Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Amish Peace

About The Book:  In our instantly connected world, it’s surprisingly easy to lose our connection to God. This devotional taps Amish wisdom in order to help us draw closer to God and hear his voice. In The One Year Book of Amish Peace, you’ll get a daily taste of Amish values and wisdom. Tricia Goyer shares her fascination with the Amish in a way that will inspire and encourage believers to carve out more time in each day to listen to God and experience his presence. This daily devotional contains interesting facts about the Amish, recipes, and information about the way the Amish handle money, rear their children, and center their lives on faith in God. You’ll be inspired to slow down and find ways to simplify so that you, too, can experience God in the ordinary.

About The Author:  Tricia Goyer is the author of over 30 books and has been published in many national publications such as Focus on the Family, Today's Christian Woman and HomeLife Magazine. She has won numerous awards and has been nominated for both the Gold Medallion Book Award and Christy Award. Tricia is a highly sought after speaker at workshops and conferences and is the founder of Hope Pregnancy Ministries in Northwestern Montana. Tricia is married to the love of her life, John, and they have four great kids. They live in Little Rock, Arkansas where John works for FamilyLife.

My Thoughts On The Book: I am a huge fan of daily devotionals and Amish fiction.  I have one I keep at work, one I keep near my favorite chair, and one I keep by my bed.  I use them all daily.  Amish Peace is a book full of daily devotions, each one dated so you never lose track of what day you are on. Each day has an  Amish proverb, a Bible verse, an Amish related devotion, and end with a short prayer. Each devotion is short and to the point and it is just the perfect size for a quick moment with God, Amish style.  If you are looking for something light and easy that you can do in just a few minutes during your busy day then this is your book.  It is not a deep study, yet it is a powerful devotional.  Amish Peace is one of those you want to go to for some one-on-oe with God.  I found each devotional to be almost like a hug from God.  This book would be a great one for personal use, or a special gift. 

Statement of Disclosure: I received an paperback copy of this title from Tyndale House  Publishers, Litfuse Publicity Group, and Net Galley in exchange for a fair and honest reviw. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255 'Guides concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. I was not asked to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are entirely my own. Thanks guys for letting me read this and participate!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Fright-ful Wednesday Hodgepodge

Welcome to the Wednesday Hodgepodge. If you're new here, I'm glad you've joined the party. Joyce is our hostess with the mostess.  Everyone is welcome to play along-answer the questions on your own blog, then add your link at the end of Joyce's post. Hop around and say hi to the neighbors too. Here we go-

1. What's something you're dealing with that might be described as tricky?  Right is teaching full time, being the preacher at one church....and the preacher's wife at another.  Both churches are special to me and it is very tricky dividing up my time where I spend time being with them as a preacher's wife.
2. What's your treat of choice?  Butterfingers, plain old candy corn, and York Peppermint patties.  The Peppermint Patties I can get sugar free which makes them a special treat.  Being a diabetic cuts out a lot of sweet things. 

3. Did you/will you carve a jack-o-lantern this month? Which real (living or dead) or fictional 'Jack' would you most like to meet in person? Why?  We are not going to carve a jack-o-lantern this month. We don't have time, I don't really like Halloween, I am a Halloween Scrooge of sorts.  Jack Sparrow would be my choice.  I would love to meet Johnny Depp and have a picture made with him.

4. In your opinion, what's the grossest sounding word in the English language?
Sorry about the crusty word Joyce....I make crusty bread and it is to die for.  My word(s) are masticate and pustule.  I don't like any word that relates to sores and oozing things.  Yuck!5. When did your heart last skip a beat?
When Frank and I walked into the NICU to see Kash and Kruze for the first time.  They are so tiny.  I have left a link so you can go to their facebook page and give some encouragement.  You need to see them in their little(and I mean very tiny) Halloween costumes.

6. Monster Mash by Bobby 'Boris' Pickett, Michael Jackson's Thriller, Werewolves of London by Warren Zevon or Ray Parker Jr.'s Ghostbusters...your favorite 'scary' tune?
I am product of The Monster Mash era and love the song.  I also raised children during the Michael Jackson era and like Thriller too.  Phantom of the Opera is out there too.7. It was a dark and stormy night when__________________________
 I flew for the first time.  My trip was from West Palm Beach to Atlanta.  Lightening actually hit the wing of the plane....right outside my window.  As we flew over the Atlantic I just knew we were going to be sucked into the vortex called The Bermuda Triangle.  I don't think I took a breath until we landed.  I cannot remember being so terrified.  I was nine years old.
8. Insert your own random thought here.  Did you know that today is National Candy Corn Day?  I am delighted.  I wish they made it in the sugar free form....but I may just have to cheat a bit today and have a few pieces....or a handful.  I got a picture from Magen for a safe candy corn.  It is a little toboggan that one of the nurses made for the girls.  Is this not precious?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Saying Goodbye Again - Living With Alzheimer's

I watched other family members of dementia patients console themselves  by thinking that their loved ones wouldn’t know the difference, but through my mom I found out from one of the aides that she daily asked for me.  She did n't always know WHO I was....but she knew I was a constant.  I was her only constant.  Her parting words to me where always, "When are you coming?"  I learned early on in my role of caregiver for an Alzheimer's patient that it would be a difficult pill to swallow.  No one wants to see their parent lose their memory.  I know I didn't.  As the disease porgressed I looked for ways to help her memory.  I felt so helpless as she began to slip further and further away from me...until one day the  independant, "I can do anything I set my mind to," mother I loved and who raised me....was gone.

For five years Frank and I were the caregivers for both of my parents.  My father had cancer and was dying and my mom was drifting away with dementia.  I was going crazy as I slowly began to lose both my parents.  With my father's death in the fall of 2009 my mom had to be institutionalized.  She was a wanderer and we could not let her wander off.  She was placed in a Dadeville facility and it was not ever pretty.  She was angry at me, confused that she could not find my dad, and wanted out.  I was not allowed to see her for the first few weeks because she was so angry at me.  The rest of  her family visited with scarcity.....because they could not stand to see her like that.  I got was such a cop-out.  It wasn't about was about her!  She learned how to walk to one end of the facility....pull the fire alarm and then scoot to the other end and get the outer door open.  It's alarm was not as loud as the fire alarm.  One day, about a month after she was placed....we went to see her and they told us she had to go.  We were given three choices.  One was in the Valley (an hour away), one was in Pell City (two hours away), or Adams (less than a mile from where I lived at the time).  All three were lock down units.  I chose Adams and our journey there began.  During her tenure aqt Adams I adjusted to seeing her ever changing state and eventually the confusion and anger I had with God subsided.  Her first Christmas I made a calendar for her with once familiar faces and when she opened it we went over all the pictures.  When I got to the one of her as a young woman  she became hostile.  I put the calendar away and we never mentioned it again.  I sang for her unit once and when I went back the second time she met me at the door....excited....Karen was coming to sing.  I told her I was there to sing and she grew hostile because I was not THE Karen that was supposed to sing.  The aide played along....hid my guitar until mom was ready for ME to sing.  Music was the way I reached her.  She might not remember your name...but she remembered the words to songs....and steps to dances....and so we sang....and occassionally I would dance with her.(I am not a good dancer - she was).

Cancer is a terrible thing and it was hard to watch my dad die from it.  He knew me until the end.  What was so upsetting  was that it was hard for me to make peace with Alzheimers.  I did not understand it.  I did not like it.   I wanted my mom back.  I wish I had known then....what I know now.  I struggled alone to find my way through this no-man's land. I read everything I could get my hands on.  I looked for support groups....our town had one....but they met during the day and I I was not able to go to their meetings.  I visited my mom every day except on weekends.  The visits were not always long....but there were.  I went, I hugged her, I held her hand, sometimes I laid in the bed with her, held her and sang softly.  I have no regrets there.  I really only have one regret and that regret is that I was not there when she died.  Frank and I went to the mountains for Spring Break.  We left on Sunday after church.  I went by to see her on Friday and told her I would be gone.  She smiled and said she would see me soon.  We got the call on Monday and I made a most dreaded ride home.  She was gone!  She went like she wanted to.  She went to be with my dad.  The last time I was at Adams' to see her....she was sitting in the open room....she asked me if I could see the door.  She told me Aunt Shirley and Daddy needed her help setting the banquet table.  I cried all the way home.  She died with a smile on her face....she was going home....and my dad was waiting on her.  One day I will see them again and we will all be together. 

When I Was 17 It Was A Very Good Year and It Wasn't.

It was the fall of 71…I was soon to be 18…..and  I had a car in my mind that was “the bomb”, oh it was sharp! It had Cragar mags with knockoff spinners,it was Kelly green with white leather interior, it was awesome!  The piece of awesomeness I am talking about was a 1971 Oldsmobile 442.  It was a muscle car….and  I thought that I would be “the man” in this car. It would do 0 to 60 in 5.2 seconds.  This was the car for me.  I knew I could impress anyone with this car…especially the guy I liked…but, when we went to get this car....we passed another car lot and sitting up on a stand....was the car that won my heart. 
It was a flame red 1969 Plymouth Satellite 383.  It had Cragar mags and knock off spinners....and white leather interior.  It was gorgeous.  My dad and I drove it off the lot and it went home to 1127 El Prado.  I had a need for speed and it got me in trouble.  I did some street racing down Dixie with some other street racers.  There was something about getting the flag and hitting the gas.  At this time in my life my dream was to drive funny cars like Shirley Muldowney.  The first three months I owned my car my dad put three sets of tires on it. When he put the third set on he informed me that the next set was coming out of my pocket....needless to say my love of street racing ebbed.  I loved this car....I have to say it was almost my idol.....and  then one day coming home from school…an old beat up Volkswagen Beetle hit me in the rear end… I was stopped waiting to turn into my neighborhood.  Traffic was rather heavy because they were building I-95 at Southern Blvd.....luckily I was waiting for a police officer to pass so I could turn.....the Volkswagon came out of nowhere….she was running 60+ Miles per hour…in a construction zone….the impact was what happened next.  I didn't even know she was coming.  The car hit me so hard that it  knocked the gas tank out from under my car….and knocked the car and I 185 feet.  I had a broken nose, a busted lip, 2 fractured ribs, and a pulled mastoid muscle in my neck….and you got it….the boy I was trying to impress…was not real impressed with my appearance(black eyes, busted nose, bruises and cuts everywhere…and my prized car was totaled.  The wrecker drove me home....and then took my car to the junk heart was broken.  My dad took me to see it one last time.  It was not recognizable.  My father held me in his strong arms and told me....the car could be replaced....but I couldn't.  I loved my dad for that.  He was right.  It was....just a car.  I was irreplaceable to my parents.....and for the first time in days....I smiled.  It would be alright. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Colors of Fall

I found a wonderful devotional the other day that I needed to share since this is fall.  I am a lover of fall and the colors it brings.  This wonderful piece by Julia Bettencourt reminds us what the colors of fall say about each of us.   

The Inviting Colors of Fall Julia Bettencourt

" But if our gospel be hid,
it is hid to them that are lost" 2 Corinthians 4:3

Many people are drawn to fall colors. Fall colors are warm, vibrant, extraordinarily rich, and energetic. I wonder how appealing I am as a Christian? Do other people gravitate to me because I am a warm, vibrant, and inviting person?

When I think about the color of the fall leaves, red is my favorite. There's just something about the trees that are full of red leaves glistening in the sun. It's just extraordinary. They stick out and you notice them.

Red brings up the thought of passion. No matter where we are in our Christian walk, I think we all could do with a little more passion for Christ. We should stick out in a good way. We should reflect all that brilliance of Christ.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 5:16

The color orange is so beautiful in the fall. We see it in not just the fall leaves, but in those beautiful pumpkins as well. Orange reflects warmth and symbolizes thoughtfulness and sincerity. As Christians that's something we should portray. We should be that warm inviting person that cares about others.

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32

The yellow color of fall makes me happy. Yellow conjures up joy and cheerfulness. I don't really think that if we aren't cheerful as Christians, other people will want what we have.

If we have Christ, we should have joy in our hearts and that joy should reflect out through us. It's listed right there in Galatians along with the other fruit of the spirit that we should be bearing.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering,gentleness, goodness, faith,Meekness, temperance:against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22,23

Some of the colors we see in fall are the shades of purple. Leaves we find in the purple family are so striking. Purple is the color of royalty. As Christians, we are royalty in Christ. Our behavior should reflect that royalty. We should be striking as Christians.

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. Romans 8:16,17 Brown
If we didn't have all that brown in the midst of the bright fall colors, I doubt if they'd be so brilliant. Brown represents stability and it anchors all those other beautiful colors of fall. In Christ, we have our anchor. Others can see if we are living for Christ and depending on Him in our lives. It comes out in our actions and behavior.

As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Colossians 2:6,7

Showing Christ through our behavior is so important in our witness to others . Our "colors" do matter. How we act and behave is what people see when they look at us. I hope I grow to have a beautiful, warm, and inviting life in Christ. I don't want Christianity to be hid from the world because of me. I want to portray vibrancy and warmth so that people will want to get to know me and learn about Christ through me.

So, what colors are you projecting?
Copyright ©2001-2013 Julia Bettencourt
Scripture References are from the King James Version.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Saturday's Circle

What a day!  Frank and I left the house the first time at 7:45 to meet Beth and Ron for Breakfast at Jeff's Place.  This is a weekly tradition that we really enjoy.  After breakfast we stopped back by the house to take care of some things and headed to WoodYard in Griffin, GA (about 1.5 hours from our house) to check on their hardwoods.  We met a man at the Hummingbird Festival in Hogansville who told us about this place.  With the hour time change we managed to get there just minutes before they were supposed to close....but the salesman was wonderful and not in a hurry to get anywhere so we stayed nearly an hour.   You need to go to my link and just look at some of the woods they have.  Did you know there was such a thing as zebra wood?  How about purple heart wood?  I also had a lesson on lignum vitae.  Do you know what that is????  Well...let me tell you. Lignum vitae is a trade wood, also called guayacan or guaiacum, and in parts of Europe known as pockholz, from trees of the genus Guaiacum.   This wood was once very important for applications requiring a material with its extraordinary combination of strength, toughness and density. It is also the national tree of the Bahamas and the Jamaican national flower.  "Lignum vitae" is Latin for "tree of life", and derives its name from . Other names for lignum vitae include palo santo (Spanish for "holy wood").  It is a popular wood in shipbuilding, cabinetry, and woodturning but a completely different timber); lignum vitae is also one of the numerous hard, dense woods loosely referred to as ironwood.
Lignum vitae is hard and durable, and is also the densest wood traded (density: 1.23 g/cm); it will easily sink in water. On the Janka Scale of Hardness, which measures hardness of woods, lignum vitae ranks highest of the trade woods.  I am telling you this stuff was gorgeous...and to me there is nothing like the smell of wood.  After the WoodYard we headed to Columbus(1.75 hours away) to celebrate Virginia's birthday. 
We got there right at 3...of course we stopped at Starbucks before we got there.  3 hours of picking and singing followed once Amanda got there.  Noni came and played bass, Rebecca's cousin came and sang with us...Jeff, Virginia's fiancée played some amazing guitar licks and sang too.  This is what Virginia wanted for her this is what she got.  It was a wonderful afternoon.  There is nothing like having a picking and singing at Rebecca's...unless it one at Amanda's....or my house.  I love it when we get together to sing.  I love my girls!  We headed home through Auburn, had dinner and finally got home about 7:30.  It had been a long day and this girl is whooped.  I had done my sermon earlier in the week...and forgot to mail it to when we got home I wrote a sermon.  Obviously the one I had written earlier...was not the one God wanted me to deliver....and sermon number two was nothing like it.  "Hey God...I get the message." 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Together

Somewhere out in blogdom there is a room full of women all sharing their hearts and their words with each other. Right now. Here. Together tonight. At the Allume Conference.
I am here with them too because this is a safe space...a happy place for me. This  is the Friday exhale of words without the editor’s voice. Without the voice that tells us we aren’t skinny enough, or talented enough, or have clean enough houses.  On Fridays we silence that voice and we just write without worrying if it’s just right or not.  Click here for the back story on how to join us for five minutes today on the word:


Thanksgiving is looming just around the corner and sometime between now and then we will sing "We gather together to ask the Lord's blessing" in church. I know we are going to at Midway  because it is one of my favorite Thanksgiving hymns.  I love getting together as a fellowship of believers and singing, hearing God's word, and sharing prayers and praises.  When I miss life goes wonky.  I love get togethers with friends....planned or spontaneous.  Some of my most favorite ones are with the porch people in Rock Mills and with our church families at Rock Mills and Midway.  There is nothing like being together and fellowshipping.   it does not have to be a can be sitting in someone's garden, eating together after church on Sunday, playing Mexican train, having a lesson in crochet....however the time is spent the most important thing is that we are together.  My dad's family does not get together often.  We tend to only see each other now during weddings and funerals.  The elder generation is gone now but we manage to stay connected through facebook.  My mom's family is a horse of a different color.  WE LOVE to get together.  We will use any excuse as a reason to celebrate and be together.  We have mini reunions throughout the year, but Christmas and Thanksgiving are the biggies.  This year we are all going to get together at the beach.  This has become a tradition since the year of so many losses.  We all wanted a new tradition....and so the beach it was!   There will be somewhere between 30-35 of us in one house....together.  I cannot wait to get together with sister/cousin Amanda and having the opportunity to sing to our hearts content. 

Our family get togethers always involve music.  When I was a child growing up I thought everyone's did.  You can imagine my surprise when I realized that other families did not sing like we did.  Anyways, we are a close knit family....and have a large extension of us (friends and such).  When we gather together we always thank God for this time of closeness.  Changing the know there are a lot of together lyrics....Get Together(The Youngbloods), Together Again(Emmylou Harris), Come Together(The Beatles), Let's Stay Together(Pat Benatar)....yep...togetherness makes my world go round.  How about you?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Route 66 Reunions

About The Book:  Travel America’s Main Street, Route 66, in three contemporary romances. . . . Tessa falls for the man of her dreams—for the second time. Sarah meets the son she gave up for adoption—and unexpectedly reunites with the boy’s father, too. Amanda returns to her hometown, never dreaming she’d be caught in the aftermath of a devastating tornado—and so near the man who broke her heart. As past and present collide, there’s no telling what lies ahead.

About the Author: Mildred Colvin has been writing sweet inspirational romance since 2001, and is an award-winning author of eighteen novels in both historical and contemporary themes. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, and is active in two very special critique groups. She is also active in her church and enjoys special times with her husband, children, and grandchildren. Her hobbies, when she has time, include quilting, photography, and gardening. Of course, reading is more than a hobby. It’s a way of life. Mother of Jonathan Colvin.  colvin also writes under the name M.J. Conner.

My Thoughts About The Book:  As a huge fan of Route 66, a hopeless romantic,  an avid traveler, and as someone who has the dream of one day traveling the complete Mother Road I was delighted to review Route 66 Reunions by Mildren Colvin.  Colvin's book was three very entertaining stories of boy meets girl, boy gets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back with all the characters knitted together in a cohesive story.  I loved all the characters and the stories made you mad, made you laugh, made you cry throughout.  There were times when I felt such sorrow for the women only to find myself laughing at them minutes later.  This is a fun and easy rainy day read.  If you feel a draw to Route 66 then this book is for you.

Statement of Disclosure: I received an paperback copy of this title from Netgalley Publishing Group and Barbour Publishing, Inc. as part of their blogger review program . I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255 'Guides concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. I was not asked to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are entirely my own. Thanks guys for letting me read this and participate!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Hodge Podge on Wednesday

Welcome to another edition of the Wednesday Hodgepodge! Add your link at the end of Joyce's post by clicking here and then hop around and chat with your neighbors. Here are my answers to this week's questions-

1. When it comes to good manners, what two top your list of most important?
My number one times two would have to be saying please when you ask for something and thank you when you're given something.  I teach high school and don't hear either very often.  

2. Let's open a proverbial can of worms...Common Core. Are you familiar with the term (talking education reform in the USA)? If so, care to share your thoughts? In your opinion, what is one of the biggest issues schools (in your home country) face today?

I'm familiar with the term and trust me you do not want to get me started.  I am seriously considering retiring soon because of it. Children are not all cut from the same mold.  When we throw them all together...or expect them all to be Advanced Diploma recipients were doing nothing more than watering down the educational system.  We jump on whatever California or Texas are implementing and before we get it up and going they drop it.  The problem is....people who make up all these routines are not educators or have not been in the classroom for eons. I agree fully with Joyce,  why can't we have a period of time where the standards are tried and tested by fire-in the actual classroom by lots of different teachers with lots of different teaching styles and student populations-before we insist everyone adopt them. 

3. Name a celebrity whose fashion sense you admire and share why.
Sandra Bullock.  She is so clean and wholesome looking.  Her dressing style is classic.

4. How are you affected by the changing seasons?
I love the season changes.  Fall and Winter tend to bring on a bit of melancholy, expecially if I am homebound.  I love the first snow...if we get one. I love the budding of sping and it makes me want to get outside and play.  I love summer and having a sense of freedom. 

5. Scariest book you've ever read?
Cujo by Stephen King.  When I read it I was attending night classes at college and was reading with a reading lamp in the car.  The school security guard and his German Shephard were patroling and the dog jumped up on the side of my car.  I don't know who was more afraid.  The dog, the guard, or me.  I had to finish the book in a well-lit room and did not sleep for two days.  I also had some issues with Christine.  My grandfather owned a car just like it and when I spent the night there....the car was in the shed right off my room.  Fiction became reality for me on both of those.
6. What time of day are you most hungry? What's your go-to snack?
Late afternoon. I would love to eat dinner at that time, because that's really when I'm hungry, but duie to our schedules that does not always happen.  I try and eat healthy - pretzels, fruit, sugar free something, a cup of coffee or tea.  If there is anything else in the is game on.

7. Do you lean more towards being too needy or too independent? Which do you find harder to deal with in others?
I am by nature an independent person, but I also like depending on my husband.  I don't think I am needy, yet I know how to be "needy" if Frank needs to feel like Mr. Machismo.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
I have thought all week about my random thought for today and decided to do mine on Operation Christmas Child.....when I read Joyce's random thought I laughed out loud.  Obviously like minds.   This is something that I too love to do every year is pack a shoebox or two for Operation Christmas Child. My church did 50 last year and have set a goal of 60 for this year.  We are lining the railing to the choir loft right now.  It is fun to watch the amount grow.  I too am fully aware that it is still 62 days until Christmas (not that I'm counting), but the National Shoebox Collection Week is November 18th-25th, and that really is just around the corner.  You do not have to be part of an organization or a kids at school have done them before and you can find everything you need to know about what to pack, how to pack it, what to pack it in, and where to drop or send your shoebox on the Samaritan's Purse website (click here for details).   I truly believe that this is such a wonderful ministry to children all over the world, and it's easy and fun to fill a shoebox. Humbling too, to realize how excited a little child somewhere will be to get a brand new toothbrush or their very own bar of soap.  You select the age range and gender for your box, and I almost always buy for girls because that's what I know best. I buy a few essentials, but also some fun things like a pink purse or glittery crayons and stickers. You can even track your box now by printing a label at home, and then once it's delivered you'll get an email letting you know where your box was sent. I have included my mailing address a few times and have been delighted with letters from the child.  Talk about a blessing.  I sat and read and cried.  You know we all have more than we could possibly need and it is special to do a child's Christmas you have never met. I encourage you to visit the website and see what it's all about. You can bless a child with a shoebox, and in the filling of that shoebox I think you'll find you're blessed right back.  Personally....I would rather give to someone who needs something....than have someone give me something.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Gunpowder Tea

About The Book: In a case that could change her career, Miranda uncovers a love that will change her life.  When Miranda Hunt sees the classified ad for an heiress to the legendary Last Chance Ranch, she knows assuming the identity of Annie Beckman is the perfect cover. As one of the finest agents for the Pinkerton Detective Agency, Miranda has been tasked with apprehending the Phantom---an elusive and notorious train robber thought to be hiding on the sprawling ranch.  But she isn't the only one at the ranch with something to hide. Wells Fargo detective   Jeremy Taggart is working undercover as well. Their true identities may be a secret, but it is impossible for Jeremy and Miranda to hide the sparks flaring between them.  Neither is about to let romance interfere with such a huge case. Besides, Miranda hasn't removed Jeremy from her list of suspects yet. The closer they get to uncovering the identity of the Phantom, the more dangerous he gets---and no one on the ranch is safe.The longer Miranda and Jeremy spend working together, the harder it becomes to keep their feelings in check. Their careers-and their lives-depend on solving this case. Love will just have to wait.

About The Author:  Thrills, mystery, suspense, romance: Margaret Brownley penned it all. Nothing wrong with this--except Margaret happened to be writing for the church newsletter at the time. After making the church picnic read like a Grisham novel, her former pastor took her aside and said, "Maybe God's calling you to write fiction." So that's what Margaret did. She's now a New York Times bestselling author and a Romance Writers of America RITA finalist with more than 25 novels to her credit. Her first non-fiction book "Grieving God's Way: the Lasting Path to Hope and Healing" has won much critical acclaim. She is currently working on the third book in her "Brides of Last Chance Ranch series." Not bad for someone who flunked 8th grade English. Just don't ask her to diagram a sentence.

My Thoughts On The Book:  Margaret Brownley had me from the beginning.  The opening chapter of the story had some keystone cop style humor that made me laugh out loud and kept me glued to the book.  The book had a fast moving plot and you hated to put it down for fear that you would miss something.  When I closed the book I was in a state of sheer delight.  This was my kind of story.  I loved it!  One of my favorite parts of the book was the interaction between the hero and heroine.  The whole story reminded me of the old B grade westerns I used to watch as a child.  This book is the third in a series and I didn't  realize that when I started reading it. It does not matter if you have not read the other two stories, because this one makes a great stand-alone story.

Statement of Disclosure: I received an paperback copy of this title from Litfuse, Thomas Nelson  and Netgalley Publishing Group. as part of their blogger review program . I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255 'Guides concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. I was not asked to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are entirely my own. Thanks guys for letting me read this and participate!

Monday, October 21, 2013

I, Saul

About The Book:  A MURDERER who would change the WORLD From multi-million copy best-selling novelist Jerry Jenkins comes a compelling international thriller that conveys you from present-day Texas to a dank Roman dungeon in A.D. 67, then down the dusty roads of ancient Israel, Asia, and back to Rome. A young seminary professor, Augustine Knox, is drawn into a deadly race to save priceless parchments from antiquities thieves and discovers a two- thousand-year old connection with another who faced death for the sake of the truth. I, Saul consists of two riveting adventures in one, transporting you between the stories of Augustine Knox and Saul of Tarsus. Filled with political intrigue, romance, and rich historical detail, I, Saul is a thrilling tale of loyal friendships tested by life-or-death quests, set two millennia apart, told by a master storyteller.

About The Author:  Jerry B. Jenkins’s novels have sold more than 70 million copies, including the phenomenal mega-best-selling Left Behind series. Twenty of his books have reached theNew York Times best-seller list, including seven that debuted at number one, as well as theUSA Today, Publishers Weekly, and Wall Street Journal best-seller lists. Jenkins has been featured on the cover of Newsweek magazine. Jerry and his wife, Dianna, live in Colorado.
My Thoughts On The Book:  When I got the book and scanned through it I was not sure I would enjoy the book.  I am a pastor, read a lot of nonfiction/research about biblical characters and this one blew me away.  I enjoyed this book more than many I have read lately. I enjoy reading historical fiction and a good mystery is always a clincher. This book contains both. Reading this story is almost like reading two stories in one. Luke and Pauls take on life and Augie's impressions.  I usually do not like split story books where one character talks and then another one does.  But, as this story developed I was delighted and enlightened, even with the time frame separations.  The book grabs your attention immediately and I found I did not want to put it down.  I am a huge fan of the Left Behind series and that is one of the reasons I asked to review this book.  This book is well written.  Jenkins is a master wordsmith and if you are looking for something that will catch and hold your attention this is your book!
Statement of Disclosure: I received an paperback copy of this title from Worthy Publishing as part of their blogger review program . I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255 'Guides concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. I was not asked to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are entirely my own. Thanks guys for letting me read this and participate!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

My Mid-October Daybook

Outside my window is a tiny courtyard that has been forgotten and the nasty side of the boys gym. No one ever takes the time to clean the windows or wash the walls.

I am thinking, "I wish I could be home enjoying this lovely fall weather."
I am thankful that I have a job, for my family, for my lovely ride down Hwy 22 each day, for my Midway and Rock Mills churches, for good friends, for a place to live, for food to eat.  Thank you God for everything.

In the kitchen there are remnants of the makings of a pound cake, pumpkin bread, crusty bread, and apple cheese bread.  The first two went to Midway's Fall Festival and the last came to school this morning for my coffee club.  I made bread for Frank.

I am wearing a red turtleneck, a black jacket and pants, and black boots because this week is Red Ribbon Awareness Week for SADD and today we were supposed to Stomp out Drugs (wear red and boots.)

I am creating a wreath for the front door of the Rock Mills Church, and some scarves.

I am going to a Cluster meeting tonight after work for preachers in the Wedowee area.

I am wondering why we have Faculty meetings on Monday?

I am reading Route 66 Reunions to review.

I am hoping to drive Route 66 from start to finish one day in a classic car with either Frank or my daughter, Kat.

I am looking forward to spending a spa day (mani/pedi) with my sweet daughter soon.

I am learning a great deal about Joshua in our Joshua Bible Study on Wednesday night.

Around the house we need to get rid of the thorn bush in the front of the house and trim back the rose bush on the side.  I also need to get the office room in order.

I am pondering what I can bake this week.

A favorite quote for today comes from the Amish Wisdom app on my IPad, ""Remember the day's blessings, not the day's troubles."

One of my favorite things You mean besides raindrops on roses?  It would have to be the smile of a child.  You know...the kind that starts in the eyes and reaches the mouth.

A few plans for the rest of the week:  Cluster meeting, choir practice, Wednesday Bible Study, The Woodyard in Griffin, the Red Barn Auction on Saturday, the BRHS football game on Friday.  Church on Sunday.  Busy week huh?

A peek into my day:  English 11 we finished up vocabulary for Bernice Bobs Her Hair, Sp I - We began a unit on Spain and clothing, Sp II - We began a unit on Mexico and legends (this is one of my favorite units).  Normally I give guitar lessons tonight but I have a preachers cluster meeting tonight.  I was going to bake after I got home....but you never know how long these meetings will last. 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

What a Week!

What a week this has been.  Monday we went back to school after a week off.  Monday was three weeks long it seemed.  I love my breaks but going back is tough.  Next day off is Veterans' Day.  This side of the school year has lots of little is after Christmas that the months drag by without any breaks.  Monday nights I give guitar lessons to Bobby and we had a good time playing together.  He has really come a long way since we began.  Now it is more like just playing together instead of lessons.  Tuesday was choir practice at Rock Mills.  I go each week even though I don't sing with them on Sunday.  I love the socialization and getting to see everyone....and of course the singing.  It was Wednesday where my week went wonky.  Wednesday a cable was cut to the cell phones and Alex City had absolutely no service.  Land lines were all that worked.  We learned what we did before cell phones.....conversed with each other.  One of my fellow teachers said it was a new cure for ADD....called noverizon....and the generic brand was nomobile.  LOL.  Third block today I was called a b***h by a my face.  She went home for three days.  I guess no cell service was more than she could stand.  On my way home I stopped at a friends and dropped off some yarn I had borrowed from her.  We visited for a few minutes and then I headed to the house.  When I got home I was greeted by Frank who told me that we needed to go to Urgent Care and then he showed me his finger.  GROSS! 
Two stitches, no bone or nerve damage, and a splint later we were headed to Midway so I could do Bible Study.  All of the pharmacies were closed when we left the Urgent Care place so once the feeling came back Frank loaded up on Aleve until Thursday morning when he could call in the antibiotic and pain medication.  I did not sleep well because I was afraid I would knock the finger.  Thursday night we went to Beth and Ron's house for dinner and for Mexican Train dominoes.  Dexter and Renee came and Beth made the most wonderful beef casserole.  We had cream cheese and pepper jelly, brownies, salad, and the casserole followed by a riotous game of dominoes and a whole lot of fellowship.  Love these guys.  Friday the football game was 3 hours away in Ozark, AL.  The football team, cheerleaders, band, dancers, and a whole lot of coaches left after second block.  I had to cover a coach's fourth block class because they chose not to get subs for them.  By the time the class of 30 arrived there were only 10 left.  Kids were checking out to go to the game....and other things.  My last class of the day only had 3 boys.  When I got home Frank and I headed to LaGrange to buy the goodies for my church's Fall Festival tonight.  We made a quick stop at Marcies to see her....and of course Jett and Lyndi, he showed us how he can walk. I have to be honest I love that boy. There was  an added pleasure because Jill was there so it was a nice visit for sure. She could so be my daughter. We went to LaGrange because they have a Dollar Tree and of course Roanoke doesn't..  We ate dinner first at Pizzavilla (one of our most favorite restaurants),
did the Dollar Tree...and then stopped by Piggly Wiggly to get the new Sprite Cranberry (diet and regular).  I also bought a Sierra Mist Cranberry so I could compare the two.  The Sprite Cranberry was not pinkish like the Sierra Mist...but the taste is amazing.  You must get out and try it!  I am sure it will only be available for a limited time.  Today is clean up day at Rock Mills.  I have two cakes in the oven so I am running late.  What a day. Hope you have a great weekend.  BTW...Frank's finger is healing nicely.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Five Minute Friday - Laundry

It is Friday once again and time to head over to Lisa Jo's blog and write your Five Minute Friday post. Don't forget to go and link up with her after you complete your post. Today's is interesting.  Today we are going to talk about Laundry.  Remember the rules.  You write for five uninterrupted minutes on the subject....period, post and link.  It does not get any easier than this.

The word for the week is:     Laundry


Laundry does not just refer to clothes.  Sometimes in life we all have dirty laundry that gets aired and it can be embarrassing to say the least.  I can think of many moments in my life when my dirty laundry was aired and I was left with a red face and speechless.  When Kat was 5 she had a puppy called Patches. Late one night when returning home I accidentally ran over the dog.  My son, Eric buried it, and I never told Kat what happened.  Every day she tore my heart out as she went out on the porch and called for her puppy only to find him not there.  Sixteen years later my son aired my dirty laundry when he told her what had happened.  I will never forget the look on her face....and I will never forget the feelings I had as the story unfolded.  This was not the first time my dirty laundry was exposed to the world....but since it involved my was the worst.    As far as clothes go....I don't mind doing laundry.  I would rather wash dishes by hand than sort and wash laundry.  Laundry is not the most popular chore in our house.  This is one job that Frank only does if he HAS to.  Frank's idea of laundry is put in as much as  you can and let it ride.  It is kind of like a game of craps.  He has dried things I don't dry....he has washed reds with whites and I am sure you can figure out the results of that.  I love the feel of fabrics.  I love soft, velvety, silky laundry.  These are usually the pieces of laundry I do not dry.  My favorite laundry thing to do is when the day is sunny I love stripping the beds and after I am done washing the laundry, hanging the sheets and towels out on the line.  The smell of sunshine makes my heart sing.  Speaking of laundry I have not done any this week because I have been busy.  I guess I will begin tonight and finish up tomorrow.  That is the nice thing about there only being two of us in the house....not much laundry!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

A Letter To Evan

About The Book:  "Divorce changes everything.  It is disorienting, painful and disruptive.  One dad steps forward to illustrate how to rise about the destruction of divorce, become a better person, and yes, even a better father to his children.  Roy Page exposes his heart in A Letter to Evan.  What began as affirmation and instruction for his son has become a journey of healing, growth, and inspiration to men everywhere." 

Being a loving, effective parent when you are not a part of your child's daily life is challenging whether you are a father who travels or is divorced.  Roy Page shares how he has maintained a presence in the lives of his children.  As a man who enjoys hunting, fishing, sailing, and woodworking and possesses a deep desire to share these times of adventure with his son, Roy learns to navigate his extensive travel schedule along with Evan's hectic baseball schedule to find a way to connect.  Even if it means writing a letter." (Taken from the back cover of the book.)

About The Author:  Roy Page is CEO of Third Degree Advertising.  He jets between North Carolina and Oklahoma to keep his business and family going.  Losing his father to Alzheimer's disease and his wife of twenty years set Roy on a path to reset his priorities, discover the good in people, and dream of a better future.  Laugh cry, relate, grow, and heal with Roy in A Letter to Evan.

My Thoughts On The Book:  As a woman who was divorced, I have to say that this is one of the most touching books I have ever encountered in a long time. Even though the journey in the story is about a father and son, I found myself inspired to be a better person. His life lessons on imperfection, the stories of loss, the searching to find life after divorce hit close to home with me, having walked in his shoes.  The book reminded me that God loves us in spite of ourselves. One of the hardest lessons I had to learn through my divorce was forgiving myself and my ex-husband.  Pages shows us in his book just how we can open ourselves to our shortcomings and just "Let go and let God." This book is a wonderful book for male or female.  It touches the heart, shows us how to go on, and continue to live and grow.

STATEMENT OF DISCLOSURE: I received an paperback copy of this title from B & B Media Group as part of their blogger review program . I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255 'Guides concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. I was not asked to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are entirely my own. Thanks guys for letting me read this and participate!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Bargain

About the book: Book one in the Plain City Peace series.  It's 1971, and Betsie Troyer's peaceful and predictable life is about to become anything but.  When their parents flee the Amish, nineteen-year-old Betsie and her seventeen-year-old sister Sadie are distraught. Under the dubious guidance of a doting aunt, the girls struggle to keep the secret, praying their parents will return before anyone learns the truth-a truth that may end all hopes of Betsie's marriage to Charley Yoder.

About the Author: Stephanie Reed lives on the outskirts of Plain City, Ohio, site of a once-thriving Amish community. She gleans ideas for her novels from signs glimpsed along the byways of Ohio, as she did for her previous books, "Across the Wide River" and "The Light Across the River."  Learn more at Stephanie's website:

My Thoughts On The Book:  Anyone who reads my blog knows that my favorite genre of literature is historical and Amish fiction.  I was delighted to get my hands on one by an author I have never read.  Reading The Bargain was such a treat because it is both. The book is not your typical Amish tale but it does not disappoint.  This book talks of life for both the Amish and English during 1971, the Vietnam war, and its affects on both cultures. Knowing that the Amish are peaceful I never thought much about an Amish man serving in the military until I read The Bargain.  Stephanie Reed is an amazing wordsmith and knows her material.  Her handling of the Amish, Vietnam War, leather working, and the all the other events that took  place during the 1970's is remarkable. This novel had me from the Introduction and I found myself doing without sleep because I simply could not put it down. From the moment I began the book I found myself a character among the book and totally immersed. The characters seem real because they are not perfect and they lead normal lives.  I cannot wait to read the rest of this series. I highly recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys Amish and Historical Christian Fiction, you will not be disappointed. I give this novel 4.5 Stars! 
Statement of Disclosure: I received an paperback copy of this title from Litgfuse Publicity Group as part of their blogger review program . I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255 'Guides concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. I was not asked to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are entirely my own. Thanks guys for letting me read this and participate!

Fall Hodge Podge

It is that time of week again and Joyce has some really good questions out there.  Want to play along with all of us?  If you do then hop over to Joyce's blog and grab the questions, answer them, then hop back and post your answers. 

1. What was your biggest worry five years ago? Is it still a worry? My parent's dying.  It is not still a worry.  My dad died in 2009 and my mom in 2011.  2. Yesterday (October 15th) was National Grouch Day...what makes you grouchy? What cheers you up when you're feeling grouchy?  Being sick makes me grouchy and reading or watching a really good movie makes me cheer up.  Frank and Kat also can cheer me up by doing the funny things they do.3. In one word, how does it feel to be photographed?  Embarassing

4. Besides your parents, who would you say had the greatest influence on you in choosing your life path? Explain. Dr. Watson B. Duncan III - he taught me English at PBJC.  I wanted to grow up and be just like him.  Funny thing....I teach high school English today....Thanks Dr. Duncan.5. The crisp days of autumn are here ...what's something you like to eat, but only if it's crisp?  Apples.  I love McIntosh, Cameo, Granny Smith, and Braeburn.  They are all crisp...and sweetly tart.
6. What's the most useless object you own?  A bundt pan.  I have a rectangular pan now and love making pound cakes in it.  The bundt pan has not been used in over 4 years.  Pretty useless huh?7. Share a favorite fall memory. As an adult when fall gets here Amanda usually has us all over to her house to pick and sing out by the campfire.  The kids roast weiners and marshmallows.  There is something about the smell of wood, the feel of the heat from the fire, and the sounds of good music.  Another being in the Smokey Mtns. when the leaves are changing.  I have made this trekk many times with friends and families and I never get tired of going through the Mtns. and Cades Cove.  I was sad that we didn't get to this year....Thanks to our wonderful government.  When I was a child some people in our neighborhood would make snow cones for all the kids trick or treating.  We all wanted to go there first to make sure we got one. 
8. Insert your own random thought here. October 16th
is Dictionary Day - Vocabulary mavens and wordsmiths unite! October 16th is Dictionary Day.This word-worthy occasion marks the birthday of American lexicographer Noah Webster, father of the modern dictionary.  How well do you know your words? Dictionary Day is a wonderful occasion for brushing up those verbal skills by playing word games like Scrabble, Password, Boggle or Balderdash. Or just pick up a word search or crossword puzzle.  It's also Learn a Word Day on October 16th. What is your new word of the day?   Instead of sharing my new favorite word of the day I thought I would share something that makes my blood boil.  Did you know that every year new vocabulary words are added to the dictionary?  Sometimes they are based on necessity and other times they are based entirely on the culture.   There are a few that I really think could have been left out....maybe because I am an English teacher....or maybe because my parents taught me to speak correctly.  I will say phones are killing our speech. "Feature phone" is one of the new words that I deam totally unnecessary.  All cell phones have what is the point here?  Onliner is another one that refers to someone on the internet....duh!  Scareware is yet another word to be used with, or in place of, spyware, malware and adware mean the same thing.   Why do we need so many words for this?  We have even added abbreviations like tbh which  means "to be honest". How hard is it to just say to be honest?  More and more the English language is being dumbed down.  I also found "tmi" and to be honest why do texting languages need to be there.  I also found woot, "prolly"(short for probably), sammich , and my final word is "bromance".  If we continue down this path we may someday live in a world where writing and speaking properly is the exception instead of the rule.  

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Chicken Soup Is Good For The Soul

ABOUT THE BOOK:  The twentieth anniversary edition of the original Chicken Soup for the Soul is brimming with even more hope and inspiration—the stories you’ve always loved, plus bonus stories! Twenty years later, Chicken Soup for the Soul continues to open the heart and rekindle the spirit. Celebrate the twentieth anniversary with the classic book that inspired millions—reinvigorated with bonus stories of inspiration! You will find hope and inspiration in these 101 heartwarming stories about counting your blessings, thinking positive, and overcoming challenges.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Jack Canfield is an American motivational speaker and author. He is best known as the co-creator of the "Chicken Soup for the Soul" book series, which currently has over 124 titles and 100 million copies in print in over 47 languages. According to USA Today, Canfield and his writing partner, Mark Victor Hansen, were the top-selling authors in the United States in 1997.  Canfield received a BA in Chinese History from Harvard University and a Masters from University of Massachusetts. He has worked as a teacher, a workshop facilitator, and a psychotherapist.  Canfield is the founder of "Self Esteem Seminars" in Santa Barbara, and "The Foundation for Self Esteem" in Culver City, California. The stated mission of Self Esteem Seminars is to train entrepreneurs, educators, corporate leaders and employees to achieve their personal and professional goals. The focus of The Foundation for Self Esteem is to train social workers, welfare recipients and human resource professionals.  In 1990,he shared with author Mark Victor Hansen his idea for the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. After three years, the two had compiled sixty-eight stories.
 Mark Victor Hansen (born January 1948) is an American inspirational and motivational speaker, trainer and author. He is best known as the founder and co-creator of the "Chicken Soup for the Soul
" book series.

MY THOUGHTS ON THE BOOK: My grandmothere used to tell me that Chicken Soup could cure anything.  She was talking about the brothy stuff you eat.  This 20th anniversary edition of the book is a Chicken Soup  that is really perfect for anyone and a great cure all. I find when I am struggling in life there is a Chicken Soup story to help lift me up.  The stories include stories of love, parenting, learning something new, and overcoming obstacles in life. I own several different editions of Chicken Soups For The Soul and love each one.  The stories in any edition are only 2-3 pages long and are just perfect for quick reading moments. The stories are guaranteed to make each reader laugh, cry, or just soak the story in. It is a great book to read, a great book to give as a gift, a great book to have in a waiting room...anywhere.  I read mine just before going to bed.  This is beyond a must read, this is a must have!

STATEMENT OF DISCLOSURE: I received an paperback copy of this title from Netgalley as part of their blogger review program . I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255 'Guides concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. I was not asked to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are entirely my own. Thanks guys for letting me read this and participate!

Monday, October 14, 2013

A Marriage in Middlebury

ABOUT THE BOOK:  What happens when the matchmaker finds a match for herself?Charlotte Rose Hill has been serving up country delicacies, uniquely blended teas, and matchmaking advice for her quirky but beloved customers for more than 10 years. But for her, marriage seems like an elusive butterfly, always out of reach. At 18, Charlotte fell in love with a young man, Sam Wilder, but his family convinced her to walk away from their relationship. She did, and then became engaged to another man, who later died before they were married. Now, more than a decade later, Charlotte finds that she still has feelings for her first love. Initially thrilled to learn that Sam has come home to Middlebury, Texas, Charlotte is devastated to learn that he’s brought someone with him: his fiancée. But all is not lost when the townsfolk decide to get involved. Will Charlotte and Sam find their way back to each other?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Best-selling and award-winning author, Anita Higman, is the author or coauthor of thirty-five books for adults and children. She has recently been honored with a 2013 Inspirational Reader's Choice Award and is a two-time finalist in the 2013 Selah Awards as well as a finalist in the 2013 Cascade Awards. She holds a BA in the combined fields of speech communication, psychology, and art. Anita loves good movies, exotic teas, and brunch with her friends. Please visit her online at

MY THOUGHTS ABOUT THE BOOK:  I loved this book.  The story of Charlotte and Sam was heart wrenching, yet tender and sweet.  The story is so very life-like that it is as if Higman knew this characters personally.  God's presence in this tale of misunderstandings, prejudice, and hate made the book so inspiring.  Higman is an amazing wordsmith and I really enjoy reading her work.  This was one of those books that you cannot put down until you have read the last page.  If you want to read a well-written book then this is the book for you.  Thanks Abingdon for allowing me to review this book.

STATEMENT OF DISCLOSURE: I received an paperback copy of this title from Netgalley as part of their blogger review program . I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255 'Guides concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. I was not asked to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are entirely my own. Thanks guys for letting me read this and participate!