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!”

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

She's Got The Wrong Guy

 About The Book:  The control freak. The angry man. The lazy guy. The unteachable guy. The promiscuous man. The unbeliever. The lone ranger. The unchurched guy. The new convert. The commitment-phobe.
For any woman who has struggled with failed relationships, this may seem like a familiar list. These are the men your friends and family have in mind when they think, "she's with the wrong guy." And while the reasons women choose these types of men are complicated and varied, ultimately, they will all let you down.
In She's Got the Wrong Guy, Deepak Reju offers a different kind of dating book, discussing the types of guys women should not marry and offering biblical reasons why they aren't suitable spouses. Writing from his years of experience as a pastor and counselor, Reju shares with women his perspective on how to assess a relationship's strengths from the beginning, how to identify possible pitfalls, and how to have the courage to wait for a relationship that will be a blessing for both of you. Using stories that single women can relate to and highlighting contemporary issues in the modern world of dating, Reju gives readers clear, biblical direction on how to have positive, life-giving relationships with members of the opposite sex.
With a strong, Christ-centered focus, women will better understand why they "settle" for less than what God intends for their romantic relationships and learn to put their hopes and find their happiness in Jesus, not marriage.
About The Author:  Deepak Reju, MDiv, PhD, serves as the pastor of biblical counseling and families at Capitol Hill Baptist Church (CHBC) in Washington, DC, as well as president for the board of directors of the Biblical Counseling Coalition. He is the author of several books and articles, including "Great Kings of the Bible: How Jesus Is Greater than Saul, David and Solomon," "The Pastor and Counseling," and "On Guard: Preventing and Responding to Child Abuse at Church." Deepak and his wife Sarah have been married since 2001 and have five children.
Find out more about Deepak at
My Thoughts On The Book:  As an ex-wife, of almost 25 years, I wish I had had this book before I got married the first time.   As a pastor I think this book is an excellent counseling tool for young almost married couples.  I have to admit that it was not my favorite book of all times, yet it was necessary.   It does seem to be a bit one sided and is geared more toward women than men.  It was not a book of do's and don'ts, it was a book of preparedness.  I believe so many times we step into relationships without waiting on the Lord's answer and we jump in head first not thinking of the results.  For young women....or second timers this is a great read if you are stepping out into the relationship game again.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Total Christmas Makeover

About The Book: 

Give your Christmas a makeover with this practical approach to help your family learn what it means to truly celebrate their Savior.
In the bustle of the Christmas season, it can be easy to get swept up in all of the things to do. But it's important to pause and remember that our priority should be to spend time celebrating Christ's birth and not forget to invite Jesus to his own party.  Christmas is far more than a celebration of an event from long ago or a modern holiday centered around shopping. Mindfully take time to listen to how God continues to speak through the Christmas story as the Gospel narratives centered around the birth of Jesus provide encouragement and revelation concerning the love of God and his wisdom for us today.  In Total Christmas Makeover, author and Bible teacher Melissa Spoelstra provides a practical approach for you and your family to turn your attention toward God's grace day-by-day as you prepare for Christmas. This 31-day devotional presents key scriptures, ideas to implement with each reading, and questions for reflection to guide you in rediscovering rituals, relationship, and rest to connect you more deeply with Christ this holiday season.
About The Author:
Melissa Spoelstra is a popular women's conference speaker, Bible teacher, and writer who is madly in love with Jesus and passionate about helping women of all ages to seek Christ and know Him more intimately through serious Bible study. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Bible Theology and enjoys teaching God's Word to diverse groups and churches within the body of Christ. She is the author of the "First Corinthians: Living Love When We Disagree," "Joseph: The Journey to Forgiveness," and "Jeremiah: Daring to Hope in an Unstable World Bible" studies and "Total Family Makeover: 8 Steps to Making Disciples at Home" book. She lives in Dublin, Ohio, with her pastor husband and four kids.
My Thoughts On The Book: I knew I was hooked from the very beginning.  As a pastor and teacher Christmas gets away from me with all the hustle and bustle and activity.  I wish I had had this book when my children were small.  Thanks to this book I cannot wait to practice my new found Christmas makeover.    My goal this year is to make my family Christmas all about Christ.  I loved that fact that every entry included Scripture and a space that encouraged reflection in response to questions.  As a teacher I am always looking for ways to give my students practical applications for what we just learned and Spoelstra did just that. The book is divided into three categories: ritual, relationships, and rest. Each topic has ten days of devotionals to delve into.   I usually share wonderful books with my reader friends.  This is one I will have to buy for them because I have written all over my copy and do not want to share.  This book is a must to read before the holidays kick off. I promise you it is better than a day at a spa. Loved it!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Last Hodge Podge for October. Where Has This Year Gone?

Joyce has been traveling the past two weeks, and needed to regroup before diving back into regular blogging. Whatever regular blogging means? In the meantime, let's hodgepodge. If you've answered this week's questions add your link at the end of Joyce's post, then leave a comment for the blogger linking before you.

1. What's surprised you most about your life or life in general?
Changes later in life.  I always thought I would retire from BRHS and be retired, but after the mega snow/ice storm I found myself starting over at Randolph County.  The drive is gone, I am home before I ever left BRHS and I leave my house in the morning when I was getting to my old school.  I love it.

2.  Sweet potato fries, sweet potato casserole, a baked sweet potato, a bowl of butternut squash soup, a caramel apple or a slice of pumpkin have to order one thing on this list right now. Which one do you go for?  I would choose the pumpkin pie.

3. What's a famous book set in your home state? Have you read it? On a scale of 1-5 (5 is fantastic) how many stars does it rate?
Stars Fell on Alabama  would be what first comes to mind. I found it more interesting as a cultural artifact than as a reading experience. Although it was difficult for me to read some sections (like depictions of lynchings), I'm especially glad they were included as documentation and confrontation. I'm sure it was extremely risky for him to write about such things, even while using pseudonyms. Overall the book's really loosely structured--some folk stories, some narrative, somewhere between journalistic and creative nonfiction, --and that style, or lack thereof (possibly combined with the fact that I already sort of knew or expected some of the content), made it a bit difficult for me to feel invested. There are no real threads other than "this is what this part of Alabama is like," so when I closed the book after a chapter, I didn't feel highly compelled to read the next. I think my favorite section is the chapter towards the end that gives spells for john the conquer root, and some of the african american ghost stories and folk tales. I also found the first few chapters on social life in Tuscaloosa interesting, as some things are very much the same (umm, yes, frat students still ditch classes to go to formals, and there are certifiable debutante balls). It is also true that Tuscaloosa was and *currently is* clearly divided into "From heres," "university people," and poor people and minorities... ".  It would be a 4 in my thoughts and is for people interested in history.
Fried Green Tomatoes At The Whistlestop Cafe  would be my second choice.  It was written by Fannie Flagg.  It's first the story of two women in the 1980s, of gray-headed Mrs. Threadgoode telling her life story to Evelyn, who is in the sad slump of middle age. The tale she tells is also of two women -- of the irrepressibly daredevilish tomboy Idgie and her friend Ruth, who back in the thirties ran a little place in Whistle Stop, Alabama, a Southern kind of Cafe Wobegon offering good barbecue and good coffee and all kinds of love and laughter, even an occasional murder.  I have eaten at the Whistlestop Cafe in Irondale, AL and enjoyed the whole experience.  It would be a 5.

4. There are 60 days until Christmas...have you started your shopping? How do you stay organized for the holidays?  I am almost done.  I shop all year so I can get the good bargains.  When I buy something I put it in the gift closet with the person's name on it.

5. October 26th is National Tennessee Day. Have you ever lived or spent any time in Tennessee? Is this a state you'd like to visit one day? The top rated tourist attractions in Tennessee are-

The Great Smoky Mountain National Park (Gatlinburg area), Elvis's Graceland (Memphis), Birth of the Music Biz (Memphis and Nashville), Dollywood (Pigeon Forge), Tennessee's Military Heritage (many battlefields), The Hermitage (Andrew Jackson's home), The Parthenon (Nashville), Oak Ridge American Museum of Science and Energy, Chattagnooa and the Tennessee Valley Railroad, Downtown Knoxville, Lookout Mountain, The Titanic Museum (Pigeon Forge), The Museum of Appalachia (Clinton), and The Lost Sea Adventure (Sweetwater)

How many on this list have you seen? Which one on the list would you most like to see?

I love Tennessee.  We go there quite often.  I have a best friend in Knoxville and a sister in Nashville.  I have seen all the attractions listed above, but my favorite place to be is in Cades Cove.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.  My daughter is coming home from Moldova.  Not permanently....but they will land here at midnight on the 26th, spend the night in Atlanta, then start their furlough and fund raising.  They will be here until Dec 4th and I am so excited I can hardly stand it.  I am off the 30th and plan to spend time with them then.  This is their first time home in two years.  This momma is thrilled beyond measure.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

On The Road Again Hodge Podge

Roadtripping Through The Hodgepodge

Welcome to this week's edition of the Wednesday Hodgepodge. If you've answered the questions add your link at the end of Joyce's post, then hop over and leave a comment for the person linking before you. Or leave a comment for everyone if you've got the time.

As a reminder-I'm declaring next week Fall Break in the Hodgepodge so no Wednesday Hodgepodge on October 18th. The Hodgepodge will return the following week, October 25th. Thanks for understanding.

1. On a scale of 1-10 how would you rate your sense of direction? 1=can't find my way out of a paper bag and 10=if I've been somewhere once I can find it blindfolded ten years later.
When was the last time you looked at/used a map you could hold in your hand? (phones don't count!)
back east, down south, out west, up north
Choose one of these directional expressions and tell us why you chose it.

I will rate myself at least a 5. I have gotten used to using my maps app on my phone, but I can still follow written directions and read a map.  I'm from down south/and back east(Florida), I live down south(Alabama), I love to head out west, and plan to do some traveling up north when I retire in May.

2. Did you do more talking or listening yesterday? Is that typical? Describe your yesterday in one word.  Yesterday I listened more than talked.  Remember I talking is what I do for a living. I prefer I can create your story in my head.  Is that typical? Typically I think I lean more to the talking side of things, but only when I am in my classroom.   Yesterday (Monday) in one word? Frustrating

3. Time, money, water-power-resources, opportunity...which one on the list are you most guilty of wasting? What might you do to change that?  Hands down....time.  Although I think we're all guilty of wasting time now and then, but most of the time wasting time means I have missed an opportunity.

4. Did  your family take regular vacations when you were a kid? Tell us something you remember about a family roadtrip from your own childhood.  Our big vacations were always too see the family in Alabama.  It always bothered me that we vacationed in Alabama....instead of the cool places all my friends and family went.  One year my parents, my aunt and I stayed in a cabin on the Santee Cooper Reservoir in South Carolina and traveled the Blue Ridge Hwy.  I loved it. We also traveled through Florida a lot.  My favorite place we frequented was Sanibel Island, and I have been to all the places tourists go like Weekee Watchee, Silver Springs, Bach Tower, Cape Canaveral, Howie in the Hills.  My parents loved to I don't really call these vacations....they loved vintage stuff....they loved old, the grid places....and so do I.  I made sure though that my children had vacations.  We have been to 48 of the 50 states.

5. If you could grow anything you wanted, what would you grow? Why?  Orchids. They are so dainty and I just love them. My best friend's mom grew them and they were all over their back yard.  When I married she sent one to me in a tube to be attached to my bouquet and when her granddaughter married Mrs. Schmidt made me my very own orchid corsage for directing the wedding. 
I am in agreement with Joyce.  I would love a huge English garden....just like the one at Anne Hathaways house in England.

6. Insert your own random thought here.  I write book reviews and just got the 50th anniversary edition of the book Christy.  The character in the story actually inspired me to teach.  Is there a book you have ever read that inspired something in you?  What was it?  Care to share?

Friday, October 6, 2017

If We Make It Home

 About The Book:  When four college friends graduated from the University of Northwest Oregon, their lives stretched before them, full of promise and vows to stay connected. But life has a way of derailing well-laid plans.

Now they haven't spoken in twenty-five years. But against all odds, three of them have found themselves back in the same place--at their alma mater, wondering how they got there. When they discover their fourth friend, Hope, has died, Jenna, Ireland, and Vicky decide to embark on a wilderness adventure to honor her memory--and for secret reasons of their own. Jenna wants to show her husband that she's more than a helpless, overweight, middle-aged empty nester. Ireland wants to get back to the nature she loves and hide from the charges being pressed against her. And Vicky wants to show she cares for something besides her ministry--and put off the disaster waiting at home for as long as possible.

They never bargained for the dangers they face in an unforgiving wilderness. Now they'll have to work together if they hope to make it home alive. While the three women fight to survive the elements, their toughest battles may be with themselves.

About The Author By The Author:  "Writing is a long journey. Like any art, the craft requires countless hours of practice and dedication. While months can pass with little to no validation, there are also moments of celebrations. I’ve been honored to to a three-time finalist in the ACFW Genesis contest, the overall winner in the Phoenix Rattler contest, as well as a third-place winner in the Idahope contest.  I’m blessed to have signed with Karen Ball of the Steve Laube Agency. Karen is my agent, mentor, and the person who reminds me why I keep doing this. While the writer’s road is not without bumps­­—many quite deep—I love what I do. I think it’s the path God has always had for me.

My Thoughts On The Book:  I loved this book,  Once I started it I could not put it down and felt as if I was making this trek with these women.  I am not a huge fan of switching between characters every few pages.  I tend to get confused about which character was speaking. Nelson did a really good job of switching and I was left waiting to see what was going to happen next.  I am a huge Pacific Northwest fan and this book is a definite must read.  I can't wait for her next book.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Kregel Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”