Thief of Corinth

Is there anything more delightful than a good book on a rainy day?  Or even a good book in any weather at any time.  I would say no.  I’ve had the pleasure of reading for review another of Tessa Afshar’s books and once again she hasn’t disappointed with the content.

Thief of Corinth is the story of Ariadne, her family, friends, and enemies comes to life in the ancient city of Corinth.  Early in life, she is moved to Athens when her mother divorces her father.  She is abused and unloved in that situation and determines to go back to Corinth as a young teen.  Traveling with her brother, she arrives in Corinth at the home of her father and the adventure begins.  Life decisions, good and bad, of all the characters, fill the pages.  Unrequited love, a woman competing in the Isthmian games, the lifestyle of the incredibly wealthy unfold before your eyes.  In the end, this is a story that is totally relatable.

This book is filled with quotes from the Ancient Philosophers.  Rather than being just more words they add a credibility to the story. Plato – “When men speak ill of thee, live so as nobody may believe them.”  My favorite quote from the book is not of the Philosophers but of the author – “The problem with wisdom is that it is devoid of comfort.”  (pg. 170)

Thank you, Tessa Afshar, for such a delightful way to spend a rainy day.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wanted: Volunteers to be Christians

Thought provoking post from Butch Dean. He’s worth the follow friends.

Wordsmith's Desk

Wanted: Volunteers to be Christians

No experience necessary…immediate openings.

Training provided by the Holy Spirit

Must be willing to learn the following:

pray for your enemies…

forgive those who do you wrong…

love one another…

turn the other cheek…

die for your faith…

forsake everything for Christ…

suffer for Christ’s sake…

surrender all to Christ…

give all the glory to God…

deny self and follow Christ…

All this and more await you.

If interested, repeat after me…

“Jesus, I want to serve you. Forgive me my sins and lead me to everlasting life. Abide within my heart and help me to walk with you as a Christian.”

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Tea for Tuesday

There is nothing like a really good cup of tea.  It can be hot or cold.  It can be with someone or all alone.  I can drink it in a car. I can drink it on a plane.  (My apologies to Dr. Seuss)  I like it straight or sweetened with honey.   I like leaves and herbal. loose leaf and bagged.  It doesn’t matter whether I use a cute tea cup from my collection or a mug.  My favorites are Queen Anne from Harney & Sons, Winter Spice from Twinings, Ginger Peach from Republic of Tea, and… and…  and…  and…

I really, like scones and tea sandwiches.  But, I don’t eat wheat so I’ve had to find and create recipes that really work for me.  Here’s one for Banana Nut Scones that uses a mix of rice and almond flour.  Yummy in my tummy. (Sorry Shrek!)   Instead of bread on my tea ‘sandwiches’ I use lettuce or cucumber slices or corn tortillas.  Delicious!!  Of course, fresh fruit and veggies are always on the table.

Best Ever Banana Nut Scones

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1 cup brown rice flour  (1 cup of oatmeal will work, too.)
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Lightly spray (I use coconut oil.)  a round cake-pan (Use ceramic or glass – like a pie pan.)  Blend until smooth.  Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.  Cool completely!  Cut into traditional pie pieces.  Spread with maple butter, or cream cheese, or clotted cream, if you have it.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

 

I Am Woman…

I am woman, hear me roar… LOL  Every time I think of this subject these words cross my mind and make me smile.  Yes, I can be a roaring lioness at times. But, I am more than that. I am passionate about being a woman and becoming all that I can be for my Jesus.  I am also…

 

Isaiah 43:1b  Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.

 

 

John 15:16  You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.

Matthew 6:14   For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

 

 

Jeremiah 31:3   I have loved you with an everlasting love.

 

Romans 12:6   We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. 

 

… and so much more!

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

This post is joining an awesome group of bloggers for 5-Minute Friday.  Come join us!

A Prayer For You

 

 

I know the peace and joy that comes when the Father wraps His arms around me.  I want you to know it too.

Thank you to my sweet cousin Pearl, who sent me a different version of this prayer, which I’ve adapted for you.  What a blessing she is!

May the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7)

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

 

Just Open The Door – Book Review

Have you ever read something that resonates with every part of your being?  Something that you can so relate to that you’re surprised you didn’t think of it?

Just Open The Door by Jen Schmidt is that kind of book.  True hospitality is about serving others, whether we want to or not, and she definitely has all her ‘eggs’ in the right basket for it.

With our noses buried in cell phones and computers, we are missing some of the greatest experiences of life.  That of face to face conversations that help us know those around us, their needs, wants and desires.  The nuances that come with face-to-face conversations simply don’t show in techno-babble.

As Believers hospitality allows us to be purposeful in our walk with others.  We can encourage others, disciple others, and even bring others into the fold, simply by sharing a cup of coffee and sincerely listening and loving on them. Don’t worry about that spot on the carpet or children making to much noise or messy hair.  It is what it is!  All that really matters is God, His Word, and relationships.

Expecting nothing in return is a characteristic of the hospitable personality.  A bag of groceries, a box of diapers, $20 in an unopened envelope show the heart of Jesus to another person.

Adoption might be the ultimate act of hospitality.  Just as God adopts me into the Forever Family I am to ‘adopt’ others into my earthly family.

This book is jam-packed full of ideas for living out hospitality as God intended us to.  I highly recommend reading it over and over.

Here are my top 5 quotes from this book:

  • Your unique gift, your untold story, your broken and mended heart, your fierce love, your brave authenticity–all these intricate threads woven together create a tapestry He wants to use to unveil His love to someone who needs to experience it.  You are the one who can meet the need of another today if you just open the door. (pg. 77)
  • “For me, taking up my cross daily included terrible suffering.  For you, your suffering may be in the form of doing small duties that are distasteful to you.  It may be having what you don’t want or wanting what you don’t have.  That may be your cross today.”  (pg. 52)
  • We can’t let our circumstances keep us separated from the community we need. (pg. 131)
  • Taking tea together reminds us to mimic Jesus’ pace.  He was never too busy.  He was never in a hurry.  Frantic was not a part of His vocabulary.  He lingered. (pg. 154)
  • One of the purest forms of compassion is found in hurting when someone else hurts. (pg. 190).

Never underestimate the power of a cup of coffee and a listening ear.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Broadman Holman Publishers, Inc. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Freedom

Many hymns are embedded with powerful truths.  One that comes to mind is a phrase in America the Beautiful that says: Oh, beautiful, for pilgrims feet, whose stern, impassioned stress a thoroughfare for freedom beat across the wilderness.  Katherine Lee Bates, who wrote these words near the turn of the 20th century (115 +/- years ago), was not only referring to settling the wilderness of this country but perhaps, the wilderness of so many hearts and lives.

I can’t help but think of the many missionaries around the world whose feet are stressing (or hardening) the path (thoroughfare)  to true freedom.  Their passion is so strong they are willing to give up their entire selves to insure the freedom of just one other person.

Psalm 33:12 says: Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.  Imagine the power that the United States would be blessed with if we were to get rid of the other gods worshipped in this country and make Him the One and Only leader of our lives.  As another phrase of this well-known song says:  May all success be nobleness, and ev’ry gain divine.  Oh, Lord, make it so.

Ah, Lord, God, grant us the ability to believe so passionately that we too will make our lives more about others.  Thank you for the social and political freedoms we have in America.  Help us not take this for granted.  What a mighty God we serve.  

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

10 Ways To Build Lasting Friendships

When I was in my younger years I often wondered if I would have Best Friends later on in life. Guess what? I do. I have incredible friends in a range of friendships from bare acquaintances to BFF’s.

Have you ever met someone and immediately said to them you’re going to be my best friend.  Of course not!  Being a friend is a deliberate process.  It’s about spending time together. Getting to know one another. Sharing ups and downs and in-betweens.  Supporting them, praying for them, sharing with them, accepting them… That’s what grows strong friendships.

It’s nice to have friends that share interests and hobbies.  However, if we surround ourselves with exact copies of ourselves it gets really boring.  One of my BFF’s shares few commonalities with me, except a desire to grow closer to our Jesus.

In building strong, lasting friendships there are a few things that really don’t matter.  Age is one of them.  Yes, people of our own age share similar likes and experiences but those of other age groups have much to teach us.  Friendships cross many boundaries. Things like status, education, marriage, distance, can be overcome when two people say let’s be friends.

There’s a beautiful contemporary Christian song that points to the fact that God gives us our friends.  God Gave Me You by Dave Barnes really says it all.  Check out these lyrics:

God gave me you for the ups and downs

God gave me you for the days of doubt

For when I think I’ve lost my way

There are no words here left to say, it’s true

God gave me you.

What does God say about friendship? Check these verses out:

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:12-14

Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses. Proverbs 27:5-6

So, here are my 10 Ways To Build Strong Friendships:

10-ways-to-build-strong-friendships

There’s a Kroger commercial that ends with a woman saying, “My momma always said if you want to have a friend be one.” Nothing more needs to be said, does it?

Not all of my friends are women.  My husband of more than 40 years has been my friend for more than 50.  Men add a richness that is unique in its own way.  Don’t count them out.

Blessings to you and yours!
 
Marie

Before I Saw You – – Book Review

Sometimes I read for the pure joy of immersing myself in a good story on a quiet afternoon.  At least, that’s what I thought I was going to do when I picked up Before I Saw You by Amy K. Sorrells.  Guess what?  Not so!  The power of grace is so prevalent in these words that I was amazed at how easy it was to include it in a fiction story.

Life is hard!  God is good!  Life is about letting go and letting God.  Cliches? Yes (and no, they are not used in the book).

If anything, life is about choices.  Some easy. Some hard. Some based on what we know. Some based on what we don’t.  We always have a choice.  Throughout the book, the main character is reminded to trust God for the answers.

Life is about decisions that often affect more than the person making them.  It’s evident throughout the story here and about life in general, for everyone.

Now, I know I’m being quite vague in this review but, I’m trying to keep from spoiling this great read for you.

Relationships are really what life is about and this book is full of the twists and turns, good and bad, that all relationships take.  A drug-addicted mother, a woman-child who hasn’t had the benefit of a good life, a sickly baby, a bully boyfriend, an unplanned pregnancy, an unexpected turn of events, and choices, so many choices…

I highly recommend adding this to your summer reading list.  It’s definitely worth your time!

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

5 Thoughts On Developing A Lasting Marriage

June is the month of weddings and I wanted to give a little advice.  Here are my five thoughts on developing a long-lasting marriage.

  • Don’t expect your spouse to be the same year after year.  We all grow and change.  I’ve been married to the same man for over 40 years.  Neither of us is the same as we were then.  It’s been rather fun to meet a new person, who shares my bed and house, every few years.
  • Never stop talking, laughing and crying, together!  Life is tough.  There’s no way around that. Weathering the storms and celebrating the high points is all part of it.
  • Always (!!!) support one another.  Let no one say anything about your spouse that is demeaning, degrading or discrediting.  Stand up for one another!
  • Marriage is not a game!  Scorekeeping is unacceptable.  If you’re feeling that your spouse is not keeping up their end of the bargain.  Tell them.  Talk it out.  None of us have billboards on our foreheads that tell the other what we’re thinking.  Most of the time all you have to do is ask.  Try it!
  • Be kind, thoughtful, forgiving and loving.  Long marriages sometimes evolve into taking advantage of the love you have for one another.  We’re all going to do and say dumb things from time to time.  Get over it and get on with it.

Here’s a then and now picture.  Enjoy!

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Recently, this post was sent to me on my FB page.  It is so true of our marriage and I hope of yours, too!

For all of you so eager to call it quits and throw in the towel on your relationships because everything isn’t “perfect”…here is some food for thought. Lifelong commitment is not what most people think it is. It’s not waking up every morning to make breakfast and eat together. It’s not cuddling in bed until both of you fall asleep, peacefully, at night. It’s not a clean home filled with laughter and lovemaking, every day. It’s someone who steals all the covers (and snores!). It’s slammed doors and a few harsh words, at times. It’s stubbornly disagreeing and giving each other the silent treatment until your hearts heal…and, then…FORGIVENESS! It’s coming home to the same person, every day, that you know LOVES and CARES about you in spite of (and because of) who you are. It’s laughing about the one time you accidentally did something stupid. It’s about dirty laundry and unmade beds WITHOUT finger pointing. It’s about helping each other with the hard work of life! It’s about swallowing the nagging words instead of saying them out loud. It’s about eating the cheapest and easiest meal you can make and sitting down together late to eat because you both had a crazy day. It’s when you have an emotional breakdown and your Love lays with you and holds you and tells you everything is going to be okay…and you BELIEVE them. It’s about still loving someone even though, sometimes, you make them absolutely insane. Living with the person you love is not perfect
…sometimes it’s hard, but it’s amazing and comforting and one of the BEST things you’ll ever experience!

(This article is from Hopewell Baptist Church page on Facebook.)