Review of THE POISON GARDEN by A.J. Banner

THE POISON GARDEN is a book that has a twisted and fast-paced plot. It is a suspense tale about a woman who is married to a man who is unfaithful. Returning from a trip to the mainland, Elise inherited a small fortune from her mother when she died and married her mom’s physician Dr. Kieran Lund. Ready to celebrate her first anniversary, Elise is caught unaware when she walks in on a very disturbing scene. She continues to run her mother’s herbal remedies garden and pharmacy while dealing with the infidelity of her husband and his pleas to be accepted again. This is a domestic thriller like no other! It will keep the reader up late trying to find out what Elise decides to do about her marriage and her life in general. There are other very important characters, including Elise’s neighbor and friend Chantal and her ex-husband Brandon. All play an extremely important role in bringing this book to a satisfying and surprising conclusion. Fans of domestic suspense with some psychological drama thrown in will love this book! I know that I did! It is basically a clean read, although there is some violence although it is not graphically described so it is not off-putting.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. 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.”

This book will be available on October 22, 2019. I recommend it as an almost clean read. There is some violence, to be expected since it is a domestic thriller, but it is not graphic.

Pray for Our Leaders

One of the problems in the United States today is the division that is rampant, among the political parties as well as the general populace.

Image from Patheos

I am concerned about out nation because we were once a nation that was devoted to religious freedom and founded on Biblical principles. How far we have strayed! Now the Congress is determined to impeach the President, no matter how divided it makes the country. What is impeachment and is it a good idea? I will let Dr. Denison answer that question. Here is the link to his article today.

I myself will continue to pray for President Trump, Nancy Pelosi, Jerry Nadler and all of the other leaders that our nation is counting on to lead the country, not to bicker among themselves. Since Congress is determined to do this, it will happen, but what will be the cost to our nation? Pray for our leaders as you go about having your blessed day!

Growing in Wisdom

Now that my hair is gray, I feel that I have learned a lot of lessons along the path that is called life. First, I have learned to always put God first. Always! Then family and then others and I’m last in the whole order of things. Mostly, I’ve learned and I’m still learning that God is the One who makes the final decisions about everything in my life. I am learning that it is not the things that we have, but Who we have in our lives that really matters.

For many years, I chased the dream of more, more, more. Now, I am learning to be content with what I have and to know that I can’t take any of that “more” with me when I die. The Spirit that lives in me gives me eternal life with the Father. I have also been impressed lately with the brevity of life. My former student who is very young and had a heart attack made me reflect on the fact that life can be gone in the time it times one to snap his/her fingers. That quickly! Gone! Snuffed out! Never to be seen again on this earth doing anything! (By the way, Megan is doing well now, but is still in the hospital as they continue to run tests and try to get her fever under control.) God determines the beginning and the end of the lives of all people, so although we cannot know when and how we will die, we need to live every minute as a gift from God and be thankful.

God is my everything, my all in all. I am continuing to grow in wisdom daily, with some days better than others. I hope that you all are growing in wisdom, too. As the saying goes, “If you aren’t going forward deliberately, then you will be going backwards before you know it.” Blessings for a day of going forward!

Good News and Bad News on the Internet

Remember the song, “Be Careful Little Eyes What You See”? Well, the internet is full of things that I wish my eyes had never seen because it’s hard to forget them afterwards. No, not porn. Just evil. That’s all. Just evil. Dr. Denison just sent this article out and I went, “Oh, my” as I read it because it was unbelievable. Clink on the link and read it for yourself. The bachelorette party is amazing in showing the goodness of mankind. The musician thing is a “Say, what?” for me. And the praying to plants by a church is just beyond idolatry. We live in a world with instant everything. We need to spend more time praying to God and less time online because there are some things on there that are not only unbelievable, but they are from the pits of hell. Satan is indeed the god of the air, unfortunately. But we can certainly stand against his evil ways and promote what is good and pure and wise.

Blessings to all who read this today, and may your eyes and ears seek good things to see and to pass on to others!

God Is Faithful

If you are a member of the prayer group that Stu started, then you already know that there is a praise report about Megan. She is a former student, a teacher and a young mother. Recently, she went in for her routine 36 week OB check up and suddenly went into cardiac arrest. She was rushed to a local hospital where she underwent a C-section on Saturday morning. Baby Caroline and Megan are both improving. And I am so in awe of God’s power and faithfulness to His people! The call for prayer went out online on Thursday and by Saturday, Megan was conscious and holding her new baby girl. All glory to Him!

Sometimes, though, God does not answer prayer in the way we expect. Disappointment, disillusionment and our own lack of faith kicks in. But I am drawn to the story of Job, a man who lost everything except his faith in God. Clinging to that faith, he dared to face his friends who mocked him, his wife who told him to curse God and die, and all of his physical and mental anguish. Job was more blessed at the end of his life than he had been before all of these trials attacked him. He had faith! And God is not a respecter of persons, so why are our prayers sometimes not answered? I return to a post that I wrote earlier. God does answer all of our prayers. We just have to be aware of His answer. Sometimes, He says “no.” Now, just like little children, we don’t like to hear the word “no” but that is what is best for us at times. God, who is omnipresent and omniscient, is the One who can best determine what is in our best interest, so if he says “no” to us, we have to believe that it’s going to be okay in the end. God can also answer our prayers with a “Wait.” I think this is the hardest for me to accept, because like the people in line at the McDonald’s, I want what I want to happen NOW. Again, we have to accept God’s knowledge of everything and that He is doing what is best for us. Finally, God might say “yes.” Since that is the answer we always want, we tend to be very thankful and praise God and His mighty works with a loud voice and testimony, telling everyone what God has done for us. What if we likewise thanked God for His “no” and “wait” answers? What if we were always in an attitude of being grateful for God’s faithfulness to us, regardless of our circumstances? Sometimes, I am not thankful, and I am acknowledging now that I should be.

I also tend to question God’s sovereignty over the earth, especially when I see so much evil. But we know that God is the final Judge and one day ALL will bow before Him. So, this is the Scripture that God showed me for my questioning heart.

Image from Flickr

Finally, we need to stay immersed in His Word so that we will not become discouraged or down-hearted. His Holy Word is given to us for a reason. It’s like the car manual that I get out every time a warning light comes on in my car so that I can look up how to get that light off. We have a warning light in our hearts and minds that lights up when we have not been spending enough time with God and in His Word. Warning! Warning! His Word is our manual for our lives. In it, we find the answers we seek, often before we even know what we should be asking.

The most important truth in His Word is that Jesus is the Son of God. In believing that marvelous truth, we can go forward in our lives, facing obstacles and trials and knowing that Jesus suffered as we do, but even more. We know that He has conquered death and the grave and that He will bring victory to all of His believers at the end of this age. So, we read God’s Word. We worship. We pray. Then, we wait for God’s answer and accept it, no matter what His answer may be. We need to praise Him because He is always faithful to us. Always! Blessings to each of you for a day filled with answered prayers (remember that all of our prayers are answered in some way), friendships and love.

The Contest Winner

I used the Randomizer called “My Decider” app to choose the winner.

Kristen Heyl, you are the WINNER! Please DM me with your address so that I can pass it on to the author. She will be sending your free autographed book.

Thank you to all who participated and to everyone who reads my blog!

We Have a Superpower

This truth was in my daily devotional today from Max Lucado. What superpower do we have? PRAYER! When you awaken, do you say a prayer of thanksgiving to God for a new day? As you go through the day, are you calling on God throughout the day? When you see someone driving erratically, in a way that could hurt himself or others, do you send up a prayer for his safety and the safety of those who encounter him? Do you pray for your pastor and the leaders of your church? Do you pray for your community? How about the President and members of Congress? There are so many prayers that should be going up daily from us to God that we should be in prayer constantly. I envision a phone line that I pick up in the morning and call God and then just keep Him on the line all day long. He is available to me, and to you, of course, whenever we call on Him. Here are some quotations that I found about prayer.

I want to close my blog today with Scripture.

Our prayers need to line up with God’s will and we can only know His will by reading His Word. So, as I prayed today about what to post, this is what came to my mind to pray. God bless each of you who read this with a real desire to pray: for yourself, for others, for the world. Bless you, my friends and prayer partners!