Saturday, March 30, 2013

Deeply Loved by Keri Wyatt Kent

Deeply Loved by Keri Wyatt Kent is subtitled 40 Ways in 40 Days To Experience the Heart of Jesus. It's a collection of 40 chapters, one each day for 40 Days. I have got to say that I LOVED this book. It is a wonderful book, each chapter a different very practical way to grow in your close-ness of Christ. To see God in every day, in circumstances that He brings your way.

Each day brings a new idea, a new way to be aware of God and His workings in our lives. We get so busy, distracted. . .This book gives a point of focus to allow us to slow down a little and notice/realize/remind us that He is there.

This isn't just a little quick "devotional" read -- just to read through for the day and move on. It's deeper, but not intimidating. Each chapter is easy to read but has a strong message -- with an application for you to live.

I would actually recommend that this book be marketed for both men and women. My husband is going to read this book next and I believe he'll enjoy it and grow through it. The cover looks very "girly" :) But I believe that the text of this book is applicable to men as well as women.

Great book. I DO definitely recommend it. As a gift or for yourself. You may even go through it several times! (yeah, we probably don't master these things!!) So -- read it! Live it!

I received a copy of this book for the purpose of review. I was not required to write a positive review.

Outrageous Courage by K and J Vallotton

Outrageous Courage is the story of a woman who has chosen to serve God with all she is and all she has. Tracy Evans has gone from a searching girl to a woman who is following the Lord to the extreme. She has worked in cities in the US as well as in various countries around the world. She has learned how powerful God is and how He uses people for His glory.

The book follows Tracy as she goes from lonely confused teen through many stages of learning about God, choosing to follow Him, and living her life for Him. As a medical missionary she has been in many life-threatening circumstances, and has seen the Lord do remarkable things as well as seen many people come to Christ. The book is filled with so many reminders of God's faithfulness and how He can use any of us for his purposes. There were lots of great statements in the book, things like, "If we are to learn to love how He loves, we must be able to look beyond everything that has marred the person in front of us and see Jesus Himself." Another one was, "Sometimes His timeline for restoration does not make sense to us."

The book was not really "smooth" to follow -- a little bit disjointed and skippy, but I wouldn't not read it because of that. It also has some things that are theologically different from what I believe, but the book was a great picture of what surrender to God looks like.

I think I'd recommend this book to read, though it may not mesh exactly with my beliefs, I can see God giving me great reminders through it.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review. I was not required to write a positive review.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Fish printing -- taxidermy alternative?

This past winter my husband caught a monster perch through the ice (well, it was big for our standards!) :) He was so proud of it, but we just cannot afford to have a fish taxidermy mounted -- well -- I'd rather say that we don't choose to spend our money on that (groceries, you know!)

So -- to commemorate his big catch I made a fish print for him! I gave it to him for his birthday and he's definitely pleased! I had seen a fish print before in a large aquarium and decided to give it a try -- it was not difficult at all!

Here's the fish that he caught:

and here's how the print turned out!

So-- how did I do it? It was so easy!

First of all, the gross part was you have to take out the eyeball on one side. Next, dry the fish off (get all the fish slime dried off the skin).

Then I laid the fish on a towel so it wouldn't slip and painted the skin and fins with paint. I just used regular cheap-o craft paint. I took a piece of muslin and laid it over the top of the fish and pushed down all along the surface of the fish, with even pressure. Then I peeled off the muslin, and VOILA!! :)

I got a little brass plate engraved with the info (really inexpensive, less than $10), found a frame it'd fit into, painted the frame and sanded it a little to give it some character, and . . . YAY! It was done!

Give it a try!!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Lord, I Give You This Day by Kay Arthur

Ooh! A devotional by Kay Arthur? This book is called Lord, I Give You This Day and is subtitled "366 appointments with God". This book is a collection of Kay Arthur writings, one for every day of the year. There is a highlight Scripture and a page of exposition/explanation/highlighting of truths for that passage. Scattered throughout the writings are Kay Arthur's familar "Beloved"s and "dear one" and so forth that people who read her books come to love.

Kay's main focus in this book is one of surrender. Did you overlook that part of the title? It is Lord, I Give You This Day Not, "Give us this day" but rather "I Give You This Day." In the foreword, she says, "While your circumstances may be difficult, even painful, through the discipline of surrender you will find God's strength perfected in your weakness. And you will be able to face each day, each moment, each opportunity and challenge with a hope that does not falter."

I am not a huge fan of the one-page devotionals such as this, because it's an easy trap to fall into, just read the one page and call it a "check" -- done with spending time with God! I think HOWEVER that this book is a great addition to a regular Bible-reading/prayer time for each day. It is great to be reminded of our surrender and the importance of turning things over to the Lord.

I would recommend this book, it's a nice looking book of a nice size and would make a great gift! (Or use one to add to your own time spent with the Lord).

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review. I was not required to write a positive review.

Pocket Your Dollars by Carrie Rocha

Who doesn't want to save money? There are lots of self-help type books about saving money and lowering spending and budgeting, and etc. This book, Pocket Your Dollars, falls into that category of book (obviously just by the title!!) The author, Carrie Rocha, speaks about her own and her husband's experiences with getting out of debt, saving money, and using their money wisely.

The author focuses on our ATTITUDES about money first and foremost. She gives many illustrations of people and incorrect and correct attitudes about money. Her message is that it is not the lack of money that is the problem but rather one's attitudes about money.

The book was nicely-written, easy to read, filled with illustrative stories. It was a lot of similar information to what others share in books they write on this topic as well. I found that it focused SO much on your attitudes about money and then in the end there was a (great and helpful!) section about how to practically reduce your expenses. I kind of wish that this section had been even longer -- but she did talk about her website by the same name which has more ideas/helpful information. There were some nice sections also on how you should be saving and for what purposes.

I did enjoy this book--I don't know if it's much different than others on this topic, but it was not a dull read :) She did a good job of keeping the reader interested. Some good hints, and if this is the first time you're reading a book on money management hints, this would be a great book for you.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher (Bethany House) for the purpose of this review. I was not required to write a positive review.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Welcome spring!

Welcome spring!! :) Lots of snow here -- much more pretty than mud!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Firefly Island by Lisa Wingate

Firefly Island, by Lisa Wingate, is a Christian fiction book (published by Bethany House) that maybe is categorized as a romance, or a mystery, or just Christian fiction. It is the first book I've read by this author and truthfully, I didn't really care for it.

It begins with some kind of interview, which the reader can suppose is a "wrap-up" of the story and quickly transitions into just the story. It's the story of a woman who marries a man with a toddler after a whirlwind romance of a month (I may be giving too much away. . .) They move across the country and begin their married life in less-than-ideal circumstances. All this while the main character of the book, Mallory, is busy adjusting to not only being a wife and mom, but also moving from the fast-paced scene of DC politics to a very rural area in Texas. She has many adventures, meets many colorful people, and expands in many ways. . .all to the climax of a great mystery which she solves and then the end of the book ends with the rest of the same interview the book began with.

Sound disjointed? It is. There were little bits of story all over the place, not really connected very strongly, only through the fact that the main character Mallory was involved in them. There were some parts of the story which sounded realistic and that I could relate to, but most of them seemed unreal, or sped up in a normal time frame. I don't know. Thinking back on the whole story, it IS an interesting storyline, but the way it was told did nothing for me.

So, would I recommend it? Not really. It's not objectionable, just not my style.

I received this book for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review. I was not required to write a positive review.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Fool Moon Rising by Kristi and T. Lively Fluharty

Great children's book! :) This hardcover short little rhyming book is a wonderful story with engaging (and silly too!) illustrations. It's about a prideful moon that brags about its light and strength, not acknowledging that it is just reflecting the light of the sun. It eventually sees the error of its ways and changes its attitude. The words are in a nice little rhyme and the pictures deserve a second and third look :) Lots of fun details!

This is a great book for younger kids (and my older kids enjoyed it too, actually!) It gives a nice little jumping off point for discussions about pridefulness, humility, God's power, and so forth. The last page of the book gives some nice and easy discussion questions as well as some fun facts about the moon and astronauts.

I would recommend this book -- whether for your own bookshelf, for a gift, or perhaps to give as a donation to your church's library! You can find the book for sale at most bookstores, check here for the website for the book and its authors.

I received a copy of this book for free for the purpose of this review. I was not required to write a positive review.