Friday, October 2, 2015

Would you Stand?

I often ask myself... Would You Stand?

Peter 3:3 Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.

 He walked into a room,with a gun. Consumed by evil, looking to extinguish good.
Matthew 10:22 You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.
He asked them a question, are you a Christian?

Ephesians 6:14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 

They stood firm and they said YES, I am a Christian.  And he shot them. 

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.
Would you stand?  Would you boldly profess Christ as your Savior?  Would you face the evil in this world, standing firm?  Even when faced with death?

2Timothy 2:12 if we endure,
    we will also reign with him.
If we disown him,
    he will also disown us;

My desire is to reign with Christ.  When I accepted his Spirit into me, I died to myself and I began to live for Him.  If I live for Him, I die for Him, to live with Him for all eternity!

I pray for those of us who must face the evil of this world daily.   I pray that we are able to stand firm so that in the day of Christ we may rise and reign with our King.  I pray for the families of those who stood for Christ, that they understand by choosing to die, they chose to live.  Yes the gunman was right, they would see God this day!  And for those who are in Christ it's a joyous occasion, not a death sentence.  He didn't realize that by singling out Christians, he himself was glorifying the One, the Alpha, The Omega, The Risen Savior. 

Zephaniah 1:14a Near is the great day of the Lord,
Near and coming very quickly;
Listen, the day of the Lord!

Love & Blessings!


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Review: Lucretia and the Kroons

Lucretia and the Kroons Lucretia and the Kroons by Victor LaValle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book Summary

Lucretia’s best friend and upstairs neighbor Sunny—a sweet pitbull of a kid, even as she struggles with a mysterious illness—has gone missing. The only way to get her back is for Lucretia to climb the rickety fire escape of their Queens tenement and crawl through the window of apartment 6D, portal to a vast shadowland of missing kids ruled by a nightmarish family of mutants whose designs on the children are unknown. Her search for Sunny takes Lucretia through a dark fantasyland where she finds lush forests growing from concrete, pigeon-winged rodents, and haunted playgrounds. Her quest ultimately forces her to confront the most frightening specter of all: losing, forever, the thing you love the most.

My Review

I'll start off by saying this is not the type of book that I normally read. However I'm trying to work through some of my collection and this was next up. The story begins with a 12th birthday party for Lucretia. The author of this novella draws you in quickly and sets up the rest of the story. Even though I'm MUCH older, I felt I could connect with Lucretia and some of the emotions she was experiencing. The supporting characters were well developed, Mom, Sunny, the three popular girls, Louis and of course the Kroons. They really contributed to the story, made it flow very nicely. As Lucretia goes on her adventure, the author really kept me interested wondering what or who she would encounter next. I couldn't put the story down! Every free minute I was picking this book up to see what happened next. As a deeper thought, this really brought home the fact that a child's life is not always sunshine and roses. I think Lucretia's adventure was representative of the emotions and escapes that children use when faced with difficulties especially death. I though the author did a great job with this book from the horror/fantasy perspective.

From A Christian Perspective

I think this book had a message although it was somewhat hard to find. While Alice was different and strange, in the end Loochie learned to love her as a friend. I think it's important for children to recognize that it's ok to love those who are different from them. Also, Loochie had to make a choice between life and death. She recognized the value of her life and chose to live. So many are faced with this decision and make a different choice. So while this book was NOT a Christian book, you can find some redeeming messages within.

Love and Blessings!

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Monday, September 21, 2015

Review: Freedom's Child

Freedom's Child Freedom's Child by Jax Miller
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Freedom's Child by Jax Miller

From the cover:

Freedom Oliver has plenty of secrets. She lives in a small Oregon town and keeps mostly to herself. Her few friends and neighbors know she works at the local biker bar; they know she gets arrested for public drunkenness almost every night; they know she’s brash, funny, and fearless.

What they don’t know is that Freedom Oliver is a fake name. They don’t know that she was arrested for killing her husband, a cop, twenty years ago. They don’t know she put her two kids up for adoption. They don’t know that she’s now in witness protection, regretting ever making a deal with the Feds, and missing her children with a heartache so strong it makes her ill.

Then, she learns that her daughter has gone missing, possibly kidnapped. Determined to find out what happened, Freedom slips free of her handlers, gets on a motorcycle, and heads for Kentucky, where her daughter was raised. As she ventures out on her own, no longer protected by the government, her troubled past comes roaring back at her: her husband’s vengeful, sadistic family; her brief, terrifying stint in prison; and the family she chose to adopt her kids who are keeping dangerous secrets.

My Review
I received this ARC in return for my honest opinion regarding the book. When I started reading the book, I thought the writing pattern was a bit odd. After a few chapters, it was clear that Freedom was a mother on a mission. She secretly kept track of her children and too late realized they were in danger. As she does what I think any mother would do, sets out to rescue them, her trail is woven through some weird situations. When a rogue cop follows her to help her out, he not only puts himself at risk but Freedom also. What threw me off was the way each chapter seemed likes it's own sub story, it didn't always flow smoothly. I thought it would get better and make more sense as I got further into the story, unfortunately for me it didn't. While Freedom was an interesting character, I never felt like I got a good understanding of her character and I couldn't connect with her very well. The supporting characters were about the same. I get the feeling that there was a much deeper meaning to this story and somehow I missed it.

From a Christian Perspective
In a weird way I think this was supposed to be a story of redemption. The Pastor had lost his focus on Christ and the servant attitude which led to his downfall. As Christians, we must remember that our every action is to serve God. Bad language and craziness aside. I think this book is definitely for the adult reader, I would not allow kids to read it.

Love & Blessings!

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Friday, September 11, 2015

I Am Ready to Be Humble

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

This was the closing scripture to the movie a saw today, War Room.  I am humbled after seeing that movie.  Sometimes we need a reminder of what the Lord can and more importantly WILL do if we humble ourselves before Him.  

War Room Trailer:

It's very rare that I get emotional for a movie (although it seems to be happening more lately!) but this one really touched me deep in my soul.  The struggle sounded so familiar to me and to some others that I know.  Why is it so hard to believe that all we need to do is really humble ourselves before the Lord?  Why is it so hard to believe that He still answers prayer?  I don't know the answers but I know what I will be attempting to do over the next few months!  

Have you seen the movie?  What are your thoughts?

Love & Blessings!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Review: The Truth Club

The Truth Club The Truth Club by Grace Wynne-Jones
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

From the cover:
Marriage seems to have stirred up all sorts of weird longings in Sally Adams. On the surface she seems to have everything she needs to be why is she guzzling so many chocolate biscuits and dreaming of elsewhere?

She has good friends, an interesting job and an almost brand new husband. Then a chance encounter with a stranger makes it all too clear that life could have been so different if she had followed her heart. She begins to wonder if the key to fulfillment lies not in the present but in the past.

Over fifty years before, Sally's Great-Aunt DeeDee, the official black sheep of the family, disappeared. When Sally uncovers a scandal that has left deep fault lines in her family she begins to understand the legacy of lies and secrets that are echoed in her complicated relationship with her sister, April. As she unravels the mystery she begins to see what she has been hiding from. And she learns that to be who she truly is and to find her soul mate, she must be honest...and she must be brave.

My Review:
This book took place primarily in Ireland. Sally had moved out from her husband Diarmund and was trying to figure out if she wanted to stay married or not. Sally was an odd sort of character and I couldn't quite connect to her. She seemed all over the place emotionally and it was a little (ok a lot!) distracting. I never quite managed to understand her. As the book progressed, I was more and more confused by the interactions and relationships. The auxiliary characters like Diarmund, Fiona and Erika seemed to have stories of their own, they didn't really "fit" if that makes sense. The story was choppy and seemed to be all over the place like the main character. There wasn't a smooth flow and that's always something that will make me lose interest. I did finish the book but it was a struggle.

From a Christian perspective:

I couldn't find any redeeming factors in this book. There were extramarital affairs, much extramarital sex, lying between partners. I found this a bit disturbing especially since it did nothing to support the story being told. I feel like some attempt was made at the end when one of Sally's "hobbies" was singing in a gospel choir with blacks. It was weak and again unnecessary.

Overall I did not enjoy this book and I would find it difficult to recommend it.  This was a  book from my personal collection and I did not receive any compensation for my review.

Love and Blessings!

View all my reviews

Monday, August 24, 2015

Review: House Rules

House Rules House Rules by Jodi Picoult
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a book from my personal collection. This review is my personal opinion and was not influenced by the author or publisher in any way. 

From the cover:

When your son can't look you in the eye...does that mean he's guilty?
Jacob Hunt is a teen with Asperger's syndrome. He's hopeless at reading social cues or expressing himself well to others, though he is brilliant in many ways. But he has a special focus on one subject - forensic analysis. A police scanner in his room clues him in to crime scenes, and he's always showing up and telling the cops what to do. And he's usually right.
But when Jacob's small hometown is rocked by a terrible murder, law enforcement comes to him. Jacob's behaviors are hallmark Asperger's, but they look a lot like guilt to the local police. Suddenly the Hunt family, who only want to fit in, are directly in the spotlight. For Jacob's mother, Emma, it's a brutal reminder of the intolerance and misunderstanding that always threaten her family. For his brother, Theo, it's another indication why nothing is normal because of Jacob.
And over this small family, the soul-searing question looms: Did Jacob commit murder?

My review:
Jodi Picoult does an excellent job of weaving this story. She not only builds characters that you can relate to, but she does it in such a way that you understand them. I did not know much about Asperger's or Forensic science prior to reading this, however, I feel I have a much better understanding now. I also like the authors approach of short chapters which represented the thoughts of the main characters.

When I first started reading this book, I wasn't sure if it was going to keep my interest. I should have known better! After the first few chapters, I was hooked. It's well known that the court systems cater to a specific "normal" type. To bring in the unknown was BRILLIANT. Whether this is a realistic situation, I don't know but it seemed realistic. The scene that stuck with me the most is when Jacob was in jail. His reactions to the environment was so scary and my heart hurt for him. Then Jacob went through the trial and we get to see the reactions and thoughts of him, Theo, Emma and Oliver, it really brings the story together. The special accommodations and Jacob's reactions to certain stimuli, really gave the reader an understanding of what this situation could be like for someone with Asperger's. It seemed like Henry was more of an afterthought and that is my only complaint, I would have liked him to be woven into the story or eliminated altogether. To wait until the very last second for the climax is unusual but it worked in this situation. It did leave me wanting to know more, like what happened with Henry after the trial and what was the court's reaction when they came back with this new information? Overall a great story and I would recommend it.

From a Christian perspective:

While there wasn't much "religion" in this book there were some good elements. Like the House Rules teach about loving one another and being your Brother's keeper. I don't think it was meant exactly the way it was presented but it was there. For young readers there was one instance of extramarital sex and hints of domestic abuse. I don't think this was enough to prevent recommending this book because it was so well thought out and there are many good elements.

Love and Blessings!

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Sunday, August 23, 2015

Welcome back!

Hello everyone,

Not sure who is still here but I got away from blogging for a while!  Much longer than I anticipated but I'm really back now!

There's been a lot of experiences in my life that I feel God is leading me to share at this time.

Spiritually I feel I'm at a turning point and I want to share some of the things that are causing me to grow and step out of my comfort zone.  I love the Lord with all my heart!  But sometimes it all seems so overwhelming especially when you are facing challenges in the everyday.  I'm learning to repent more on Him and less on me.  That affects all aspects of my life.  For this area, I plan to share scriptures and some of the devotions I'm studying.

I was doing really well on my healthy journey but I've had some setbacks.  However God is a God of
second chances and I'm ready to begin again.  I hope to share some exercises and recipes that are part of my plan.  I'm "super-sized" so while it will take me a while to reach my goal, I've learned a lot about what works and doesn't work for me.  I hope you'll take some encouragement from my journey.

I've started reading again so I'm excited to start sharing some of my book reviews with you.  They won't all be current books as I'm trying to read some of these books I've had stacked up for a while. For my review, I'll share what the cover write up is, what my thoughts are and specifically what my thoughts are from a Christian perspective.

There will be some personal aspects to my blog this time around, there are a lot of challenges that our family is facing right now.  I hope to share my experiences and maybe receive feedback on what I could do differently. 

Well if you are still here, I look forward to interacting with you all and getting to know you better!

Love and Blessings!