About Marie

Happily married to the same awesome guy for 43 years. Love God, reading, cats and travel. Avid crafter, especially counted cross stitch and crochet.

Bread of Angels Book Review

This is the best fiction book I’ve read in a long time.  In Bread of Angels, Tessa Afshar put her finger on the pulse of the First Century and I felt like I was actually there.  In this delightful story you will find first love… secrets… plotting… jail time… betrayal… successes… failures… trauma… death… life changes…

The book is beautifully written.  The characters enter the story at just the right point.  The story encapsulates the life of Lydia, the seller of purple, from the New Testament.  Each chapter has its own verse of the Bible to help the reader frame that portion of the narrative.

It’s rare to find a quote from a fiction book that is worth keeping in my heart.  But find one I did.  “I follow a scarred Redeemer.  Somehow I think our scars become holy in the shadow of His.  And His plans are made perfect in the demolition of our own devices.”  (page 290)

I highly recommend this book.  Put it on your summer reading list. I’m definitely going to check out some of Tessa Afshar’s other books.

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 receive no residual remuneration from the connecting links.    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.”

 

Monday Musings

Why is it that every time I try to stick to my healthy eating plan I fail?  I’m much better at sticking to things than this.  This eating plan is really a great way to eat.  I’ve lost a great deal of weight on it in the past and then life-stress got hold of me and zappo….  Any suggestions?

It’s an absolutely gorgeous day in Northwest Ohio.  Sunny.  Mild.  Perfect day for outdoor work (I’ll be going out to spin trim in a bit.  When the batteries charge.).  I’ve been wanting to separate and replant some of my daylilies.  Perhaps that will happen, too.

One of my friends commented that their pastor’s sermon was about giving to God out of our best not out of our left-overs.  His suggestion was to commit to giving God at least 5 minutes of prayer, 5 minutes of worship, and 5 minutes of reading His word every day. That’s not a lot of time.  Certainly, one that is doable.

I have a little flip calendar by this computer.  Today’s verse, in today’s English, is: If you will stir up this inner power, you will never be afraid. 2 Timothy 1:8  I gave this some thought and came to this conclusion, this inner power (God’s strength) is ours to ask for. And yet, we don’t.  Preferring to act independently we choose to do things our way.  Ah, yes, the timeless classic comes to mind – – I Did It My Way.   In my personal experience, when I’ve chosen to do things my way something always happens to turn me to God’s way.

Blessings to you and your’s!

Marie

Book Review – What Hope Remembers

Are you looking for a great rainy day or warm summer afternoon read?  Johnny Alexander has written the book for you.  Check out What Hope Remembers.  There’s just enough drama and intrigue to hold your attention for that lazy, hazy day.

Well developed characters and the plot kept me wanting to know what were the secrets they were keeping.  Even the ‘bad guys’ were believable.

Real life issues and challenges kept me turning the pages to discover what was going to add a new twist to the story.

I’m giving this book 5 stars and recommending it highly!

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher, Revel, a division of Baker Publishing. 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.”

Keep Your Lamp Burning

Mother Theresa once said, “To keep a lamp burning we have to keep putting oil in it.”  The same applies to life.  Unless we continue to learn, to grow, to excel, to know, we will stagnate and become just an empty lamp waiting …

There are several Bible verses that refer to lamps.  Proverbs 31:18b tells us ‘her lamp does not go out at night’.  This is not a reference to the night-light we use to get us to the bathroom in the middle of the night because our bladders are shot from childbirth or our bodies are ageing.  The night lights of ancient times were kept lit so a weary traveller would know a welcoming home.  The use of lamps in this verse suggests we are not only to be hospitable but ready to be hospitable.

5 Wick Christian

Multi-wick oil lamp from 1st Century Israel

Psalm 18:28 tells us we do not keep our own lamps burning.  God does.  That is a truly interesting statement.  When we have reached some maturity in our life walk with Jesus, we start to learn that our lives are all about Him.  He is not only the Light of the World but the individual Light of our lives.  As we grow, more wicks are added to our lamps making us a brighter and brighter light.  (Ancient people added more wicks to their lamps to create a brighter glow.)

The Parable of the Ten Virgins is another well-known lamp story (Matthew 25:1-13).  The point of this parable is obedience.  The virgins who were not prepared, they had to go and get more oil.  When they returned they could not enter the feast because the doors to the banquet were closed. (I really doubt anyone could have heard them knocking with the celebration that was going on.) Had they followed the instructions to keep their lamps trimmed and full they would have been attending the feast of a lifetime.  So will we, if we continue filling our minds with His Words and Ways.

Using His Word:

  • Be hospitable.
  • Be ready. (Unlike the virgins who had not thought ahead.)
  • Desire that more of His light shines through.

Heavenly Father, how humbled I am when I realise You are the One filling the lamps.  Oh Lord, fill mine to overflowing with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control.  Let my lamp continue burning brightly until I am finally admitted to the Wedding Supper of the Lamb.  In His perfect Name make it so.

Rewritten and added to a post written in 2011

Book Review – Paul, The Apostle

I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I agreed to review this book.  Although I enjoyed comic books as a child this was certainly a bit different.  I’m not sure whether I can recommend the book or not.  Here are my likes and dislikes:

Likes

  • The story is accurate and portrays some of the difficulties Paul faced in his journey.
  • Each page gave a scriptural reference for what was going on.
  • Very appropriate for the 8 to 12 year age group.

Dislikes

  • Very difficult to follow the storyline bubbles.
  • More violence than I like to deal with. (Yes, I know the time he lived in was very violent.)
  • There were so many graphically portrayed characters I found it difficult to determine who was speaking.

With that said, I recommend parts read through the book first to be prepared for any questions their children might ask.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher, Beartruth Collective, LLC  and Bookcrash Bloggers. 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.”

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

 

5 Sentence Friday Psalm 139:14

Here it is. 5-Sentence Friday. Today’s verse is one that is often repeated. The One and Only thought of me, planned me, loved me from the beginning of time.  In the ‘fullness of time’ (phrase from Eph. 4:4) I came to be. Just thinking about this concept is overwhelming but it is what it is.

Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! It is amazing to think about. Your workmanship is marvelous—and how well I know it.  Psalm 139:14  TLB

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderfully made; I know that full well.  Psalm 139:14 NIV

  1. I had nothing to do with the complexity of who I would be.
  2. I am His wonderfully made creation.
  3. God deserves (and expects) my thanks for even thinking of me.
  4. Every heartbeat, every breath, every step is/was orchestrated by You.
  5. My skills, talents, and habits are part of Your purpose for me.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

5 Sentence Friday

My goodness. Where has my brain gone.  I had this ready on Friday and forgot to post it.  Better late than never…I guess.

I always enjoy reading the book of Proverbs because each time I do I find new ideas.  Consider the verse I’m using for this Friday’s 5 Sentences.  Are you a refreshing kind of person?  Do others enjoy your company?  Would you be missed if not present at a gathering.

Whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.  Proverbs 11:25

My life goal should be putting others first.

Treat others well.

Giving the things I don’t need to another will refresh their life.

When I speak with others are my words and actions like a cool, refreshing drink?

Being generous is not hard when I understand that God gave it all to me to start with.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

5-Sentence Friday

I’m trying something new.  One of the on-line gurus I follow (Ruth Soukup) commented in a recent blog post that she had read there should only be 5 sentences in an e-mail.  So my creative mind went to work and came up with an idea.  Why not write a Friday blog that will have only 5 sentences.  I’ll choose a Bible verse each Friday and give you 5 sentences with my personal thoughts on it.  Here goes…

But whoever keeps His Word, truly in him the love of God is perfected.  1 John 2:5

To keep His Word we have to know it.

Although I can’t be perfect God’s love is.

Keeping His Word is a daily process of reading it, studying it, and thinking about it.

I am more aware of what God wants me to do in life situations when I can apply His words to them.

God’s perfect love, perfected in me and shining through me, will draw others to Him.

And that my friends is 5-Sentence Friday # 1.  What do you think?  Is it a keeper?  What does the verse I chose mean to you?1

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Airship Genesis – Kids Study Bible – Book Review

As a retired teacher, I am always interested in what’s new in kids books.  When this came to my attention I was delighted to review it.  I’ve long respected David Jeremiah and knew something having his name on it would be quality material. I was not disappointed.

Clicking on the picture will take you to Amazon.com. I receive no remuneration for your purchase.

I also asked several children in my local church to look through it, read some of it and tell me what they thought.  Those in the 12 to 14 age bracket liked it but found it too juvenile for their tastes.  Those in the 8 to 12 age bracket loved it.  Loved the pictures and extra stories.  However, they found the actual scripture (NKJV) difficult.  Having a website they could go to for more information was very appealing to them.  All in all their review was very positive.

As I scanned through, reading my favorite books for flavor and concept I found some great ideas that could even be used in an adult study Bible.

  • New Testament concepts and teachings were embedded in the Old Testament.
  • Print size is great for kids.  Not to small.  Not to large.
  • Useful information at just the right point, in eye-catching color, that gets the readers attention and enhances the message.
  • Memory verses, useful for life application, were highlighted in red.

Choosing the NKJV for this Bible may keep some young readers from even trying.  The NKJV is written at an average 7th-grade reading level.  Children at 2nd, 3rd, and 4th-grade levels, the recommended group, find upper reading levels difficult to read and process.

Except for the choice of translations, I found this Bible a true delight.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher, Thomas Nelson and BookLook Bloggers. 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.”

Musical Prayers

Do you include music in your prayer time?  I do.  Years ago I heard a Bible Teacher say she used her dog walking time as Praise time by singing her favorites while she walked.  I thought, Hey! I can do that.  Click on the picture to enjoy some of my favorites:

Ancient Words

Ancient Words

 

Better Than A Hallelujah - Amy Grant

Better Than A Hallelujah – Amy Grant

God of This City - Chris Tomlin

God of This City – Chris Tomlin

Here’s another idea for your quiet time.  Copy your favorite hymn lyrics and pray through them.  Example:

On Bended knee I come, with a humble heart I come, bowing down before Your holy throne.   Lifting holy hands to You As I pledge my love anew.  I worship You in spirit.  I worship You in truth.  Make my life a holy praise unto You. (On Bended Knee I Come by Don Moen)

(Prayer for On Bended Knee)  Heavenly Father I come before the Throne, bowing before Your majesty and greatness.  I lift my hands in praise and worship, giving You all of me.  My life.  My love.  My everything. Lord, You are all the truth I need.  Fill me with Your Spirit.  Only You are worthy of my praise and I give it will all my heart.

Or, choose some of your favorite solo guitar, piano, harp, orchestra, whatever instrument(s) you like best, put your earbuds in, sit in your favorite chair or place, and BE STILL.

Instrumental Songs of Worship for Quiet Moments (Piano)

Acoustic Guitar Instrumental Worship Songs

Many hours of Christian Instrumental Music

 

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie