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.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Review: A Most Peculiar Circumstance by Jen Turano

A Most Peculiar Circumstance by Jen Turano is not a mediocre romance novel. Prepare to be wow'ed. Ms. Turano lives up to the standard she set with A Change of Fortune (see that review here). This novel is a beautifully written love story involving two independent individuals who want their own way. It is highly comical with a touch of suspense.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to the next one in the Ladies of Distinction series.

Back cover:
Miss Arabella Beckett has one driving passion: to help the downtrodden women of America. Naturally, she supports the women's suffrage movement and eagerly attends rallies and lectures across the country. On her travels, she makes a simple offer of assistance to a young woman in need that goes sadly awry and lands both ladies in more trouble than they can manage. An independent sort, Arabella is loath to admit she needs help and certainly doesn't need help from an arrogant, narrow-minded knight in shining armor.
Mr. Theodore Wilder, private investigator extraordinaire, is on a mission. A mission that began as a favor to his good friend Hamilton Beckett, but swiftly evolved into a merry chase across the country. By the time he finally tracks down Hamilton's sister, Arabella, he is in a less than pleasant mood. When the lady turns out to have radical ideas and a fiercely independent streak, he soon finds himself at his wit's end.
When they return home to New York, circumstances force their paths to continue to cross, but the most peculiar feelings growing between them certainly can't be love. When the trouble Arabella had accidentally stirred up seems to have followed her to New York and threatens her very life, the unlikely couple must face the possibility that they might have landed in the most peculiar circumstance of all: love.

Rating: 5 roses


Monday, July 29, 2013

Monday Musing - Hard Days

For whatever reason, yesterday was a hard day for me.

I woke up grouchy. I thought I'd slept well, but maybe not.

After getting ready and showing up to choir rehearsal on time, things began frustrating me. Normal things, not unusual things. With a concerted effort, I did not voice my irritation. But that effort drained me and I was disappointed when I came home and realized I had failed to WORSHIP and I had only sung the words without them truly affecting me.

We try not to do any work on Sundays. It's our day of rest. Everyone needs one, and if you can't do it on Sunday for whatever reason, I suggest you make sure there's another day when you can rest and relax. I'm certain our bodies need the down-time. Anyway, because of how rainy it's been here lately, we haven't been able to get the sealant down on our drive-way. It's been sitting in the shed for several weeks, waiting--there had to be three DRY days in a row following it's application. We started yesterday after lunch, but it only covered half the driveway. Bummer. Several hours on a Sunday afternoon gone, and the job couldn't be finished.

One of my sons came home for a boy scout camp-out and after unpacking realized he'd lost his wallet. We went back to the campsite and searched for over an hour without success. Such a bummer. We cancelled his debit card, and looked up how he could replace his driver's license. A few other things were in there that were irreplaceable, like a gift card, but *shrug* there's nothing to be done about it now. I've advised him to be sure to secure his wallet next time. :)

I finished the evening trying to wade through nearly 500 e-mails, but only managed 1/5th of them.

Sometimes life throws us these unexpected inconveniences. How do you manage when you wake up "on the wrong side of the bed"? How do you find the silver-lining of tough situations?


Monday, July 22, 2013


As I sit on my front porch listening to the thunder roll in the distance, I'm struck with the utter magnificence of God.

Lightning flashes, and in milliseconds or sometimes minutes, boom, thunder rolls across the sky.

Today in service we sang about storms, and how Jesus is Lord of all, even in the midst of life's worst storms.

This is Hillsong singing the song I'm speaking of, Cornerstone.

Verse two:
When Darkness seems to hide His face
I rest on His unchanging grace
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil

Even when it feels like we're being tossed around, if we are a child of God, He will be our anchor. He'll be there to hold us steady. And as my pastor so eloquently put it, "Sometimes we're only a few feet from being out of the storm." We just have to hold on.

And just like with a storm, you can't wait until you're in the midst of trials to prepare. All the preparations need to be made beforehand.

What would you need in the midst of a natural storm?

  • a safe place/shelter
  • flashlights and/or candles
  • radio for weather, and news updates
  • batteries for above
  • food that doesn't need fixing
  • water for drinking and other necessities :)

What would you need in the midst of spiritual storms?

  • a safe place/shelter - Psalm 91:4, "He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge...."
  • light to brighten the path - Psalm 119:105, "Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path."
  • Scripture - verses memorized come to mind in times like these - Proverbs 7:1-3, "My son, keep my words, and treasure my commands within you. Keep my commands and live, and my law as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.
  • friends who will pray and come alongside you with support - Mark 2:2-5, "Soon the house where he was staying was so packed with visitors that there was no more room, even outside the door. While he was preaching God’s word to them, four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. They couldn’t bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above his head. Then they lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, 'My child, your sins are forgiven.'"

We've all had storms in our lives. Can you name some things I've missed?

If you're in the midst of a storm, I would love to pray with you. My e-mail is at the upper left hand side of this post, just below my picture. Click on it and tell me how I can pray with you, or you can post it in the comments below.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Take A Moment...

I'm so behind on my reviews, I'm doing several today. Take a moment and check out these recent releases. I hope you enjoyed them as much as I did. :)

Mail Order Man by Heather Gray pleasantly surprised me. Sometimes I'm quite hesitant when I pick up a book by an unknown author, at least unknown to me. This novel exceeded my expectations and I look forward to reading more of Ms. Gray's work.

Mail Order Man made me laugh, cry, and laugh again. So many misunderstandings, so many men, and then comes trouble. Sarah doesn't know what to make of it, or of the man who saves her from being accosted by several other men new in town. I could relate to Sarah's hesitancy to trust any of the new men in town, including Samuel, whom she knows is not telling her everything.

Back cover:
Some people get a mail order bride. She got a mail order man.
A well-meaning friend places an ad to find a mail order husband for Sarah, the proprietress of Larkspur’s stage and mail office. Sarah, who is generally quiet and reserved, doesn't know about the ad and has no idea what to do with all the people that are showing up in her community. Before long, the town is overrun with men and mail alike. Sarah is trying to avoid some men who have accosted her on the street when she stumbles into Samuel. Through long days spent together at the stage office, some very adventurous pots of coffee and a shared faith, the two become friends. Sarah knows that Samuel is hiding something from her, something important, but that doesn't stop her heart from leaping wildly into love. Lacking the confidence to trust her heart, Sarah wars with herself over the feelings she can no longer deny. When some of the men who have come to town show their true intentions, a shootout follows. Sarah finally gets answers to many of the questions circling through her mind. One question remains, though. 
Where will her mail order man go when the dust settles?

Rating: 4 roses


Wow, just wow. Katie Ganshert has done an excellent job with Wishing on Willows. The writing is excellent, and pulls you into the story with little effort on your part.

It is a heartwarming story of grief and second chances at love. Sometimes a dry, empty desert becomes our familiar place and no matter how good the alternative is, making a change is scary. Taking a chance on love, for a second time, can be even scarier, but Ms. Ganshert has done an excellent job of showing us that it can work.

Back cover:
A three-year old son, a struggling café, and fading memories are all Robin Price has left of her late husband. As the proud owner of Willow Tree Café in small town Peaks, Iowa,  she pours her heart into every muffin she bakes and espresso she pulls, thankful for the sense of purpose and community the work provides.
So when developer Ian McKay shows up in Peaks with plans to build condos where her café and a vital town ministry are located, she isn’t about to let go without a fight.
As stubborn as he is handsome, Ian won’t give up easily. His family’s business depends on his success in Peaks. But as Ian pushes to seal the deal, he wonders if he has met his match. Robin’s gracious spirit threatens to undo his resolve, especially when he discovers the beautiful widow harbors a grief that resonates with his own.
With polarized opinions forming all over town, business becomes unavoidably personal and Robin and Ian must decide whether to cling to the familiar or surrender their plans to the God of Second Chances.

Rating: 4 stars


Another Wow book. Wholly satisfying. Stealing the Preacher by Karen Witemeyer will make you chuckle, stare at the page in disbelief, and even bring a tear to your eye. Well, that last one might just be me, but it is highly emotional in a few places.

I stand in awe of Karen Witemeyer's ability to pull me into a story and refuse to let me go. She did it with Short-Straw Bride, and she's done it again with Stealing the Preacher. Kudo's to Ms. Witemeyer for an excellent novel.

Back cover:
On his way to interview for a position at a church in the Piney Woods of Texas, Crockett Archer can scarcely believe it when he's forced off the train by a retired outlaw and presented to the man's daughter as the minister she requested for her birthday. Worried this unfortunate detour will ruin his chances of finally serving a congregation of his own, Crockett is determined to escape. But when he finally gets away, he's haunted by the memory of the young woman he left behind--a woman whose dreams now hinge on him.
For months, Joanna Robbins prayed for a preacher. A man to breathe life back into the abandoned church at the heart of her community. A man to assist her in fulfilling a promise to her dying mother. A man to help her discover answers to the questions that have been on her heart for so long. But just when it seems God has answered her prayers, it turns out the person is there against his will and has dreams of his own calling him elsewhere. Is there any way she can convince Crockett to stay in her little backwoods community? And does the attraction between them have any chance of blossoming when Joanna's outlaw father is dead set against his daughter courting a preacher?

Rating: 5 roses


That's all the reviews for today.


Monday, July 15, 2013

It's Not Over

Lately, God has been really speaking to me through music. Yesterday was no exception. As a member of our worship choir, I'd sung this piece a few times, but I'd really not paid much attention to the verses as we aren't responsible for singing those. But yesterday, oh man...

Let me explain. I think I mentioned that I felt it was time to sell my horses. As much as I loved them, I just didn't have time to spend riding them like they needed. Well, Saturday they went to their new family. It was a bittersweet moment, and I feel no shame in saying I shed a few tears.

Then yesterday, we sang this song. I know this might, or might not be to your music tastes, but listen to the above song. Really listen.

You see, I've been wondering over the last few weeks whether writing is really where God is calling me to spend my time. Not that I wouldn't write, I would. I couldn't not write. I just wouldn't pursue publication. But I received some great encouragement from some facebook friends (who happen to be real-life friends, too).

 Then God confirmed his word to me yesterday. Read this verse:
I know it's dark just before dawn
This might just be the hardest season you've experienced
I know it hurts; it won't be too long
You're closer than you think you are
You're closer than you've been before
And it just hit me. God allowed me to have horses for a season. It was what I needed a few years ago, so I could know that in HIS timing, He would answer my prayers. As of Saturday that season was over and a new one is just about to begin. Look at the last two lines again..."you're closer than you think you are, you're closer than you've been before."

It reminds me of a picture I've seen on facebook. The guy is mining for diamonds and he quits and walks away one strike away from breaking through. :)

Okay, back to the song. Here's verse two.

Something is moving, turning around
Seasons are changing; everything is different now
Here comes the sun piercing the clouds
You're closer than you think you are
You're closer than you've been before

*Sigh* Seasons are changing; everything is different now.

Now the chorus:
It's not over, it's not finished
It's not ending; it's only the beginning
When God is in it, all things are new
When God is in it. Is God in your writing or your everyday life? Sad to say, I have neglected to keep Him in mine each day. But that's changing. Everyday I'm going to ask for His help, His words, His message to come through me. I'm going to ask, seek and knock.

Okay, so now you know how God touched my yesterday during worship. How has he spoken to you recently?


Saturday, July 6, 2013

Have You Ever Contemplated Suicide?

The movie It's a Wonderful Life comes to mind. George Bailey thinks about it, though I forget exactly why he doesn't jump from the bridge.

Have YOU ever contemplated suicide?
What I felt like on the inside

I have, years and years ago when I was a teenager. Life was hard and I didn't think anyone cared. My mother and father were separated, I'd recently been dumped by a boyfriend, and because of my sin, I didn't think God could love me anymore.

I'm so thankful I didn't follow through and make an attempt on my own life.

Why didn't I?

Well, in my young mind, I viewed suicide was an unpardonable sin. I mean, really, how can you ask for forgiveness for murder when you're dead? Wrong thinking or not, it kept me from taking my own life when that life became too hard to face.

One day, a few months into my depression, my pastor pointed out a verse to me. I have to look up the exact location, but I remember the words..."As far as the east is from the west, so far has he [God] removed our transgressions from us." It's in Psalms, 105:12, I think. Hold up...let me look. Nope, missed it by a few chapters. It's Psalms 103:12.

Washed clean, white as snow
Anyway, that verse allowed me to see that God no longer remembered my sins once I confessed and asked for forgiveness. Those sins have been removed. Once again I could feel God's love. It had never left me; He always loves us even in our sin. But I needed to accept His love.

It didn't happen overnight. There were still times when life overwhelmed me, but I learned to go to God with my struggles.

Suicide is not the answer to your problems--no matter how you may feel. Even if the people in your life disappoint you--and they will at some point--God's love NEVER fails. He will always provide someone to be your rock, but you have to be willing to accept the help.

I am not a counselor, doctor, psychologist, or a trained professional in any field that deals with people contemplating suicide. Today I'm a mom, and a wanna-be author/speaker, but I am also a person who's been there.

If you are contemplating suicide, don't give up. PLEASE. 1-800-273-8255 is the national suicide hotline number. Someone there can help you. 

God made you for a purpose. Don't give up before you've fulfilled all that He has for you.

Father, God, I don't know who this is supposed to reach today, but I pray for every hurting person that reads this post, no matter how they came upon it. You sent Jesus to heal the brokenhearted and to set the captives free, and I ask now in His precious name that you would heal and set free the one reading these words. Thank you for all you do for us. In Jesus name, Amen.

I'm praying for you,