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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Open Season

Hunting season opened up last Saturday the 26th here in Montana. Hubby and I were rearing to go to bring home a couple of deer this year. It's going to be a challenge more than any other year as a disease caused by infected midges have taken a toll on the white tail population in/around our area which has put restrictions on what we can get this year.
 
Pretty much we are limited to mule bucks as the white tail population has shrunk drastically because of the illness and will make it harder to locate any bucks of that species. On Saturday we were blessed to be able to hunt on private land. We came across 8 female mule deer. Unfortunately, unable to shoot them this year but gave me lots of practice to creep and crawl towards them. Got about 75 yards from one of them and they never knew I was there. We were hoping somewhere near them was a buck in hiding but there wasn't.
 
That evening we drove about 5 miles away to check out some state land that just one week earlier had 3 herds of deer there feeding. Low and behold they came back that evening but they wouldn't get any closer than 500 yrds before the sun went down. No deer on Saturday.
 
Sunday morning we tried to go to an area where white tail roamed abundantly but when we got there it was eery. No hunters, no deer. Last year, this same location had so many hunters in this area and so many deer and this year the total opposite. The disease took a toll on this area.
 
We then decided to go back to the same location as the night before to see if I could get a shot on the buck I had my eye on. To get closer this time, I had to crawl, hobble, scrunch, waddle, you name it to get through thick grass and sage to the edge of the farming field. This brought me about 250 yrds away.
 
Set my sights on this buck, watched him for over half an hour with my scope trained on him. It was difficult because the 7 females swarmed him often making it difficult to get a clean shot. Finally I had the opportunity and took fire. I watched him jump and they all ran off. Thinking he dropped just off the farm plot, hubby and I took our time to go locate him to no avail. I missed him.
 
Found out that my bullet, which was a reload, exploded in my gun and the shell broke into two pieces. Hubby believes the defect in the casing caused the force of the bullet to slow down quicker and because of that, the bullet itself dropped and landed just under the deer, causing him to feel the force of the wind underneath him and that's what scared him.
 
I was so disappointed.. It took me several days to come to grasp that I missed him. I really hope to go back next weekend or sometime the following week (hubby is taking a week off work, yeh!) because I REALLY want to try for him again.. He was beautiful.. We'll see where we are lead to come Saturday.... Hopefully I'll have a success story to share here..
 
PS. We hunt, for the meat if anyone is interested. We eat organic as much as we can but organic meat is expensive and back in 2011 we tried our hand for the first time at deer hunting and got 3 that year. It fed us for the entire year. I just had to buy chicken when needed. Last yr we only got 1 and I rationed the meat to stretch it out as many months as I could. This year we can only get 2 (one for me and one from my hubby), unless my son would like to hunt then we could potentially have three but 2 is more realistic. We pray that we are able to provide the meat necessary for our family with our two tags this year.. It will be a true blessing to our family...

Friday, October 25, 2013

Ephesians Study- Lesson Six Review

Ephesians: Discovering Your Identity and Purpose in Christ
 
Ephesians Lesson Six
Tripping Over Your Tongue? Talk Your Walk!
 
Speaking TRUTH in love is not the entire story. Look at this week’s memory verse again. What else should characterize your words?
 
This week's memory verse suggestion for this lesson is above. I think this is a fantastic scripture verse to memorize and keep close to our hearts.
 
In this section of Ephesians this week- Ephesians 4:17-32, Paul emphasizes the importance of our words and the impact it has on those around us.
 
In James 3:5-6 says "..the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell."
 
What a powerful scripture to show us how words can affect people and situations and how important it is to truly remember to use our tongues and words to encourage and bring up others.
 
A run away tongue can be the most destructive tools in the church. It can divide, and destroy those around us by using harsh words, gossip and lying. It can also crush someone's spirit.
 
Paul, in Ephesians 4:25 is trying to instruct us to put off falsehood and speak truthfully to our neighbors as we are all from the same body. As believers we tend to put on falsehoods so not to offend others. With doing that we end up walking on eggshells around these people and in turn make things worse than if we were truthful from the beginning. 



In this lesson's video Sue helps us understand the importance of using wholesome, uplifting words to those around us. She stresses the scripture Titus 2:3-5 about women using our words for a positive purpose and not to steal, control or destroy others. This scripture talks about women getting control of their tongues and worth reading for yourself.

Paul talked about speaking in truth back in Ephesians 4:15 "Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ."

What comes out of our mouths as Christian's, is a reflection of Christ. When unbelievers hear what we say and do, that is giving them the impression of what Christ is like and if we are unwholesome, judgemental, condensending and hateful then they will look at Christ in a similar way.

As we move onto verses 26-27, Paul emphasizes the importance of not sinning while angry. That we should not let another day pass in anger which will allow evil to get a foothold into your heart and life.

Anger is not a sin, it's what you 'do' in anger that results in sin so it's very important that we restrain from anger so we don't allow evil into our lives and sin into our hearts.

 As we continue onto verse 28 we are reminded on not stealing and that we must work for all that we do and have while sharing with those in need.

Verse 29 speaks on how we should have wholesome words from our mouth and to be helpful in building others up according to their needs.

Proverbs 16:24 says "Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."

Proverbs 19:5 says "A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who pours out lies will not go free."

Proverbs 25:11 says "A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver"

Just many other wonderful examples in scripture on the importance of having wholesome words that lift others up and speak the truth..

Saving the best part of this lesson for last.. Ephesians 4:31-32..
"Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."

This scripture holds so much power. It has brought me out of the deepest resentment, anger and bitterness that I struggled with for many years over the loss of custody of my daughter. (She's now living with me and will be 19 on Halloween) From her 5th birthday to her 15th she lived with her father and I held a lot of anger and unforgiveness in my heart for a long time before I read this scripture along with some others. I had to let go of the pain, and hurt and needed to forgive. When that happened my heart opened up and the feelings of sadness were lifted. God was faithful and truly powerful.

Photo: In verse 32, Paul gives us another key to victory over our words. #discovertogether

This was a great lesson this week. I had a lot to think on and a lot to remember from when I searched out some of these scriptures in years past.. I look forward to seeing what next week's lesson holds for me...

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I would love to hear what you got out of this week's Lesson. Please leave a comment below.
 
Check back next Saturday for my thoughts on next week's lesson seven-"Walking "Under the Influence"
 
You can follow along the discussions at the Facebook Page- The Discover Together Series- HERE

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

You Can't Make Me by Cynthia Ulrich Tobias



You Can't Make Me- But I Can Be Persuaded
by Cynthia Ulrich Tobias
 
About this Book:
 

Many parents suspect their strong-willed child is deliberately trying to drive them crazy. Difficult to discipline and seemingly impossible to motivate, these children present unique, exhausting, and often frustrating challenges to the those who love them.
 
But strong will is not a negative trait. These same children have firm convictions, high spirits, a sense of adventure—all the makings of a great adult. In this book you’ll discover how to channel that passion and determination in positive ways as you build a healthy relationship. Through insights gained from strong-willed people of all ages, you’ll…

· better understand how their minds really work.
· discover positive ways to motivate your strong-willed child.
· learn how to share control without compromising parental authority.
· apply key tactics to survive a meltdown.
· get practical tips for parents who disagree, blended families, and single parents.
 
Packed with immediately useful strategies to drastically reduce the level of tension in the home (or in the classroom), You Can’t Make Me shows how you can start today to build a stronger, more positive relationship with your strong-willed child.
 
Read Chapter One HERE
 
My Thoughts on This Book:
 
High praises for Cynthia to write this book to help those of us struggling with strong willed children. I have a teenage boy that is very strong willed and with this has caused a lot of friction in our home since he learned to walk at a young age of 8 1/2 months. It has been really hard to handle his defiance (which is what I thought it was for the longest time) and his desire to always be his way or the highway. The more we tried to correct him and steer him a positive direction the harder it was to communicate with him. With this book, I've been able to identify the signs of his SWC tendencies verses his "I'm a teenage boy" behavior. I feel less like yelling and scolding and more able to handle his reactions and have been able to guide him a more positive approach thanks to this book. After applying some of her techniques, it has truly made our household less of a war zone with words and actions and more pleasurable for all.
 
I know I have a lot of techniques that this book can help me with that I yet have used but I really look forward to seeing how it will benefit my relationship with my son since the ones I've used so far have been so effective. Highly recommned reading this and applying what you can to your own family if you too struggle with handling a Strong Willed Child.. Five Stars...
 
 
Cynthia Tobias
 

Cynthia Ulrich Tobias is the founder, manager, and CEO of Apple St. L.L.C. (Applied Learning Styles) and president of Learning Styles Unlimited, Inc. She coordinates the Apple St. education and commerce programs and administers various learning styles projects throughout North America and internationally. Cynthia is a popular speaker at workshops, classes, and seminars for businesses, government agencies, churches, and school districts. And she's the best-selling author of The Way They Learn, They Way We Work, Every Child Can Succeed, Bringing Out the Best in Your Child, and Do You Know What I Like About You? Cynthia, her husband, and their twin boys live in the Seattle, Washington area.
 
I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given.

The Christmas Quilt by Vannetta Chapman

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Christmas Quilt
Abingdon Press (October 15, 2013)
by
Vannetta Chapman

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

A Word From The Author:

I hold a BA and MA degree in English, and I am proud to be represented by Mary Sue Seymour, AAR. I have published over one hundred articles in Christian family magazines, and have received over two dozen awards from Romance Writers of America chapter groups. I am honored to be a member of Romance Writers of America, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Faith Hope and Love.

I live and teach in the Texas hill country with my husband, cats, and a rather large herd of deer. Our four children have flown the nest; however, we are fortunate that they all live close enough to visit.

I have always felt that my faith was at the very center of who and what I am, and I am thrilled beyond words to be able to now write about something that is so near to my heart. At various times I have served as a pianist, teacher, church secretary, and worship team member. While living in the Dallas area, I served as an adjunct professor of English Literature at Dallas Baptist University. When we moved to a small town in Central Texas, I continued teaching for a few years, but I now write full-time and I play the keyboard in our church’s praise band.

My grandfather was born in Albion, Pennsylvania, and I am currently researching whether I might have Amish roots.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Annie's life is deliciously full as the Christmas season approaches. She helps her husband, Samuel, attend to the community's minor medical needs. She occasionally assists Belinda, the local midwife, and most days, she finds herself delivering the buggy to her brother Adam. Annie’s sister-in-law Leah is due to deliver their first child before Christmas morning, and Annie is determined to finish a crib quilt before the boppli arrives. With six weeks to go, she should have no problem . . . but God may have a different plan. Leah is rushed to the English hospital when the infant arrives early, and Annie discovers the Christmas quilt may hold a far greater significance than she ever imagined.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Christmas Quilt, go HERE.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Greetings from the Flipside by Rene Gutteridge

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Greetings from the Flipside
B&H Books (October 15, 2013)
by
Rene Gutteridge


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Rene is the author of seventeen novels. She also has extensive experience writing comedy sketches, and worked for five years as the director of drama for a church. She has a degree specializing in Screenwriting, for which she earned the Excellence in Mass Communication Award, and graduated magna cum laude.

She is married to Sean, a musician and worship leader, and has two children. They reside in Oklahoma, where Rene writes full time and enjoys instructing in college classrooms and writers conferences.


ABOUT THE BOOK

Hope Landon has been rewriting other people's greeting cards since she was six years old -- there's always a funnier caption. She's all set to chase those creative dreams with her musician fiance in New York City until he leaves Hope at the altar, deciding he must not really love this girl if he can't write a song for her. That may give her something to write about . . .

Hope disappears alone on what was supposed to be the couple's month long honeymoon. Upon returning she learns of her funeral -- everyone in her life concluded Hope must have killed herself after being jilted. Needing a fresh start more than ever, she heads for the Big Apple only to discover it's not that easy to rent a place when you've been declared dead.

Taking shelter at the YWCA, Hope soon lands a job at a Christian inspirational greeting card company as an assistant to Jake, a guy who shut down his organization's humor department. She has lost her faith in love; he needs to find something or someone that will make him laugh.

Is there anything in the cards for these two? Find out in the truly original Greetings from the Flipside by authors Rene Gutteridge (Boo) and Cheryl McKay (screenplay for The Ultimate Gift).

If you would like to read the first chapter of  Greetings from the Flipside, go HERE.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Ephesians Study- Lesson Five Review

 Ephesians: Discovering Your Identity and Purpose in Christ

Ephesians Lesson Five
Sit Down to Walk

 Photo: Remember our Memory Verse for this week. Why is unity in the church so important? #discovertogether

This week's memory verse suggestion for this lesson is above.
 
Welcome to week 5! In our previous lessons, we’ve learned what it means to SIT with Christ. The next three chapters of Ephesians focus on our WALK—the way we live every day.

Up to this point we've been discussing the importance of sitting in Christ. The next three chapters of Ephesians will be focusing on our walk. The way we should live each and every day. Paul describes godly character. He wants us to embrace and be intentional with these qualities, making them our number one goal for our lives.

What does Paul say our Christian walk should look like?

To be humble
To be patient
To be gentle
Bear with one another in love

If Christian's today really worked on these four character traits we could impact our communities with such grace and shine God's beacon to those around us.

The world is filled with a lot of sin, and Satan has a foothold amongst our communites and neighbors. To truly show humbleness, patience, gentleness and to love one another can go so far with sharing God's love to those who are lost as well as to our fellow brothers/sisters in Christ. You not only give to others through these four character traits but you are also helping yourself by sharing them.

The study goes on to Paul pointing out the unity of the Spirit. What is the unity of the Spirit?  True unity is based on truth. If Christians are unified on anything other than truth, then there is no true unity. Spirit of unity today is based a lot on traditions and false doctrines.
 
How do we guard ourselves from a spirit of unity based on things that are not true of the Spirit? 
 
  • To be filled with the Holy Spirit- baptized, born again
  • Must be dead to self
  • To walk in the light- Luke 14:26-27, 33
  • To realize who is the true teacher- Holy Spirit of Christ


"Behold, how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!" Psalms. 133:1
 
Continuing on in Ephesians 4:4 Paul tells us there is seven things that bond believers together.
 
  • One Body- the church is one
  • One Spirit- the holy spirit-every believer posseses the Holy Spirit
  • One Hope- is confident expectancy.
  • One Lord- we all have the same Lord
  • One Faith- holding to the same doctrines of salvation
  • One Baptism- in the Spirit places each believer into Christ
  • One God and Father of all- above all:Sovereign purpose, through all: Pervasive Power, In You All: Indwelling Presence
 
The word ONE in each of these brings out the emphasis of unity. There is only one body of true believers, with no class, racial, national, cultural or language differences. 
 
In verse 7 Paul proclaims that the gift of grace is given by Christ. Then in verses 8-13 Paul speaks of the gifts of the:
 
Apostles
Prophets
Evangelists
Pastors
Teachers
 
He gave us these gifts to equip us for works of service. We then can build up the body of Christ.

 
 In Romans 12: 6-8 he shares how we can use these gifts above to glory God.

"We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully."

1 Corinthians 12:8-10 also speaks of these gifts

"To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues."
 

 
Watch this short clip listening to the author talk about discerning your spiritual gifts

This week's lesson was an eye opener for me. It's really getting me to think on my spiritual gifts and how I may be able to use them effectively for God's kingdom.. I learned a lot this week. Looking forward to diving into Lesson 6 as we study our walk in Christ.

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I would love to hear what you got out of this week's Lesson. Please leave a comment below.
 
Check back next Saturday for my thoughts on next week's lesson Six-"Tripping Over Your Tongue? Talk Your Walk"
 
You can follow along the discussions at the Facebook Page- The Discover Together Series- HERE

Friday, October 18, 2013

A Bride for Keeps by Melissa Jagears

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Bride for Keeps
Bethany House Publishers (October 1, 2013)
by
Melissa Jagears

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

A Word From The Author:

I am a stay at home mother on a tiny little farm with a fixer-upper house. As much as I love writing and reading about homesteaders, I am so glad I’m a homesteader during an era with modern grocery stores to take up for my slack. I am an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher by trade, and I still work occasionally in that field along with being my church’s financial secretary and writing novels.

My husband and I have been married since 2001 and have a daughter and two little boys. My husband shares my fascination with traditional living except for being more hands on. He loves blacksmithing, knife smithing, traditional archery, hunting, etc. Generally whatever a mountain man does, he does it or has or wants to attempt it. He comes in handy for research! And of course, the rest of the family gets involved. I have my own blackpowder rifle, named Calvin, that my husband made for me. And I’m pretty sure my daughter is probably one of very few her age who can instruct adults how to shoot a longbow properly. The boy digs random holes in my yard to make “cement” with dirt and water making our yard a tripping hazard. The baby does what babies do.

My Thoughts on This Book
Nothing like a great historical love story on a cold evening.. That's what this book was. Everett is broken hearted by all the mail order brides that have come and gone from his life. He now feels being unmarried is the way God plans for his future until Julia disembarks off the train one day to meet up with his friend/neighbor Rachel. He then realizes Julia isn't here to just see and visit her but to be 'his' mail order bride. Will Everett accept Julia as his bride and wife for better or worse or will they just be live in roommates? What a fantastic storyline that draws you in until the very last page..


ABOUT THE BOOK

A Tender Tale of Love on the Prairie Perfect for CBA Readers!

Although Everett Cline can hardly keep up with the demands of his homestead, he won't humiliate himself by looking for a helpmate ever again--not after being jilted by three mail-order brides. When a well-meaning neighbor goes behind his back to bring yet another mail-order bride to town, he has good reason to doubt it will work, especially after getting a glimpse at the woman in question. She's the prettiest woman he's ever seen, and it's just not possible she's there to marry a simple homesteader like him.

Julia Lockwood has never been anything more than a pretty pawn for her father or a business acquisition for her former fiance. Having finally worked up the courage to leave her life in Massachusetts, she's determined to find a place where people will value her for more than her looks. Having run out of all other options, Julia resorts to a mail-order marriage in far-away Kansas.

Everett is skeptical a cultured woman like Julia could be happy in a life on the plains, while Julia, deeply wounded by a past relationship, is skittish at the idea of marriage at all. When, despite their hesitations, they agree to a marriage in name only, neither one is prepared for the feelings that soon arise to complicate their arrangement. Can two people accustomed to keeping their distance let the barricades around their hearts down long enough to fall in love?

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Bride for Keeps, go HERE.

I received this book free in exchange for an honest review of this book. No other compensation was given



Saturday, October 12, 2013

Ephesians Study- Lesson Four Review

Ephesians: Discovering Your Identity and Purpose in Christ
 
Ephesians- Lesson Four
Sit Down Together
 
This week's reading brings us through Ephesians 2:11-22.

In this chapter of Ephesians, the Ephesians were called to unity but didn't like each other. With the different beliefs with the Gentiles, who used to worship Artemis, and were deep into the occult. Then the Jews, which their background had them deeply involved in ceremony and rituals.

These two groups of people were in a sense, opposites, but now sit together in Christ. It's said in the bible how they struggled together. Paul writes in Ephesians 2:11-13 to the Ephesians helping them understand who they were and who they are now in Christ.

I've seen firsthand the battles churches can have over their members. Putting them together with different backgrounds, opinions, and thoughts can make it impossible for them to get along. I know as simple as change can draw people away from the church. It's so important for Christian's to truly open their hearts to fellow Christian's and show the love and support of Christ through them.
 
This week's question that's asked is "Why is it important to have unity in Christ?"

Without unity, the church will always be divided. Unity is not the same in function. Unity is the same in purpose. We all should have the same purpose in Christ. If we all gather together with our own ideals and purpose then how will we ever find Christ among that and share His word with others?

The church is under attack by Satan. He wants us more than ever to be divided. Because what is divided is easily conquered and that's his plan.
 
Photo: Find encouragement in Galatians 3:28 #discovertogether

This was a great study to think on this week. To really ponder our play on how the church needs unity and what we can do to help in that. I'm struggling with this area in my life right now so this hit me personally this week and with that made it a bit difficult to put this lesson into words..

Our family is struggling with the dynamics of our church and the feelings of being disposable. The church is becoming divided and we believe it has something to do with the pastorals decision to expand and now it's become about money and not about faith, connection, relationships and togetherness. A bad feeling to have when you are trying to come together in the body of Christ.

Praying, praying and praying to find what God has in store for our family, to weather the storm and stay where we are, or find a new church family. It's a tough decision and one we don't take lightly. Awaiting on the Lord in His timing.
 


The author of this study put it nicely in this quick clip that breaks down this week's lesson really nicely. Take a minute to watch it and get her insights about this part in Ephesians.

I would love to hear what you got out of this week's Lesson. Please leave a comment below.

Check back next Saturday for my thoughts on next week's lesson Four-"Sit Down to Walk"

You can follow along the discussions at the Facebook Page- The Discover Together Series- HERE

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I've received a free copy of this bible study in exchange for a weekly post reviewing my own thoughts on the subject matter. No other compensation was given

Friday, October 11, 2013

An Honest Heart by Kaye Dacus

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Honest Heart
B&H Books (October 15, 2013)
by
Kaye Dacus

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Humor, Hope, and Happily Ever Afters! Kaye Dacus is the author of humorous, hope-filled contemporary and historical romances with Barbour Publishing, Harvest House Publishers, and B&H Publishing. She holds a Master of Arts in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University.

Kaye Dacus (KAY DAY-cuss) is an author and educator who has been writing fiction for more than twenty years. A former Vice President of American Christian Fiction Writers, Kaye enjoys being an active ACFW member and the fellowship and community of hundreds of other writers from across the country and around the world that she finds there. She currently serves as President of Middle Tennessee Christian Writers, which she co-founded in 2003 with three other writers. Each month, she teaches a two-hour workshop on an aspect of the craft of writing at the MTCW monthly meeting. Kaye lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where she is an academic advisor and English Composition instructor for Bethel University.

My Thoughts on This Book:
 
Most sequels to books leaves you off where the first book ended.. Well, not this one. We 'literally' start back over in time and replay the same period again but through the eyes of different characters. I thought, hmm.. this will be interesting, and oh it so was. Loved it actually. It was great to read about the other main characters from book 1 amidst the storyline of this book.
 
This story takes us on the journey of seamstress Caddy Bainbridge and the local doctor. Will their hearts grow closer or will secrets tear them apart. Can a high class man steal her heart or will it shatter before her eyes.
 
The book was really hard to put down. Loved it!


ABOUT THE BOOK

Set during the Industrial Revolution and the Great Exhibition of 1851, An Honest Heart is a “sitting-room romance” with the feel of a Regency-era novel but the fashions and technological advances of the mid-Victorian age.

Featuring dual romance stories, the main plot involves seamstress Caddy Bainbridge and the choice she must make between two men: one from the aristocracy, the other from the working class. Award-nominated author Kaye Dacus pinpoints the theme of honesty—both men in this love triangle have deep secrets to hide, and Caddy’s choice will be based on which of them can be honest with her.

Courtship . . . cunning . . . candor. Who possesses an honest heart?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Honest Heart, go HERE

I received this book free in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Ephesians Study- Lesson Three Review

Ephesians: Discovering Your Identity and Purpose in Christ
 
Ephesians- Lesson Three
Sit Down to Work
 
This week's journey shows us the importance in learning to live resting in God.
 
Ephesians 2:8-9 says "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast."
 
I love how it states in verse 9 that we can't earn anything by 'doing' so that all that comes from God so we can't take credit for it ourselves. How great is that.  


 
In Sue's video lesson this week she gives us so much to think about. Discussing the 3 realms that exist today and warfare relationships that result from them.
 
Bottom Realm- this is where we live. Where people and things are. Things we can see. She goes and tells us that two kinds of people live here in this realm. Believers (Christian's) and non believers (those people that are slaves to their sins).
 
Middle Realm- the one just above the bottom realm is where there are angels. Administered by God as well as Satan. Both battling together. We can't see this realm but it exists.
 
Top Realm- this realm above the angels is where God dwells. (She states though that God dwells in all realms) This is where the Trinity is- Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In Ephesians it states we are seated in this heavenly realm as Christian's and believers.
 
Ephesians 2:5 says "And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.."

 Paul writes, “It is by grace you have been saved… it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). What does GRACE mean here? (Remember this post from earlier in our study??)

10 verses in this lesson helps us understand the relationship between grace and works. We must learn to rest in Christ while doing good works God desires us to do. This is a basic but essential concept that we need to understand. God reaches down to us with grace. All other religions teaches that good works earn acceptance. That is not how the one true God works.

God is almighty, and designed our salvation to be based on grace instead of works. God's work in us always comes before his work through us.. That's so wonderful to think that.

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I would love to hear what you got out of this week's Lesson. Please leave a comment below.
Check back next Saturday for my thoughts on next week's lesson three-"Sit Down Together"
You can follow along the discussions at the Facebook Page- The Discover Together Series- HERE 
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I've received a free copy of this bible study in exchange for a weekly post reviewing my own thoughts on the subject matter. No other compensation was given

Friday, October 4, 2013

Class Reunion Series by Debby Mayne

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Pretty is as Pretty Does (bk 1)
Bless Her Heart (bk 2)
Tickled Pink (bk 3)
Abingdon Press (June 1, 2013)
by
Debby Mayne

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Debby Mayne is a best-selling author who has published more than 25 books and novellas, 400 short stories and articles, and devotions for women. She has also worked as managing editor of a national health magazine, product information writer for HSN, a creative writing instructor, and a copy editor and proofreader. Her novel, Love Finds You in Treasure Island, Florida received 4-1/2 stars from RT Book Review, and was named a Top Pick for the month of July. She and her husband Wally have two grown daughters, and live in Palm Harbor, Florida.


My Thoughts on Book 1 in this Series:
 
I've had the opportunity to receive all three of these books in the series but only time to read one before posting my thoughts. The first book was such a treat to read. This is the first book I've read by this author and it won't be the last.
 
Have you ever wanted to attend your high school reunion? I've never made it to any of mine but reading this book took me back in time and gave me a glimpse of what it would of been like to see fellow classmates after just 10 yrs absence. Nothing like a good old southern reunion and a whole lotta drama to make for a memorable get together... I absolutely love how this book allows you to see different points of view and not from just one character. We follow along through the eyes of classmates Priscilla, Laura, Celeste, and Trudy along with Priscilla's friend and reunion date Tim. Like reading their thoughts about one another gives you a better view of the same story. Loved it! I can't wait to curl up and read the other two in this series. Nothing like getting together for your 15th and 20th class reunion. Can't wait to see what unfolds next! 
 
ABOUT THE BOOKS


Priscilla Slater goes to her ten-year high school reunion with equal parts dread and eager anticipation. Even though she’s a successful owner of a chain of hair salons and no longer has the mousy brown hair, crooked teeth, and discount-store wardrobe, she still feels like the ugly duckling. But when she arrives at the reunion, Priscilla soon realizes that her old classmates aren’t exactly as she remembers them. With humor and a just a touch of sassiness, Priscilla finds herself facing her own truth—and she may be surprised at what she discovers.




As Priscilla Slater’s 15-year class reunion approaches, she decides to attend out of curiosity… and to flaunt her latest achievement—taking her business to a national level with the possibility of a TV show. As if getting ready for the event and putting up with the pranks of her former classmates isn’t enough, Priscilla’s hometown visit is further complicated by her parents’ separation. With the once-solid sanctuary of her home broken at the foundation, there’s only one thing Priscilla’s parents can agree on: no matter what sort of accolades their daughter receives as a hair stylist, she’s not living up to her potential. Eager to escape the painful reality of her childhood home, Priscilla bolts as soon as a call from New York brings good news: her offer to purchase one of the best salons in the country is likely to come through. But returning to New York means returning to Tim, Priscilla’s best friend and business pal who has been impatiently suggesting their relationship should be more than a friendship. Despite her recent achievements, will Priscilla learn that success doesn’t always result in popularity—or love?


Priscilla Slater shows up at her 20-year reunion as a national celebrity. Her hair salon dynasty has skyrocketed, and to top it off, she has her own line of hair products. She has become a huge success with the “Ms. Prissy Big Hair” line that lets women with the thinnest of locks get the coveted “big hair” look so popular in the South. Her classmates have finally come to terms with adulthood, but they’re handling it with the grace of a Southern woman wearing white after Labor Day. It’s just downright awkward! Asserting the maturity that her classmates have often lacked, Priscilla holds her head high. But she can’t ignore everything. When she catches her mother in the arms of her former high school principal, Priscilla can’t get out of town fast enough. Eager to get back to her more comfortable life, Priscilla runs head on into an ultimatum: Tim tells her they’re not getting any younger—as if she has to be reminded.


If you would like to read an excerpt from Pretty is as Pretty Does (bk 1), go HERE

JOIN THE PARTY!

Now that all three books have released, let’s party! (Yes, really!) Join our online class reunion the week of October 7, 2013 on Debby Mayne’s Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/136447929891169/ Stop by to answer questions about the books, respond to fun polls, join in fun activities to help you reminisce your high school days, and win great prizes. Tell your friends and meet us there!
 
I received this series free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

October Unprocessed Has Begun

October Unprocessed 2013 sponsored by Bob's Red Mill
 
Well, this challenge has officially started yesterday and lovin' it so far.. I did have a realization that I will no longer be buying coffees at any coffee stands since they are all processed and also when I go out to grocery shop, I need to make sure I eat before I leave because no more snacking or grabbing a sandwich while I'm out. Some little things that I've been doing lately that are now a no go, but I'm totally ok with that. This will not only save my health by eliminating anything processed or not real, and will also save on my pocketbook. I won't be buying almost $5.00 coffees and won't be buying sandwiches or snacks while running errands that adds up financially.
 
What will also be saving on our budget, is eating out at restaurants. With the no processed lifestyle that means no more eating out. Another great way to save on the waistline and the pocketbook!
 
As far as fixing meals, nothing really has changed with that since I already make unprocessed meals and have been since 2010. I did go back to making my own bread and can't believe I stopped doing that, because it's soooo delicious.. Fresh, homemade bread can't be beat by any bread you find in the store no matter how nutritious it is.. just sayin'...
 
I also decided to embark on making my own creamer from scratch. Since I couldn't pronounce most of what was in the creamer I used to buy for my home coffees, it's nice to have whole, real ingredients and again, like homemade bread, it just tastes better.. it tastes REAL...
 
I went grocery shopping for this week over the weekend and came out spending less but buying ALL organic. How? By purchasing ONLY what I NEED and not having a large amount of extras for the just in case. I have a somewhat strict menu to keep the ingredients in the fridge fresh without waste. I got tired of throwing away food because it went bad before I could use it, because I bought too much or had good intentions.
 
Now, with organic foods NOT cheap, I bought only what I can consume in the week I bought it. The fridge is all organized, cupboards, freezer and pantry has only whole foods in. It's a great feeling when you are providing healthy, real food choices and meals for the ones you love.. Best part of being a parent and wife...