Monday, September 19, 2016

Book Review: PLAY WITH FIRE by Bianca Juarez Olthoff

Good afternoon, friends! I'm here with another book review - this time, it's Bianca Juarez Olthoff's PLAY WITH FIRE.

This is a great book - very fast read for me! - that talks about one's own desert time. (Think the Israelites after Egypt.) Bianca is a wonderful storyteller; she weaves her story and the Israelites' beautifully - and talking about the Holy Spirit and how God leads.

Bianca also breaks the way people hear from the Spirit into four different types, which I really appreciated; one of them is people who "see", the ones who receive visions. I know several people like this - I'm not one - and I've often wished I could experience that clear sight of His working. But there IS a category I fit into - I'm not going to tell you. :D You'll need to read the book in order to discover the other three categories. :D

I really enjoyed PLAY WITH FIRE. We serve such an incredible God - I felt His gentle eye-opening presence as I finished the book. I would recommend that you get it and read it - and then tell someone else about it! :D

Have a wonderful day, friend! Be BLESSED!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Book Review: WHEN TRAGEDY STRIKES by Laura Diehl

Good afternoon! Today, I want to share my thoughts on this book, WHEN TRAGEDY STRIKES - about how to find a way to continue living when your child dies.

I volunteered to be on the launch team because of losing my nephew 4 years ago; I was looking for something that would help my sister, maybe - or would have when it happened - or some of the people I['ve met along my journey who also have lost someone.

Many of the launch team members struggled to read the book - no matter where you are in your grieving, there are things that can trigger sadness and tears. And I admit, there was a bit of that with this book. Add to that the cataract surgery and learning to basically read again, and it took me a LOT longer to read this book than it should have.

With that being said, I have purchased several copies of this book already to share with others. I did give it to my sister, as part of her "toolbox" - I think this is a resource that can be turned back to time and again, because of being able to "hear" more when you're in different places in your grief. I warned her that there might be a few triggers for her, and she set it aside. If she reads it or not, at least I know she has it.

I do recommend it for people who have lost someone they love, especially a child (adult or otherwise). I'm giving a copy to a new friend who lost her adult daughter at Christmas; her grief is still very raw, and I'm praying Laura's book will help her not feel so alone, and help her search for her peace.

Life is difficult; I firmly believe we walk through things not only to learn our own lessons and be refined by Him, but also to be able to walk through them with others. And this book is one way I wish no one ever had to share - but it is a comfort to know it's there to give HOPE.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

GOOK REVIEW: Glory Revealed: Sisters of Lazarus, Book Two

"Glory Revealed: Sisters of Lazarus, Book Two" is the sequel to "Sisters of Lazarus: Beauty Unveiled." It's not a stand-alone; you need to read BEAUTY REVEALED in order to pick up this book - but you won't regret reading both. :) )You can click on the title above to go to the Amazon page for it! No affiliate link, just because... :D )

I love Paula's writing style; in this book, she has exquisitely walked the line between "too much emotion" and "too much observation" - especially when dealing with the crucifixion of Christ. As a Christian, I sometimes dread the treatment of the whole period of time that covers Christ's trials and sentence; Paula does an amazing job of not allowing the action to slow, and still showing the tragic pain and loss His family and friends felt.

As Biblical fiction, there's a lot of research that goes into being able to craft a story that engages readers while not straying off the well-known and -loved Biblical accounts. Again, Paula's knowledge of her subject shines through in her attention to detail, her character traits (and flaws) of such familiar characters as Mary and Martha, Peter and John. By the time the book ends, you will be smiling at the idiosyncrasies of them, bawling at the beauty of Christ and His bride, and not wanting to turn the last page.

Do yourself a favor. If you don't have BEAUTY REVEALED, purchase both books - and give yourself some time to read. Don't start at night - I couldn't stop reading, myself. :D Keep the tissues nearby, and then revel in the knowledge of His love and desire for His bride.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016


Good evening, friends! :)

I told you I had another book to launch today, and here it is.

Dr. Henry Cloud is a prolific author; he's got over twenty titles to his credit. THE POWER OF THE OTHER is an interesting addition to his bibliography.

I'm not going to say this book is for everyone. There's pertinent information for everyone, but in my opinion, there's a lot to filter through. When I was teaching leadership development MANY years ago, I definitely would have used this book as a tool. If you're looking on information on how other people can connect with you for mutual support and stretching, it's definitely a resource I'd recommend.

There's just something nagging me in the back of my brain, and I can't quite figure out what it is. Dr. Cloud is a follower of Christ, and mentions it a couple of times in this book. Maybe what's missing for me is the completeness that would come from having that factor in with the power others have in our lives. Maybe my brain thinks he's writing to such a broad audience it's too simplified. I don't know. :D

I do know I'm glad I read this book. The last few chapters I found more helpful, and will refer back to them as touchstones of guidance for growth in my life.

f you think of me in the next few days, I'm having cataract surgery Wednesday morning. I won't be online too much for a couple of days; just pray if God brings me to mind. :) Have a wonderful day, friend - BE BLESSED!!!!


Good morning, friends!!!!! This is an easy book recommendation - YOU NEED IT. :) I've ordered a hard copy to have to loan, and ordered another copy to be sent to a friend. Yes, it's that important of a book.

Alexandra is a busy, BUSY mom. But don't let that stop you from reading her book! :) Even if you've NEVER been a mom, you'll get something from this one - I was convicted several times, and it's already changed my thinking about some things I do or don't do.

For instance, last week I had told Kenn that I might go to a movie by myself while he worked. When I woke up the next morning, I just wasn't feelin' the whole going-out thing - but got a SHOCK when he walked into our room! He was supposed to be gone (in my mind)! :D He'd decided to change his schedule so he had most of the day off, so he could go to the movies with his wife. I told him I'd talked myself out of it, so he wandered away to go back to working on files on his computer. The more I woke up and thought about it - and this book that I was reading for a launch team! - the more I thought, "He made time to spend with me. I need to encourage that, and go for it!" So we DID go out, and had a wonderful day together that wouldn't have happened if he hadn't changed his schedule and I hadn't changed my thinking. :)

This is a very readable book. I really like Alexandra's writing style - I feel like she's sitting on the sun porch with me, just sharing her life. And each chapter (you can read the synopsis HERE!) she ends with "What I Learned" and "Practices I'll Continue", and then "Questions for Reflection", for you to answer. I *really* appreciate life application steps! :D

 It's not "Do what ONLY you can do," it's "Do what only YOU can do!" Such a great way of giving yourself a guideline for priorities in this society where EVERYTHING and EVERYONE is demanding your attention, your energy, your money, your time...!!!

This quote also speaks volumes to me. I don't know about you, but I find myself (if I'm not careful!) doing things because I feel like I SHOULD, not doing them because my heart has the right attitude...

So. Go to the book's link on Amazon, and ORDER YOURS. It started out today, launch day, at #1 bestseller on the Christian Personal Growth list! I'm not the only one who's HIGHLY recommending it. Get on the waiting list, people - or find another bookseller who has it in stock! :D

I'll have another launch team post later today. Have a WONDERFUL day, and be BLESSED!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Book Review: THE LONGING IN ME by Sheila Walsh

(This new book by Sheila Walsh is also available as a Bible study.)

Sheila Walsh has been a "Christian celebrity" for many years. This is the first book of hers I've read - and I'm so glad I was accepted for the launch team. This book spoke to many different areas of my heart - one of the chapters had me repenting and apologizing to my husband for my lack of grace toward him at times.

There are 10 chapters in this book, each dealing with a certain longing that could possibly be carried in one's heart. As with any book, some spoke more to me personally than others. The book parallels David's life and heart with what we go through.

There are LAYERS of truth in this book. I really want to lead this Bible study, because there's so much there that *I* need, and I know my group would get great things from it. Between stories of Sheila's past that an ordinary observer would never know to David's lifelong struggle to seek God's heart, the book gives the reader space and direction to really look at her own heart. This isn't a book of Sheila's history or biography, so the reason for reading THE LONGING IN ME would really be to seek the truths of each chapter and how it applies to each reader's heart.

I would recommend this book to anyone who has some life experience. Unfortunately, living life usually means experiencing hurt, and this book will truly help look at that hurt and start healing.

Be blessed!

Book Review: LOOKING FOR LOVELY by Annie F. Downs

Good morning! Today's a big launch day in the book world - I'll have another review today for another book! :)

First, I appreciated that the publisher got the book into our hands early. Sometimes, we don't even GET the book - we're asked to recommend the product on past successes, and that's not too fun. But getting to read the book in one's own time, ask questions if necessary, and really understand the content - THAT'S why I read! :)

Second, let me tell you about the author. This is Annie F. Downs' fifth book, so she's been doing this for a little while. I had the chance to hear her speak Friday night; Annie's a "local", but she travels three weekends out of four to speak to girls and women across the country. I also got the privilege of getting to meet her afterward. Annie speaks just like a sister; she's caring, warm, funny, laughs at herself and her quirks, and her heart is to point to Jesus.

This book, LOOKING FOR LOVELY, does just that. From beginning to end, the book is a vulnerable sharing of Annie's own struggles and looking to find the lovely little things in everyday life that God puts there for us to find. (If you know me, you know that's one of the things I seek, too, so I spent a lot of time while reading it saying, "Exactly!" "Yes!" and "Oh, do I agree!!!" :D )

This is a relatively easy read - at least *I* thought so. Some of the girls have commented that it was hitting close to home, and that they were taking a lot of time to read each chapter. I also liked the way Annie had a suggestion, at the end of each chapter in Section Two, on a way to "Look For Lovely" that related to the chapter just read. They were easy tasks, but they help apply the ideas discussed to an individual's life.

I would recommend this book to anyone. It would make a great gift book, because it has life applications for any age and any level of maturity. And learning to collect "the moments that matter" is a life skill that it's never too early to start!

You can find LOOKING FOR LOVELY at major retailers or online!