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Writer of fiction that reflects the light of Jesus. Sometimes the grit mixes with beauty to make up a picture of this life. That's where my fiction lives.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

David Sticker Book

I'm a busy mom. Aren't we all? Seems like I've been busier than normal the last few months. 

Homeschooling. Keeping house. Church involvement. Releasing my first book (Paint Chips through WhiteFire Publishing...yes, I did have to get that plug in). 

How do I keep everything balanced? 

Well, I'll tell you, one of my biggest helps are books. 

Yes. Books.

My kids are book lovers. They love a good story. Vibrantly illustrated pages. 

This sticker book about the life of David from the Bible was fun for them. It provided a few different lessons for them (depending on God, looking at the heart, God's protection). It also had several stickers that the kids could fix into place on the pictures. The book used good, solid words, adding to my kids' vocabulary. 

I think this would be a great book for families (although, if you have more than one child, you'll want one for each). It could also be a fun Bible school give-away or prize. 

You can order this book through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or from Parable Book Stores.

*Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book for an honest review. 

Friday, November 30, 2012

Review: The Weight of Mercy by Deb Richardson-Moore

Some books are entertaining. They allow the reader to escape the sounds and smells and stresses of life. They harken back to simpler times and places and situations. The reader is left with a calm and easy feeling after reading the last page.

This is not one of those books. 

Deb Richardson-Moore's book The Weight of Mercy: A Novice Pastor on the City Streets moves the reader, making him or her uncomfortable, causing the reader to see the rugged urban streets as something more than a "bad neighborhood". She makes the reader see the least of these among us. She doesn't allow us to turn our faces away from them. 

Deb wrote about drug addiction, prostitution, vandalism, violence, homelessness, crime, discrimination, poverty. She also wrote about redemption, rehabilitation, restoration, forgiveness, extreme joy, worship, education. Deb wrote a very human story. And it is all true.

She wrote skillfully, that's clear. She worked as a journalist for 27 years prior to taking the pastorate at Triune Mercy Center. However, she wrote this book outside the clear cut, detailed work of a journalist. She wrote with heart, compassion, and conviction. She didn't give easy answers. Didn't claim to know everything. Never once took credit for the work God is doing in the inner-city. 

This is a book that needs to be read. From the pastor of the inner-city church to the business man living in the suburbs. The stay at home mom to the community organizer. For too long, the Church has misunderstood something vitally important. That the mission field is confined to other countries. That we can only be missionaries in the midst of another race and culture, speaking a different language. Deb's book is a light to shine on the mission fields in our own cities and towns. People living only miles from us or in the house next door need compassion and love. They need us to help them, love them, be a light in their darkness. 

This is the weight of mercy. 

**Note; I received a complementary copy of The Weight of Mercy for my honest review.    

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Review of "The Book of Books"

I am always looking for great storybook Bibles for my family to enjoy. This is the storybook Bible for an older child or an adult. It takes the major stories of the Old and New Testaments and retells them in a fresh way. Trevor Dennis has combined prose, poetry, and a bit of history to simplify the main message of the Scriptures.

This is where I need to say one thing: The BIBLE is still and always will be the best source for study and devotional time. "The Book of Books" is not to be used as a replacement for Bible reading. I think it is, however, a good supplement.

Dennis uses language beautifully to write some of the stories of the Bible. The word that comes to mind is "smooth". With a few asides to explain where he is in the telling and bits of information about how the Scriptures are written, it is a good introduction to the Bible for new believers (in a non-patronizing way). The few illustrations throughout serve the eyes well. It is also broken into sections to make for ease in reading one section at a time.

I recommend this book for families with older children (pre-teen and older), a book club, Bible study, Sunday school class, or for the newer believer. I look forward to reading through it again in some of my more casual reading times.

Please Note: I received a free copy of this book from Kregal Publications for my honest review.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Book Review of Simon and the Easter Miracle

Easter is such a great time of year. Especially when children learn about the joy of Christ's resurrection.

I love having books to read with my kids. And this book "Simon and the Easter Miracle" is a great one. It takes a different approach to telling the Easter story. Mary Joslin retold a traditional telling of the story. She used beautifully woven language and exciting description that kept my kids' ears attentive. Anna Luraschi illustrated this book with a great folksy style and many vibrant colors that had the eyes of my children wide and engaged.  

I could keep talking about this book...but, really, it's about what my kids thought. And they loved it. My daughter, as a matter of fact, has claimed it as her own and put it with her "special" books to be read over and over again.

This book would be great as a gift at any time of the year. But especially now as Easter is fast approaching us.  

Thursday, March 8, 2012

RECIPE! Miss Jan's Chocolate Crispy Cookies!

May it be known that I am a sucker for a good cookie. Especially when it includes chocolate chips.

And I love it when a cookie is soft and crispy.

What? Soft AND crispy?

Yes. That's what I said.

My daughter's pre-school teacher Jan Taylor gave me this recipe...and the cookies. I'd like to share the super deliousness with you! 

Here's how you make these cookies!

Miss Jan's Chocolate Crispy Cookies

Preheat oven to 350 F, grease cookie sheets

2 1/2 cups of flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 cups crisp rice cereal (or any kind of crispy, crunchy cereal)
12 oz package of chocolate chips (I bet you could use any kind of baking chips...YUM!)

Stir together flour, soda and salt, set aside. 

Beat margarine or butter and sugar until smooth.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.  

Mix in flour mixture.  

Stir in cereal and chocolate chips. 

Drop by level measuring tablespoon onto greased baking sheet. 

 Bake at 350 about 12 minutes or until lightly browned.  

Remove from baking sheets.

Makes about 7 dozen

Do you have a favorite cookie recipe? 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Review of 1&2 Corinthians: Straight to the Heart

1 and 2 Corinthians are huge chunks of Scripture, packed with enough theology and debate and discussion to keep a Bible college open for years. I've had friends who, after first becoming Christians, read these books of the Bible only to feel overwhelmed and entrenched in history they do not understand. Not to mention the culture! And Paul. Oh, yes, Paul can be hard to swallow at times.

And a commentary? Right. That only makes it more difficult!

Well, until you look at "Straight to the Heart" by Phil Moore. Moore wrote this easily read, easily understood commentary in "60 Bite-Sized Insights". Exactly what it should be. It is understandable, accessible and written in such a way that it is relevant to our culture. That being said, Moore doesn't push aside the important business that Paul addresses in this part of Scripture. He is clearly an excellent and gifted teacher.

This book would be fantastic for the Christian of any Biblical knowledge. It would be a good book for a Bible study or an adult Sunday school class/small group. It would also be great for the individual looking for an in-depth personal study.

I loved my Corinthians class that I took in college. What would have made it better would have been this book. It is excellent.

Review of I Peter: Finding Encouragement in Troubling Times. Week Six

I am a singer. I've been in choirs and other musical groups for most of my life. I've even been in a few bands. Yeah. I'm a rocker chick.

One thing that I've learned is that in order for music to work correctly, there must be harmony. Balance. Blending. Give and take. 

And it is so true in other aspects of life. Especially within the Church.

Peter addresses Christians who are starting, brand new, with the whole Body of Christ thing. And we are still in desperate need of that teaching now, 2000 years later!

In this week's study there was a case study. It was about a family getting together for Christmas. There was some tension between the grandmother and her daughters. One daughter took some time away at a bad time. She was inconsiderate...which happens in families and churches, right? Well, that and a few other things made the family late for an event. The next day, the mother/grandmother reminded the daughter that she needed to be on time for that day's events (3 times...that's bordering on nagging). That daughter ended up leaving early.

It's so sad. This family had their Christmas disrupted because of a misunderstanding and "putting oneself first". How often do we see this in the Church? Instead of doing life together, we put our needs first. And then we let ourselves become riled when it doesn't go our way. This is anything but unified. It is anything but a body working together. It is more of a family that is working against each other.

Peter (who was the "rock" on which Jesus would build the Church) encouraged the early Christians to be one. To not fight one another. This is a lesson we would do well to learn now. 

We have plenty of others coming at us. The Church should be where we can come together in one purpose. To further the Kingdom of God.