For Such a Time as This

As I watched the debate last night, I was appalled at the childish bickering of the participants. Then, today, as I was reading my Bible devotional for the day, this verse jumped off the page at me. This is indeed a “crooked and perverse generation”, from the leadership of our nation to the rioters wreaking destruction. But we are here for this time for a reason. We have a purpose, to “shine as lights in the world.” Just as this was true when Paul penned these words to the Philippians, it is true today. There is great darkness in the world, but we are called for this time to shine our lights so that the darkness is dispelled. I cannot do everything, but I can do one thing. I can speak out my opinions about debates and candidates and riots and I can stand for truth no matter where I am. How about you? Are you shining as a light in the world or are you hiding behind all of the bushels (issues) of the day? I confess that I prefer to hide because I like to avoid confrontations. However, if we don’t confront, who will? Who will tell the truth if we don’t. We have a treasure to share with the world, and I hope that you will join me in sharing it with a lost world. Have a blessed day, remembering that you were born for this time for a reason.

Review of A HIGHLANDER IS COMING TO TOWN by Laura Trentham

I did read the other two books in the series, but I think that this third book in the series can definitely be read as a standalone. It is a fun, quick-paced and very light romance, with some humor and intense love scenes. Claire Smythe has chosen Highlands, Georgia, to hide from her past. She does a fairly good job of hiding until she meets farmer Holt Pierson, a young man who is trying to find what he really wants from life and is thrown into a tailspin when he meets Claire. I enjoyed the romance, but I thought it all happened a little fast. The characters in the town were just quirky enough to keep me reading. I liked that Claire sought a friendship with Anna and that they supported each other. I also really liked the character of Ms. Meadows, Claire’s employer who is like a mom or grandmother to her. Ms. Meadow’s has suffered loss herself and is also very wise in her advice to Claire. The story was well-developed, with just enough complications in the characters’ lives to keep me engaged all the way to the end. Great addition to the series! Those looking for a light romance will enjoy this book.
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. 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 would rate this book a hard PG13 with the comment that I would not want my teen granddaughters to read this book because of the sexual innuendo that is almost a kind of foreplay.

Information about the author can be found on her website at

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Review of BURN YOU TWICE by Mary Burton

Just when I thought that Mary Burton couldn’t get any better with her suspense thrillers, she proved me wrong by writing this book. It was a total thrill ride from the beginning to the satisfying conclusion! It includes a cast of characters that are a motley crew of suspects for current fires in the college town of Missoula, Montana. Joan Mason has left behind her job as a homicide detective in Philadelphia to return to Missoula when arsonist Elijah Weston is released from prison. Joan is determined to prove that Elijah is still setting fires and should not have been released. Joan also encounters her college sweetheart Gideon Bailey and her former roommate Ann. The interactions between the characters is absolutely electric! The entire book consumed me because the story was mesmerizing, with all kinds of twists and rabbit-hole leads. I enjoyed going along with Joan on her journey to discover the truth. My heart raced when more fires were set and more people were endangered or killed. I just wanted to find out who the fire bug was and why this seemed to be such a necessity for his/her life. Mary Burton is an absolute master of moving a story along quickly with action and descriptions that are as fiery as this book was. I highly recommend BURN YOU TWICE to anyone who loves suspense thrillers and who wants entertainment that will not disappoint or leave you hanging. I was actually sad to see the story end because I want more of Joan and the other inhabitants of the little town of Missoula, a town with a personality of its own. What a thrill ride you are getting on when you pick up this book!
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.”

I would rate this book a strong PG-13 because of the content. There is violence with descriptions of victims of fires and some reference to pre-marital and extra-marital sexual encounters.

Excerpt (from the author’s website):


Missoula, Montana
May 13, 2010
1:00 a.m.
Ten Years Ago

The college campus bar was packed with students celebrating the end of another school year. All eyes were on the small stage, now flashing with blue and white spotlights as a singer gripped the mike and hit the high notes on the song’s last chorus. Everyone was mesmerized, including Joan and Ann who were standing near the bar.

He had been watching the two women for weeks. He knew where they lived, where they hid the spare key to their house, their class schedules, and even what they ate for breakfast. He had been in their house several times, lain on their beds, inhaled the scent of their perfume from their clothes and dreamed about this night. Over the course of the last few weeks, the rhythm of their lives had become second nature to him.

Now as Joan and Ann seductively moved to the music’s beat, he removed a small vial from his jean pocket and moved closer to the bar. When the bartender turned to fill a drink order, he quickly squeezed several drops of a sedative into each woman’s drink. The drugs would not knock either woman out immediately, but the dosage was enough to coax each back across campus to the safety of their home.

As he melted back into the crowd and the song ended, Joan and Ann turned back to the bar and gulped from their beer mugs. Their bodies glistened with sweat and they were laughing. They were so confident and sure of their bright futures.

He had only five minutes to wait before Ann set her drink down. She yawned, said something to Joan, who shook her head as if she wanted to stay. He thought for a moment Ann might leave alone. Having only Ann at the house was not part of the plan. For it all to work, Joan needed to be in the house as well. Tension rippled through him as he thought about all his plans crumbling. Maybe he should have put more drops in their drinks.

And then minutes later, Ann spoke to Joan again and the two stepped out into the cool night air. He followed, careful to keep a safe distance.
“I just need a minute,” Ann said as she walked toward the middle of the parking lot. “I’m dizzy.”
“I’m a little tired myself,” Joan said yawning.
“Would we be wimps if we called it a night?” Ann said.
“No. We’ll both head home.” Joan’s words sounded a little slurred.
Ann blinked and gently patted her own cheeks with her hands. “But you have been looking forward to hearing this band.”
“I’ve heard enough,” Joan said. “And you look dead on your feet.”

They walked the three blocks to their small one-story house located at the edge of the campus. He followed, careful to remain in the shadows. Several times, they paused, drew in breaths as if to clear their heads, and then continued walking.

When they arrived home, Joan fished out the key from under the front doorstep mat and pushed it into the lock. “I didn’t think I was that drunk. But I feel like I’ve been kicked by a mule.”
Ann leaned against the house. “We’re tired, is all. We’ve both been burning the candle for weeks.”

Joan opened the door and clicked on the light. Ann said something he could not hear, and they both giggled as they moved into the living room and plopped onto the couch by the bay window.

Anticipation burned in him as moved toward his truck parked across the street. He was anxious to get this party started but knew patience and the details mattered. He pushed back a surge of desire.
“Focus,” he whispered. “Stick to the plan.”

Joan rose and moved toward the kitchen. She tripped, righted herself, and then opened the refrigerator door. While she stared, her body swayed as if standing up straight required too much concentration and effort. Finally, empty handed she closed the door and moved past Ann, who had now passed out on the couch.

She shut off the light in the living room and seconds later a beside light in her room clicked on. She all but fell down on the purple bed spread. She tugged off her shoes, tossed them on the floor and shut off the light.

He waited another ten minutes before reaching under a tarp covering the bed of his tuck. He grabbed the handles of two gallon sized plastic jugs stowed side by side. The containers were each filled with gasoline and the tops were sealed with fragments of a torn gym sock.

The night’s inky blackness offered him the cover he needed, as he moved with practiced efficiency. He had planned this night for weeks and pictured each and every detail down to the last moment.
Crossing the small front yard, he ducked around the side of the house. He set the first unlit device under Joan’s window and then moving around the house place the second jug by the back door. There was a third gasoline styled bomb under the house’s crawl space and positioned under Joan’s bedroom.

As he reached for his lighter, he noticed that the backdoor was unlocked. “Sloppy, girls. Sloppy.”

The temptation to see Joan and Ann unconscious and helpless was too strong to resist, so he carefully pushed open the back door. The house was silent as he moved into the small living room toward Ann, who lay on her belly, her hand draped over the side of the couch.
A part of him was sorry for her. Ann was sweet by nature and so pretty.
“You should have listened to me.”

He moved more confidently across the room and carefully pushed open Joan’s bedroom door. She lay on her back, her body relaxed and boneless. Her breathing was deep and steady. He stood by her bed and gently brushed back her dark hair. She had a pretty face. A very nice body. But she was bossy. Loud. Had a real mouth on her.
“This is all your fault. Ann will suffer because of you. You just don’t know when to stop pushing.”

As if something deep inside of her sensed the danger, she drew in a deep breath and rolled on her side toward him. He stood very still, watching and waiting for her eyes to open. Even as he feared discovery, a part of him wanted her to see him standing over her. He imagined her shock and then her fear. God, how he wanted to see her tremble.

“Joan,” he whispered. “Guess who?”

Dark urges burned inside him. It would be so easy now to strip her naked, shove inside of her and show her just how badly she had underestimated him. But that was not part of the plan. His fire would dish out the perfect punishment.

He rose, crossed the room and closed her bedroom door. He closed and locked the kitchen door behind him, carefully centered his device by the door and adjusted the torn sock deeper into the gasoline. He fished a lighter from his pocket and dragged his thumb over the spark wheel. A flame flickered. For just a moment, he stared at the pretty flame that danced and undulated as it whispered promises of destruction.

He lighted the gasoline-soaked cotton cloth, and it caught fire immediately. Practice had taught him that this was the critical time. There were only seconds before the flame reached the gasoline reservoir, so he had to move quickly to the second device, light it and hurry to his truck.

As he slid behind the wheel and started the engine, the first bomb exploded. Though it was tempting to stay and watch his fire roar to life, he pressed the accelerator and slowly drove down the street. The second explosion under Joan’s window pulled his gaze to the rearview mirror now illuminated with orange and yellow flames licking up the side of the house. The blaze on the backside of the house cast off dark billowing smoke that threaded up and through the flames.

God, it was beautiful. Pride swelled in him. He grew hard, sorry now he had not taken Joan.

As he turned the corner, the third bomb denoted, and more flames shot up as a fire engine’s siren blared in the distance. Help was on the way. Too bad it would not be in time.

For more information about the author, go to her website at Photo was taken from this site.

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Have Confidence in God

These last few days, I have had to keep reminding myself to trust in God. On September 14, I fell and badly sprained my foot. It’s still very swollen and discolored and hard to walk on, but I am thankful that it’s not broken. Then, my nephrologist put me on a new blood pressure medicine which my body decided to react to with chest pains. Really bad chest pains, radiating into my back and numbing my left arm. So, off to the cardiologist who put me on new medication that makes me dizzy. Thankfully, I take it at bedtime and then fall asleep with a little fuzzy headed feeling. But, I’m thankful that the EKG was normal. I have to go in for more tests in three weeks (my doctor wants to wait until the new medicine is firmly established in my system). I have to have two chemical stress tests and an ultrasound of my heart. But, I’m thankful that tests are available and that the doctor has ordered them to try to find out what exactly is going on with my heart. In between doctor visits and hobbling around, I have been reading my Bible and praying. God is my go-to person when I need help or assurance. Pray, praise, repeat.

I am not writing this post so that you feel sorry for me or anything like that. I’m writing just to remind you that God has not changed and is still there, no matter what is happening in your life or in the world. He is still there, waiting to answer our prayers. Isn’t that wonderful news? The whole world is shifting around us. There is chaos everywhere, and yet we are stable in our belief in a God who is bigger than all that is happening. Cities burning? God is greater. Businesses closing? God is greater. The government clearly divided? God is sovereign.

When I fell and just could not get up because of my injured foot, I prayed and asked my husband to pray. And, guess what? I was able to lift myself up with the help of a chair next to my bed and then onto the bed. (I fell in the bathroom, of all places!). When I stand up from my chair now and feel the pain radiating through my foot, I ask God to help me to take the steps that I need to take to get to my next destination in the house. Praying without ceasing is a real thing and in these days, it is needed.

Franklin Graham held a Prayer March in Washington, D.C. today. He was leading a group of prayer warriors in prayer for our nation. God, I have no doubt, was listening. He hears our prayers and acts on them, maybe not with the answer that we want or when we want an answer, but God always answers.

I hope that you will join me in praying for the United States, for our government leaders and for the safety of our first responders. These are perilous times, but God is greater. He is on His throne and waiting for us to call on Him.

God is the Strength of My Heart by Don Moen

Arise, Shine

All around us these days there is a lot of darkness. And you know what dispels darkness? You do, with the light that God has given you to shine on the world. One candle can take care of a lot of darkness. Think about what all of us Christians can do if we stand together, take a stand with our lights and show the world what Jesus was all about. He was about love and forgiveness, justice and healing. That is what our world needs today, a good dose of Jesus. I hope that you can relate to these Scripture verses today. I have been calling to God, and He really spoke to me through the Book of Isaiah recently. In these days of darkness, our lights shine brighter just because of all of the darkness. Please join me in shining your light.

Arise, Shine from Hosanna Music

Just a reminder that Franklin Graham is leading a prayer march THIS Saturday, September 26th, in Washington, D.C. For information about the event, go to: Prayer March Info. If you cannot attend, you can livestream the event at: Livestream. And if you, like me, cannot do live-streaming, you can still pray for our nation from 12-2 p.m. on Saturday. Let’s shine our lights and pray!


What an absolutely beautiful debut! Amanda Cox weaves a perfectly complicated tale of intersecting lives and how each person affects others. The story of Ivy Rose trying to find the truth about her roots is told in the present time. In the past, we have Harvey, Miriam, Thom and Pearl, a group whose lives are forever touched by their choices and their kindness. Harvey is homeless. Thom and Miriam are childless. And Pearl is a good soul, the widow of a former pastor who just wants to make a difference in the lives of others. This story was told in a totally captivating, engaging and easy-to-read way. There is mystery, sacrificial love and romance, all within the pages of this wonderful book. I cannot say enough good things about it. The characters are well-developed and seemed to speak to me personally about their desires. The plot was complicated, but the author’s method of going back and forth between the current times and the past, unraveled the plot perfectly. It was like a well-woven tapestry, completely awe-inspiring when I read the conclusion. I highly recommend this book and hope that all who are looking for an uplifting book that offers hope and light will read it!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from #Revell as part of the #RevellReadsBloggerProgram. 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.”

A G-rated novel told with love and heart. The book itself will determine the age of the child that will be able to read it.
Information and photo from the author’s websiteAmanda Cox

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A Christian book that is absolutely one of the best that I have ever read!