sinking Sand

Psalm 62:5-8
Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
    my hope comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
    he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God;
    he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
 Trust in him at all times, you people;
    pour out your hearts to him,
    for God is our refuge.

Does anyone else remember singing or still sing "My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, But wholly lean on Jesus' name. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand..." a hymn written by Edward Mote in 1834. And 182 years later this song still comes to mind. As the chaos of the world swirls around me I need the reassurance that God is my fortress. 

Sin is alive and well. Satan is attacking. But rather than hide under a rock, I'm taking refuge on the Rock.

My hope rests in Jesus. I trust him with everything. Yes, everything. If you feel the weight of the world, the chaos of life, fear for our country—seek Jesus. He's the calm in the storm. He's the one who brings comfort and peace in the midst of mayhem. He is the solid Rock.

Praise God for peace in turmoil that comes only through him.

Nonfiction Book Review: Experiencing God Through His Names by Sheryl Giesbrecht

About the book: 
What's in a name?
Names are more than groups of letters that represent a person or identify objects. Names are powerful. A person's character and destiny can be influenced by his or her name. God's attributes and personality support His unique and distinct names. If we comprehend the meanings of His titles, we can know God more intimately. In Experiencing God Through His Names, Sheryl Giesbrecht walks with you on an exciting journey to discover and absorb the truth about God's character. In the next 31 days, God wants you to get to know Him. Are you ready?

My Thoughts:
I've been reading Experiencing God Through His Name each morning in my quiet time. I love this little book. Sheryl does a beautiful job relating the many names for God to our needs. I've enjoyed learning and worshipping God through reading his names. God has so much to give his followers, and I believe understanding the various characteristics of his nature has helped me to comprehend his vastness. I also like the structure of the writing. She gives an example, a biblical instance, and a prayer with each name. If you'd like to get to know God better, this is a great book that takes an intimate look at our God. I received this book for free.

Purchase a copy:

About the author:
Sheryl Giesbrecht has written three books, hundreds of articles, blogs, and columns. A nationally syndicated radio host, Sheryl is a sought after inspirational speaker who facilitates leadership training for thousands internationally.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Best Doughnut Ever!

I felt like I'd landed in a Norman Rockwell painting with a hint of Mayberry. On our way home from Port Clinton over Labor Day weekend, we stumbled upon a quaint village. Most of the stores were closed due to the holiday, but the bakery's open sign hung on the door. 

Ideal Bakery sat on the corner across from the locally owned Kirwen's Super Market. As soon as Tim and I entered the bakery, the smell of fresh baked goods filled my nose. The lovely lady at the counter told us to take a seat and she'd be right with us. With coffees in hand, we pulled up to a table. Our waitress recommended the longjohn with chocolate filling and chocolate icing. Oh my goodness! Best. Doughnut. Ever. I'm not kidding. It was fresh and wonderful and very fattening. But, it was vacation-so calories didn't count. We found out the bakery was open due to a tractor and implement show they held every year in Gibsonburg on Labor Day. And the bakery was the result of three generations dedicating their lives to baking.

After our indulgence, our waitress who had filled us in on much of the goings on in Gibsonburg recommended we visit the local park. A rod from the 9/11 World Trade Center was set up for a memorial to be held a few days later. The town had been selected from several others for this honor.

Not only did the park hold a piece of history, several artists had installed a variety of work. As we walked the path that encircled a small pond, we discovered so many lovely sculptures and expressions of beauty. And all in the middle of a lovely small town.

I grew up in a small town and have an appreciation for the ones that still thrive. Someday I'd like to return to Gibsonburg and maybe stop in the grocery. I sense a chocolate longjohn is in my future. 

Photos of some of the fabulous art. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

“I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” -L.M. Montgomery

One of the reasons I love this time of year--I get to make soup! We had our first bowl of chili this week!

©Penny Frost McGinnis

Sunday, October 2, 2016