I am a Christian, a retired teacher, a mother and a grandmother. I love to read and I love the Lord Jesus Christ! Unless otherwise specified ,all visual illustrations are from the YOU VERSION APP of the Bible.
This is one of those books that should be in everyone’s Christmas collection of novels for the holiday. Jacob Churcher is a bestselling author whose mother has just died. He has to return to his hometown to settle her affairs and finds more than one secret in her house of hoarding. In his attempt to clean up after his mom, he also ends up cleaning up some of the past in his own life. He also meets Rachel, a young lady trying to find her mother, Noel, who lived with the Churchers when Jacob was very young. I loved how the story unraveled slowly and how the diary entries of Noel showed me her heart and what she had been through. It was an insightful and terrific book to read for the holidays with a message of forgiveness and hope for the Christmas season!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I purchased this book from Amazon for my Kindle. I was not required to write a positive review, so the opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”
I am not a documentary type viewer at all! I like to be entertained when I watch movies and not think too much, like the Christmas movies on the Hallmark channel. But today, our “Fun Bunch” at church (the group for those of us over 55) had lunch together and then watched “Monumental”, a documentary by Kirk Cameron. It was awesome! The message was spot on and absolutely necessary for those of us who are losing hope for our nation. We are a lost people because we have lost our moral compass. The United States of America was founded on the faith of our fathers. All of the things that our children have been taught in school about the pilgrims and the founding of our nation leave out the faith that our nation was based on. I needed this movie today. You just really have to watch it for yourselves. It will make you think about your beliefs and your legacy.
We who know the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior will escape the coming judgment of God and we have already escaped the trap that is sin in our lives. Are you shouting for joy yet? You should be, because without salvation, you continue in sin, and that is all that you can teach your children and grandchildren—your sinful lifestyle. But once you are a Christian, your life is based on faith and that is what you teach your children and grandchildren. That is what our mission is…to share our faith with others. After all, Jesus said,, “Go!”
Right now we are in a world that is full of sin, but we are the victors and can look forward to a final victory, i.e. a new heavens and a new earth, with the whole world filled with the righteousness of God. Hallelujah! No more sin! No more temptation! No more evil in the world and on the nightly news! I leave you with the good news that victory is ours and our children’s, all those for whom we care and want to see them in Heaven with us. Faith is sometimes hard because it’s believing when you can’t see it. I’ve never seen the wind, but I know it exists because I hear it and can see the leaves blow from the trees. Likewise, I have never seen God, but He manifests Himself daily to me, encouraging me to continue in the work that He has given me to do until He calls me home. Today, He encouraged me with a DVD shown at church. “MONUMENTAL” is a movie that you will not want to miss if you need encouragement about what is going on in our world, or it you need to give encouragement to others and don’t quite know how or where to begin. Check it out! “MONUMENTAL” is a movie to be cherished because it makes you focus on your roots and your legacy, before God calls you home. Blessings and prayers from my house to yours.
Thank you to Gail at gaillovesgod.blog for nominating me for this award. She has been so kind and encouraging to me that she epitomizes kindness and the love of God. So, thank you, Gail!
RULES FOR THIS AWARD:
My paragraph about a RAK that happened recently:
Last week I had an appointment with my nephrologist, which is a kidney specialist. I started seeing her about five or six years ago when my kidney function decreased and my primary care doctor was concerned since I only have one kidney (I was born with one). Anyway, Dr. Kinsel had just had tests run and discovered that my one kidney is smaller than a normal one, so she wanted me to follow up with my endocrinologist to make sure that I don’t overwhelm my kidney with calcium but that I get enough for my bones. Anyway, this week has been a struggle to contact my arthritis doctor and have labs sent and my nephrologist to have the lab work sent that she had done. I called my endocrinologist numerous times, chatting with one receptionist or another about whether my test results had arrived at their office yet. Finally, Diane said that she would take care of making sure that my results get there and then call me to set up the appointment with my endo. If you know anything about doctor’s offices these days, you know that they don’t normally go out of their way to be helpful because they have so many people to take care of and it must be overwhelming at times. Not only has Diane gone out of the way to get my test results, she has assured me that she will take care of all the details on her end, including the necessary appointment at the office closest to me. Ta-dah! I can now relax in the knowledge that she is taking care of things for me. Isn’t that what Jesus does for us? He gives us rest…no matter what we are going through. I must admit that I was already upset about the news of a small kidney, so to have a receptionist be so kind and understanding went way beyond the pale for me. I hope that everyone who reads this will lift up a prayer of thanksgiving for Diane and people like her that add a little kindness to the day and a smile to the lips!
My nominees are the following people who have encouraged me big ways and little and I know that anything that they write about kindness will encourage you:
Have you ever met someone new and you immediately know in your heart that you want to get to know them better? If so, think back about how you got to know that person. For me, I think of my best friend, the one who passed away in March. Heidi and I were very different, but we just clicked on another level. We were both teachers who demanded a lot from our students, so we were not the most popular, although we did seem to be always busy working to help our students. We shared ways that we helped our students to succeed. We shared our home lives, and the problems with our grown children. We shared about the everyday challenges that life brings. We ate lunch together daily, met together in the morning and most afternoons before going home. So, we got to know each other pretty well. So much so that when Heidi’s husband left her for another woman, she came to me. When she found Bob (her widow), we met together as couples and my husband became Bob’s friend, just as I was Heidi’s. I was the matron of honor in her wedding. When she got ill, Bob called me and I went to the hospital frequently to spend time with Heidi while Bob and Harry went out to lunch. Why would I give you all of these details? Because I want to illustrate that you form relationships with people by spending time with them. You also form a relationship with God by spending time with Him. How do you do that? Pray. Read His Word. Meditate on His Word. Talk to God, and then sit quietly and listen for Him to speak to you. Many people are drive-through Christians. They drive up to the window, tell God what they need for the day and keep on driving, never paying attention to the fact that God may have something more for them than what they are demanding of Him for that day. We cannot know the hidden things of God unless we listen to Him. How did the prophets like Jeremiah know what to say? How did Daniel know how to interpret Nebuchadnezzar’s dream? Because they took time to wait on God and listen. I am not chiding my readers so much as reminding myself. A wise preacher told me long ago,”If you are no longer hearing from God, then go back to the last place you did hear from Him and go from there.” I desire to hear from God; I desire to please Him and to know Him in a way that I can tell Him anything and He can do likewise with me. I want Him to be my best friend, just as Heidi was. No secrets…just a close relationship that means I can trust God and He can trust me. Think about it.
This is one of those magical books that makes you feel good and that only happens infrequently. The author immediately draws you into the story of Beck, a hard and angry police sergeant in New York City, the same city in which her dad gave his life on 9-11. She is bitter and angry but can’t seen to get to the bottom of her feelings until she finally gets suspended from work because of her actions. This suspension gives her time to find out what is going on down south since she inherits a house from a former neighbor that she doesn’t even remember very well. It is in Everleigh’s former home that Beck seeks to find herself. This is a romantic mystery; the story of why Everleigh left the house to Beck is revealed slowly via the tale of both of their lives. Flashbacks are used well, as is the point of view switching between these two main characters. Both women need courage to face down the tragedy of the past so that they will be able to move into a promising future. Both need healing, and God is part of this process in a way that is subtle but miraculous. Rachel Hauck does a masterful job of writing a novel that will stay with me for a long time since the heroines are strong female characters who overcome obstacles that would fatally cripple others. Fans of Christian fiction should definitely read this book; fans of romance will love it; and fans of mystery will be surprised at the way the stories of the two women mingle and form one beautiful tale.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review, so the opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”
God continues to tell me during my devotions that He is still working on me. This song expresses well what the end result will be; I am and will be a masterpiece for him. Recently one of my former students traveled to Paris and was able to view the “Mona Lisa,” a masterpiece from the hands of the artist Da Vinci. When she posted the picture online, I was amazed at the skill of this master artist. How much more should I be in awe at the work of God in me? Lately, He has been speaking to me about humility in my life. Honestly, I grew up proud of my academic achievements and all that I was able to accomplish. This was due in no small measure to a mother who expected me to always come home with all A’s on my report card, even if I had no clue how to do the math problems. With some very astute tutoring, I was able to pass algebra with a C, that later became a B, but I just couldn’t do that math as well as my mom expected me to. I had to ask for help from others, a humbling experience for someone who was a “scholar.” (That was according to my classmates.) But it wasn’t true humility because I was still proud of everything else. I didn’t meet true humility until the night I was saved; I read the Book of John and saw for myself the sacrifice of Jesus and how unworthy I was of His blood being shed for me. That changed my life for all time. Yes, God is still working on me; there are many times when I put myself first and think of how much better I could have done things. But I always come back to the fact that I am a sinnner saved by grace, nothing more and nothing less.
At the right time, God will lift me up. I don’t have to go around “tooting my own horn” and telling everyone how they should do things my way because it it better.
I love this quotation from C.S. Lewis because it tells me that it is okay to think well of myself. After all, I am God’s creation, a Child of the KIng. But my main focus in my life should be on others, not myself. Have you thought of someone else today? I am trying hard to do an act of kindness daily, not so that I can brag later about what a good person I am, but so that I can give glory to God for helping me to help others. Are you learning humility or another characteristic that God wants to perfect in you? Are you also becoming His “Masterpiece”? That and all that God has for you is my prayer for you today. God bless you for reading this post!
This was an outstanding, make-you-feel-good Christmas story that includes a child who needs a family and acceptance for her affliction. There is also the man and woman who have a broken relationship and who need to forgive. Donna VanLiere’s books are a mainstay that start my Christmas season each year, and I highly recommend this clean read to those who want to start their holiday with a tingly feeling that God is alive and well and working in the hearts of people. I fell in love with the town, its traditions and its people, especially since the author made me feel as if I were right there with them.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I checked a copy of this book out from my public library on the Overdrive App. I was not required to write a positive review, so the opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”
I have this book on my Nook, but I listened to it on my Libby App and thoroughly enjoyed it. I have read most of Terri Blackstock’s books in the past, so I was delighted to find her Moonlighter series available to listen to as I exercise each day. This is the story of a family in crisis, caught in the middle of a killer’s desire for revenge against the family. Cathy, Holly and Juliet are determined to find the real killer so that their brother Jay gets released for the crime of killing his wife. I really enjoyed the story and especially the fact that it was a clean read without the use of foul language and overly descriptive scenes of the murder. Fans of Terri Blackstock will be enthralled with this suspense novel that draws you into the story from the beginning until the satisfying conclusion.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Although I own this book on my Nook, I listened to the audiobook on my Libby App, so I had checked it out from the local library. I was not required to write a positive review, so the opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”
(The five-star image is courtesy of Clipart.com and was found by doing a Google search.).
I know that you have been in a group of people and someone asks why you believe the way you do. Or they ask where you go to church and why you go there. Or they ask why you seem happy or full of joy after a traumatic event. Or you are just in line at the store and start chatting with someone. You may as well tell them why you don’t mind waiting in line…after all, what you are really waiting for is the Lord to return. Everything else pales in comparison, right? So, here is the Scripture for today.
If somebody asks you to explain your faith, are you ready to explain it. Do you know the Scriptures well enough to give a well-founded and thorough explanation for your faith in the Lord? I am working on this and I hope that you are, too. Many people in the world are lost and don’t know it. You have the map to eternity and need to be able to share it with others.
Here is the Scripture that I found in my Bible study earlier this week that has the answer that others are seeking. God’s mercy has saved us; Jesus was the firstborn, raised from the dead, and because of His resurrection, we can expect one day to inherit an eternal life in Heaven that no one on earth can take away. I think these verses say it all. I’m sure that there are other verses that you all use to share your faith. I haven’t used this one yet, but it will be the one that I use the next time I have an occasion to share my faith. I want people to know that Jesus is the reason I live, the reason I have to hope for the future. I want others to know that He is my everything. I hope that you awaken each morning with praise on your lips for the Father who has provided a way of salvation for you. Praise His Holy and Marvelous Name!