Friday, November 6, 2015

A Fast Read

I wanted a book that would be fun to read.  I wanted a book with a good ending.  I wanted a book that I could curl up in my favorite chair and read and relax and enjoy getting to know some people kinda like me.  You know, people that make mistakes, and sometimes run ahead of God, but keep trusting Him to rearrange their lives for His good.  "A Moment of Weakness" by Karen Kingsburg was that book.  Karen is one of my favorite writers as she weaves faith throughout her books.  This book is no exception.  I think I read this book when it was first released but it was fun and relaxing to read it again.   I received this book from Waterbrook Press for my honest review.  

Thursday, October 15, 2015


"Lazarus Awakening" the DVD's and book and study guide by Joanna Weaver are wonderful.

There are 12 of us from different churches doing this together.  The book is easy to read and full of insight and easy to relate too.  Joanna is just like "one of the girlfriends" as she teaches from the DVD filmed in Israel.  It's beautiful!   The study guide questions help us stretch and grow in our relationship with Jesus as our Savior and Lord.  This is a great study for a women's Bible study but I do think it would work well for a couple's study also.

Thanks Waterbrook Press for sending me the DVD and study guide for my review.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Crocodile and the Princess

They are twins.  Numbers 6 and 7 in a family of 8 kids.  In my attempt to spend time with each one of the eight kids during my visit, I sit on the floor a lot.  It was Monday morning and the youngest was napping and the others were in their home-school. 

Job is strong and rough, with a gleam in his eye,  and I have to remind him all the time “not to jump on gramma”; but he’s a boy and loves to play a little crazy.  So I became “the crocodile”.  Over and over the crocodile moved along the floor catching him and throwing him down, both of us laughing and enjoying our play.  He became a crocodile and had to be rereminded “not to jump on gramma”.  He giggled loudly and snapped at me in delight.

Liesl is a fellow instigator in getting in daily trouble with her twin but she is innocent looking and tender and loves wearing dresses.  She watched as we played crocodile and when the crocodile tried to snap at her, she backed up and said in a gentle little voice, “no, I’m a princess.”   So after at least 4 times of being told “no, I”m a princess” the gramma crocodile turned into a princess ballerina and twirled around the floor.  The  soon to be 3 years old  princess ballerina lifted her little leg and pointed her toes in princess style.  

I"m so glad I found "the crocodile" and "the princess".  Hey, you're never too old or too young to become something new.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


Growing up in a small and very safe neighborhood with parents who loved me and took me to church on Sunday's, I learned the Lord's prayer and prayed before meals.  The closest thing I ever saw to extreme faith was my aunt and uncle, who everyone said were a little crazy, who moved their large family to Brazil to follow Jesus.   We listened to Billy Graham on television and I watched as people went forward to "give their lives to Jesus", but I never understood what that really meant.

Rifqa Bary has extreme faith, the kind that I want.  In her book "Hiding in the Light" she shares her story of giving up everything to follow Christ.  This is a love story of a young girl who finds the kind of love people are searching for.  It is not an easy journey after she finds Christ.  The road to freedom is difficult, dangerous,  and painful, but she preserves through prayer and God's living word.  

One of my favorite quotes from the book is below.  This quote shows you that Rifqua gave up everything for Christ - and everything does not just mean material things.  It means her life, it means she was ALL IN for Christ.

"Devotion to Christ meant giving Him everything: my time, my energy, my thoughts, my resources, my dreams.  It meant denying myself and willfully allowing His new life to transform my heart from the inside out."   "This new faith of mine required that I restrain from boiling with anger toward my family or in desiring to take revenge against them for hurting me.  Rather, I was supposed to pray for them, forgive them, and love them as Christ loved His enemies.  It didn't mean b being a doormat, not defending myself,but it did mean my response toward them, because of Christ's new life in me, ould actually be characterized by the genuine strength of God's love instead of selfish, artificial strength of anger."   "I was determined to go ALL IN."

This is indeed a powerful testimony of God's love and protection which should cause you to praise the one who created you and give Him everything.  

I received this book from Waterbrook Press for my honest review.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

There's JOY in ......

  • Two daughters hugging goodbye.  Putting differences aside for love.
  • Hands raised in praise.
  • A grandson's big smile.
  • Prayers nailed to a tree.
  • Play dough all over the kitchen.
  • A kiss to celebrate 70 years.
  • A son sharing his heart.
  • The shining face of a granddaughter as she sings to her Savior.
  • Watching loved ones live out unselfish acts of service.
  • Prayers around a friend along with tears.
  • A husband's encouragement.
  • Fresh red raspberries.
  • Hearing songs written & sung for our Lord.
  • Listening.
  • Dancing.
  • Sitting in front of the fan.
  • Catching a walleye.
  • A grandson running just to hug me.
  • Knowing I am loved.
  • Living words.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Red hair, Gumption, and Hope

I thought that the title of this book, "Miss Brenda and the Loveladies" by Brenda Spahn and Irene Zutell sounded a little bit crazy; and it sounded like a fiction book; and even the cover on the paperback reminded me of a fiction book.  I ordered it because the subtitle says "A Heartwarming True Story of Grace, God and Gumption."  I absolutely love God stories of people's lives.

Miss Brenda immediately reminded me of my cousin, Sandie, who also has red hair and has a million ideas going through her head.  Both seem to make a statement when entering a room but most importantly both have the gift of loving people as they are and not casting judgement on another for the way they look, the way they are dressed, or even the way they act.   This gift only seems to blossom in them as they themselves grow closer to the Lord.

This book follows what happens when Miss Brenda opens the Lovelady Center for women transitioning out of prison.  It chronicles the lives of the first seven women who come to live with Miss Brenda.   Interwoven into the book is Miss Brenda's & her families own story and how she leaves the riches of this world to love these ex-prisioners when no one else will.

This book is very entertaining due to Miss Brenda's over-the-top personality.  She admits she doesn't even know what she's doing, but shoots up a prayer to a God she has recently met, and he comes through for her.  It is also very somber as the women in the book share their life stories.  These are real and raw and I felt ashamed of myself when reading them for the times I looked at others and judged them without knowing their life circumstances.

The is also a book about great hope, great grace, and unbelievable transformation.

God is always in the business of loving those who think they are unlovable.  God shows up in this book big time - in the life of a crazy redhead (like my cousin Sandie) and seven women the world threw aside, whom He makes His own!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Rock

My hubby gave me a "big rock" for our 30th anniversary.  It was exactly what I wanted.  Psalm 62:2 became our family verse and my daughter painted it on my rock.  It is a reminder for me and for all who drive into our farm that "He alone is my rock and my salvation, He is my fortress, I will never be shaken."

This was 5 1/2 years ago and there are 11 more grandchildren today!

This morning I read the following story by Jean E. Syswerda called "Building Something Worthy".  I share this especially for and with my family.  I know you will resinate and relate to this as I did.
I love you all.


I love houses.  I could build a new one or redecorate the old one every year if it weren't for the mess and disruption of actual living. Oh, and the money, of course.  So instead of putting my money and my efforts into my house, I'm trying to put my money and efforts into my life, my family.

We're actually pretty needy bunch, this family of mine. We've shared more difficulty and tragedy than most families; therefore we've become more dependent on each other than most.  We know from hard experience that with a breath it could all be gone.  So the "house" I'm now building and decorating is one with a firm foundation for my family to live on, a foundation formed by faith in God and his Word.

This building takes many forms.  Sometimes it's using the wakeful hours before dawn to pray for each grandchild individually.  Sometimes it's teaching a new song to a couple of grandkids strapped into car seats.  Sometimes it's emptying a grieving daughter's dishwasher or talking on the phone with an anxious daughter.  Sometimes it's reassuring a son that lives thousands of miles away that, yes, we're all OK. At least for today.

Like the house in Jesus' parable that concluded the Sermon on the Mount (see Matthew 7:24-27), our house has known its share of storms. The rains have fallen, the winds have blown and beaten against our house. But we build it on a firm foundation.  "He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken" (Psalm 62:2)  Life's events might shake us, but our foundation assures us that we will never fall.

O Lord, my Rock, you are the only foundation for my life. I need your strength, your firm footing, in order to make it through all that life throws my way, good or bad, easy and difficult, happy and sad.  Help me, Lord, to keep my eyes on what's important: not the color of my kitchen but the foundation of my soul.  In Jesus' name, amen.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Love Without Limits

"Love Without Limits" is Nick Vujicic 's latest book written with his bride, Kanae.   He was born with no arms or legs and is one of the most incredible and inspiring men of this age.  He tells his life story in his previous books and in this newest book, he is again vulnerable and courageous in sharing about falling in love and getting married and having a baby.  His life and testimony really are so amazing and He constantly reminds the reader that Christ is the answer to living victoriously.  

Perhaps it's because I've been married 36 years, have four children, and 15 grandchildren,  that the marriage and parenting journey part of this book just didn't grab me personally.  However,  I do recommend it to others.  It reminds all of us we can do nothing without Christ right smack dab in the middle of our relationships and lives.

I received this book free of charge from Waterbrook Press for my honest review.