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Killing Christians – Book Review/Giveaway

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Mr. Doyle gives us so many examples of Christians who literally, choose God.  They are given a choice, choose life, or choose God.

Could you?  I know what I hope I would choose, however, when it comes right down to it, would I choose God?

One man says it would be an honor to die for Jesus by crucifixion.  Syrians live with that life of sacrifice. 

Remember the theater where men came in and offered a choice, either get up and walk out or die for “your” God

Just like He died for us.  Laid down His life for us, with no questions asked.  He came to earth for a purpose and that was so we wouldn’t have to lay down our lives like that

Only now, in today’s world, so many live with this decision every single day.  Not because they are missionaries that go to the ends of the earth, or pastors that teach the gospel for career, but they are simply Christians.  A choice they made to follow Christ.  Gives them the distinct decision by some, to have to make a choice in their lives.  Live for family, Die for Christ.  

This book is very hard to read.  It’s not your weekend feel good book.  It is hard.  Even though you know the reason for the book and the facts behind the book.  Having it displayed before you is a way that you never think about, because for the most part, here in America we do not have these things happening, or didn’t, however, there is no one excluded.  No place is safe.

Then you hear stories like Columbine, the church in TX, a theater in Colorado  and so many other places where Christians are given a choice. 

Claim Jesus or Live.

When father’s kill their sons, sons kill their fathers and more family kill more family.  This is the vicious cycle that people who believe in Christ go through.

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Claim Jesus or live. 

All the stories were told in this book are violent, they are heart wrenching.  I strongly urge you, that if you are going to read this book, be in a good place in your own heart with Jesus Christ.  This book is not only heart wrenching, it seriously has so many parts that are just sad.  I cried my eyes out, to know that family(s) are fighting against family. Family’s praying because they know that they will soon be dead for claiming Jesus.

“Being Martyred” For Jesus.  Their blind faith in Jesus Christ something we should all strive for.  How sad that we as Christians cannot live that true, abundant faith that some Christians have and knowing that even saying the word Jesus will get them killed (not if) but will.  Just a matter of when.

I am very serious about making sure that you re in a good place.  Pray through the entire book.  Pray constantly.

The prayers that you say will land on God’s ears. 

This way of life is extremely dangerous for these people and they face it .  Remembering that it can only take one person to ask you to choose.   Jesus or Life. 

al-Qaeda, ISIS, Muslim Radicals, (that means not all Muslims are bad people) Syrians, Saddam Hussein, each leader that believes in violence in the name of put our faith at risk each day.  Whether you live in an area that has this daily or we live in America where walking into a theater can be the same risk. 

Pray for each person that Doyle brings to you in this book, their family, their life.  Whether there is martyr or they are the person behind the guns, doing the senseless slaughter, they are all Children of God, and they need our prayers, they need our forgiveness. 

 

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Stay: Lessons My Dogs Taught Me About Life, Loss and Grace

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Dave Burchett, leads us on a story of goodness and grace through the life he leads with his dogs, but mostly with his best life friend, Hannah, a golden retriever, the dog his family had during one of the lowest times of their life.

When Burchett’s wife was diagnosed with cancer, he started a journal. The book is written from the first person, and as journal entries I loved that about the book. This book was fantastic.

During Joni’s cancer treatments, Hannah stayed by their side and seems to “read” her owners behaviors and their love. Giving them some comfort and peace during each treatment and after her surgery. Then sweet Hannah was diagnosed with cancer.

They chose a course of treatment that would only make Hannah comfortable and keep her out of pain.

During those next few months they saw a lifetime of love, and grace in the way that Hannah lived her life. Putting their needs first. Hannah lived in the moment and was free. One of the best quotes in the book was when the vet told them this “dogs don’t fear death, they live in the moment”

After Hannah’s illness took her, Dave thought he would never be able to love again, however, when he saw sweet Savannah’s face, he fell in love.

Check out all the dogs from the book Stay

When they brought Savannah home, they knew that her name was too close to Hannah’s so they eventually changed her name to Maggie. In doing so they learned that Maggie, didn’t really realize her name well. When they enrolled Maggie in obedience class, they learned the things she needed. In doing so they learned Maggie needed a leader, someone to take her and tell her yes, no, sit, stay, the commands in every dog’s life, as well as teach her to walk on a leash and guide.

Dave took each lesson that he learned and related it back to the Bible with a timely Bible verse, or story from the Bible and this book became a lesson, literally on grace, and humility. Love, loss and learning.
Learning from your dog is a very gracious thing because of what they can teach you. Turning that back and about Jesus Christ and how much He sacrificed for us.

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What a blessing this book was for me. While I love my dog with all my heart and they are treated basically like royalty in my home, I was able to see that every day they give us everything they have every minute of their life.
God gives us everything we have, we just have to accept it. What a graceful life lesson this book is. I highly urge you to read it. Read it with your Bible in hand and get a great Bible study as well as just a great read!

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Choose Joy

As I sat here thinking about how crazy, I was to volunteer to write a devotional, one word kept going through my heart. 

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As a Christian, how can I be depressed? How can I be this sad, knowing that I have a Lord and Savior who loves me with all my heart and offers to collect my tears, gives me mercy and grace and promised me eternity with Him?

Psalm 36:17-18 tells me that 

When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

I was diagnosed as having major depression and bipolar my entire adult life.  While I will spare you details about all my treatments and therapies, I will let you know about the last few years. 

Due to circumstances in my life over the past eight years of so, let’s just say there have been catastrophic illnesses, financial struggles, failed business, marital struggles, my sisters near fatal accident and my father’s death. 

I spent four years in a very intensive therapy; four hours a day, five days a week. 

I’m telling you all of this because during this time, I also worked in our Youth Ministry as well as our Audiovisual Tech Team (this was a ministry that I built from the beginning when we had just started integrating a new program instead of using PowerPoint); for all the world to see (more about this later). Now I am a very private, introverted, not social, want to be alone kind of person. 

I was so blessed by God and I didn’t realize it. Regardless of the circumstances, however, inside there were days that I literally cried the entire day, or couldn’t get out of bed and feigned that I felt too bad and didn’t leave home for a few weeks except for therapy. 

Fast forward to the time that I officially “graduated therapy” I became elated. 

Then my husband’s affair happened with my best friend, my sister’s wreck and my dad went into hospice.   All within days of each other.

As I was in Bible Study one day, and I was reading Ann Voskamp’s 1000 Gifts, and I realized, right that moment, I was letting the enemy win!!! 

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How could I work as a ministry assistant, a tech guru, a volunteer replacement Secretary Supply? How could I keep going down the path I was on? 

Fast forward a bit.  

I got so excited about the release of 1000 Gifts, that I actually had ordered four copies without realizing it. While going forward with the book, the challenge, etc., I also realized what Ann was saying; truly applied to my life.  I was NOT choosing, to “Choose Joy”.

Oh my — how immature of me in my Godly walk.  After many prayers, much-needed dates with God,

I made a decision.  Well honestly, God GAVE me the blessing, given the circumstances, to say to myself.  I choose joy!!!  He told me when I woke up in the mornings to think about the day and think about it in the practical aspect, of “I Choose Joy Today”

I am going to get out of bed and make rational, conscious decisions to choose to be positive. 

When I saw my sister lying in the hospital bed in a coma, ‘Choose Joy’ because she is alive.

When I saw my dad dying, ‘Choose Joy’ because I knew he was going to Heaven and going to be pain-free soon.

When the Youth minister left our church, I was not needed there anymore, and the ministry that I started and grew as our Audiovisual ministry, and I was told my services were not needed, no explanation, just no longer needed. I plunged, and I plunged deep. After a period of grief, I realized my problem. I looked at it as MY ministry, not God’s. Oh how wrong I was, and I can see that now.   During all that, I must ‘Choose Joy’

I can see now that I am out of the situation that caused it to begin with. That was my own selfishness talking. After a period of grief, I realized my problem. I looked at it as MY ministry, not God’s. Oh how wrong I was, and I can see that at this now. I can see now that I am out of the situation that caused it to begin with. 

I needed to ‘Choose Joy’ because God gave us the ability to have a youth ministry and a new youth minister who was just awesome and was organized enough that he didn’t need an assistant, and God blessed us with so many things within our church during this time period. I had to open my eyes and realize that what was happening was for God’s benefit. To that I had to ask myself, how can you not “Choose Joy”? 

On the day my husband and I fought about his affair with my best friend. I had to ‘Choose Joy’ because we decided divorce is not an option, and he was willing to work on our marriage, what a blessing that we chose joy.  

 ‘Choose Joy’ no matter what you are doing, whether it is as good thing, or a struggle, makes your day so much better. When you put a smile on your face (not that fake one you plaster on to tell everyone “I’m fine”) but a real, unencumbered smile. A smile that says, I Choose to be Happy, and I freely choose to love a God that lets me have that option and through everything He gives me, blessings, good, bad, hard, easy, JOY wins throughout it all. 

Now don’t get me wrong. I still take my medication. I am, however, depressed on days, and at the same time. I know that I can see the joy in anything if I look hard enough 

I am not saying that your days will magically become perfect. They won’t. The struggles will still be there. 

By ‘Choosing Joy’, your days become joy filled because you make them that way. By seeing the beauty in the fall leaves, or the drop of water on a glass that makes the rainbow colors, in the laugh of a baby, or the person in hospice that is dying, but you KNOW they are going to Heaven. What an enormous Joy that will be. The day we see Jesus in person. 

Where every day is with a joy, we have never met here on earth. 

Wake up to joy every single day, and you will find that even with depression and being bipolar, you can see happiness. 

Now I wouldn’t be responsible enough if I didn’t add a disclaimer here. If you are struggling with depression, and you are to the point where you feel like you want to hurt yourself or someone else, please seek help. Ask someone to help you get help. On the other hand, if you know someone who is in that place, please take every word they say earnestly 

I have been in those shoes, in two ways; being the person who wanted to hurt myself, and the one left by a person who has completed their suicide. 

Take them for their word, get them help and pray.  but you can’t fix them.  They must find it within himself to want to be fixed and the desire to get up everyday and ‘choose joy’

This activity of Choosing Joy, while it’s a great thing, for some, they can’t see past their own pain. 

1 Thessalonians 16:18, NIV be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s

will for you in Christ Jesus.  

Now you can also say that this looks and sounds easy. This was by far the hardest thing I have ever done, looking for blessings even in the bad times, no matter what. 
I am a negative person by trait. However, I choose to be a positive person and wake up to

‘ Choosing Joy’ every single day.

 

 If you are reading this, somehow you are interested in depression, or you have depression or God has led you here maybe to help someone, or whatever reason you are reading this.

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Know that you are being prayed for. I have poured my heart out here and prayed over these words. I am also going to continue praying for everyone that reads this! God knows exactly who you are and exactly what you need and exactly why you need it.

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Great Little Book About Foster Care

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short book that would hold a toddler’s attention and keep them interested in this little book. What’s a Foster Family ? (Foster to Forever) tells in kids words a process that way too many children have to follow at this point.
It does a great job in laying out what a foster family is, but I feel it lacks in telling what a forever family is. however, a reader has to read it from the viewpoint of a toddler so those words and even using the word “forever” can be over their head.
All in all, the book does a very good job. It is brief, to the point and just tells the need to know information and that is what I like about this book.

What’s a Foster Family?

Alex’s an only child who’s used to having Mommy and Daddy all to himself.
So when his parents start doing foster care and little Malik joins their home, Alex’s not so sure he’s happy about sharing.

Buy Book from Amazon (U.S. English): http://www.amazon.com/Whats-Foster-Family-Forever/dp/1505418771/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1425066358&sr=8-2&keywords=anne+garboczi+evans

Author Bio:

Anne Garboczi Evans is a mental health counselor, military spouse, author, and mama to an opinionated little toddler named “Joe-Joe.”Anne and her husband are getting licensed as foster parents in Colorado, so soon their house will be exploding with little voices, little feet, and diapers, diapers everywhere.
Follow Anne on FB: https://www.facebook.com/annegarboczievans
On Twitter: https://twitter.com/garboczievans
On Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/garboczievans/

Illustrator Bio:

Helen Cochrane is 47 years old. She met her husband Kenny when she was 16 and married at 27. They have two children, Amy and Adam, and one pet cat. Helen lives in Scotland and doesn’t drive. She supports teenagers with special needs when she’s not doodling. Helen describes herself as an immature, mature illustration student. Her goal this year is to create a website for her illustration work. Life is good.
Follow Helen on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WestLothianArtist
On Twitter: https://twitter.com/WestLoArtist
On Authors & Illustrators: http://www.artistsandillustrators.co.uk/HelenCochrane/blog/2132

Meet the Author: Anne Garboczi Evans

  1. How long have you been writing? I finished my first novel at age fifteen and promptly sent a proposal out to a publisher. Thank goodness they didn’t actually publish it! I can’t even look at that novel anymore without blushing at how badly written it was. :)
  2. What inspired you to write What’s a Foster Family?
    My husband and I were in the process of getting licensed as foster parents last year when I started to worry about how we would explain the twists and turns of foster siblings to our then 2-year-old son. There are lots of I’m a Big Brother/Sister books you can read to your toddler when you’re pregnant, but there was nothing to introduce a child to the idea of foster siblings. So I wrote What’s a Foster Family? for our son, “Joe-Joe.”

  3. Will there be a sequel?
    Helen and I are planning to release a sequel to What’s a Foster Family? in November 2015 for U.S. National Adoption month.

  4. What other kind of books do you write?
    My literary agent is Linda Glaz of Hartline Literary. All my book proposals out right now are adult books. The one I’m most excited about is a book about world religions called No Fear: My Tale of Hijabs, Witchcraft Circles, & the Cross. As a mental health counselor, I also have written books about anxiety and depression, domestic violence, and dealing with PTSD as a military spouse. But I’m still awaiting book contracts and publication dates on those books.

4.What is the most common misunderstanding you see in how people view foster care?
That foster kids are “bad” kids. Sure these kids come from traumatic backgrounds, but they’re just kids. And they need love and support as much and more than any other kid.

  1. What are your advocacy goals?
    Every county, state, and country I’ve researched is short on foster families. I hope that What’s a Foster Family? will inspire more families around the world to open their hearts and homes to foster children. I also hope that the book will help kids have more understanding and acceptance for their classmates, friends and relatives who are foster children.
  • What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
    Marry a rich man. ;) But seriously, making a living as an author is easier said than done. I’d suggest that aspiring authors first evaluate their writing goals. (Is writing a hobby or a job for you?) Here’s a blog series I wrote to help writers figure that question out. And then, knowing the odds, if you decide to try to make a professional career out of your writing, market like crazy. You should start your social media pages and blog the same day you put pen to paper for the first page of your first book.

  • Meet the Illustrator: Helen Cochrane

    1. How long have you been illustrating?
      3 years formally, but I’ve been drawing since I could hold a crayon
  • What inspired the characters/pictures you created in What’s a Foster Family?
    I took inspiration for the family from the author’s own family with some poetic license. The other characters came from lots of sketching and my imagination.

  • Are you looking to take on more illustrating work? How does that work?
    I’m looking for an agent and I’m hoping to write and illustrate my own children’s books sometime in the near future. Authors can contact me via my online sites and we can discuss possible projects.

  • What inspired your interest in advocating for foster kids?
    I have worked in education for the past 14 years, supporting teenagers from all backgrounds, including looked-after children and I have seen the immense benefits that fostering provides.

  • What’s your favorite children’s book?
    As a child it was Milly Molly Mandy by Joyce Lankester Brisley. I loved sharing in her little adventures. My favourite one now would have to be No Matter What by Debi Gliori. A book I have read many times to our children.

  • Who’s your favorite illustrator/artist?
    I have many, but one of my favourite illustrators is Arthur Rackham and I also love Gustav Klimt.

  • What is your favorite vacation spot?
    London is a family favourite. Lots to do. But I loved Paris too.

  • What advice would you give to aspiring illustrators?

  • Lots of sketching. Never settle for “that’ll do”. Always push yourself and most importantly, enjoy.

    Fast Facts about Foster Care in the United States: There are 400,000 children in foster care in the U.S. Over 100,000 of these children are eligible for adoption, but each year over 20,000 will age out without ever being adopted. Thirty-one percent of the children in foster care were under the age of 3 when they first entered care. The average stay in foster care until a child re-unifies with family or is adopted is twenty-two months.

    Fast Facts about Foster Care in the U.K.: Almost 70,000 children are in care. Twenty-three percent of the children are 4 and under. If a looked-after child is not able to return home, the average time he/she is in care until being adopted is 18 months. Five thousand children a year are adopted from care. But 6,000 children a year age out of the system without ever reunifying or being adopted.

    Fast Facts about Foster Care in Canada: About 80,000 children are in care in Canada. Thirty-thousand of these children are in need of an adoptive home. While there aren’t great national statistics on the children in foster care, experts estimate that several thousand Canadian foster children age out every year without ever reunifying or being adopted.

    Fast Facts about Foster Care in Australia: There are about 40,000 children in foster care in Australia. About 3,000 foster children age out every year without ever reunifying or being adopted.
    Posted by Anne

    My Story – The Unveiled Wife

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    what a fantastic book.

    however, I found it very hard to read.

    not because Jen is a poor author,

    but because words she said, poured off the pages and into my heart

    and they hit home 

    I mean slapped me in the face with a 2×4.

    Even just today, I went through a struggle with my husband again, with no communication and words said that hurt (on both sides) things done that hurt, and because of this, I pull my veil down even further and we separated even further.

    I honestly, don’t think I really recognized our struggle until a couple of years ago.

    My dad was in hospice, my sister had a very tragic accident that left her in a coma, and my husband chose then to leave me.  Was his time good?  nope… Was his reasons valid?  very much so on some things, did it work out.  Well let me just say we are an everyday work in progress.

    Jen’s chapter in her book about Jealousy is me.  I mean to a tee.  She could have replaced “I” with Laura and the book would have read the same, except for the husband name and places.

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    My struggle with jealousy is very real.  I say in my heart that I am not jealous, however, I know I am.

    and rightfully so.  

    My husband has cheated on my three times.  twice with very close friends.  

    Those friends are no longer friends, although I did what Jesus says and turned the other cheek.  This struggle is so real.  First because of the act itself (only one was physical) but the other two hurt just as bad for their own reasons, because of the lies, the mistrust, the false words, the fake women, when they would talk to me.  So many reasons.  

    So yeah, my struggle with jealousy is so real and I know God says it’s a sin.  However, let me tell you this.  It is the enemy.

    The enemy will kill in so many ways.  I may throw one of my jealous tantrums, and it drives a wedge between us as it should.  My husband has every right to protect himself..  

    After all these years of being married and going through all the things that we have like catastrophic illnesses with both of us a son that was very ill (thank God for His wondrous healing) and job losses, and many other things that millions of couples go through all the time.  We still can’t talk to each other sometimes the right way, and that is when the enemy wins.

    The thing I mentioned just today.  My husband works at night  so I am either still asleep when he gets home or am waking up.  Tonight he was very late coming in, I knew he was going to be late, so I took that time to rest.  Well when he came in, he didn’t tell me that he was going in that many hours late.  I went on with my day just like normal and ready to meet him back at home after he had gotten up with his dinner and to help me carry in the groceries.    I call him from the grocery store cause he should be awake by now.  “Oh I’m not getting up till 3 hours later than normal”  Because of my illness, I cannot carry groceries, so I planned it around him being up, bought dinner and then by the time he was ready for work, he could carry the groceries in.   I got met with the biggest attitude and hatefulness and then I reacted all because we cannot talk to each other, or won’t.  I really haven’t figured that out yet.  This is just one small example of how we let the enemy win, instead of turning to God when we need Him most

    If your marriage is going to work, you must lift that veil and totally communicate with your spouse.  I mean everything that is even remotely important, even if you think it’s not.  

    for one thing, it’s disrespectful not to clue your spouse in on your plans for the day.

    two, that communication time is a bonding time

    three, God tells us in I Corinthians 13: 4-6 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

    so giving all you have to the one you love is the right thing to do  Giving all is communicating, being trustworthy, being loyal, not being jealous and above all loving no matter what.

    Am I recusing my jealousy by things that have been done to me?  absolutely not   My husband sought out forgiveness from me  He deserves the respect I can give him, in NOT being jealous, and then I need to seek out more communication, and I need to be the one to instill our life plans, regardless of what he does.  I need to talk, I need to praise, I need to give him 100% of myself.

    Because Jealousy and Communication go hand in hand remember this.  Jealousy is the enemy.  Plain and clear.  No one else.  Lack of Communication is a growth part for each of you, or rather a lack of growth. Because of my jealousy and my lack of communication I make my marriage, a marriage that is less than…  

    To confide in one another is one of the most intimate parts of being married.  Every act of physical love, starts with talking.  This intimacy begins with your being intimate with God  Alone and Together

    I strongly urge any married couple, any couple that is thinking of getting married and anyone praying for a future spouse to read this book The Unveiled Wife

    below is an A Powerful & Inspirational Open Letter From A Wife – The Unveiled Wife

    Marriage is a mosaic you build with your ­spouse—millions of tiny moments that create your love story.

     

     So many great quotes are in this book, that I have taped around my home, in my prayer journal and in my car, to remind me that I am not perfect, my sins are there, and I’m 100% in this marriage, and 100% a part of the reason that we struggle. – marriage is not 50-50.  It is each partner giving 100% all the time.

    You can go download the first chapter here. http://unveiledwife.com/#free-chapter

     

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    Runaway Radical

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    Can you imagine being 18 years old, giving away everything you have on earth living in a closet so that you feel closer to the people you are trying to help?
    Jonathan Hollingsworth is just that person. He shares his story in Runaway Radical writing with his mom, Amy Hollingsworth.
    This book is full of love for others, disdain for others, abuse of power and so many other emotions that a young man can feel traveling half way across the world
    Jonathan travels to Africa to “change the world” and ends up home in less than four months.
    This is his encounter with people who used him, people who cared for him and most of all encounters with God and HIS emotions that came with all the above.
    Jonathan’s part in the book are blurbs from his blog while he was in Africa, and it gives you a really intense look into his life in Africa. Amy’s writing tells Jonathan’s story from a completely different aspect, as a mom’s point of view and how she sees her son and the limited information that he tells his parents.
    This story tells you of the cautionary things to beware of when you work in the “new culture” of radical Christian Service.
    *(like giving up all your worldly goods to be able to understand what those you are helping live through)

    Maybe we’re just meant to love the person in front of us. That way we are not picking and choosing; we are just doing. #RunawayRadical

    Maybe we’re just meant to love the person in front of us. That way we are not picking and choosing; we are just doing. #RunawayRadical

    One thing that they say and I just fully took to prayer was this.

    “Conviction is stronger than obligation, and it is the only thing that separates sacrifice from slavery. This is where grace sets us free. It is in our very ability to choose that we find the strength to do so Grace gives us the freedom to do good.
    It wasn’t until I stopped trying to script my story that things out of my control began to come together. And because I had no part in my healing, I have no solution to give.”

    This book is great for anyone that is considering going on any foreign mission trips, or is helping with local missions.
    Jonathan’s views are a great reminder that things sometimes go wrong, however, when you leave God, things get worse. Realizing that God’s arms are where you belong all the time.

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    You can buy this book at Family Christian Stores.  Click on the book and it will take you to the store front to buy it.

    This book was truly heart altering for me in how I will pray for our missionaries at home and abroad.

     

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    God is Not Punishing You For Your Past Sins

    Tricia Goyer has a new book releasing March 3 called Teen Mom: You’re Stronger Than You Think which you can buy from any online retailer like Family Christian Store.   Tricia Pours her heart into this book, and about her life to try to bring a simple honesty to teen moms everywhere.  God is not punishing you for past sins.  God is a good God and doesn’t do that.    

    I hope you enjoy this post from Tricia as she literally gives her heart and soul for this cause because she is a TeenMom and can understand what you are going through because she has been there done that. – Memaw

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    Everything changes the day you discover you’re going to be a mom. It’s not just yourself that you think about—you have a child to care for, too. While you wouldn’t trade your child for the world, some days are just hard. Baby-daddy drama, dealing with your parents, and worries about school, work, and your future slam you. Your friends can’t relate to your little family, and you wonder if God has turned His back on you, too.

    Tricia Goyer understands. A mom at age 17, Tricia remembers what it felt like to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders. She’s also been the coordinator of a teen mom support group for over twelve years, and she’s cheered on many young moms—from all walks of life—through their journey.

    In Teen Mom, Tricia pours out her heart and shares advice for the hard things you face. She also longs to provide encouragement, reminding you that you can be the mom your child deserves—not in your own strength, but in the strength God provides

    God Is Not Punishing You - article by Tricia Goyer

    God is Not Punishing You For Your Past Sins

    The other day I was mindlessly scrolling my Facebook feed when a headline caught my eye: “Toni Braxton Once Believed God Gave Her Son Autism Because Of Her Past Abortion.” My heart clenched as I read that—not only because of Toni’s pain and shame, but because of my own.

    As a fifteen-year-old young woman I found myself pregnant.

     

    Overwhelmed with despair and seeking advice, I went to a Planned Parenthood clinic. The “counselor” looked across the table and focused on my eyes. “You’re young. You have your whole life ahead of you. An abortion is the best choice.”

    “But . . . what about the baby?” I’d asked.

    “It’s not a baby,” she told me. “Right now it’s just a few cells. The doctor’s just scraping them out.”

    I bought into her lie and I scheduled an abortion, even though deep down I knew it was a baby. I knew if I didn’t intervene I’d be holding a child in my arms in seven months. And that scared me, too.

    Later, I was horrified to find out that not only did those “few cells” have a beating heart, but little arms and legs and lips and tiny ears. Knowing that, the shame pressed down even more and I walked through life feeling numb, unable to face the truth of my decision.

    Then I found myself pregnant again at age seventeen.

    This time I was determined to carry my child. (I found out later that many young women who’ve had an abortion have another baby within a few years. It’s an “atonement child” of sorts.)

    It was during this second pregnancy that I turned my life over to God. I prayed, “God, if you can do anything with my life, please do.” God has done amazing things. He gave me a beautiful son, and later brought me a wonderful Christian husband. Everything was going well in my life, but I still was ashamed of my past. Few people knew about my abortion, and I was sure they’d hate me if they found out.

    A few years after John and I were married, I found out I was pregnant. I was so excited to have a baby with my husband. Finally, I’m doing things right. Yet a couple of months later I woke up in a pool of blood, and I knew two things:

    First, I’d lost my baby.

    And second, God was punishing me for my abortion.

     

    My heart aches for the young me, who didn’t understand God’s complete forgiveness. @TriciaGoyer   download

    Looking back, my heart aches for the young me, a woman who still didn’t understand God’s complete forgiveness. I saw God as a stern judge who was weighing all my deeds and found me wanting.

    For years I felt my abortion was too much for God to forgive. I had a hard time forgiving myself. It was only when I attended a Bible study and worked through the book Forgiven and Set Free that I realized Jesus’ death covered all my sins. Who was I to say my sin was greater than His sacrifice?

    The freedom I’m walking in today comes from understanding who God is. My sin was horrible, yes. I’ll always regret not having that child, discovering who he or she is and spending this life together.

    Yet, I’m thankful for the eternity to come. I’m thankful that in God’s eyes I stand clean before Him, as white as snow. God is not a God who punishes us for our sin. There are natural consequences for our sins—pain and shame and regret were some of the consequences I faced—yet God offers forgiveness and grace. These are not dependent on who we are but on who He is.

    As Romans 8:1-2 says, “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.”

    Maybe you’re like me. Maybe you are carrying around the pain and shame from past sin. And maybe you’re thinking God is punishing you for mistakes in your past. If so, then do two things.

    In your mind’s eye, go back to that moment of your sin. See your sin, and then look to your right hand. Picture Jesus standing there. There’s isn’t a look of anger in his gaze, but one of compassion. He is there waiting for you to turn to Him and find Him so you’ll have real, abundant life. He’s been there all along, and He’s waiting for you to give Him your whole heart.
    Picture Jesus on the cross. See Him there. Know His sacrifice is enough. Pray and thank Him for that.
    My prayer for you today, friend, is that you will find freedom in Jesus Christ that you’ve never known before. I pray you will begin to understand the breadth and length and height and depth of God’s love . . . not only for mankind, but also for you. Trust Him in that. Discover that truth for yourself today.

    It’s my prayer for Toni Braxton, too. That Jesus will meet her wherever she is, just as He met me.

    Blessings,

    Tricia Goyer

    copied with permission


    Further Resources

    Life, In Spite of Me: Extraordinary Hope After a Fatal Choice by Kristen Jane Anderson and Tricia GoyerLife, In Spite of Me: Extraordinary Hope After A Fatal Choice by Kristen Jane Anderson and Tricia Goyer – For anyone struggling to find the strength to go on, the message of this heart-wrenching yet hope-building book is a clear and extraordinary reminder that even when we give up on life, God doesn’t give up on us.

     

     

    Winter Jam – 2015

    I have the privilege to be able to attend Winter Jam 2015

    I have always wanted to go to a WJ concert but for whatever reasons, I have never been able to attend.  however, this year.  It’s on!!!

    I am so excited about this.  Think about this

    SkilletJeremy CampFrancesca Battistelli, Building 429,  Family Force 5,  Newsong,

     For King and CountryBlanca,  About a Mile, Veridia,  

    Tony NolanMark Burnett and Roma Downey

    All of these artists in ONE PLACE, ONE DAY!  Does it get any better than this?

    I get the incredible privilege to review the concert, as I attend with one of my very best friends!

     You can check everything out at http://2015.jamtour.com/shows/detail/ft-worth-tx/ for the concert in Ft Worth, but to get to the main page, visit http://2015.jamtour.com/

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    Have I said how excited I was to be able to go to this all day concert?   Now granted that’s a lot of music and a lot of people in one place at one time, however, it’s going to be so good, and just so amazing.  Winter Jam has made devotionals to go right along with the concert.  There are different devotionals set up for different aspects of the concert.  Some of the resources are the following.  All found on the Winter Jam Website

    Going Deeper

    Jam Creed

    Don’t Come Alone

    Follow Through

    Jesus Above Me

    Check out all these places that you can Visit a Jam Nation Tour Near You

    http://2015.jamtour.com/shows

    If you want to get even more information and better seats and just more out of your attendance to Winter Jam;

    then go join Jam Nation here.

    If you need more information and FAQ(s) everything you need can be found here.

    Watch this Video and then you can get the app, which is available for IOS, Android and iPad

    http://2015.jamtour.com/app

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    He must become greater and greater, I must become less and less John 3:30  

    What a powerful verse this is.  

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    Tricia Goyer – Teen Mom – You’re Stronger Thank You Think

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    The Inspiration

    Young women make poor choices and find themselves pregnant, and there are loving people who are there to support them. I was one of those young women.

    In 1989, I was a teen mom, and I had my son when I was 17.

    In 1999 I helped to start a crisis pregnancy center.

    In 2001, I started a teen mom support group through MOPS International in rural Montana.

    In 2003, I wrote my book for teen moms (Life Interrupted: The Scoop On Being a Young Mom).

    In 2010, we moved to Little Rock, and I start a Teen MOPS support group in the inner city.

    Now this year my newly updated, newly titled book is out on March 3 (Teen Mom: You’re Stronger Than You Think)!

    Where I’d Like to See this Book:

    In the hands of youth pastors and pastors.
    In the hands of crisis pregnancy volunteers.
    In the hands of teen mom support group leaders.
    In the hands of high school counselors and teachers.
    In the hands of anyone who longs to offer hope to young women.

    all the above was from Tricia Goyer and the Media Press Release for Teen Moms: You Are Stronger Than You Think by Tricia Goyer

    My thoughts:

    These young women are human beings.  They need to be treated with respect and dignity and love.  That doesn’t mean you have to condone their actions, however God Tells us in 1 John 4:7-12

    7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

    Their sin is between God and them.  So give them all the love and support they need.  Let them know you love them, minister to them.  The best way to minister to them is to love them.  Show them love.  Do not shun them, do not disown them, do not give them hell about the sin.  Remember that sin is between God and them.  

    They are giving birth to a human being, a child of God, a person.  Your grandchild, your niece or nephew, your friend, your family, your acquaintance, whatever that precious child is.  Let them know you care and give them a hand up.  Do what you can to share the joy of the occasion which is that a child is born.  Mentor them on what is the best thing for them (keeping their child or giving it up for adoption) letting them know they’re loved  (I’ve said that I don’t know how many times) but that is key.  

    Can you imagine being 15 and pregnant or 16 and pregnant or 17 and pregnant?

    Let me give you a scenario here:

    Left out, shunned, hurt, hormones are driving your emotions, and you aren’t really sure what all is going on probably, Your parents are angry to the point that they shun you, or even ask you to leave their home.  No support, not financially, or emotionally but more importantly not spiritually???  Your boyfriend is being a jerk and won’t support you with the baby, either financially or spiritually or emotionally.  His parents can’t stand you, because they feel you “trapped him” and his football scholarship is in jeopardy because eventually he will HAVE to support this baby if she keeps it, or maybe she wants to give the child up for adoption and he wants to keep it.

    Where does this person get their love, where do they get their knowledge that there is a ONE TRUE KING AND HE LOVES HER. No matter what?   

    That person can be you.  She needs to be told that she God loves her, that she is forgiven if asked and that she can lay her sins at the feet of Jesus and live redeemed!  

    Again just by showering her with love and maybe even supporting her in other ways like finances or things for the baby and maternity clothes, giving her advice based on the Bible doesn’t mean that you condone what her sin was, however, you have no control over that.  It’s done.  There is only one that can do that.

    So if you are lead to this kind of ministry, find a Pregnancy Center or a TeenMops Group or if there isn’t one, start one!  

    Tricia Goyer has lots of great resources on her website to help you.

    Her newest book, coming soon to book stores and online retailers near you, is an incredible resource for you to hand to a young woman.  High School Counselors, Pregnancy Centers, Pastors, Youth Pastors, Counselors, High School Principals, Public Libraries or Church Libraries or if you just would like more insight.  

    It will be a great resource for you!  

    Okay, most of all, please just let her know that she God loves her, that she is forgiven if asked, and that she can lay her sins at the feet of Jesus and live redeemed!

     

     

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    I am part of a Street Team for Tricia Goyer's New book!  This information is copied directly from documents given to bloggers to help spread the word

    Righting a Wrong – Book Review

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    Righting a Wrong
    By Rachael Anderson
    Cambri Blaine makes her way home after 6 years of running.
    Her mother had passed away and she ran from memories of her mother and from her best friend.
    After her father, Harvey Blaine had a heart attack, she ended back up at Bridger. Back home to a father that was very angry with her leaving, angry that her mother died, angry about his heart attack. So angry that he just destroyed her mom’s beautiful garden and yard. So angry that he made barbs at her as she entered the door and make her very aware that he was hurt by her being gone for 6 years. Angry that he missed her and very scared to show her.
    Jace Sutton, stuck in Bridger, their hometown, because of family circumstances. Being in Bridger, Jace was face to face with his own memories of failed love, and a friend’s betrayal.
    Cambri and Jace were best friends growing up, however, they both avoided their feelings for each other.
    Cambri would be in Bridger for a while s running into Jace was a given. When she finally did, old feelings came rushing back, but she dare not say anything.
    Cambri, determined to help her father while she was there. Since she was a landscape artist by trade, she was also determined to rebuild her mother’s yard back to its former glory.
    In doing so, she then realized that Jace owned the store and would have to be seeing him .
    However, Jace made other plans and decided to help her. Just like he had helped Harvey while she was gone.
    So was it destiny, was it the will of Jace wanting to be around her, or just Jace feeling sorry for her, that made him spend the week, helping her with her mother’s yard?
    During this time of taking care of her dad, she also came to realize that she was wrong all those years ago. She loved Jace.
    After several weeks of avoiding the past with Jace, it was truly a ripple effect of, her father, Jace’s Grandfather, Jace’s sister Lydia, fate, life, and every feeling she ever had that complicated life so much before came surfacing back.
    On the weekend before she was to leave, Jace asked her to dinner and Cambri soon realized it was a goodbye dinner. Had she just managed to fall in love again with someone who was going to reject her. Again.
    Would they ever right the wrong that was done so many years ago? Would they quit running from each other? With the waves of each new memory will they make their way back to each other or lose each other forever and never right the wrongs done so many years ago.

     

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    Eating Healthy On The Go – Faithful Finish Lines

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    Well, I had started “getting my healthy on” at the beginning of the year and had a couple of setbacks so here it is the middle of February.

    I went on an overnight trip this past weekend and to top it off, I went with one of the most health conscious women I know :)  So I knew sweet tea was out, and eating as I wanted was out!

    God blessed me with going on the trip with a friend that kept me accountable, and the will-power to do it all the right way.  Celeste is an amazing Christian friend so her accountability with me is more than just healthy.  I love her asking about prayer life, and Bible Study and she is an incredible mentor also.  Her knowledge in the Bible is just incredible

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    Before I left, I bought lemons, limes, strawberries, blackberries, oranges, cucumber and grapes.  I sliced them all up and prepared them in freezer bags and froze them the night before.  For infused water and quick, reach in snacks.

    I also made ready,  snack bags, with single servings of goldfish, vanilla wafers, and then had some chewy 90 cal oatmeal bars and them some filler club and jalapeno cheese crackers,  I was going to be equipped to eat right!  Not to buy anything and to eat/drink healthy

    We left Friday before lunch and that was a little different, because my husband made my lunch and so I had a typical ham sandwich and a bag of chili cheese fritos.  I had already gotten my tea for the day so I was working on that and strawberry/blackberry infused water.

    Had he put mustard instead of mayo, it would have been a pretty decent lunch.  We drove all the way to Austin without stopping to eat.  Just had a little snack of about ten wafers.

    When we got checked in, we went out to Applebee’s,  My friend only eats fish so she decided that their fish plate (*only fish they have, which surprised me).  I opted to the Asian Pineapple Burger and this was my huge splurge for the weekend.  When I looked it up after the fact, I knew I couldn’t eat one again.  So there is another thing that I have to quit eating. (they are my go to pick when we go to Applebee’s).

    So we are back at the hotel and I went down to the hot-tub (*and I forgot my swimsuit) so I am in my pants and rolled them up, and started breaking out in hives from the heat of the hot-tub LOL.   I thought, geez, what else?  So I went on to the fitness center.  I was able to walk 5 minutes at the speed of 2 and on a 10% grade.

    WOOHOO,  Go me!  I thought, about what an accomplishment this was for me, because of being in a wheelchair so much.  I was so proud of myself.  What an accomplishment that was for me?  

    God was so good!

    So the next morning we got up and had the continental breakfast and it was actually really great, oatmeal, yogurt and juice, great breakfast, great numbers.

    We went back to the room and knew that I had a 4 hour drive after the concert that night so I took a good nap and rested really well.  Then we checked out and went and were looking for Jason’s Deli or McAlisters and ended up at Luby’s.  

    I was able to get the Senior LuAnn Plate of baked white fish, steamed veggies and then split carrot and raisin salad and coleslaw.  My numbers for that meal were fantastic and I was very proud of myself for eating very healthy.

    I kept my Fitbit on for the weekend and apparently I either cleared it at one point or wasn’t wearing it in a good place, because I didn’t have the total number of steps.  I am still trying to find the numbers for the weekend;  Pacer didn’t keep it either.  That was very disappointing for me.  We went to the state capitol building and then the church was gynormous, so even rolling in my chair, I know I did a lot.  I know on Saturday I walked over 5000 steps though and that is my goal, so I reached my steps goal once

    I had drunk orange and cucumber infused water all day so far, so I filled that up with ice and new fruit and fresh water and all together for the short 30 hr trip, I think I drank about 180 ozs of water, so the infused water is working wonders for me.

    You can infuse it with anything like, lemons, limes, cucumbers, strawberries, blackberries, oranges, or whatever you might want and then mix and match as you will.  The one that was the best so far has been the strawberry and blackberries. It was so easy to prepare ahead of time also, just get them ready to eat and run them through the colander to clean them.  Get your Ziploc bags ready and just put them in it, if they have water in it, that’s okay because that’s just extra ice for you. 

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    I bought a great water bottle that has an infuser in it for less than 6$ at Wal-Mart.  I love the bottle for what it does, however, I need an insulated one, because I love water ice-cold and this bottle doesn’t hold ice (*that’s just one of the reasons why the frozen fruit was a blessing)

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    I packed my cooler of fruits and my cooler of water bottles and I was ready for the weekend as far as fruit and water goes. A blessing I have is that fresh fruit and fruit juices, do not make my blood sugar go up.  I didn’t add anything extra to the fruit either, just plain, fresh fruit!

    Okay after the concert we were starving so we popped into McDonald’s and I got McChicken plain and dry and put honey mustard on it.  This meal was the one that surprised me the most.  The numbers on it, were actually half way decent except for the sodium (I knew that going into the meal though) So all in all, it was a great weekend for my diet, my blood sugar and steps.  Every blood sugar has been under 250 and for me that was a new goal met!!!

    I was really pleased with my “food” behavior this weekend.  Something that I am not normally good at.  Especially when traveling,, I usually tend to eat what I want when I am traveling.  

    I met some goals, I surpassed some goals and I failed some goals through accountability, prayers and giving the entire weekend to God before I left made this a very healthy weekend for ME based on my normal way of life.  

    Thanks to Faithful Finish Lines for letting me have the membership that I do to their program for a limited time in return for blogging my experience.

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    Gaither Vocal Band – Road Trip and Girl Time

    IMG_8114The Gaithers hold a very near and dear place in my heart. As a child, I can remember my mother listening to the and her singing her favorites and just belting out to the words. She loved them, and I loved to hear her sing! So when I was able to go to the concert and review it, I jumped at the chance! Who cares that it was 4 hours away!! Who cares that I had to drive over 300 miles one way to go see them!

    That was the blessing in this. Getting to spend quality time with a very sweet friend of mine. Celeste is a person who is always giving back to our community. So I asked her to go with me, and it was all going to be my treat and let her enjoy someone pampering her for a change and being able to give back to her!

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    I received these tickets from Family Christian Stores in exchange for a few social network shares which you can find on my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook (Links at the bottom)  There are MANY other opportunities throughout the nation to see them during the upcoming year and you can check that out HERE.

    So about the concert.

    Kevin Williams, the band’s guitar player started us out with a couple of old sing-along hymns.  we were in a church that holds about 2500 seats.  Imagine an old-time gospel singing with a new technological twist on it.  It was AMAZING!!! Jesus had definitely made His place into the venue!  What an amazing time of praise and worship we had!

    We had seats on the Mezzanine floor and had a perfect view to the front of the stage.  I mean, 50 yard line, center stage, center church, perfect seating!  Here is a look at my view.

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    That’s Kevin on Stage.

    Next Bill Came out and introduced Charlotte Ritchie and then Gene McDonald, after singing How Great Thou Art by Himself. Oh my, I just love Bill Gaither’s voice! To hear him singing that old hymn, and have that many people singing along with him, just fantastic! God is so great!!!

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    Then he introduced the rest of the Gaither Vocal Band, which consist of David Phelps, Wes Hampton, Adam Crabb, Todd Suttles and Matthew Holt on Piano and Greg Ritchie on Drums and I never DID get the fiddler’s name and that was frustrating because he was INCREDIBLE!!!  To hear these 5 men sing in harmony all the new songs they sang and the old ones that are near and dear to my heart, I went into a whole different phase of Worship with our Lord!  What a blessing we had!

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    They all were!!!

    I had the best time, as did my friend.  We enjoyed the music, the comedic banter between Kevin and Bill and just the overall performance.  It was a very worship-filled treat for us.

    After the group came on and sang some new songs, then David sang an operatic tune,

    We took an intermission, then came back to a medley with all performing the old songs from the Gaithers like

    He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands
    Jesus is With Me When The Storm Comes
    He Touched Me
    There’s Just Something About That Name
    Something Beautiful

    They sang a prayer song  which  Gloria and Bill wrote for their children, called Shepherd, then more oldies like I believe In A Hill Called Mount Calvary

    Then Charlotte and David backed up by the group, sang Go Rest High On That Mountain. This song is so special to me because it was sang at my daddy’s funeral and was so fitting for his life. Brought me to tears.

    Each vocalist sang a song that highlighted their talents, so that was an enjoyable to hear them in their own element and featuring their God-given gifts.

    Each song,  touched my heart in either of a few ways,

    1) Because of my mother,

    2) Because they are just flat-out amazing

    3) To hear the reasons the songs came to be, or a story that went with the song.

    It was just a really, super, worship-filled night

    The staff at the church was so helpful and so kind as well as all the staff at the hotel we were at.

    Thank you Family Christian Stores for an amazing night out with the Gaithers.

    If you get the chance. You need to go see them! Who ever imagined, that an old-time gospel group could bring such a very entertaining concert. However, I KNEW that God was in that place and He was praised.

    I left with a heart full of worship and special night of the Gaithers and the memories that their songs bring to my heart and then the very special memories that some songs brought because of the way they intermingled in my life experiences.

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    The Advocate – Randy Singer and a Giveaway

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    This book has many rave reviews.  I mean serious rave reviews I wanted to love the book, and as I did read it, going into it, the first 5 chapters, Part 1, The Student, I loved.  Understood and could follow.  Then, for me, it started getting difficult for me to understand and I’m not sure if it was difficult, or I just didn’t like the book.    I am very ADD and when I read the book, I was thoroughly confused.  What irks me about all of this, is even though this is a fictional book about an advocate who his first trial,

    Altered the course of history and his last, will change the fate of an empire. (Direct quote from the back cover)

    Okay about the book.  I made it to chapter 25 before I just couldn’t understand anymore about where I was in the story, or who the majority of the players were.

    Now I got to the part where Christ was presented before Pilate after his night of being found guilty by Herod.

    For me, I was not going to finish the book and knew this after about 5 chapters.  I tried to go further into the book but just couldn’t.  However, please do NOT let this deter you from the book.  Regardless of my review, for a normal reader that loves Christian Historical Fiction, this book should be a great read.  One that touches your heart and one that just draws you in from the get-go.

    Had I had a map, something in writing with the characters and how they’re related (there was a list in the front of the book, for me it wasn’t enough.  Enjoy this book, know that it has huge responses and has extreme rave reviews.

    The author has a study guide and a 4 week course on his website.

    Book Description

    Since I can’t review the book, here is the description of the book and the details

    Follow what law and legal representation was like in biblical times with Randy Singer’s Christian historical fiction Advocate: He Defied an Empire & Inspired a Faith.

    At the trial of Christ, Theophilus, brilliant young “assessore” raised in the Roman aristocracy, stands behind Pontius Pilate and whispers, “Offer to release Barabbas.” The strategy backfires, and Theophilus never forgets the sight of an innocent man unjustly suffering the worst of all possible deaths–Roman crucifixion.

    Three decades later, Theophilus has proven himself in the legal ranks of the Roman Empire. He has survived the insane rule of Caligula and has weathered the cruel tyrant’s quest to control the woman he loves. He has endured the mindless violence of the gladiator games and the backstabbing intrigue of the treason trials.

    Now he must face another evil Caesar, defending the man Paul in Nero’s deranged court. Can Theophilus mount a defense that will keep another innocent man from execution? The advocate’s first trial altered the course of history. His last will change the fate of an empire.

    Randy Singer has a 4 Week teaching program with a study guide on his website and you can find that here

    http://www.randysinger.net/advocate_teaching/
    http://www.randysinger.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/TheAdvocateStudyQuestions_2015.pdf

     There is also an author Question and Answer interview and you can find that here.

    http://www.randysinger.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Randy-Singer-Author-Q-A-final.pdf

    Below is my giveaway sponsored by Family Christian Stores

     

    Click Here for the Giveaway : The Advocate

    You can follow Family Christian at all the following places

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    Failing Miserably #FaithfulFinishLines

    Faithful-Finish-Lines-e1419871290304 Well, I have had four goals so far,

    1. Stop sweet tea
    2. Bring my blood sugar and blood pressure down by exercising more
    3. Eating better
    4. put 5000 steps on a day

    Welp. I have failed on the tea, done so, so on the exercising. Since I am in a wheelchair, I am not letting people push me, using my legs and upper arms. Sometimes. There are just days, that this body can’t push this body around. As far as diet, I totally bombed this past week.

    Also consistently only having 1500 – 2000 steps a day.
    Almost a month of failures.

    Now, that being said, I lost 35 lbs of fluid so my scale numbers look great, fantastic, amazing!

    It’s so fake. I realize that I am on an uphill drive from the get-go. Because of my illnesses, it makes it very hard for me to exercise.

    Exercise is the ONLY thing that is going to allow me to lose the weight (other than the fluid)

    So as I lay here in bed. Encouraged by YOUR stories of success, and by knowing that I have a God that wants me healthy and Up on my own, sans wheelchair, (I know this because there are days now that I actually can walk half way decent and I don’t end up dragging my feet or humped over in so much pain that I am walking like an old woman with the curved spine. No offense to anyone that has the beginning of that curved spine.
    So here I am enjoying my fake weight loss, enjoying my great food, and enjoying my sweet tea.

    So I have new goals of stopping sweet tea starting at Lent (but NOT the caffeine) where my failure arose.
    Pushing my doc for the pulmonary/cardiac rehab so I can Exercise under the ability of a trainer.
    And no more splurging at Jalapeño Tree © or my favorite burger joint (I have $300.00 in groceries to prove that – why does it cost so much to eat healthy now?) and walking more and more, or making sure that I push my wheelchair myself

    Isn’t it amazing that we have second chances. God also gives us those second chances, and third and fourth etc, etc.

    Isn’t that awesome! When we fail to God, all we need is to ask His forgiveness, try your best NOT to complete that sin again (which every goal I failed was a sin)

    Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 1 Corinthians 6:19

    So as I work towards these old goals and start setting new goals, my prayer is that God will allow my body, the strength I need to get through EACH goal, one step at a time.

    Thank you Lord, for second chances, thank you Lord for failures, that drive us to successes!!!

    I am part of a network called Faithful Finish Lines.
    The encouragement, the help with goals, the accountability!

    You should go check this out and see if it’s for you!!!
    http://www.faithfulfinishlines.com/

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    As a blogger, I received a free membership for 7 weeks. In return for an honest review and to blog about this each week (another failure of mine lately)

     

     

    Library Reading Program

    What a blessing I had this morning!

    I was so blessed to read to 6 beautiful souls at our library today and we had a

    really great time reading

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    http://www.amazon.com/The-Very-Special-Valentine-Templar/dp/0811840735

    This sweet little book tells about Bunny Gray who is trying to find that perfect valentine for his friend Rosie.  This beautiful book Kneen illustrated just perfectly and has interactive pages.  Margie Kneen, the author and illustrator has made it just perfect for little minds to feel, see, and sense by making each page, a “gift” that Bunny would love to give his friend, but as you open each interactive flap, it goes on to tell you how each “gift” that is illustrated with shiny, metallic, materials, and a full sensory touch illustration is really a gift we already have from the heart part of nature and that is the best gift for Rosie.

    This was one of the most beautifully illustrated books I have had the pleasure of reading for a young child.  The book reminds me of a painting on every page.

    While the concept might be a bit older for the age levels it is written for, the book itself and the beautiful illustrations were pefect for this young of an age group.

    Being able to read to these beautiful children and their parents was such n incredible blessing.  I was so encouraged to see each parent/guardian so active and involved with their child where the reading this program was concerned.  Seeing the sheer joy on their little faces as they picked new books to check out and as they explored the library and every time the train came by seeing their little faces light up and go running off to the windows and doors!  I think I even saw some parents running off to see the trains also!

    I honestly have not had a better time spending a little time doing something I enjoy doing – reading.

    Thank you to Mrs. Hazel for giving me so much amazing help.  I could not have completed this morning without you.

    After we read, we all gathered together and did some painting that each child could take home as a gift to their FAMILY.  We used this craft I found on Pinterest

    I made the plain, unpainted TP rolls into the shape of  heart and taped them so that it would stay as a heart for little hands.  we used white latex craft paint and I poured some into a stack of coffee filters for each end of the table.

    The kiddos were able to take their TP Roll and dip it into the paint then “paint” their construction paper.  We had papers filled with hearts and then some papers that didn’t have very many.

    What we had was a beautiful collection of art made by 1-4 year old and the enjoyment that I had helping and watching these kids was again, an incredible blessing for me.

    Thank you to Miss Kelli for allowing me to read to the children and to the parents for sharing your children with me.

    This beautiful little sweetheart,  was my date for the morning and below is the artwork she completed.  I am just so grateful to programs like our Public Library and all the help you can get through their resources!

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    go check out our Public Library the old Depot Building

    Their website is http://www.grandsalinelibrary.com/

    or you can find them on Facebook and Twitter

    Gaither Vocal Tour

    https://www.premierproductions.com/tour/gaither-tour-2014-2015/austin-tx

    Oh yes, I am going!!! I have privilege of sharing this evening with a very good friend and I absolutely cannot wait!

    I have grown up with the Gaithers. Them being my mom’s favorite group.

    I have seen them in concert before but there is something about seeing hem with a friend that I know enjoys them as much ad I do just makes it 100% better

    Add in the night at a great hotel and then\ spending the morning touring the Capitol Building!!

    With God showing up, there is no way it can go wrong: add in my great friend Celeste and the Gaithers and we are on for an amazing weekend!!

    and the Gaithers how on earth can it go wrong.

    Look at all of these products that you can buy ahead of time for the Vocal Band

    http://www.familychristian.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=Gaither+Vocal+Band&skey=d06f499816e5501718e4267f7f2879cd

    One of my favorite songs by them

     

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    Details

    Get Directions
    Where: Riverbend Centre for the Arts in Austin, TX
    When: Saturday, February 7, 2015
    Starts: 6:00PM
    Doors Open: 5:00PM
    Tickets

    Buy Tickets
    On Sale: Now

    Ticket Prices: (Additional fees may apply.)

    Artist Circle: $35.00 – SOLD OUT!

    General Admission: $30.00

    Senior (60+): $27.00

    Child (2-12): $27.00

    Groups of 15+: $25.00
    Groups of 15 or more receive 1 FREE ticket!

    Group Tickets: Click HERE

    Charge-by-Phone: 1-855-484-1991

    For More Information: 1-855-484-1991 or email support@premierproductions.com

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    Watch for some social media posts during the concert!!!  Can’t wait to see ya there!!

    Stay in touch with all Family Christian has to offer by visiting their Facebook page

    https://facebook.com/FamilyChristian
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    Blessings

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    New Bible Study – Keep It Shut

    So fitting.  

    Proverbs31 Online Ministries will soon be starting their new Bible Study.

    It’s called Keep It Shut by Karen Ehman

    ‘In James 3, the Bible tells us  that the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.

    …..but NO human being can tame the tongue.  It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

    With it we bless our Lord nd Father and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.  From the same mouth come blessing and cursing

    Isn’t James just an amazing book of the Bible.  Such a small portion of the mighty sword.  And it can split you right in two if you don’t abide by it’s words, from start to finish.

    This Bible Study is about just that very thing.

    Ehman says  Next Study : Keep It Shut by Karen Ehman

    Let’s face it.
    We’ve all had days when we want to hide after saying something permanently painful, just because we were temporarily ticked off.
    What if we could somehow learn what to say, how to say it, and when to say nothing at all?
    Guess what! Karen Ehman’s newest book, Keep It Shut, helps us do just that.
    Mark your calendar for Proverbs31  next Online Bible Study!
    Starting January 26 – March 6
    In this 6-week study, we’ll learn:
    What the Bible teaches about making our speech laced with grace, as sweet as honey, yet seasoned with salt
    The difference between gossip and processing with a trusted friend
    Helpful ways for using our digital tongue as we talk online or on social media
    Go here to sign up or click on the picture below

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    and Here to buy the book.  I am very encouraged about this study.  I know I need it.

    If God leads you to this study, Join Proverbs31.org OBS and dive into wht the Bible says about taming our tongue or even better, just Keep It Shut

    When Church Hurts – What Do You Do?

    (this is a reblog of something I  Published on: May 8, 2014 @ 6:03 of last year) it seems very fitting again

    Psalm 15 depicts the marks of an authentic Christian. It says,

    “He casts no slur on his fellowman…. but honors those who fear the Lord In any given troubling situation we need to honestly ask ourselves, “Am I making choices that allow God to be in control here or am I taking control?”

    I know I am trying my best to allow God to take control… what do you do when church members do not do the same.  How do you react?  how do you minister to them?  DO you minister to them?

    Sometimes relationships at church can be some of the most hurtful ever.

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    Satan has a way of doing that.  Hitting us where it hurts the most.  Our families, our jobs, our church….

    When things are going bad and they sometimes will… when you put a lot of different personalities in a setting where they make decisions, and they decide things based on emotion, feelings, reactions, etc.

    How do you react.

    Turn the other cheek

     But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.  Matthew 5:39 ESV

    Do unto others,

    For every action, there must be an equal and opposite reaction (Newton’s Third Law)

    But seriously:

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    (quote by Anthony Robbins)

    Whatever happens, YOU must pray, first, you must pray.  You must change your heart.  You must witness to that person.  The best way you can.  IF you can, sometimes that is not going to be an opportunity.

    If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone.  If he listens to you, you have gained your brother  Matthew 18:15

    Whatever happens, YOU must pray, first, you must pray.  You must change your heart.  You must witness to that person.  The best way you can.  IF you can, sometimes that is not going to be an opportunity.

    So you seek forgiveness within yourself, from yourself and for that person.  You talk to God

    However I MUST ask , how many times do you turn the other cheek.  How ma times do you let someone run over you in the name of Jesus Christ .  It’s a serious question I’m asking and it goes nackto gjjjjjjfnkng the other cheek.  How many times do you turn .  

    Because church hurts, even though desires for church to be a safe place and a sanctuary, sometimes that is not going to happen and you MUST deal with the situation, not brush it under the carpet.

    If you do that, resentment builds, distrust builds, and lack of “love” for God’s people happens…

    So forgive yourself, love yourself, love the other person, the best way you can, and know that while it’s probably going to happen… You are the one that must be the change.

     

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    The Action Bible

    I am a #FCBlogger for Family Christian Stores

    Family Christan on Facebook

    Or Family Christian Stores

    They carry a Bible every boy (and some girls would love to have) as well as some adults (I know I want One!!

    It is  The Action Bible

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    And you can find it here at Family Christian Stores

    Here is a great preview Video that shows the way it came to be.

    About Illustrator Sergio Cariello:

    At the age of 5, Sergio Cariello already knew he wanted to draw comics. At age 11, he already had his first comic strip, Frederico the Detective, published in local newspapers. At Marvel he has drawn for Daredevil, Conan, Thor, Captain America, Disney’s Quasimodo, Spiderman, the Avengers and many others.

    The Action Bible presents 215 fast-paced narratives in chronological order, making it easier to follow the Bible’s historical flow and reinforcing the build-up to its thrilling climax. The stories in The Action Bible communicate clearly and forcefully to contemporary readers. This compelling blend of clear writing plus dramatic imagery offers an appeal that crosses all age boundaries.

    Internationally recognized artist Sergio Cariello has created attention-holding illustrations marked by rich coloring, dramatic shading and lighting, bold and energetic designs, and emotionally charged figures. Let this epic rendition draw you into all the excitement of the world’s most awesome story.

    Product Details:
    Ages: 6 & up
    Page Count: 752
    Dimensions: 10.2″(L) X 6.7″(W) X 1.3″(D)
    Released: 09/2010

    Here are all the formats you can buy it and the devotional in

    Hardcover – Complete Bible $26.99
    Audio Book on CD (Unabridged):$29.99

    Softcover – New Testament:$16.99

    Audio Book on CD – New Testament:$15.99

    Softcover – Devotional:$17.99

    Audio Book on CD (Unabridged) – Devotional:$13.99
    Hardcover Handbook $17.99

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    I did not have to review this, I just wanted to.  I am in love with this Bible for kids!

    Patient Advocacy Series: Taking Control of Your Health Care:  Some advice in Being a Responsible Patient

    This is the first in a series about Patient Advocacy, taking control of your own healthcare and being an informed patient.  I am not a nurse, or a doctor, I have just been in the medical system since I broke both of my legs at 2 years old.   I have been in an out of so many hospitals for various reasons.  16 corrective leg surgeries from when my legs were broke at age two, 2 back surgeries and the list continues.  Never take my advice for medical care.  My advice is given to you to help you maneuver the healthcare system in today’s day and times.

    I make no bones about the fact that I am disabled.  I started getting sick a LOT in 1984 and it continued off and on with several different things, a possibly fatal skin disease, severe blood poisoning, major anxiety and panic attacks, adult onset asthma, prediabetes, gestational diabetes, tachycardia.  I had two major bone grafts during that time from 84 to 91 and then started having major back issues.  I went in and out of care for therapy, injections, testing and more testing that all came to a head in 2001 with me ending up having major open back surgery in Jan of 2001.

     

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    At that time, I was pretty much under the assumption that the Dr was always right, and no matter what testing they ordered.  I said okay to.

    Then I had the surgery.  I laid 12 days flat on my back because of spinal cord fluid leaking.  I had the most incredible headache I had ever had in my entire life (after a history of migraines)

    Add to that a horrendous back pain from lying flat on my back for those 12 days so that no more fluid would leak.  While I had no more back pain from the injured back, I had surgical pain and the pain from just lying flat.

    Day 12 they helped me out of bed.  I promise you that day was the day that my entire life changed as far as my healthcare…  I will never forget it.  My dad and sister and children were visiting and they chose “that” time to “make” me get out of bed.

    I went through the most incredible pain I have ever felt that day.  As I was getting up, the spinal fluid shifted, and that was all it took.  I felt like my head was going to explode and my back was going to crumble.

    I totally loved my doctor, don’t get me wrong.  HE was amazing.  However, I realize I had been there that long and wasn’t getting any better laying there.  Why it had to be that moment, I will never understand.

    It literally terrified my dad and my sons.  The scream I screamed, was horrific.  Can you imagine screaming bloody murder because of the intense pain and your dad and children, out in the hallway?

    My dad hated hospitals to begin with, getting him there was an act of congress.  I can literally count on one hand the few times he ever came to see me after that in the hospital and there have been LOTS of them.

    I got up, I walked what they wanted, I left that hospital the next day and I never again, have taken a direct order from a nurse/doctor/therapist, etc. without question.

    Why are we doing this?  Is this something that has to be done now?  What are the side effects?  Why this test?  Why this medication.

    I am a very engaged, and very in control of my healthcare, kind of patient.

    I don’t have to do every single test, that they ask of me, I do not have to take every medication that they want to prescribe and then, I will choose which Dr. I want to see if a Dr is going to refer me out to someone else.

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    So being that kind of patient, takes some work on my part, first.  I do not walk into a Drs Office without a list of medications, my diagnostic history with dates, a surgical history with dates and a list of my entire current care team. (I have a downloadable sample at the bottom of this post)

    You MUST be an informed patient also.  I also have a copy of my DNR, my Living Will and a copy of my formulary at the ready.  I use my smart phone for these things (and not “look them up” I mean in a file, ready to go)

    If you want to be in control of your healthcare, you must do the legwork.

    Every visit I go to, I have all paperwork, I ask for copies of everything and if it’s an apt with a new doctor or we are discussing something extremely serious, I will even video or voice record our conversation.  With the Dr’s knowledge.

    The Drs office is the worst place in the world to come up with the questions you want to ask.   I suggest, you open a file on your phone or keep a notepad with you specifically for a Drs visit (I have a journal and a notepad on my phone) and as I think of them between visits, I write them down, or input into my phone.

    Now all this being said, I try my best not to be demanding or rude, but I know what I will and will not do.

    If a doctor or care team cannot quantify my requests then, maybe I need to find a new care team.

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    It’s pretty simple.  Be a patient that knows their own health inside and out and be in control and understand what’s going on, just like you want your care team to be.

    I have gone into anaphylactic shock from allergy shots, I have a latex allergy and there are many, many places/hospitals/Drs offices, etc., that while they say they look at your chart, let’s face it,  they may see 30 patients a day or more and frankly, reading everything in your chart is not something they are going to do.  They read the last visit, your allergies (if it pertains to them) and they will read the high points.

    So all that being said, here are a few things I do, to be totally in control of my healthcare.

    • The list.  Name, DOB, Allergies, Medications, with Dosages, last filled dates, and why you take them (there are some medications that are not prescribed for their original use), diagnostic history, surgical history and care team with addresses, hospital affiliations and phone numbers/fax numbers.
    • Get a copy of everything you sign and get a copy of the results of each test you have done. Thanks to Electronic Medical Records this is so much easier now.

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    • Be informed. If you are going to a doctor for a specific reason, you need to know what you are going for.  I’m not saying read the PDR on the subject but it doesn’t hurt to know the terminology and/or the things that are important to what you have the appointment for
    • Make a list of questions. Above all, do NOT wait till you get in the office.  You will NOT remember.  There is a real thing called White Coat Syndrome, it makes you forget, makes your BP go up, makes your heart rate go up and puts your entire body into an “alert” state of mind.  No matter how comfortable you are with your doctor.
    • BE HONEST. I cannot stress this enough.  If you drink alcohol or use recreational drugs or even vitamins and OTC meds. Those can and will interfere with some medications and or anesthesia.  It is VITAL that you be honest 100%
    • Keep your appointments or at least have the courtesy to cancel them. Dr’s are busy.  Waiting on a no-show apt, does several things.  It causes the clinic to work when they could have avoided, it delays the office while they are adjusting schedules on the fly and putting your records back where they belong.  It can also keep patients that need your appointment, from getting the care that they need.  It’s a courtesy.  Treat the office the way you want to be treated
    • Above all, if you cannot afford your copays and your percentage of testing etc., the doctor has NO CONTROL over that. Talk to the office staff.  They are your best person to discuss those things with.  Your nurse has no clue how much you owe, or how much your insurance will pay either.
    • If your doctor requires further testing, it is ultimately YOUR responsibility to follow through with your insurance company and make sure all certifications and authorizations are in place. It is also your responsibility to verify that each doctor, therapist, anesthesiologist, etc. are in your network.  Trust me, the hospital will not verify the ancillary staff.  They go with who is on rotation and put you in their rotation.  If you need a certain Dr, therapist, home health care, ancillary facility etc., follow-up and make sure they are in network for your insurance.  You are you best patient advocate.  NEVER assume that someone is going to do it for you

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    • If you cannot afford a test that your doctor orders, as long as it is not elective, there are ways in place to help you pay for it. That doesn’t mean that they pay for it, it only means they help you make it where you can afford it and/or make it where payments are affordable.
    • Deductibles are expensive and it is required to be paid.  It is actually part of the contract your insurance company signs with the facility.  Ask for a payment plan, see if they have a cash percentage to help you pay in cash and/or talk to the financial help staff or patient advocate.  There are ways to get the care you need, when you need it.
    • If you are going through a catastrophic illness, like cancer or a transplant, etc. One of the things I remember our advocate telling us and it was one of the best pieces of advice I ever received.  Do NOT look at your hospital bill, while you are still receiving care.
      1. Because first you aren’t done with your care and you need to be focused on your health.
      2. You never know exactly what your insurance will end up paying
      3. If you don’t have insurance, there is a law, that healthcare facilities are required to treat you as long as what they are treating you for is medically necessary  and life-threatening (that’s two key words you need to remember)
      4. There is that white coat syndrome thing going on again in the background. And it goes back to you needing to focus on your healthcare
      5. When all treatment was over and we walked out of the hospital after my husband had his cancer and transplant and all the treatments etc. We ended up owing $150.00.  The amount of our deductible
    • If you are going to take control of your healthcare, take total control. You are the patient and it’s your body.  Yes the doctor has the degree, but I reiterate, you do not have to say yes to every single blood test, or diagnostic test.  Discuss it with your doctor.  Why?  What will happen if I don’t do it?  Is it medically necessary?  Is it going to make a significant difference in the outcome of my health in the long run?  Is there a test that can be done in place of a certain test that isn’t as expensive?  What are the side effects of this medication?  Is there anything I need to know about this medication, like can I be in the sun, drink milk, eat acidic fruits, does it need to be refrigerated.  Do I need to be sedated, will I need a driver, what are the lasting effects of the medications.  Is there an alternative to the medication like a natural solution etc. (if you believe in using them)
    • Ask the Dr to write the instructions in that journal I talked to you about, or better yet, ask them to repeat it and you write it in your hand writing.
    • Take someone with you.
    • Treat your entire care team the way you want to be treated, from the person that takes out your trash in your hospital room, to the person that takes you out to the car after a stay, your valet attendant, your check in person, the person that takes your blood pressure, etc. You may need something later, and that person might just be the person that can get it for you.
    • Believe in your care team. If you can’t trust them 100% or even any percent, it’s time to find another care team.  If you are in a place that you do need to find another care team, TELL the current one why.  They may have no clue that something is going on in that office/facility that makes you uncomfortable.  Communication is key with everyone.  Writing a letter firing your current provider is a normal thing.  They get it.  They understand it.  Now that being said, remember that if you are a very difficult patient they can do the same!
    • Except for mail in pharmacy(s). Pick one pharmacy (if you have insurance) and use only that pharmacy.  Also, one other thing I do, is I take every RX that I am given, back to my primary care physician and let him re-write it.  I have one Dr writing my RX and one pharmacy filling my scripts, etc for my diabetic and COPD medications because they are a specialty pharmacy(s) for that.  Now if you are a cash patient, it is totally understandable to shop around.  However, even if you have insurance, use the generic scripts at your major retailers.  If you are a cash patient and must use several different pharmacy(s) to get your meds reasonable, be sure and put where you get them filled on your Medical Record that you make at home.  Being up front and honest again, with your doctor about finances when it comes to your care is the only way he can treat you.  If you can’t afford a medication after you leave his/her office and find out the cost is gynormous, call them back and explain.  There are many alternatives to many medications.  Drs are going to try to give you the best, not because they make money, but because they want you to have the best medication for what you need.  That newest medication may or may not be the best also.
    • Never call your doctor and say things, like well it’s in my record, you know what it is, or you know it’s that little blue pill. Trust me, they don’t know.  When you aren’t in front of the doctor and he/she doesn’t have your record in front of them, they don’t know what illnesses you have, what meds you take, what insurance you have etc.  Now some Drs may know a lot of their patients by name and more than likely that is your family practitioners more than anyone but don’t expect them to know you by name, little blue pill, the one with the red hair etc.
    • If you call during clinic hours; know ahead of time, you aren’t going to get to speak to your doctor. They are in clinic seeing many other patients.  You probably won’t even talk to a nurse.  You will get voice mail.  Be specific, leave your full name, date of birth and exactly what you need.  They don’t need your life history.  Just your questions, statements.  Allow them 24-48 hours to get back to you, if it is an emergency, you need to be calling 9-1-1.  Now that being said, if it is a clinical emergency, like something hasn’t been done and you only have a day or so left to get it done paperwork wise or things like that, your best resource in that office is the office manager.  They have the access to the Dr. and the Staff to make things happen.
    •  Don’t get frustrated with staff when they ask you your DOB over and over and over. Sometimes several times in the same visit.  You could not be the only John W Smith in Podunk TX with red hair.  Patience is key.  It is for your own safety that they make sure they have the right patient and the right record in front of them.  In fact, get in the habit of saying, this is John W Smith DOB 1/1/1950.  It will help the Dr’s office out so much.  Also speak clearly, enunciate and be specific.  Usually the person answering your phone call more than likely is in a room with several other people and may not hear you

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    • Do not take no for an answer from your insurance company if they turn you down for a procedure or test or anything that your Dr deems Medically Necessary.  Appeal it, Ask for their Advocate, ask for Corporate.  Someone can say yes if the Dr. says it is a medically necessary procedure.
    • Last and certainly not least, above all, you never have to take no or yes from your insurance/Dr etc. You are the last say.  Granted, your Dr must make the orders, but you can say, no I don’t want that test, and yes I do, and if you are uncertain about something ask, if you want to know more, ask.

    Blank Medical Record File  Here is a downloadable file that is like the one I use.  The only thing I do not have on it is my pharmacy listings, but you could make your own space for it.  If you would like one in a PDF format please contact me below

     

    Everything that I have stated above is my opinion from my experiences with the health care system in the state of Texas.  I do NOT have any kind of medical license at all.  I will not give you medical advice.  What I am giving you are key guidelines to make your healthcare experience go easy and to help you maneuver the systems.   Above all, please seek your Dr’s care and advice and if you have a life threatening emergency please call 9-1-1

    Also my advice is given from the perspective of a person with Medicare.  Although most health insurances work the same way.  Just different ways of getting to the result.  The Insurance Company is there to make money, so approving your procedure is against their bottom dollar.  Go higher than Customer Service if you have to.   Another aspect is that I have not only been a patient for this many years, I have worked in a Family Practice Setting and in hospital/clinical side of things.   I’ve seen both sides and was very

     

    Watch for my next posts, on the best smart-phone apps to use to help you in medical care and also medical terminology that may be foreign to you.  If you have questions about either of these, please fill out the contact form and I will do my best to answer them in the next post.

    I will publish into this series once a week and you can find it on my blog, on both of my Facebook pages and every social media page that I have!  Here are the links!

    https://www.facebook.com/laurahix
    https://www.facebook.com/memawsstuff
    https://twitter.com/LauraKHix
    https://twitter.com/MemawsStuff
    http://www.pinterest.com/laurakhix/
    http://instagram.com/laurakhix/
    https://plus.google.com/+LauraHix
    www.linkedin.com/in/memawstufflaurahix
    http://laurakhix.tumblr.com/

     

     

     

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    When The Game Stands Tall – Review

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    Unwrapping the box, I discovered to my surprise, the copy of the movie contained a DVD and Blu-Ray copy of this movie, with a free code from Sony Entertainments to download a copy of the movie for your personal library.

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    Family Christian has been a fantastic place for me to buy things and when I received this copy to review I was really thoroughly surprised that it had both in it!

    The Synopsis

    Inspired by a true story, in 2003, high-school football coach Bob Ladouceur (played by Jim Caviezel) and his De La Salle Spartans have just completed an incredible 151 consecutive victories and 12-straight state championships. While the team’s seniors receive offers from colleges all over the country, the advancing juniors look forward to making their mark.

    However, beloved “Coach Lad” has a brush with calamity, while the Spartans face their most-challenging, most-unpredictable season yet.

     After this Coach Lad must teach his players –   and the entire town – that it’s not about how you fall, but how you get back up

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    His approach to the game, one that he has given most of his life to, is perhaps best summed up in this quotation from Matthew 23:13 that is recited onscreen: “Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled. And whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.” In other words, it is not about you, it is about others.

    My review:

    I loved this movie for the plain and simple fact, I love high school football!  When I first unwrapped it and just looked at the cover, I thought to myself another movie about Texas Football!!!  Boy was I surprised!!  Which was a great surprise.  When the game stands tall, was a really great movie about a fantastic coach named Bob Ladouceur.  “Coach Lad” was not only a magnificent coach, but an amazing man.  His philosophy on how to talk to teens was amazing,   I would have loved to have had a “Coach Lad” as a coach in anything I took.

    The main thing about this movie is that the kids respected him.  I mean really respected him,  Not only did they listen, they trusted.

    There was a lot of football in this movie and that in and of itself had me thoroughly enjoying it.  Also the back story of “Coach Lad” and his health as well as the interactions between each player and their friends, was really great.  I do not want to say too much, but let me just say that the back story was fantastic, sad, happy and very inspiring!

    There are some things to be concerned with as a parent.  An abusive father, a couple of curse words, and some other things  I’ve added the review from Plugged in Movie Review and they go through each situation that could be considered scary or derogatory.

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    I would allow any preteen from 8 and up to watch the movie, although your younger kids, this would give you the perfect opportunity for some very good conversations about some of the things in the movie.

    and here is a great free resource that is downloadable to help you with this discussion from Plugged in Movie Review

     

     here is the official trailer of the movie

     

    Here is the Plugged In Movie Review of When the Game Stands Tall  http://www.pluggedin.com/videos/2014/q4/when-the-game-stands-tall.aspx

     

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    I pray that you enjoy this movie as much as I did and that your family takes the opportunity to watch it together and use it as a jumping off point for a lot of great conversations between you and your kids.  Enjoy a great family night with the movie, some great popcorn and a warm fire!

    Stay in touch with all Family Christian has to offer by visiting their Facebook page

    https://facebook.com/FamilyChristian 

    https://twitter.com/FamilyChristian 

    http://www.pinterest.com/familychristian/ 

    http://family-christian.tumblr.com 

    http://instagram.com/familychristian

    Blessings

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    Happy New Year


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    Prayers that your year has been filled with blessings, that you are healthy and that you can put God first in everything you do.

    I have chosen not to make resolution this year but to choose One Word (#OneWord365) to describe  the direction that I would like my year to take

    My word is intentional,  I need to learn to live less out of habit and a lot more intentional in every action and reaction I have.                                                                                                                                                      

    From the dictionary

    intentional
    [in-ten-shuh-nl] 
    adjective
    1.  done with intention or on purpose; intended:
    an intentional insult.
    2.  of or relating to intention or purpose.8

    I want to be INTENTIONAL in my relationships, my actions, my diet, my health, but even more so, my relationship with Jesus Christ.

    I am reading the Bible through again this year with this reading Plan called Becoming His by Joanna Weaver that can be found at http://www.joannaweaverbooks.com/my_reading_plan.php

    God has blessed me so much in 2014 and the cold cliche’s just don’t sound sufficient.  He has been MORE than enough to me, and I know I need to give back to Him and make sure that I am in The Word. For me, it is not enough to read the Bible.  I need to go deeper, I need to understand what I have read.  So my prayer has changed, instead of God helping me “get through the Bible”  God please help me to understand each word, it’s meaning, it’s significance and how it relates to Jesus Christ and how I can use it in my life.

    Isn’t that amazing?  We have a blueprint for our lives, already written  We just have to read!

    Choose your One Word    #OneWord365  https://www.facebook.com/OneWord365

    I am a person that wants to know why.  I need to know why.  However, just this past year in 2014, I’ve realized that the why isn’t important of what WAS done.  the WHY is important in what you are doing!  

    I need to make sure that everything I do, I do intentionally to glorify God!

    That’s my #OneWord365

    praying you all have a very blessed year and that your year for 2015 is filled with Intentional actions, Intentional Worship and Intentional Purpose!

     

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    Verio One Touch Sync Glucose Meter Review

    Blood sugar results. Your iPhone®.
    Together at last.

    Introducing OneTouch® Verio®Sync. The meter that automatically sends your results wirelessly to your iPhone, iPad®, or iPod® touch, using the OneTouch® Revealmobile app.

    Compatible with any iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, running IOS 5.1 or later. See full product specifications heresync_pod1_phone

     

    Okay, I have had a LOT of meters since I being diagnosed with diabetes Type 2 in June of 2001.   I mean a LOT.  It seems like my insurance is changing their “preferred” brand every couple of months and their “preferred” provider every couple of months.Now, that being said.  I was once again, asked to change meters.  So I went ahead and got the one I wanted instead.Let me just say, I LOVE this meter.  It is incredible!!  First, it is just so easy.  No controls, nothing hard, just really simple.  put a strip in, lance the finger, and suck the blood up!  How much easier does it get as far as meters go.Untitled

    But the most incredible part.  NO MORE LOGS!!!!  It automatically syncs with my iPhone. Also, you can set up alarms automatically based on how many times that you test, and your phone gives you a notification.  NO REASON not to test, or to forget to test, or whatever.  Testing regularly means your diabetes will be better controlled.

    Now, as far as I know it is only on the IOS Platform at this time.  The app is free and you can download it free from the App Store here:

    One Touch Reveal Mobile App

    OneTouch Reveal On the App Store

    and believe it or not, the meter is “preferred” on my insurance.  However, I opted to buy it so I could get it when I wanted it.

    Out of the box, you have a meter, a lancer, a USB cord and a charging block for AC charging.

    Easy Peasy.  The set up was also easy.  It syncs over  Bluetooth with my phone, and then it sets the date and time according to your wireless connection.  You do NOT have to be connected by wi-fi, but you do have to be connected by Bluetooth.

    These are all the things you can do through the app.

    The OneTouch® Verio®Sync Meter wirelessly sends blood sugar results to the OneTouch® Reveal™ mobile app. Once a blood sugar result is sent to the app you can:

    Tag the blood sugar result with a meal flag.
    Receive High and Low Pattern messages.
    Add carbs, activity, medication data and notes about your activities.
    Manually enter other blood sugar test results.
    Review results on graphs.
    Share your blood sugar results with others.
    Set reminders to prompt you to test, snack, exercise, order testing supplies, etc.

     

    It also has a light that you can turn on and off while you are testing, so no more bright lights in the middle of the night when you are sinking or you can just have an extra little gadget on it!  

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    This is my actual meter. It is charging at this point, but I will show you a stock picture of the screen

     You can get a copy of the quick start guide here. 

    Below is the meter in action.  Check out this video:  

    I paid $29.99 from the One Touch Website and received it within a couple of days. I received 30% off and free shipping and that is a deal that is still going on now.  It took me longer to get the strips and lancets because of doctors and insurance and a new company and everyone wanting to be in control, however I was ready.  I firmly believe that I am the only person that can totally control my healthcare besides God.  I MUST be 100% in control of it, because no one else is looking out for my best interest, but that is a whole different blog series!!!  and I digress.
    Now the strips are only for use by any of the Verio machines, they are not interchangeable with any other OneTouch machine.  The Lancer, which is called a One Touch Delica.  I made a choice to continue using it, however, any Lancer will do.  It doesn’t even need to be a One Touch Brand.  Just  know if you use the Delica though, it has different kind of lancet (see all the pictures of everything at the bottom of this post)

    I am extremely happy with this machine and the user interface that comes from my iPhone 5.  (other platforms of iPhone are compatible, like the 4, 4S and 5C and 5S, iPad or iPod Touch running IOS 5.1 or later)

    I don’t think I have ever been this excited about using a meter.  

    Here is all the technical stuff that goes with the meter and instead of reinventing the wheel, I did copy this right off of the OneTouch Website so that I knew it would be exact based on their findings.  You cn find that information here

    All pictures and products are the property of OneTouch.  I have linked back to their website.  You can also find all information here.  http://www.onetouch.com/veriosync and  http://www.shoponetouch.com/product/onetouch-veriosync-system

    Test Time: 5 seconds
    Backlight: Illuminated test strip port and backlight
    Power source: Rechargeable Battery
    Battery life: 1 – 2 weeks between charges
    Memory: Stores up to 500 results
    Automatic shutoff: Your meter will turn off by itself within 10 seconds after sending results to the mobile device. In all other instances, the meter will turn off by itself if left alone for 2 minutes.

    Operating ranges:
    Bluetooth®: The meter and mobile device need to be within 10 feet of each other to pair and sync using Bluetooth® technology.
    Temperature: 50-111°F
    Altitude: Up to 10,000 ft
    Relative Humidity: Non-condensing 10-90%
    Hematocrit: 20-60%
    Individual Unit Weight: Approximately 1.7 ounces
    Individual Unit Dimensions: 3.94″ L x 1.63″ W x 0.46″ H

    Contents of the Box:
    OneTouch® Verio®Sync Blood Glucose Meter (with internal rechargeable battery)
    10 OneTouch® Verio® Test Strips
    OneTouch® Verio® Level 3 Control Solution
    OneTouch® Delica® Lancing Device
    10 OneTouch® Delica® Lancets
    Mini USB cable
    AC adapter
    Carrying case
    OneTouch® Verio®Sync Owner’s Booklet
    OneTouch® Verio®Sync Get Started Guide

    iPod touch®, iPhone®, and iPad® not included.

    Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPad and iPod touch are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc.

    The Bluetooth® word mark and logos are registered trademarks owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc., and any use of such marks by LifeScan, Inc is under license. Other trademarks and trade names are those of their respective owners.
    - See more at: http://www.shoponetouch.com/product/onetouch-veriosync-system#sthash.W5iRFyDb.dpuf

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    I received NOTHING in exchange for this review.  I bought my meter and made this review on my own

    Twist Of Fate – Book Review

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    Twist of Fate (A Holiday Romance Novella)My Review
    Rachael Anderson. Twist of Fate HEA Publishing.
    When Mackenzie Tyler and Tyler McKenzie moved into the same apartment complex, just one floor away from each other. Who ever dreamed that they would become really close friends? With flip-flopped names!
    Mackenzie was a 3rd grade school teacher and Tyler was a gaming computer artist. Tyler and Mackenzie often got their mail messed up because of the flip-flopped names.
    So imagine his surprise when he receives in his mailbox a postcard from her boyfriend that changed their lives forever.
    A Twist of Fate is a great little book focused around two friends, Christmas, and falling out of love, falling in love, and interpersonal relationship with parents
    Everything changes when one parent comes to visit!
    Does the twist of fate help them find love, or will they lose each other forever

    My thoughts.
    I loved this little novella so much. It was packed full of Christmas Spirit, family, friendship and love.
    Ms Anderson packs a lot into just a few chapters and I was really excited to read this book. It left me wanting to read more. Everything about this book was good for me. To me there wasn’t even the cheesy Christmas story. It was something I have never read anything like before, with the details of their lives. I loved the name thing! That was an extra little added punch to the story!!

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    A Christmas Miracle Comes to Holy Nativity – Book Review

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    Ken Regan has a great story-line here and weaves a very good story, only it lacks depth and finesse. The premise is that the pastor who has failed at several assignments gets one last chance. Holy Nativity Church. During the time he is there, they realize the church is broke and to continue they must raise enough money. Add in a love story with the token single mom and the church-members that are very negative and you have a story found in any town in any church…
    Even though I found this book to be just like every other romance book around, it does have its moments. It is fun and filled with moments of laughter, also moments of great insight. I just didn’t find it consistent with either..
    If the book had been just a bit longer and had a bit more time to develop[, I believe this could have been a fantastic little book!

     

     

     

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    My Own Mr Darcy – Karey White – Book Review

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    in My Own Mr. Darcy, Karey White writes a very enjoyable, stand a lone book that has a tie in to Pride and Prejudice. One of my favorite books. 16-year-old Elizabeth goes to see a movie that she doesn’t want to see. She becomes obsessed with Mr. Darcy in the movie, Pride and Prejudice that she vows that her “friend’ will only be a Mr. Darcy.
    Of which, she bases her entire dating career around. She must find “Her Own Mr. Darcy”

    After years of trying to find her Own Mr. Darcy and coming up empty, Elizabeth’s roommate, challenges her to the next person she dates, to give him ten dates That guy is Chad, a kind and thoughtful science teacher and swim coach. She meets and dates a few times the person that is right for her, Chad. However, she just hasn’t figured it out yet. In the meantime, she meets “her Mr. Darcy” handsome, rich, Bookstore ownder Matt. She follows her dream of what she thinks a man should be, and ends up disillusioned, because Matt isn’t Mr. Darcy after the chips fall. he is not nice, arrogant, and all in all, nothing like Mr. Darcy.
    While Elizabeth has this dream, does she throw it all away to find true love, or does she continue on her path with finding “her own Mr.Darcy”My Own Mr. Darcy

    https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1117235892

    http://www.amazon.com/review/R2AUROGUGB2C66

     

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    A Christmas Gift For Rose and a GIVEAWAY!!!

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    Through adversity, Rose finds love.

    Rose finds Family

    Rose finds Rose.

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    When an Amish woman learns the truth about her heritage, her life shattered. She had already lost the love of her life when he went off to war.

    Amish men just didn’t do that. Rose couldn’t get past the point that he was at war, regardless of whether he was on the front-line or a medic. Her reasons for turning her back on Jonathan end up being her heritage. Rose tries to deal with her identity and the loss of the life she always thought had.

    When faced with adversity Rose learns that family is more than the people you are born too. She also learns that family is more than blood.

    Rose learns life lessons

    In those lessons Rose finds adversity, Rose finds friendship, Rose finds true family and Rose…

    Finds Rose.

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    What a sweet story this is of community, faith, love, family and living God’s command of love your neighbor!

    The faith that Rose finds in herself, her family and Jonathan, the love of her life, are all renewed with the spirit of Christmas.

    The Christmas gift she finds is herself.

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    My thoughts

    I loved how the story intertwined among the War and lets you know how hard it was for people to live during that time. Really gut wrenching honest. A young woman questions her entire existence and you cannot help but start “cheering for the home team” Rose’s emotions are all over the place in this book and when I read it the first time, (when it first came out) I was in love with this book and the feelings of family and home, and community.

    The next time I read it, I couldn’t connect with the book. Then I realized that it was my own doing because of my issues in my family. This is a book that makes you think and think hard about your family

    It makes you want to have that ideal family life!!! Does that life ever really exist? For the young woman in this book, you find that it —  read the book to find out what Rose does and how she handles her emotions and feelings and how she comes to terms with her life during this time!!!”

    Go here for the giveaway -  A Christmas Gift For Rose

     

     

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    Silver Bells; A Timeless Romance Anthology – Book Review

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    Silver Bells is a collection of 6 short stories by 6 different Authors.  It is part of A Timeless Romance Anthology.  The stories include:

    A Fairy Christmas by Lucinda Brant                          3 Stars

    A Christmas Promise by Sarah M Eden                   3.5 Stars

    Twelve Months by Heather B Moore                         4.5 Stars

    A Fezziwig Christmas by Lu Ann Brobst Staheli      3 Stars

    A Taste of Home by Annette Lyon                             5 Stars

    My Modern Girl by Necca Wilhite                              3.5 Stars

     

    Each story is a stand-alone piece of work *this is very important to me when I am reading an anthology

    You can pick up the book, know exactly who each character is and what is going on in the book

     

    In A Fairy Christmas - Kitty was alone in the world, however lived in an amazing lifestyle with the family that took her in.  She knew exactly who she wanted to marry.  The story goes through the drama of a young woman – who is an orphan in love with a man who has it all and is in a family’s home that treats her like family.  Expect to laugh, cry,… you name the emotion, you are going to feel it through this story

    A Christmas Promise – Sean has to travel to a city that he has never been to before and in doing so, he must take a feisty group of horses.  Upon landing in that new city he will hire on as a new stable hand. He winds up in very bad weather he ends up in a disaster and lost   Maeve  helps him on his way and find what he needs both in his job and in love.

    Twelve Months – This precious story tells us about friendship, good and bad; love that should be, love that is and love that will be.  The author brings us a precious story of a friend a wife, a friend that died and a little baby boy.  How much love can one man have for a baby that isn’t his after the death of his friend?  His friend’s wife, and her mourning and the new love that is to come

    A Fezziwig Christmas – Father’s Christmas Ball.  What the young girls are looking forward to, the men are dreading and the parents are enjoying!  While two best friends that work in the father’s counting house have acquired their apprentice jobs one has acquired one Father’s daughter, and one win’s the heart of the other through a happenstance of misfortunes to one arrogant soul, and the other friend steps in to win the heart of the other daughter, or does he?

    A Taste of Home – this story was my favorite of all 6.  When the story begins, Claire is on her way home to see her family and is on a train ride with the boy, now a young man, Will, who has teased, bullied and made fun of her, her entire life.  As they make their way to their home town.  Claire and Will do get along and actually have some civil conversations on the train ride.  Then when they get there the unthinkable happens.  Claire’s father is NO where to be found.  After much waiting and panic and becoming extremely upset, Claire realizes her fairytale Christmas isn’t going to happen. So because they are forced to make other arrangements and have other plans, Will and Claire end up spending Christmas together in a hotel.  Definitely not you’re “Fairytale Christmas”.  Although the love of Claire’s life gives her everything a Christmas to remember should be about.  Who is that love of her life?  Where does everything come from, and how special can that Christmas be, although in her heart, she feels like it is ruined

    My Modern Girl – After lading her dream job as a clerk in Macy’s Department Store, Margie wants to prove to Henry that she can make it in a big town.  That she is mature enough to be on her own.  Being a Modern Girl is everything she has ever dreamed of, so when things start going wrong.  Margie frets that she will make it.  Can she do it or do her plans change when she realizes that maybe her life plans are not what they seemed!

    I loved this anthology and I usually never read romances.  The Christmas stories made them sweet, these 6 authors made them good!  I loved this book and every story in it.  I can imagine myself brought back to the time period and to the era.  What a great job of writing and combing these six stories the authors did!

     

     

     

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    Disclosure
    of Material Connection:
    I received this book free from the author through
    EBooksForReview.com
    in exchange for an honest Review
    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 :

    Christmas Series – Where Treetops Glisten Review and GIVEAWAY!!!!

    Where Treetops Glisten.  Three Stories of Courage and Christmas Romance During World War II

    WTG

     

    download

     

     

    Three amazing authors collaborate on this Novella.  Three stories, written by Cara Putman, White Christmas, Sara Sundin’s I’ll Be Home For Christmas and Tricia Goyer’s Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, all focus around the Turner Family and their relationships intertwined with community of Lafayette, IN and how they each reach out to God to get through each event and the surrounding circumstances of World War II and Christmas

    In Putman’s White Christmas, Abigail Turner, a college student, who has been deeply hurt during her early life by being bullied throughout her early life.  Abigail works at the Glatz Candy Factory and has a chance encounter with a very hard-working Jackson. Jackson is in serious trouble and Abigail knows her high-powered attorney father, can help.

    In I’ll Be Home for Christmas, Sara Sundin, brings Abigail’s brother, Pete Turner into the story.  Pete is a fighter pilot home on furlough from the European Theater of World War II, Sundin, introduces Grace, a long time family foe of the Turner’s and the victim of bullying during her early years.  Grace is also the mother of Lenny, a very mischievous girl who Grace is raising by herself.  Grace meets Pete again through circumstances.  Pete and Grace’s history proves to be one of extreme drama, as they get to know each other again, Sundin weaves a great story of resentment, God’s grace and accountability as they learn about each other again.

    The last of the three, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by Tricia Goyer, follows Meredith Turner “Merry”.  Even though Meredith works as a combat nurse and is in the Netherlands, God plants Merry firmly in the face of her past.  Through hurt, broken dreams, and a broken heart, Meredith deals with the struggles of her heart’s desires, God’s plans and her own broken heart that she has closed off to anyone.

    The entire Turner family is woven throughout all three stories.  Their faith in God, helps them realize that they can always depend on God and his faithfulness.  They know God’s plans are real life truths Turners also believe in Gods Mercy and Grace.

    During the season of Christmas when people inherently believe in miracles, can the Turner Family go through each struggle and continue asking God’s guidance and wisdom.  Can they get through each family event, knowing that The Miracles of Christmas are their amazing truth?

    Each author weaves their stories around this tightly knit family.  The attention to detail for the facts of history during World War II and a timetable that stretched across all through stories. Also the evolving of each character makes Where Treetops Glisten a very heart inspiring story of what was going on in the United States, the world and our military and military families during World War II.  This novella also brings spiritual and emotional encouragement to the reader through each story

    /

    Go Check out all the things the authors have pinned during their research for  Where Treetops Glisten 

    http://www.triciagoyer.com/fiction-in-the-works-wwii-friends-cover-reveal/

    FREE RECIPE CARDS

    these are just some of the recipes found in the book. They are made available free for you to print

    recipe cards

    Click here:  Where Treetops Glisten_recipes

    FREE BOOKMARKS

    you must print on both sides of paper and then cut out each one or if the don’t quite line up, print on separate pages and laminate together  
    I printed on Card Stock and Laminated them.  These are the verses that are in Where Treetops Glisten

    Bookmarks Thumbnails

    Bookmarks

    AND FOR THE GIVEAWAY!!!   Click on the link below!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    download

     

     

    d6bc0b15b6027fc2555cbf30557eefd8

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Disclosure
    of Material Connection
    I received this book from the author Tricia Goyer
    in exchange for an honest Review
    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 :

    Christmas Series – Where Treetops Glisten Review and GIVEAWAY!!!!

    Where Treetops Glisten.  Three Stories of Courage and Christmas Romance During World War II

    WTG

     

    download

     

     

    Three amazing authors collaborate on this Novella.  Three stories, written by Cara Putman, White Christmas, Sara Sundin’s I’ll Be Home For Christmas and Tricia Goyer’s Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, all focus around the Turner Family and their relationships intertwined with community of Lafayette, IN and how they each reach out to God to get through each event and the surrounding circumstances of World War II and Christmas

    In Putman’s White Christmas, Abigail Turner, a college student, who has been deeply hurt during her early life by being bullied throughout her early life.  Abigail works at the Glatz Candy Factory and has a chance encounter with a very hard-working Jackson. Jackson is in serious trouble and Abigail knows her high-powered attorney father, can help.

    In I’ll Be Home for Christmas, Sara Sundin, brings Abigail’s brother, Pete Turner into the story.  Pete is a fighter pilot home on furlough from the European Theater of World War II, Sundin, introduces Grace, a long time family foe of the Turner’s and the victim of bullying during her early years.  Grace is also the mother of Lenny, a very mischievous girl that Grace is raising by herself.  Grace meets Pete again through circumstances.  Pete and Grace’s history proves to be one of extreme drama, as they get to know each other again, Sundin weaves a great story of resentment, God’s grace and accountability as they learn about each other again.

    The last of the three, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by Tricia Goyer, follows Meredith Turner “Merry”.  Even though Meredith works as a combat nurse and is in the Netherlands, God plants Merry firmly in the face of her past.  Through hurt, broken dreams, and a broken heart, Meredith deals with the struggles of her heart’s desires, God’s plans and her own broken heart that she has closed off to anyone.

    The entire Turner family is woven throughout all three stories.  Their faith in God, helps them realize that they can always depend on God and his faithfulness.  They know God’s plans are real life truths Turners also believe in Gods Mercy and Grace.

    During the season of Christmas when people inherently believe in miracles, can the Turner Family go through each struggle and continue asking God’s guidance and wisdom.  Can they get through each family event, knowing that The Miracles of Christmas are their amazing truth?

    Each author weaves their stories around this tightly knit family.  The attention to detail for the facts of history during World War II and a timetable that is stretched across all through stories. Also the evolving of each character makes Where Treetops Glisten a very heart inspiring story of what was going on in the United States, the world and our military and military families during World War II.  This novella also brings spiritual and emotional encouragement to the reader through each story

    /

    Go Check out all the things the authors have pinned during their research for  Where Treetops Glisten 

    http://www.triciagoyer.com/fiction-in-the-works-wwii-friends-cover-reveal/

    FREE RECIPE CARDS

    these are just some of the recipes found in the book. They have been made available free for you to print

    recipe cards

    Click here:  Where Treetops Glisten_recipes

    FREE BOOKMARKS

    you must print on both sides of paper and then cut out each one or if the don’t quite line up, print on separate pages and laminate together  
    I printed on Card Stock and Laminated them.  These are the verses that are in Where Treetops Glisten

    Bookmarks Thumbnails

    Bookmarks

    AND FOR THE GIVEAWAY!!!   Click on the link below!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

     

    download

     

     

    d6bc0b15b6027fc2555cbf30557eefd8

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Disclosure
    of Material Connection
    I received this book from the author Tricia Goyer
    in exchange for an honest Review
    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 :

    Christmas Series – A Christmas Gift For Rose #GoyerChristmas And an ANNOUNCEMENT!!

    A CHRISTMAS GIFT FOR ROSE BY TRICIA GOYER

    Author: Tricia Goyer
    Again welcome to my Christmas Series focused on #GoyerChristmas.   A Blog series about the Christmas books of Tricia Goyer.  My Review will be coming on Sunday as well as a Giveaway

    A Christmas Gift for Rose, Tricia Goyer
    {MORE ABOUT A CHRISTMAS GIFT FOR ROSE}
    Inspired by a true story, A Christmas Gift for Rose is a heartwarming novella of sacrifice and deep love.
    Born in the midst of the hardships of The Great Depression, Rose grew up in Berlin, Ohio, in the arms of a loving Amish family. But she is overwhelmed by self-doubt when she learns the truth of her birth. She was born Englisch and abandoned when her family moved West in search of work. Was she meant to be Amish or would she have been better off growing up with her own kind—Englischers? And was her intended’s gift of discovering her birth family given out of love or fear?
    Don’t miss award-winning author Tricia Goyer’s first Christmas novella.
    Purchase a copy here.

    Learn more at Tricia’s website.

    Tricia Goyer
    {MORE ABOUT TRICIA GOYER}
    USA Today best-selling author Tricia Goyer is the author of over 35 books, including the three-book Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors series and “Lead Your Family Like Jesus,” (co-written with Ken Blanchard). She has written over 500 articles for national publications and blogs for high traffic sites like TheBetterMom.com and MomLifeToday.com. She is the host of Living Inspired, a weekly radio show. Tricia and family live in Little Rock, Arkansas. They have six children. You can find out more about Tricia at http://www.TriciaGoyer.com.
    Find out more about Tricia at http://triciagoyer.com.

    Christmas Series – Where Treetops Glisten Music and an ANNOUNCEMENT!!!

     

    #GoyerChristmas

     

    This is a medley of music from Where The Treetops Glisten.

    Come back tomorrow for my review of this amazing book AND A GIVEAWAY!!!  The giveaway goes live at 9 am!  

    There is so much love wrapped in this book, I cannot wait to share all about this treasure by Tricia Goyer, Sara Sundin and Cara Putman!!!

     

    Where Treetops Glisten

    in the meantime, here is the press release about this gem of a book

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 18, 2014 PRESS RELEASE

    Curl up in front of the fire with the perfect Christmas read Trio of award-winning authors unite for holiday-themed World War II-era love stories
    Seattle: Three of the most beloved Christian authors of World War II-era fiction have come together to gift their readers with the new Christmas release, Where Treetops Glisten (WaterBrook Press/September 16, 2014/ISBN: 978-1601426482/$14.99), a collection of three Christmas novellas.

    Tricia Goyer, Cara Putman and Sarah Sundin invite readers to turn back the clock to days gone by as they listen to Bing Crosby sing of sleigh bells in the snow and get to know the Turner family. Each of the three siblings is forging their own paths in their own love story filled with the wonder of Christmas. Hailing from the heart of America in Lafayette, Indiana, these characters will never be the same as the reality of America’s involvement in World War II hits incredibly close to home.
    The collaboration was unique and enjoyable for the writing trio. “We started in the brainstorming phase, throwing out character and family ideas and making them mesh,” explains Sundin. “The collaboration was challenging since our stories are more tightly connected than in most novella collections, but it was a lot of fun.”
    In Putman’s White Christmas, college student Abigail Turner loses a beau to the war and is skittish about romance, until a young man with a serious problem needs her help. Pete Turner, a former fighter pilot in Sundin’s I’ll Be Home for Christmas, is trying to recapture the hope and peace his time at war has eroded. In Goyer’s Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Meredith Turner (or “Merry” to those who know her best) is using her skills as a combat nurse in the Netherlands. She’ll have to face the deepest kind of betrayal a world away from her family, but that could be precisely what God has in mind to redeem her broken heart.
    The unsettled World War II era may not at first glance seem like a backdrop for love to flourish.

     

    Will the Turner family be able to absorb the miracle of Christ’s birth and His plan for their futures even in such a tumultuous time? “There’s a freshness and sense of wonder to Christmas,” Putman says.

    The idea that God would send His Son to earth as a newborn is an incredibly humbling thought. Combine that with great music, tradition and the love of family, and it becomes a magical time where almost anything seems possible.”

    Readers will be able to feel the crunch of newly fallen snow under their feet as they get caught up in these stories of love and loss set against one of the most pivotal times in world history.
    All three authors are available for interviews to promote the release of Where Treetops Glisten. To schedule an interview or for more information, please contact Audra Jennings, audra@litfusegroup.com.

    Advance Praise
    “Goyer, Putman and Sundin bring us a collection that is a heartwarming mix of romance, inspiration, courage and history set during WWII over several Christmases. The authors capture this time with nostalgia and tenderness. Expert pacing, beautiful language and brilliant description are the highlights of this collection that will tug at the hearts of readers.”
    ~ RT Book Reviews
    “These are three wonderful Christmas stories filled with period details that1940s fans are sure to love and with characters whom readers will remember long after they close the cover. I laughed and cried with each new story. All three were wonderfully woven together to make a cohesive whole. Sarah Sundin, Cara Putman and Tricia Goyer are sure to make your Christmas a little brighter.”
    ~ Liz Tolsma, author of A Log Cabin Christmas Collection
    Where Treetops Glisten is a hometown World War II book that captures your heart with its charm. It made me wish I could experience Christmas in that era. Highly recommended!”
    ~ Colleen Coble, author of Seagrass Pier

    About the Authors

    TriciaTricia Goyer is the bestselling author of more than 45 books, including fictional tales delighting and entertaining readers and non-fiction titles offering encouragement and hope. She is a two-time Carol Award winner, as well as a Christy and ECPA Award Nominee. A popular blogger, Goyer contributes to a number of homeschooling and Christian parenting sites. She and her husband, John, live in Little Rock, AR, and are the parents of six.

     

     

    Cara Putman

    Cara Putman, the award-winning author of 19 books, including Shadowed by Grace, graduated high school at 16, graduated college at 20 and completed  her law degree at 27. She is a lecturer on business and employment law to graduate students at Purdue University and also practices law. Putman is currently pursuing her Master’s in Business Administration at Krannert. She lives with her husband and four children in Indiana.

     

     

    Sara SundinSarah Sundin is the author of six historical novels, including In Perfect Time (Revell, August 2014). Her novel On Distant Shores was a double finalist for the 2014 Golden Scroll Awards. Sarah lives in northern California with her husband and three children, works on-call as a hospital pharmacist, and teaches Sunday school and women’s Bible studies.
    Learn more about the authors

     

    Tricia Goyer
     
     
    Cara Putman
     
     
    Sarah Sundin
    www.triciagoyer.com
     
    www.caraputman.com
     
    http://www.sarahsundin.com
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    Messy Beautiful Love – Review

    Messy Beautiful Love: Hope and Redemption for Real-Life Marriages

    By Darlene Schacht

    Published by Thomas Nelson

    download

    Darlene Schacht, who writes at Time Warped Wife, has written an amazing book of love, regaining trust, power of praying for your marriage and just simply believing in you, your spouse, God and your marriage, definitely not in that order.

    Messy Beautiful Love, is about the author’s own story and steps that they took to rebuild their marriage through God’s eternal mercy and grace.  It’s about cleaning up YOUR messes, GOD’s way.

    I cannot say enough about this book as a wife, a daughter of Christ and a person that has divorced and has troubles in their marriage (but really who doesn’t)

    With the book, there is a 31 day prayer challenge that goes along with it that can be found here 

    Messy Beautiful Love Trailer

    this book has given me hope, in my personal walk.  However, for the public, it offers, life suggestions, real life challenges, to real life issues.  Not just what that “Proverbs 31 wife and Corinthians 13 Love says”  Love is Messy, Love Hurts.   Love can also be one of the most beautiful things in this world that a man and woman share.

    I strongly recommend this book to anyone that is struggling in a current relationship, a relationship that needs closure, or a relationship that needs to be reevaluated.  Married or not.  The information in this amazing little book is so Godly and truth filled that I have read it 3 times, already and am fixing to start it again.

    Each chapter has scripture, prayers, and every chapter has a challenge at the end.  Schacht talks about surrendering your relationship to God and in doing so, you find complete joy in experiencing Love as He intended.

    This book is available in print, Kindle, Audio and many other ways.  

    d6bc0b15b6027fc2555cbf30557eefd8

     

     

    Disclosure of Material Connection:

    I received this book free from http://www.booklookbloggers.com/

    in exchange for an honest Review

    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 :

    Sara Sundin – Cheer for the Children – Tips to Give a Military Kid a Merry Christmas

    WTG-BOGO

     

    Buy a copy of Where Treetops Glisten by Tricia Goyer, Cara Putman, and Sarah Sundin from your favorite retailer, and pick another WaterBrook Multnomah book FREE from the approved list of available titles: Where Treetops Glisten, The Next Christians by Gabe Lyons, Radical by David Platt, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson, and Thief of Glory by Sigmund Brouwer. We will match one for one, up to five books per order and address, while supplies last. You must purchase your copy of Where Treetops Glisten from a retailer between November 11, 2014 and November 26, 2014 (11:59pm PT) and FILL OUT THE FORM by November 26, 2014 (11:59pm PT) in order to receive your free book(s). The free book(s) will be shipped separately from your purchased order and will arrive by December 19, 2014. Open to U.S. residents only with a valid U.S. street address. You must be 18 years or older to participate.

    go check it out here to finish reading all about it and enter your own options to purchase your books on Sara Sundin’s blog

    or here on Tricia Goyer’s blog

     

    Christmas Series – Tricia Goyer – Author Highlight

    I am going to be doing a series over the month of December from Tricia Goyer.  I will be having giveaways, printable resources like recipe cards, bookmarks etc, book reviews and lots of stuff about her Christmas books and even some of her non Christmas books.  Get ready to spend the month getting to know Tricia, and enjoying her books! I know I sure do! I have thoroughly enjoyed reading her books, getting to know her as a person, not just as an author and reading some of her latest books.  I pray that you will be just as excited as I am to read and enjoy this truly gifted author!
    Tricia writes about Amish Life, WW!! and Parenting as well as other subjects.  She wrote the novelization for Mom’s Night Out, Writes for Guideposts and has many other irons in the fire. Here is the Media Release for Where the Treetops Glisten.  Tricia’s newest Christmas Book. This is one of the books I will be giving away starting The day after Thanksgiving!  Be ready!!!
     
     

    Meet Tricia

    meet-tricia

    Tricia the Author
    Tricia Goyer has written more than thirty-five books, including both novels that delight and entertain readers and non- fiction titles that offer encouragement and hope. She has also published more than 500 articles in national publications such as Guideposts, Thriving Family, Proverbs 31, and HomeLife Magazine.
    Goyer’s fiction and non-fiction books have won awards from the American Christian Fiction Writers and Mt. Hermon Writers’ Conference. She is also a two-time Carol Award winner, as well as a Christy and ECPA Award Nominee.
    Tricia has authored several books on family and parenting, as well as co-written with Max Lucado and Robin Jones Gunn. She collaborated with Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges for Lead Your Family Like Jesus, published by Focus on the Family/Tyndale.
    Tricia’s contemporary and historical novels feature strong women overcoming great challenges. She recreates historic wartime eras with precise detail through perseverant and comprehensive research. Tricia speaks to groups interested in these eras, with the intention of preserving and honoring the memory of the men and women who served.
    She is a beloved author of Amish fiction, as well, writing the Big Sky and Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors Series. Tricia is currently working on The One Year Book of Amish Peace: Hearing God’s Voice in the Simple Things and a true Amish story co-written with Ora Jay and Irene Eash (contracted to release in 2013 and 2014 respectively).
    Tricia is also the visionary force behind the new website, Not Quite Amish. Inspired by the writing process of her Amish releases, she wanted to create a community where Amish and simple living experts can become contributors. Launched in the fall of 2012, the Not Quite Amish lifestyle blog features daily posts about recipes, repurposing, simple style, beautifying your home, sewing Amish proverbs, and more. In addition to having more than fifteen regular contributors, readers are also encouraged to submit ideas, questions, and posts for topics they’d like to see written about.
    In addition to Not Quite Amish, Tricia also posts regularly at her personal blog and is a contributor to other family and homeschooling blogs, such as The Home Educating Family, The Better Mom, Allume and MomLife Today. In 2010, she was selected as one of the Top 20 Moms to Follow on Twitter by SheKnows.com.Throughout the past ten years, Tricia has been interviewed by numerous national TV and radio programs and magazines.

    More about Tricia’s Ministry
    In addition to writing and family time, Tricia enjoys sharing Jesus’ love through volunteering and ministering to others. Her vision is to be a voice of hope and possibility for teenage girls, pregnant teen girls, mothers, and wives. Her intention is to serve ordinary women by encouraging them to do extraordinary things with God’s help.
    Motivated by her own experience of being a teen mom and the women who were supported her, Tricia has a heart for mentoring teen moms and their families. Before moving to Arkansas, Tricia co-founded Hope Pregnancy Ministries in Northwestern Montana. She currently leads a Teen MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) Group in inner-city Little Rock.
    Tricia has been a workshop presenter at the MOPS International Convention, Hearts at Home, and Allume conferences. She speaks to groups around the country about families, writing, research, and the world of publishing.

    Tricia also cherishes being able to minister in the Czech Republic on regular missions trips. The Goyer family also leads children’s church every week.
    As a part of her vision to reach real women about real life and real hope, Tricia hosts a weekly internet radio show, Living Inspired, where she interviews Christian authors and artists.

    Tricia at Home
    Her love of writing and the awards and accolades she has received cannot compare with her greatest joy: her family.
    Tricia and the love of her life, husband John, are the parents of six and grandparents of two. There is always fun and adventure at Goyer home, and Tricia’s grandma is right in the middle of it, having lived with Tricia and John for the past several years. Friends and fans can keep up with Tricia’s regular updates via her Facebook fan page.
    Tricia homeschooled their oldest three children through high school and will be starting the school process all over again with the youngest three! The Goyers make their home in Arkansas.

    Short Bio
    Tricia Goyer is a busy mom of six, grandmother of two, and wife to John. Somewhere around the hustle and bustle of family life, she manages to find the time to write fictional tales delighting and entertaining readers and non-fiction titles offering encouragement and hope. A bestselling author, Tricia has published thirty-three books to date and has written more than 500 articles. She is a two time Carol Award winner, as well as a Christy and ECPA Award Nominee. In 2010, she was selected as one of the Top 20 Moms to Follow on Twitter by SheKnows.com. Tricia is also on the blogging team at MomLifeToday.com, TheBetterMom.com  and other homeschooling and Christian sites.In addition to her roles as mom, wife and author, Tricia volunteers around her community and mentors teen moms. She is the founder of Hope Pregnancy Ministries in Northwestern Montana, and she currently leads a Teen MOPS Group in Little Rock, AR. Tricia, along with a group of friends, recently launched www.NotQuiteAmishLiving.com, sharing ideas about simplifying life. She also hosts the weekly radio podcast, Living Inspired. Learn more about Tricia at http://www.triciagoyer.com.

    An interview with Tricia Goyer, Cara Putman and Sarah Sundin Authors of Where Treetops Glisten

    Authors
    Three of the most beloved Christian authors of World War II-era fiction have come together to gift their readers with the new Christmas release, Where Treetops Glisten (WaterBrook Press/September 16, 2014/ISBN: 978-1601426482/$14.99).
    Tricia Goyer, Cara Putman and Sarah Sundin invite readers to turn back the clock to days gone by as they listen to Bing Crosby sing of sleigh bells in the snow and get to know the Turner family. Each of the three siblings is forging his or her own path in his or her own love story filled with the wonder of Christmas. Hailing from the heart of America in Lafayette, Indiana, these characters will never be the same as the reality of America’s involvement in World War II hits incredibly close to home.

    Q: How did the three of you decide to collaborate on a collection of novellas together? 

    Cara: I’d written in a couple of novella collections and loved the collaborative aspects. Writing is often solitary, but when you’re working on a collection with other writers, you have fun opportunities to work together. I asked Sarah and Tricia if they’d like to work together because I love their World War II stories, and I love their hearts. I also thought this was a sneaky way to get to know them better. It’s so fun now to have a book we’ve written together!

    Tricia: The coolest thing about Cara approaching me is that I highly respect both Cara and Sarah for their writing abilities and their love of World War II. There aren’t many people I know who enjoy both of these passions, just as I do, and it was easy to say YES!

    Sarah: When Cara invited me to participate, I was thrilled. We all liked the idea of using one family’s experience over the course of the war to tie the stories together.

    Q: What themes run through each of the stories in Where Treetops Glisten to tie the book together? 

    Sarah: In all three of the stories, someone is overcoming grief or loss, and someone is dealing with regrets of the past. Strong themes of healing and reconciliation and hope run through each story. Giving is also a crucial element, which is appropriate for Christmas stories!

    Tricia: I also love the use of Christmas songs from that era. The title, Where Treetops Glisten, may be very familiar to readers. Also each novella is named after a popular Christmas tune from those years!

    Q: How did the three of you work together to make sure there was continuity between the three novellas?

    Sarah: We started in the brainstorming phase, throwing out character and family ideas and making them mesh. Since I’m the nerdy chart-maker of the trio, I made a timeline and a character chart we could use for reference to keep details straight. Also, we bounced ideas off each other throughout the writing process: “Who would Abigail have in her wedding party?” “Does this sound like something Pete would do?” “What would Merry be feeling at this time?” We shared our rough drafts to make sure the details and personalities rang true. The collaboration was challenging since our stories are more tightly connected than in most novella collections, but it was a lot of fun.

    Cara: Sarah is the spreadsheet queen. Seriously! After our conference call, Sarah had character and timeline spreadsheets ready for us. We stayed in contact and used those spreadsheets to keep the details straight.

    Tricia: There were also many emails that flew back and forth with questions like, “What year was Pete born again?” and “What was so-and-so doing in 1943?” It was fun figuring out this family and these characters together. And then once we figured out the information, Sarah put it in her spreadsheet!

    Q:Each one of the three siblings in the books has to chart his or her own path. How is the love of their family a support system for them, even as they make their own life decisions?

    Sarah: Pete’s always seen himself as the black sheep of the Turner family — but as a much-loved black sheep. His family was there for him during his wild youth, and they’re there for him when he returns from his combat tour drained of hope and joy. They offer wisdom and humor and encouragement.

    Cara: Abigail has keenly felt the shortness and unpredictability of life. Because of it, she’s afraid to chase her dreams or really dare to dream. Her family provides the support and stability to try even when life is something she can’t safely manage.

    Tricia: Meredith (Merry) is the wanderer. She is the one who moved to Florida to attend nursing school as soon as she graduated from high school. She’s the baby of the family, and she’s always tried to prove herself. Yet as the years go by, and as Merry finds herself serving as a nurse in Netherlands, she realizes the place she wants to be the most is home — back with the family she loves.

    Q: The three novellas are all titled after a Christmas song that became popular during World War II. Can you share a little of the history behind the songs and how they became a part of the book?

    Sarah: Since so many great Christmas songs debuted during World War II (“White Christmas” in 1942, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” in 1943, and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” in 1944), I’ve often thought those songs would be a fun way to connect a novella collection, so I suggested it to Cara and Tricia, and they liked it too.

    Cara: I loved the idea of using the Christmas carols to connect the stories. So many of those songs are a big part of Christmas even today! But we still had to figure out the rest. Christmas carols alone wouldn’t be enough for three stories to come to life. Once we were all on board, we had a conference call to figure out the rest.

    Tricia: I used my song title, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” as an inspiration for my character too. I have a friend named Merry who was born on Christmas . . . so I used that for my novella! Meredith is nicknamed Merry, and her name plays into the story; that song makes its way into the novella too!

    Q: World War II was a tumultuous, uncertain time. Why pick that era as the backdrop for a Christmas story?

    Tricia: I love World War II, and I always loved chatting with Sarah and Cara about World War II. Our purpose is to remind readers of the importance of family, of home and of togetherness. Even in a time of war we can remain strong because of the love of God and the love of those we serve.

    Sarah: Because World War II was so tumultuous, I think Christmas became more important. In the Christmas songs of the era, you hear a wistful nostalgia for white Christmases, for home, for mistletoe kisses, for merriness, for a time when your troubles would be out of sight. The holiday reminded people of home and hearth — exactly what they were fighting for.

    Q: What sparked your interest in this particular historical time period?

    Cara: I love the way this particular generation came together in a big way to fight a world-size problem. Everybody made sacrifices — sacrifices of even the most basic ‘needs’ like coffee and sugar. And everyone did it. If you talk to members of this generation today, they still insist they didn’t do anything special — yet I think it was heroic.

    Tricia: I first became interested in World War II while traveling in Europe with two friends. We went to Mauthausen concentration camp, and I was overwhelmed with the stories. I ended up interviewing more than 100 World War II veterans, and then I started writing World War II novels. It’s been a passion of mine ever since I
    stepped in that concentration camp. I’ve written other genres, but deep in my heart I’m thankful to be back writing about World War II!

    Q: What kind of research did you do before writing your story?

    Cara: Because I live in Lafayette, I didn’t have to travel anywhere for research. I already had a friend’s house in mind I thought was the perfect home for this family. Still I had to research details like where the heroine worked, how McCord’s/Glatz makes candy canes, etcSarah: For me, this was a refreshing change. I usually have to do great gobs of rather technical research, but not for this story. I already had a good base of Home Front research, so I just had to research Lafayette — and that was fascinating.

    Tricia: Since my novella takes place in Belgium I studied a lot about the field hospitals at the time and the nurses. I also have a friend who lives in Netherlands who shared her uncle’s story with me. He died as part of the resistance. I’m thankful for the foundation I had of my other World War II novels. I enjoyed building upon that.

    Q: Did any of you have a special tie to the book’s setting, Lafayette, Indiana?

    Cara: Well, I actually live in Lafayette. One of my very good friends owns a historic home near downtown Lafayette, and I’ve known for years it would be the perfect home for a heroine. So when we set the book in Lafayette, I asked Ann if we could use her home. Since I wasn’t sure if anyone else would get to come to town to visit, I sketched out the floor plan and uploaded it to Pinterest so Sarah and Tricia could refer to it — reinforcing why I went to law school and not art school!

    Sarah: Oh, my favorite part! I had the privilege of spending a couple of days in Lafayette, staying with the delightful Putman family. Cara — and her four children! — took me all around town. One of Cara’s friends graciously loaned us her home to serve as the Turner home, and she let us traipse through, sketching floor plans and taking pictures. We visited the Alcoa plant, the bridge over the Wabash and the charming downtown area. Driving around the area where I knew Grace would live, we saw the cutest Victorian — for sale! Since I figured they wanted people to look inside, I walked all around, peeked in the windows and took dozens of photos. I also spent a few hours at the local library going through 1943 phone books and newspapers — a treasure trove. And of course, we had to sample the wares at McCord’s!

    Tricia: I was honored to travel to Lafayette to speak at a banquet, and Cara was a wonderful hostess while I was in town. We toured downtown and visited McCord Candies (and grabbed a soda there!), and we also visited some antique shops, which really gave me a feel for the area. Cara drove me around to see the home of the characters in the book. It was a delight to see the town come to life!

    Q: Each of the characters in this book has to overcome not only personal obstacles, but also cultural conditions he or she has no control over. What lessons can we learn for our own times from their stories?

    Tricia: The issue of “cultures” comes up strongly in my novel. Before the war, Meredith had fallen in love with a man from Germany. After Pearl Harbor, he abandoned her and returned to Germany, breaking her heart. Old and new feelings crash within her as their unit prepares to enter Germany. Meredith also cares for German soldiers who are brought into their field unit.
    The lessons I hope the reader walks away with is that our nationality is only a part of who we are. Our family situations, and our faith, also make us who we are.

    Q: Even just looking at the cover makes the reader want to curl up in front of a fireplace with a cup of hot cocoa. What did you do to get in the Christmas spirit as you penned your story?

    Cara: I visited McCord’s and watched the staff make candy canes. I also listened to a lot of Christmas carols.

    Sarah: That was challenging since I wrote the novella in the summer. In California. But I had brainstormed and outlined the complete story at Christmastime the year before when I was in the Christmas mood. While writing the rough draft, I just had to think cold. And I did hum “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” while I wrote.

    Tricia: I listened to wonderful Christmas music on Spotify, and I turned up the air conditioning!

    Q: One thread that ties all of the stories together is the siblings’ grandmother. What do they learn from her lessons of wisdom and faith that help develop their own choices?

    Cara: Grandma was such fun to write! She was feisty but with a deep love for her family. She provides the perspective of time and experience to each of the siblings — yet in a different way to reflect their unique journeys.

    Tricia: I loved including a “grandma” in the story since my Grandma lives with me. I love the unconditional love and snippets of wisdom that come from the older generation.

    Q: What is it about the Christmas season that engenders such a strong feeling of warmth and love?
    Cara: There’s a freshness and sense of wonder to Christmas. The idea that God would send His son to earth as a newborn is an incredibly humbling thought. There’s also the cleanness of fresh-fallen snow that always makes me think of what Christ did on Calvary. Combine that with great music, tradition and the love of family, and it becomes a magical time where almost anything seems possible.

    Learn more about the authors!

     

    Tricia Goyer
     
     
    Cara Putman
     
     
    Sarah Sundin
    www.triciagoyer.com
     
    www.caraputman.com
     
    http://www.sarahsundin.com
    Facebook
     
     
     
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    Tricia has released 7 books as well as numerous blog posts, articles and radio shows.

    2014 Releases

    ** Balanced: Finding Center as a Work-at-Home Mom, How can a work-at-home mom raise kids, juggle a career and take care of family responsibilities with only 24-hour days? Working at home while raising kids and juggling a career and family responsibilities is no easy feat. Author and homeschooling mom Tricia Goyer shares her tips for finding balance among all your many hats as a mom. (January 2014) FIND OUT MORE
    ** An Amish Garden, co-written with Beth Wiseman, Vannetta Chapman and Kathleen Fuller (Thomas Nelson, March 2014) FIND OUT MORE
    ** The Kissing Bridge, Book Three in the Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors series (Zondervan, April 2014) FIND OUT MORE
    ** Moms’ Night Out, the novelization of the movie (B&H, April 2014) FIND OUT MORE
    ** Plain Faith: A True Story of Tragedy, Loss, and Leaving the Amish, the true story of Ora-Jay and Irene Eash, Amish farmers from northwest Montana whose lives changed in an instant when a semi-truck struck the family buggy, killing their two young daughters. (Zondervan, May 2014) FIND OUT MORE
    ** An Amish Second Christmas, (Zondervan, September 2014)
    ** When Treetops Glisten, a WWII novella, (Thomas Nelson, October 2014)

    Be sure to check out Tricia’s Historical, Amish, Contemporary and Non-Fiction books pages,
    or download a bibliography of all her books.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    And The Winner IS!

    Jennifer D!  You have 24 hours from 9:21 PM CST to email me with your address!!

    I am so excited for you and have prayed over you and your family when you watch this movie!

    Blessings

    James 1

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    Winner

    Five Minute Friday – Still

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    every week there are a group of people who just….write… 5 minutes, 1 topic, lots of places. and link it up!

    If you would like to join, or to get more details, read all about it here!

    This weeks prompt is still…

    I haven’t written for #FMFriday in a while.  However, for some reason, today I felt the need.

    I know God has called me to be still in my life and there are WIDE OPEN reasons for me knowing this.

    1) being without a car

    2) my health is not doing well

    3) the focus on trying to pay off bills

    4) and just the plain and simple fact that HE has placed me, right where he wants me.  Sitting at home, studying HIS word even more. My husband has a new job and he is home everyday.  After almost 30 years of driving a truck over-the-road.  We are in reality, having to learn to live with each other.

    God has firmly planted me in our home and there are really no questions asked about it.  I hate it, and I am miserable.  Honestly, and God is forcing me to be still (I am really complaining here) While God is working right straight in my face with this, I have fought tooth and nail to get past it and find a way to “not be at home”  I hate staying home, especially being alone.  I am just not good when I am that way, because I tend to shrink inside myself and if I don’t get out and about, I will hibernate and never leave…

    That hasn’t worked very well for me.  Argue with God and see what you get LOL

    So in my anger, God pushed even further.  He did whatever it took to make me realize that this is right where I need to be for this season in my life.  I don’t know why, I may never know why, but I do know for a fact this is a God thing.

    While I have fought it, God has put things right in my lap.  I was too blind to see.

    So here are somethings that I have prayed about

    a second car, better health, a way out, finances, and my marriage.  The enemy is pushing me also.  Isn’t that funny how they can both push you at one time and it sometimes is quite obvious, but then sometimes, you really have to seek the face of Jesus Christ to know that THIS IS HIM.

    He want me to be a better person, to become fully His.  No compromises, no second guesses, no arguing.

    To do that, I have to be still.

    Jer 29:11, says that I know the plans for you… I am so thankful that HE has my plans in HIS hands, because I know I would mess them up like I have been.

    I was so restless tonight and I finally just got up and read my Bible and God called me to James 1.  I LOVE the book of James.  and he tells me that when I have trials and tests, I need to be thankful for them.

    Be blessed, and no doubting.  Isn’t that an awesome thing for Him to tell us… NO DOUBTING!

    Fully, 100%, trust Him, no matter where He leads us and in that, He will see us through to a better way.

    I have done the 30 days of thanks with a group of women, and I am so blessed that God has called me to write, because I know that no matter what, he is in control.. HE IS IN CONTROL!  What a blessing that is, because without Him where would we find ourselves?

    I know for me, being still is right where He wants me for now and then He can anchor my soul!

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    Family Christian – Family Values and Valentine’s Day

    hey everyone, Mercy Rule is on sale at Family Christian Stores.   You can check this out herehttp://www.familychristian.com/promotions/familyvalues/video.html

    http://www.familychristian.com/catalog/product/view/id/266323/

    check it out.  Family Christian is making their DVDs available for Valentine’s Day so that everyone can have a chance to purchase them so reasonably for that perfect Valentine’s Day Gift

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    this movie is one of those movies that you can just sit down, and watch for a quick pick me up, if you look at the content, instead of being a

    critic of the way the movie was made etc.

    CAMFAM made a full disclosure at the beginning of the movie stating

     

    “Our family is always on the lookout for an exciting new movie to watch together on ‘movie night.’ We look for something fun and inspiring, something that builds our faith in God and our strength as a family. But instead of waiting for a great new movie, we made one! Mercy Rule is one the most exciting movies we have ever been a part of and we are so excited to share it with you.” – Kirk and Chelsea Cameron

     

    The movie tells the

    1. Moral and ethical struggles of a family and business.  

    2. A young boy’s moral and ethical struggle of his place on his baseball team.

    3.   A marriage and the moral and ethical struggle that is found daily in a marriage where partners struggle every single day to fight off Satan’s toehold.

    That being said, I LOVED the character of Pops even though he was not visible, he was a very important character of the movie. I have taken some of the things he said and

    actually journaled them! Pretty awesome insight.

    “Winning is not as important as fighting on the right side.” – Pops

    “You got a problem with someone? Doesn’t matter who they are, you man up and go eye to eye.” Pops

    My favorite quote from the movie, while not from Pops, is this

    “You should always want the best guy out there, even if it isn’t you.” – Coach

    isn’t that so true.  To do anything well, you MUST be a team player. 

    You can purchase the DVD here, or try to win one below!!  http://www.familychristian.com/catalog/product/view/id/266323/

    I was very pleased with the aspect of this movie based on Kirk’s disclaimer right at the beginning, that this was something his family did, because they couldn’t find

    something to watch as a family.

    While I agree, that it is a basically clean movie, the references to smoking and alcohol would be something I would have to explain to the littles of our crew. The older crew

    would get it, and understand that talking about it and doing it are two totally different things,

    This movie was not a movie to bring people to Jesus, it was a movie made for a clean activity for a family and this fits that guideline except for the two things I mentioned.

    The story line presents a family in need of re-evaluating their own morals and ethics after Satan has attacked them in different ways. Their ways of handling things are so structured, almost exactly alike, it would have been neat to seen two different points of view, but that may have been confusing in a 90 minute movie also.

    The DVD also includes a small question and answer booklet and that was great seeing the “behind the thoughts of the making of the movie”

    So for me and my family, based on the fact that it was made for a “clean entertainment” I was pleased with this movie and will show it to the older crew of my bunch. Thank

    you again for your faithfulness to family

     

    Stay in touch with all Family Christian has to offer by visiting their Facebook page

    https://facebook.com/FamilyChristian 

    https://twitter.com/FamilyChristian 

    http://www.pinterest.com/familychristian/ 

    http://family-christian.tumblr.com 

    http://instagram.com/familychristian

     

     

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    Disclosure
    of Material Connection:
    I received this book free from
    Family Christian
    in exchange for an honest review
    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 :

    It’s Christmas In November!!! and A Twitter Party

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    WHAT: a Twitter party celebrating Christmas with Tricia Goyer

    W\HEN: Tuesday, November 11th at 7pm CST

    WHERE: On Twitter.com. Use TweetChat.com to easily keep up with the party. Make sure you’re following @MeghanTucker &

    @TriciaGoyer and use the hashtag #GoyerChristmas to join in.

    **What’s a Twitter Party? Find out more HERE**

     

    We’re partying with Tricia Goyer tomorrow 11/11/2014 at 7 PM CST and I want to personally invite you to join us as we begin

    celebrating Christmas. Who

    is Tricia Goyer?

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    Deceived Book Review – Irene Hannon – Updated

    download

     

    Okay, I went back and picked the book up and kept going.  I was greatly surprised at my first reaction.,  Irene Hannon puts the words down on paper to give you such a thrill in the world of stolen IDs, murder and so many other crimes.

    While Kate knew her son as alive, she was still trying to maneuver a new “normal” for herself.  

    That new normal became her way of life for a few years until one small act of kindness rocker world, in a way she never though existed.

    As Kate struggles to come to terms with new information about her family, she also finds friends, new love and a faith that never waivers.

    What a great read from Irene Hannon.  This book is part of a series, and I was given book three to review, and I will be picking up the other books to read, so I can catch up on the series.


    my original post and review:

    Not impressed with this book at all. I am not sure if it was from the fact that I hadn’t read the first two, or just couldn’t follow it. There was a LOT of jumping around to me from character to character, and for me. this was a distraction from the real story line.
    I LOVED the intro story-line and how it was gripping and so suspenseful, but then, you get into inter workings of relationships and there” is no real “thrill” of the story.
    I am on chapter 10 and am putting the book down for now. I just can’t follow it enough to make sense of it. I may try to pick it up again as soon as I can, but for now, this book is going back on the shelf.
    I am so sad, because I was looking so forward to this book. Maybe reading the first two books in the series would help.
    t is probably me, because again, I have so many memory issues and the jumping around for me was very distracting, however, again, I loved the thrill of the main story-line at the beginning

    I received a copy of this book from Baker Publishing for an honest review.

     

     

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    Disclosure
    of Material Connection:
    I received this book free from the author through
    Body and Soul Publishing
    as her personal gift.
    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 :

    Panic Attacks – What I Wish People Knew – reblogging from a friend

    The man that wrote this, suffers from panic attacks.  He gets it.  He understands.  

    I thought this was one of the BEST things ever, written about “What I Wish People Knew”

    Here we go.  Thank you Jason for being so open and honest along your journey.

    I know you get it!!!  

    That makes it so much easier to be able to share, knowing that someone out there, totally

    understands it.

    (re-blogged with permission)

    Here is his post from

    MEtopia

    What I Wish People Understood

    I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but I never dreamed it would be this hard. I’m not sure it’s supposed to be. In fact, I’m not sure of anything anymore. People keep saying, “It will get better.” But, it isn’t and that makes me think I’m doing something very wrong. I’m not the teacher I thought I’d be. Not even close. I’m becoming the teacher I swore I wouldn’t be. No, it’s not getting better at all and for someone like me, that spells disaster.

    There are things I wish I could make people who don’t suffer with chronic anxiety and depression about those of us who do. I wish there was something I could say or do to make them realize that we react differently to most things than those fortunate enough not to suffer. People like me, who fight this awful monster, feel things differently. We see and hear things differently. We understand and process things differently than virtually anyone else. A situation which a non-sufferer might be nothing more than an inconvenience or an annoyance might literally be a life-altering turn of events. Minor setbacks for most are major pitfalls for us.sad apple

    So, if all of that is true, then what do you need to know? What do you need to do or say? How can you help? The short answer is, you can’t and please stop trying. When people like me hear people like you say things like, “It will get better,” that only makes us feel worse. You see, when things are supposed to get better and don’t (and they often don’t), it makes us feel like we’re doing something wrong. Remember what I wrote before? I know you mean well and that you’re trying to help, but please understand that you’re not.

    The other thing you need to know and understand is that, to me, my reaction is perfectly logical and normal. I understand that in your mind I should be able to simply brush off difficulties and let things pass. In your mind, when people say and do things that hurt me, I should be able to simply let those things slide “like water off a duck’s back.” But, it doesn’t work that way for me. I wasn’t born with that switch in my head that allows me to turn feelings, thoughts, and emotions on and off like a lamp. My brain doesn’t work that way. I take everything — EVERYTHING — personally because, to me, everything IS personal. It’s the way I think. It’s the way my heart works. Should I change that? Maybe, but as yet, I haven’t figured out how.

    It’s not getting better. It’s just not and I don’t see it getting better anytime soon. Please stop telling me it’s going to get better. I know you mean well, but you’re not helping. Please stop telling me to “be positive” or “look on the bright side” or “be grateful that [I] have a job.” Of course I’m grateful to have a job. I never said I wasn’t. But, I’m stressed beyond belief. I’m working myself sick and I don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel. All you’re doing when you say those things to me is making me feel like I’m doing something wrong.

    We’re different. We respond to things differently. Please accept that and save your judgment.

    Book Review – The Gratitude Journal – A 21 Day Challenge

     

    download

    The Gratitude Journal 21 Day Challenge

    The Gratitude Journal: A 21 Day Challenge to More Gratitude, Deeper Relationships, and Greater Joy (A Life of Gratitude) [Kindle Edition]

    I love the way Shelley has put this little book together this wonderful little book on gratitude

    Hitz gives you so many resources for keeping your own journal and they are amazing.

    Starting on day one, you are give a devotional/story that goes with each days thought of gratitude, but also an application to apply it to your daily life.

     

    There are two ways to apply this challenge.

    1) is to follow Hitz’s daily gratitude and journal for every entry under each day that Hitz wrote about each day and apply the application to your life.

    2) you can also start your own journal using the resources applied or use your own resources, write about your own blessings and gratitude,, and use those as your devotional and application within your life.

    While this book pops a very powerful punch in many examples of gratitude. It also give you so many ways to make it your own.
    “Having a heart for thankfulness and gratitude are the opposite of self-pity and a complaining spirit” – Hitz writes

    Instead of being thankful overall for all the big things. Like God thank you for all these blessings, get power in being thankful even when you don’t feel like being grateful

    One of the things that really caught my attention are these comments about  “optimism/pessimism”

    1) see the cup half empty – pessimism

    2) see the cup half full – optimism

    3) see the cup brimming over – gratitude and believing that God will meet your needs

    For a very quick,  easy way to handle a 21 day challenge, this book brings a lot of information, resources and ways of finding your cup brimming over

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    Disclosure 
    of Material Connection: 
    I received this book free from the author through 
    Body and Soul Publishing 
    as her personal gift. 
    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  :

    The Prayer Box – Book Review

    5.0 out of 5 stars The Prayer Box, September 25, 2014

     
     
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    The Prayer Box

    Lisa Wingate is a phenomenal artist with a “pen” in hand so to say. The Prayer Box is just a very good book

    It leads you on the path from a mom of two, a teenager and a preteen, running from a very difficult, past with a very powerful, abusive person.

    As she is hiding out, she just wants to lay low, not be noticed, not be seen, but eventually she gets right into the thick of things with a character that you would never expect and her relationship with that character, becomes enthralled in protection and love… The Character is a house.

    She falls in love first with the owner, who is also her landlord, then with the home itself and whatever she can do to protect it after the owner passes away

    The book, set on the outer banks of North Carolina, gives you intrigue about failed relationships, new relationship with people who are trusting and loving and caring, especially when you have never had those kinds of relationships before. It teaches Tandy Jo, how to trust, love and heal.

    The Prayer Box also goes through the history and healing of her failed relationships with her children.
    Also new relationships that are surprising even to Tandy Jo.
    While family is a very important aspect of this book, it’s not really about the nuclear family, it’s about failed relationships (again) and then standing up for yourself, and seeing yourself through the readings of a journal that spans an entire lifetime.

    Being part of a life that is gone, but then reading through the journal, helps Tandy heal, love, accept and eventually stand up for what is right and good, in her community and in her personal life.  Something that she hasn’t ever done before because of who she was with and her pattern of destructive ways.

     

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvuDuh8PdDs

    This book is about healing, healing for a single person, a family,  a town and love for self and others, but mostly for trust in those same things.  

    I strongly recommend it and based on my first and only reading of Lisa Wingate’s writings, I will be seeking a LOT more!!!

     

     

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    http://www.pinterest.com/lisawingatebook/the-prayer-box-a-novel/

     

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    Max Lucado – Before Amen

    Before Amen: The Power of a Simple PrayerBefore Amen: The Power of a Simple Prayer by Max Lucado

    My rating: 5 of 5 stars

    http://www.amazon.com/Before-Amen-Power-Simple-Prayer/dp/0849948487
    I am thoroughly enjoying this book by Max Lucado (I think I have enjoyed every one of his books)
    I received an advance copy for the promise of my review.

    Lucado describes himself as a prayer wimp…(do you doze off when you pray, think about what bills you are going to pay, that status on Facebook, the neighbors dog digging in your yard etc.)
    anything that would distract you from being able to stay focused on God and the conversation you are having

    You speak, He listens, He speaks, you listen. This is prayer in its purest form.
    God changes His people through such moments.

    What a way to break you down to make you understand what prayer is about.
    You speak, He listens, He speaks, You listen.

    I cannot wait to get further into the book to finish it to be able to finish my review!

    I am enjoying this book so far and it is one of Lucado’s better books!

    As always, I was completely refreshed by Lucado’s Book, Before Amen.  This little book, packs a powerful punch for you and in so few words, lets you know, that so many people have problems praying at times and even Jesus had to go out on His own to pray.  So remember as you say your prayers, that you aren’t alone in your prayer wimpiness, and all you have to do is believe in God that HE WILL answer your prayers.  Have faith, genuine faith, that you believe  exactly what you are saying.

    One of the many statements that just draws you into this book is “Jesus Never Refused An Intercessory Request.  Ever!!”

    How awesome is that?  Seriously, I mean, just HOW AWESOME!!!!

     

    View all my reviews

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    Disclosure 
    of Material Connection: 
    I received this book free from the author through 
    Body and Soul Publishing 
    as her personal gift. 
    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  :

    Giveaway – The Vessel Project

    http://vesselproject.com/enter-to-win-a-7-kindle-fire-hd-loaded-with-20-free-kindle-books/

    Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas (LPC) partnered with The Vessel Project to offer the LPC Fall Kindle Giveaway.
    LPC is making it easy to enter this giveaway. You could literally have hundreds of entries. You can enter to win a 7″ Kindle Fire HD loaded with 20 Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas eBooks.n enter and win.

    Go check them out and enter to win!

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    God’s Answered Prayer Manifested Right Before Your Eyes

    I just want to say thank you so much to everyone who was praying for us this week, and let me tell you about how God worked in our lives this week and how HE manifested his miracles in our lives!!!!

    I had a screw in my foot that I had NO clue about and then also stepped on a hair clip that I was trying to get out of the package, dropped it, tripped and stepped on it. very fluke, it went through my shoe, as did the screw, and the screw I didn’t know about, so I had no clue about how long it had been there, I found it when I went to wash my tennis shoes. We went in wound care app. Dr’s appt on Wednesday and they explained to me and then told me to expect possible surgery because the screw had hit the bone, and I was placed in the hospital on major IV antibiotics..

    god-promise-answers1
    Okay, back to the prayer warriors, on Thursday, they told me that there was a no surgery expected, but 6 weeks of Long Term Care on IV Antibiotics,to the tune of 700$ for supplies and medications…
    We prayed, others prayed, we knew we couldn’t afford the 700$, I KNEW I couldn’t go 6 weeks Long Term Care, because of my dog, and because of my claustrophobia, etc, and I just cried and prayed all day, because it just could not happen God knew my fears, He KNOWS my fears
    The next morning, they came in and said, just 2 weeks of IV antibiotics at LT Residential Care (I said Thank you God) God was answering Prayers, left and right,,,I know he was answering prayers!!! So I sent out another prayer message and messaged my friends on FB, and after many prayers between my husband and I on Friday, we wake up on Saturday to Dr K coming in on saying you can go home, with NO IV antibiotics, this has all been Staff Responsive and as far as I’m concerned you can do this with just Bactrim,, Nothing IV! It’s all good!!!

    No IV’s, NO Long Term Residential Care, , it’s just me, my pills, and home health care.

    Did I say nothing.  Oh how much I was blessing God and saying thank you and the cost of this 5.15$   Yes that’s right (out of pocket)    I am sure there is more, but that’s the other of pocket costs.    I am just so in awe of all of those of you who prayed, and who were praying 

    two people I must mention because they don’t know me.. they don’t know me from Adam.  But they prayed for me faithfully, every single day  Tricia Goyer and Kendra GIllilan…….  I just cannot thank you ladies enough

    To Main Street Baptist Church as alway, you are my rock and my home.  I thank you so much for all the prayers, the love and all the tests, emails, calls and love you all send!

    To all my friends!  Amber, Celeste, Heather, Theresa, Mitzi,   God bless you all.  you all are the bomb and I love you so much

    To my family!!, oh my goodness, I can’t even do this without you!!!  thank you so much

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    The Memory Jar – Book Review

    I LOVED this book, there are just no other words to describe how much I enjoyed this book.

    Filled with a certain suspense, a great amount of love for others, and God, what more can you ask for in a book?  The Memory Jar has all that and more.

    Tricia has a way with spilling words on the page, that make you look inside yourself and think about what would you do, what could you or what should you do. (Although I don’t like the word should and it’s a negative word) in this aspect, she’s bang on.

    Not to spoil the ending or anything, but let’s just say many heartaches in memories sometimes, and those memories when used to help others, can be a negative turned positive.  Even if YOU are the one they help.

    I love the idea of a Memory Jar also.

    here are some great ideas for your own Memory Jar  http://www.pinterest.com/fenotavel/memory-jar/   One of my goals is to do this with the younger set of my grandchildren, that I affectionately call the “littles”  However, they aren’t quite so little anymore as the youngest informs me..

    The Memory Jar - Tricia Goyer

    The Memory Jar – Tricia Goyer

     

    The Memory Jar follows Sarah along her path of broken dreams, completed dreams, broken hearts, love filled hearts, and an experience that shatters her heart. Through the memories of her friend, the dreams of her future, and the promise of her heart being healed, Sarah, finds love, adventure, and finally a mended heart.
    Tricia Goyer weaves through the lives of Sarah and her family and her friend Jathan and his family.

    http://www.pinterest.com/triciagoyer/seven-brides-for-seven-bachelors-series/ Check out Tricia’s Pinterest Page here on the entire series

    Loved this book by Goyer. Will be reading the entire Seven Brides Series)

    I’m currently reading The Promise Box and cannot wait to review it!!

    The Promise Box – Tricia Goyer

     

    I have not been compensated for this review in any way!

    Go check them out here!

     

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    Grandparents Change

    I have had the privilege of caring for 4 of my grandchildren this week since Thursday morning, and we have been in VBS this week so we have had a LOT of time together.  I asked for this pleasure, I begged for it, (because I had been sick) and my son was (rightly so) scared of leaving the kids with me, and me getting sicker..,.  I LOVE my children with all my heart.  They are the most amazing children in the world.  They have the most amazing children in the world.  My SWEET beautiful, talented, gifted, brilliant, smart, helpful, mischievous, (did I say amazing) grandchildren.

    Knowing that I was 100% responsible for their well-being for this period of a time, and with their parents so far away, terrified me in a way, I was never terrified as a parent.  I was confident as a parent, I was strict, I was over strict (with one) and too lazy with the other, and just down right, flat-out wrong

    I found myself, very “un”confident, very second guessing, very “guilty” about every word, every action, every reaction, and every choice that was made.  Was it right, was it wrong, did I screw them up forever, did I do something special that they would always remember, or could they just have fun…  (they didn’t 100% of the time) and ya know what… That was OKAY.

    I don’t have to make everything perfect for my grandchildren all the time, I don’t have to be “on” 100% of the time, 100% of everything being, going, doing, planning, playing, talking and or that Disneyland grandparent (without the benefit of Disneyland)

    i CAN BE OFF AND IT’S GOING TO BE OKAY.  I can apologize and let them realize that I am not perfect (trust me, they knew it anyway, but I was clueless) and that life sometimes with grandparents will be NOT fun and games, and NOT about doing something “fun” or “planned” or whatever…..

    It will be rules, and it will be discipline and it could be hard… But it can still be fun…  and that’s okay….

    I hurt each one of them’s feelings in some way this weekend, somehow.  I made them obey (oh my gosh) and they even had to help at home, and  shocker, I know, they even back talked (Brian and Amilia, please don’t freak out, because that’s NORMAL for children to do, and while it’s not necessarily the norm for parents) it’s okay as their grandparent to let it happen.  Because that’s how they stand up for themselves, become independent, have a voice…sometimes, it’s okay for them to be wrong, and it be okay… (with me) I need to remember that they aren’t little adults, they are KIDS, with KID feelings, KID emotions and KID hearts. (even the teenagers)   (Just please know these kids aren’t disobedient) they are KIDS!!!)  It may seem like they are being just unruly and whatever else, but please know that it is JUST the opposite!!

    Those hearts, so big, so amazing, and they LOVE their grandparents (all of them, we discussed YOU ALL this weekend) and that all of their grandparents are super grandparents.

    I get to be in their lives more than most and for us, it is a routine, Church, Library days, every week something fun (at least once) and they are part of a routine with me, and they are AMAZING!!!   They have learned to give my insulin shots (I can do it, they choose too) they help with my oxygen and my wheelchair and, oh my gosh, there is NOT enough words that I can say to say to them, thank you…. for being so amazing.

    You 4 kids have helped me so much this weekend, not just “physically” but emotionally and spiritually and in ways, that you may never know.

    I have realized, exactly HOW HARD it is for your parents and realize that they are incredible, awesome parents,  (even when I think they are too strict)  Because sometimes strict is what is necessary to teach.

    I cannot express my love for these 4 kids (and the rest of them) in words.  There are no words.

    But know, that you have taught Memaw so much in such a short little time, that I pray, and I am praying hard that each day with you from here on out will be incredibly different.  Not necessarily different in things we do, but different in expectations of your behaviors.

    I expect you to back talk, I expect you to “have wiggles” and suck the water bottle in ’till it scrunches, and to fight with your brothers and sisters, and argue with me, because

    that’s what kids do… 

    doesn’t make it right, but it makes it okay…

    and discipline (the right way) isn’t a bad thing, trusting you that your choices and your actions are okay…..  And knowing that because you have a life with God, you are going to still make bad choices, but that you already know when you have done something wrong.  You KNOW, because you have that conviction of God’s heart.

    I have also learned that way too much, is WAY too much…. Down time, is a good thing… Just sitting around reading a book and not being “on” is okay… (well, I knew it was anyway) but the “entertainment factor” is changing.   I do NOT have to entertain you 100% of the time that I am with you…. YOU can entertain me, with your strength and your wisdom, and your choices (because you all make awesome choices most of the time) and your just being who you are.

    Who you are, is, my SWEET beautiful, talented, gifted, brilliant, smart, helpful, mischievous, (did I say amazing) grandchildren, this also goes for the rest that weren’t with me this weekend.  I think you all are so awesome and all the above too…

    Just know that there are gonna be some changes.   You may not like some of the changes coming up, but just know that the changes in me are gonna be there.  Because you all deserve the best.

     

    2 Timothy 1:13-14  “What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus.  Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.”

     

    God has blessed me with these amazing grandchildren, and I am so honored to be their grandparent…   I pray that he can give me the strength, and the wisdom to do what is right by these amazing children.  (a couple that aren’t children, but teenagers)  They DESERVE the most amazing life ever!!!!  Don’t even think that there will be more things  more things happening and more “going”  (it will probably be less) and that there will be more discipline, just different discipline.  No more of the thinking you have to be perfect all the time, but more of the knowing that you will be kids and going to be some things happen that well, you probably need to be disciplined for.  But know now that the discipline, probably will not like any discipline you have ever received before.  I’ve tried, but I know I am very inconsistent, and I will promise you that God will bless our relationship 100% more than he has already has and because of that, things will change…

    Yes you must have manners, yes you have to not hit your brothers and sisters, and yes, you even have to clean up after yourself, that doesn’t change.

    You do get to have fun, you do get to know that when you mess us, that it’s going to be okay.  You do need to know that no matter what you do, I am never going to stop loving you.

    No matter what you say, I will NEVER stop loving you.

    I didn’t think it was possible to love you any more than I already have, but I do.

    Thank you for this wakeup call….

    Memaw needed it.

    Thank you again, Brian and Amilia for being the BEST parents for these children.  I am so proud that you are the parents of my grandchildren and honored that you trust me enough.  I pray that you will see the change also, NOT in the kids, because they are and have done exactly what they should have done, being kids and learning about life.

    They are awesome, and you both have done an incredible job raising them.

    Isaiah 46:4  “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you.  I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”

    What a promise.  HE will rescue me.  I am so ready to be rescued!  Oh yes, God, please rescue me, please take me to a place that only you can.  I NEED to be rescued from myself.  From that grandparent that sees everything as “if you show them fun, they will love you” to the grandparent that if you show them love, they already love you… I don’t have to show them fun, I have to show them respect.  and love.  That’s IT, with those two things, then the rest will come.

    God please give me the love, the understanding and thank you for the blessing to be the best grandparent I can for these children, because they deserve the very best.  I thank you every day for them and for the gift of their beautiful lives!  Thank you so much for gifting me with their parents also.

    Here are some pictures from our week.  I didn’t get many, but here’s couple!

    Five Minute Friday – Bloom

    Bloom

    1. the flower of a plant.
    2 flowers collectively: the bloom of the cherry tree.
    3. state of having the buds opened: The gardens are all in bloom.
    4. a flourishing, healthy condition; the time or period of greatest beauty, artistry, etc.: the bloom of youth; the bloom of Romanticism.
    5. a glow or flush on the cheek indicative of youth and health: a serious illness that destroyed her bloom.

    Bloom

     

    I have always heard, “Bloom where you’re planted” or something like that.  In other words, do what you need to do, right where you are, with what you have, and let God take control.

    For me, that is very hard.  I am a control freak.  I want to be in control of every single aspect of my life, my homes life and what is happening around me

    Imagine my surprise when God gifted me with a, a couple of broken legs when I was two and several surgeries after that till I was an adult, a husband with leukemia, a son with asthma, couple of serious illnesses, a very ADHD child and a sister that completed a suicide.

    Just a few life interruptions that have been blessings in the long run, if I stop and look at them long enough (*except my sister’s suicide)

    It’s all been in how I looked at them, and if I let God “Bloom me where I was planted.

    I have had to change MY ways of thinking and realize that no matter what, God is in control, of every single, minute detail.  Not the ones I want to give him, but EVERY single detail.

    Bloom where you’re planted, in spite of broken legs, and hurt joints and many surgeries, keep going, keep playing basketball, keep playing tennis, and keep on running… Bloom

    Bloom where you’re planted in spite of a husband that had leukemia.  Greet each day as a new day, and make friends with the families on the floor, ask how they are doing, what do they need, what can I do, do you need to talk.   Bloom

    Bloom where you son is in the hospital with asthma/pneumonia at such a young age, treat the nurses to pizza at night, ask them about their life, ask caregivers about their lives, do they need anything, can I help take some of the load off of you because I am here and won’t be leaving….Bloom

    Bloom in a school where my son was having a very huge difficult time. He spends more time in the principal’s office than he does in class…. Bloom…. Bloom because you KNOW he is a good young man and he has been labeled bad, and if someone would just take the chance to know him, love him, challenge him, and get to the real young man that he was,

    Bloom when your sister is so mentally challenged that she wants to kill people, that she sees demons, that she finally is so unsatisfied with her life, and thinks there is absolutely no going back, she takes her life.  In doing so, you know she is at peace for the first time in many years, however, you also know that your parents have lost two children early and for them, it is the worst day of their life, and for you, still you know she is at peace, but the pain hurts.  Physically she is gone.  Emotionally she is healed.,

     Bloom :), blessings…. Bloom where you are planted, right where you are, with what you have.

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    Five Minute Friday

    Five Minute Friday


    this is from Lisa-Jo Baker’s Blog that explains FMF)
    So, here’s the skinny: every Friday for going on four years now hundreds of people have joined a kind of writing flash mob over here.
    We write for five minutes flat. All on the same prompt that I post here at 1 minute past midnight EST ever Friday. And we connect on Twitter with the #FMFParty (It stands for Five Minute Friday Party).
    No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation.
    Unscripted. Unedited. Real.
    It started because I’d been thinking about writing and how often our perfectionism gets in the way of our words. And I figured, why not take 5 minutes and see what comes out: not a perfect post, not a profound post, just five minutes of focused writing.
    So now on Fridays a group of people who love to throw caution to the wind and just write without worrying if it’s just right gather to share what five minutes buys them. Just five minutes.
    Your words. This shared feast. It’s easy to join in, just:
    Check what the prompt is on my Lisa Jo Baker’s Blog.
    Write a post in only five minutes on that topic on your blog.
    {And if you don’t have a blog, no worries! Just leave your writing as a comment on my post} Link over to Lisa’s blog and invite friends to join in. Select the permalink to your post {so not your blog url http://www.lisajobaker.com but your post url
    http://www.lisajobaker.com/2012/07/five-minute-friday-2/ } Using the blue linky tool at the bottom of Lisa’ Five Minute Friday post enter your link. It will also walk you through selecting which photo you want to show up in the linky. Your post will show up in our Five Minute Friday linky. Be sure and encourage the person who linked up before you!
    Our most important requirement for participation: There’s really only one absolute, no ifs, ands or buts about it
    Five Minute Friday rule: you must visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community

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    Some Tweets From My Friends! Share the Love

    Some of my friends tweets *and one of mine; in no particular order, and just picked by random…. please go retweet their posts. All you have to do is click on the retweet and you can also favorite them!

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