Ps 91 (NKJV)

3 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler, and from the perilous pestilence.4 He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day,6 nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Book review - A Summer In Oakville

A Summer in Oakville 
by Lisa J. Lickel and Shellie Neumeier

Hello, readers. I have a new book to recommend to you today. A Summer in Oakville is an interesting look into four people's lives one summer. I enjoyed each person's point of view and their stories. It was well-written and allowed me to take part in each person's feelings and actions.

Unfortunately, I found it a little disconnected in one particular scene. It was not a big deal, just set my brain to thinking (which is not necessarily a bad thing). Since I know there were two writers in this work, I am surprised there was only one mistake obvious enough for me to catch. It is so awesome that they worked together to make this such a good book.

Despite my uncanny knack for ferreting out useless tidbits that are inconsistent, I found A Summer in Oakville an entertaining read. It will make you smile and, if you're given to sympathizing with the characters as I am, you will cry. I think that's what a good book does. It gets you to "feel" what the character feels and pulls you in to his or her life.

Here's the blurb on the back cover:
One Magical Summer in Oakville, Wisconsin, Love Finds its Way through Four Entwined Lives.

Meet Tessa, Lindsay, Art and Andy.

Tessa Hasmer Murphy has a secret. Estranged from her husband, will she let a past love and a fight to save the family farm destroy her marriage and daughter Lindsay’s happiness?

Lindsay Murphy plans to live on her grandparents’ farm until she can find a job, but developer Brandon Calloway has other plans for the property. As she wages war against him, will she lose her heart and the farm both?

Widower Arthur Hasmer’s life and that of his son, Andy, spiral out of control. Then old friend, Dana London, reenters the picture with the power to help them all back to love, joy and faith.

Andy Hasmer has the ultimate bummer life. No mom, not much of a dad, no future. When he’s sent to the farm and wrecks the truck, nothing could be worse than the lousy job he takes to pay Grampa back—except maybe putting up with the pastor’s daughter, Ella.
By clicking below to order this book, you will be supporting this blog.

As always,
under HIS wings,

Thank you to Lisa Lickel for the preview copy of this book. I received no compensation for this review and it is my honest opinion.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Names of God Meme

Ahh, it's Thursday again. I GET to give praise to my God for all that He is and for all that He does. Even if no one else joins me, still I will praise Him.

This week I will focus on God, my Creator. Tuesday I read Job 41. It describes a leviathan, which the footnote says is a large sea creature. To me it sounds like a dragon that can swim.  :)  God's description is so specific to this animal, I can almost see it - well, I can, but I really do see a dragon. Go read it for yourself. It's awesome.

What else did God create that is unusual or confounding?

The first thing I think of is a platypus. Those things are downright weird looking; AND they lay eggs.

Man is on my mind now, but we'll get to him in a moment.

Horses: majestic, and powerful. Different horses have been bred to do different things. Coco (pictured here) is a Tennessee Walking Horse. She was bred to WALK, though she tends to want to go faster.

Now, back to man. In the beginning of Genesis, God creates all things. Then He gets to man. The last thing He does is create man in His own image. How awesome to be the very image of God.

I often wonder what God looks like. Every single person is different, even in small ways. He formed everyone of us unique, like the snowflake. I was watching or reading something recently about DNA and music. Everyone knows that our DNA is unique, but did you know that your DNA can be made into music. Each person has a different song. I'm not sure how it works and I couldn't find a reference to it on the 'net (well, not what I'd seen specifically, there are plenty of sites out there).

God is so creative.

A closing thought. Psalm 139 is a tribute to how much God loves us. Here's an excerpt for you, but you really should read the whole thing.

13 For You formed my inward parts;
         You covered me in my mother’s womb.
 14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
         Marvelous are Your works,
         And that my soul knows very well.
 15 My frame was not hidden from You,
         When I was made in secret,
         And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
 16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
         And in Your book they all were written,
         The days fashioned for me,
         When as yet there were none of them. 

God loves you, dear one, each and every bone in your body and hair on your head. He is your creator. He is my creator.
How awesome is Your name O God!

As always,
under HIS wing,

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

"W" is for...

Ordinary Lives. From a 2 z 4 u & me


I thought I'd do something a little fun this week. I have some pictures here of everyday (sometimes seasonal) items at MY house.  Hahaha.

Picture 1
Picture 2

I will send a $5 Starbucks gift card to whomever can correctly name all five pictures. (Quick aside: if the above sentence should say whoever instead of whomever, please tell me how to know the difference.)

None of these have been "altered" in any way. They are all small cropped sections of pictures taken at my house in the last year.

Can YOU do it?

Please make sure your answers correspond with the number on each photo and leave your e-mail, so that I can contact you, IF you manage to name them all correctly.

This contest will continue until next Tuesday when I do the "X" post. The answers will be revealed then.  Good luck.

As always,
under HIS wings,

Picture 3
Picture 4
Picture 5

Saturday, October 22, 2011

My Provider

I apologize that this meme didn't show up until today. I don't usually have weeks like this past one, and when I do, they surprise me with their busyness. Better late than never, right?

Growing up, I didn't have much. My dad, what I remember anyway, was fickle about work. I can count a number of jobs that he had (different sorts of jobs, not just different employers for the same job) while I was growing up. He moved out when I was fourteen. My mom worked a full-time job and by that time it was only her and I, but even then it was hard to support a family with only one income, doable, but difficult. She did the best she could, but I did without a lot of stuff.

College didn't seem like an option, but I applied anyway. I got accepted to a local university and received enough money that I didn't have to pay for anything. At one point, I needed some money for books or something, I don't even remember what at the moment. I remember crying to my boyfriend, now my husband, about not having the money. He told me that God would provide. To be honest, I doubt I believed him. Church was not high on my parents' priority list and I was just getting to know God at the time.

Not long after that, I received a check in the mail. I don't remember who it was from, though my husband still has the stub from it. It was enough for what I needed. My boyfriend made me write on the back of it God always provides for my needs. I believe it now.

We, however, have different ideas of what our needs are. God promises in His Word that he will provide what we NEED. Matthew 6:25-34 (NKJV)

25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

I know that God sees things different than me. Isaiah says so in chapter 55. Sometimes we wish and wish for things to be the way we envision them, but I choose to believe God has my best interest at heart and that whatever comes my way will be because someone else needs to hear my testimony or I need to grow.

God provided for me monetarily. How has He provided for you? 

As always,
under HIS wings,

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A book I recommend

"A Sound Among the Trees" by Susan Meissner was an excellent read. I had my doubts at first. I'm not usually drawn to "ghost" stories. However, Ms. Meissner's tale pulled me in and turned out not to be a ghost story at all.

As I read, I wanted to find out what Marielle felt, saw, and experienced. I love old houses and found myself envisioning the rooms as she walked through them. I empathized with Susannah as she journaled about her life at Holly Oak.

I highly recommend this book. If you push past the wedding reception, it's definitely worth it.

If you are interested in this book, please support this blog by clicking the link below.

As always,
under HIS wings,

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

"V" is for...

Ordinary Lives. From a 2 z 4 u & me


Can you see it?

See what?

The future. It's but a moment away. There it goes; now it's the past.

Some days, weeks, months, years...they feel that way. You've blinked and they're gone. But what have you done with the time? Was it productive? Did you accomplish what you'd set out to do?

Stephen's eyes
Lots of people make "New Year's Resolutions" - I'm not one of them. If I find I need to accomplish something I don't plan to wait until the new year to set it into motion. I've been trying for a number of years to lose weight. It seems to be an uphill battle, especially since I passed the big 40. I continue to fight, however. It's something that's important to me. I enVISION a time when I can get back into my favorite jean skirt.

I have a VISION for my future and that of my children. Will it match up to reality? Probably not, but I can shoot for a goal and trust God to show me how to accomplish it or to show me a better way. 

Warning: Change of Direction

Deborah's eyes
Four sets of eyes are on this page. Mine and three of my children. Six of my seven children have brown eyes. Deborah looks like she's getting ready to blink. That's because she is.  LOL  She hates the flash in her eyes. I can sometimes get one good picture out of her before her eyes start blinking and watering. Her's and Stephen's eye color are indicative of most of my children.
Adam's eyes

Then I had Adam (my seventh). Blue eyes, just as pretty as you please. I love his eyes. Not only are they blue, but absolutely expressive. Can you see the mischief?

I see a touch of mischief in Stephen's eyes too. He looks like he's hatching up a plan to get Adam.  :)

Can you believe that when I was little I was told I had brown eyes? I keep looking in the mirror and wondering, "Who on earth thought my eyes were brown?" All I see is green, with a touch of golden brown in the center.

My eyes

Eyes have been called the windows to the soul. What would I see if I looked into your eyes today?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Good news

It's wonderful and exciting to be able to write to you today and tell you that after a lot of money crunching (well, not really, but it sounds good), we have decided to keep the horses and have them trained professionally. In the long run, it will be cheaper and I LOVE my horses.

The next good news pertains to my writing. Since returning home from conference, I've been in a funk/slump. I wasn't sure which way to go and had pretty much decided to put my current MS on the shelf (not literally, since it's on the computer) and work on something new. But the something new was not coming forth, so to speak. I have felt as dry as a week old bone. I didn't have any ideas, no desire to write, nothing. Dead. Empty.

After much prayer from friends, thanks Amy, Susan, Suzanne, Christina, Lora, and Vanetta, I have decided to go back to my MS that I was going to shelf. I feel like writing again. I actually worked on it this evening for a short time. I think God was telling me something.

How about you? Have you taken a road that seemed right at the time, but later found it was wrong and you had to backtrack to find the right one?

I love hearing from you.

As always
Under HIS wings,

Thursday, October 13, 2011

God as my Comforter

My first blog on the Names of God Meme.  I hope you'll join me in telling others who God is and what He's done for you.

Let me tell you about an experience I had a number of years ago. I don't remember what was going on in my life at the time, but I was distraught. I was to the point of not being able to function anymore. I ran away, well as far as I could with small children in the house. I think it must have been some time in the afternoon (nap time) because I wasn't bothered for a while. I "ran" into my bedroom, closed and locked the door, and turned on "Holy" by Nichole Nordeman. I fell on my knees and sang and cried out to God, my comforter. When the song was off, I remember just rocking back and forth on my knees, with my eyes closed, crying out to God.

God met me in that place; the place where I had NOTHING left to give - not to Him, not to my children, not to my husband. I felt the PHYSICAL presence of God that day. It brings tears to my eyes just remembering the feeling of love and security as His arms embraced me. You may think me strange, but I felt His arms hugging me that day. He held me and let me cry. He showed me His love. He Comforted me in my brokenness.

Thank you God for being my Comforter not just when I can "feel" you, but in those moments when it seems as if you're far away. I know you're not; you're always with me.

Even if you don't blog, I welcome your comments and would love to know how God has been your comforter. 

Under HIS wings,
PS. I hope the link tool works...if not, please post your blog URL in the comments section, so we can visit you and see how God has touched your life.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

"U" is for

Ordinary Lives. From a 2 z 4 u & me


I debated with myself for a bit before deciding on this topic. It's really a two-part post, so bear with me.

April 27, 2011 Tornado(F5) - from my bedroom window
Are you prepared for power outages, natural disasters or, if worse comes to worse, another terrorist attack on our country? During the April 27th tornadoes here in North Alabama (and many other areas), many people were caught empty handed, literally. They didn't have much gas in their cars, no food in their pantries, no batteries in their radios or flashlights, no candles. What did they do? They waited in VERY long lines for anything they could get. Many drove hundreds of miles to find gas and/or food.

These storms occurred on Wednesday. We did not get power back until early Monday morning (I think). Others didn't get it back for more than a week later than that. What did we do? We ate from our pantry. We opened the freezer sparingly. Our neighbor was nice enough to share his generator; we have since purchased our own. We used candles and flashlights. We didn't need it, but we also have water stored for emergency use. We were prepared.

What if something like this happened at your house? Would you be prepared? Do you have extra food, water, candles or batteries? Is the gas tank in your car more than half full?

Second half of this blog:

What if you were one of the many who died in these horrible storms? Are you prepared for eternity? Will Jesus give you a hug and welcome you to heaven, or well He say, "Depart from me, I never knew you?" If you are uncertain, visit my church's website to be sure. There's only one way to heaven and that's through the person of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Don't be caught unprepared. You may not have tomorrow to get prepared. 

One last thing from the book of Matthew, chapter 25 (NKJV).
The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins
 1 “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, 4 but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
6 “And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ 7 Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.
11 “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ 12 But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’
13 “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.

Under HIS wings (and prepared),

Friday, October 7, 2011

Coming Soon...

After much thought and prayer, I have decided to start a Meme. For those who don't know (I didn't just a short time ago), defines meme as: a cultural item that is transmitted by repetition in a manner analogous to the biological transmission of genes. HUH? To paraphrase: lots of people repeating the same general thing. I don't plan to be transmitting any genes, but instead suggest a fun way to learn the names or characteristics of God in a more detailed, in-depth manner.

This almost seems exclusive, but it's not. There are so many names and characteristics of our Father in heaven that each of us can write on the ones that are most personal to us and still not cover them all. He's so much bigger than we make Him out to be sometimes.

Anyway, the particulars: Starting Thursday, October 13th, 2011, I will be doing a Meme once per week (on Thursday) on the names of God. This will run through the end of the year, so the last one will be posted the Thursday after Christmas (Dec. 29).  If you will be posting, share who God is to you (comforter, friend, provider, etc) and why. Give us a personal story, if you like.

I will be doing a link thingy (picture/icon) soon and will add it to THIS post sometime this weekend (I hope). 

If you have a blog, please join me. If not, please come back often and comment. I love to hear from you. It brightens my day.

Here's the button code:

Under HIS wings,

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

"T" is for...

Ordinary Lives. From a 2 z 4 u & me


We all have the same amount of time... 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. It's how we spend it that differs. 

I like to sleep and I need 8 hours to function properly. I can get along with less, but if I do that repetitively, you will encounter a zombie mom with very little brain power. My thinking ability is greatly impaired. The rest of my 24 hours is flexible. 

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 says, "To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted; A time to kill, And a time to heal; A time to break down, And a time to build up; A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing; A time to gain, And a time to lose; A time to keep, And a time to throw away; A time to tear, And a time to sew; A time to keep silence, And a time to speak;
A time to love, And a time to hate; A time of war, And a time of peace."

There is always a time when we have to do something that pains us - say good-bye to a loved one, have a beloved pet put down or given away, and so many others that it would be impossible to name them all. 

Our family has come to one of those times. We have two registered Tennessee Walking Horses, both mares. We have had them and loved them for two years. They were green-broke (can ride, but must be a good rider) when we got them. I thought - being naive to the core - that I could train them. I did, to a certain extent. However, I'm a novice at riding and at training. I could only go so far (without professional help) and I have come to the point where I am tired of dealing with them. I don't have the TIME to devote to them that they need to be great horses. They can be ridden, but still need a good rider in the saddle to control them. I am sad, but I know it's time. My children are sad, but this is not the end of our horse "career." We will replace them, but with more mature, well-trained horses that we can ride without fear.

What is something that you have known it was TIME for, but felt sad that you must face the situation?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

"Lone Star Trail" by Darlene Franklin

An enjoyable read. Ms. Franklin wrote in such a way that made me want to find out how Wande Fleischer and her family conquer the land, also called Texas. It is a peek into the lives of the early Texans and those, like the Germans, who joined them in taming the land. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.
If you are interested in this book, click here.


under HIS wings,