Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Psalm 91 for Mothers: God's Shield of Protection for Your Children by Peggy Joyce Ruth, ©2013

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:

Charisma House (March 5, 2013)

***Special thanks to Althea Thompson for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Peggy Joyce Ruth and her husband, Jack, are former pastors from Brownwood, Texas. Peggy has taught an adult Bible study each week at her church for the past thirty years. She is a popular conference speaker and continues to teach a weekly radio Bible study called Better Living on KPSM and KBUB.


Visit the author's website.


SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

In Psalm 91 for Mothers, Peggy Joyce Ruth takes the concept from her best-selling book Psalm 91 and applies it to her personal experience as a mother and grandmother. With compelling, emotional stories from her life and the lives of others who have been touched by this psalm, she guides you through a personal study, explaining verse by verse God’s promises of protection, provision, and blessing for your children.


Product Details:
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Charisma House (March 5, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1616387343
ISBN-13: 978-1616387341

MY REVIEW:

Each chapter shares a verse of Psalm 91.

Psalm 91
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Security of the One Who Trusts in the Lord.

1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
My God, in whom I trust!”
For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper
And from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with His pinions,
And under His wings you may seek refuge;
His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.
You will not be afraid of the terror by night,
Or of the arrow that flies by day;
Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
Or of the destruction that lays waste at noon.
A thousand may fall at your side
And ten thousand at your right hand,
But it shall not approach you.
You will only look on with your eyes
And see the recompense of the wicked.
For you have made the Lord, my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place.
10 No evil will befall you,
Nor will any plague come near your tent.
11 For He will give His angels charge concerning you,
To guard you in all your ways.
12 They will bear you up in their hands,
That you do not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread upon the lion and cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you will trample down.
14 “Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name.
15 “He will call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.
16 “With a long life I will satisfy him
And let him see My salvation.”

The importance of the Psalms in our life is demonstrated by Luke 24:44:
Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.”
God's Word is alive and active as we apply what is written. The importance of speaking God's Word out loud: God honors His Word when we believe and act upon it. Claim God's protection and safety, experiencing His provision and blessing. It is so important to teach our children to call upon God. He will rescue and honor us as we look to Him. In the back of this book there is a summary, a chapter on salvation with Scriptures, and a personal Psalm 91 covenant prayer to fill in your name or those of your loved ones as you pray.

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:

Where Is My Dwelling Place?

He who dwells in the shelter of the
 Most High will abide in the shadow
 of the Almighty. —Psalm 91:1

Think for just a minute of where, more than anyplace else in the world, you like to be when you want to feel protected and peaceful. I remember when I was a little girl and would wake up in the middle of the night and feel frightened. I would tiptoe down to my mother and dad’s room and very quietly slip in bed with them. As I lay there—silently listening to them breathe and feeling all cozy and protected—before I knew it, the fear was gone, and I would be sound asleep.
   I am sure you can think of something that represents security to you personally. When I think of security and protection, I have a couple of childhood memories that automatically come to mind. My dad was a large, muscular man who played football during his high school and college years, but he interrupted his education to serve in the military during World War II. Mother, who was pregnant with my little brother, and I lived with my grandparents in San Saba while Dad was in the service. As young as I was, I vividly remember one ecstatically happy day when my dad unexpectedly opened the door and walked into my grandmother’s living room. Before that eventful day I had been tormented with fears because some neighborhood children had told me I would never see my dad again. Like kids telling a ghost story, they taunted me that my dad would come home in a box. When he walked through that door that day, a sense of peace and security came over me and stayed with me for the rest of his time in the army.

My Father, Albert Crow
   It was past time for my baby brother to be born, and I found out when I was older that Dad’s outfit at the time was being relocated by train from Long Beach, California, to Virginia Beach, Virginia. The train was coming through Fort Worth, Texas, on its way to Virginia, so my dad caught a ride from Fort Worth to San Saba in the hopes of seeing his new son. He then hitchhiked until he caught up with the train shortly before it reached Virginia Beach. The memory of his walking into that room still brings a feeling of peaceful calm to my soul. In fact, that incident set the stage for later seeking the security a heavenly Father’s presence could bring.
   When I think of dwelling in the shelter of God, I have another childhood memory that always comes to mind. My parents would often take my younger brother and sister and me to a lake. There was a wonderful place to fish for perch that very few people knew about, and we children loved to perch fish. It was such a thrill to see the cork begin to bobble and then suddenly go completely out of sight. There were very few things that I liked better than jerking back on that old cane pole and landing a huge perch. Dad had a good reason for having us catch those perch. They were what he used for bait on the trotline that he had stretched out across one of the secret coves at the lake.

Dad and family on fishing trip
   Dad would drive the boat over to the place where his trotline was located. Then he would cut off the boat motor and inch the boat across the water as he ran the trotline. That’s what he called it when he would hold onto to the trotline with his hands and pull the boat alongside all the hooks he had baited in hopes that he had caught a big catfish. A trotline was like having about twenty-five fishing poles baited and placed all the way across the lake.
   I loved to perch fish, but it was an even greater thrill when Dad would get to a place where the trotline rope would begin to jerk almost out of his hand. That meant he had hooked a fish. It was then that all three of us children would watch, wideeyed, as Dad wrestled with that line until finally, in victory, he would flip that huge catfish over the side of the boat, right at our feet. Money could never buy that kind of excitement! The circus and a carnival all rolled up into one couldn’t give us that kind of a thrill.
   One of those outings proved to be more exciting than most, turning out to be an action-packed experience that I will never forget. It had been a beautiful day when we started out, but by the time we finished our perch fishing and were headed toward the trotline, everything changed. A storm came up on the lake so suddenly there was no time to get back to the boat dock. The sky turned black, lightning was flashing, and drops of rain were falling so hard that they stung our skin when they hit. Then, moments later, we were in the middle of a hailstorm with large, marble-sized hail.
   I could see the fear in my mother’s eyes, and I knew we were in danger. But before I had time to wonder what we were going to do, Dad had driven the boat to the rugged shoreline of the only island on the lake. There are many boat docks that surround the island now, but back then it looked like an abandoned island with absolutely no place to take refuge from the storm. In just moments Dad had us all out of the boat and ordered the three of us to lie down beside our mother on the ground. Quickly pulling a canvas tarp out of the bottom of the boat, he knelt down on the ground beside us and pulled that tarp up over all five of us. That storm raged outside the homemade tent he had made—the rain beat down, the lightning flashed, and the thunder rolled. But all I could think about was how it felt to have his arms around us. There was a certain peace that is hard to explain as we lay there under the protection of the shield my father had provided. In fact, I had never felt as safe and secure in my entire life. I can remember thinking that I wished the storm would last forever. I didn’t want anything to spoil the wonderful security I felt that day—there in our secret hiding place. Feeling my father’s strong, protective arms around me, I wanted it to never end.
   Although I have never forgotten that experience when we were fishing at the lake, today it has taken on new meaning. Just as Dad put a tarp over us to shield us from the storm, our heavenly Father has a secret place in His arms that protects us from the storms that are raging in the world around us.
   Fear is running rampant in the world today. Even children who have the security of a home filled with the love of a mother and father cannot help but sense the growing anxiety that is plaguing our schools, our streets, our newspapers, and our televisions. Suicides are becoming a common occurrence. But did you know that this place in God is real for anyone who wants to seek refuge in Him? It is a literal place of physical safety and security that God tells us about in this Psalm 91.
   This secret place is literal, but it is also conditional! In verse 1 of Psalm 91 God lists our part of the condition before He even mentions the promises included in His part. That’s because our part has to come first. To abide in the shadow of the Almighty, we must first choose to dwell in the shelter of the Most High.
   The question is, how do we dwell in the security and shelter of the Most High? It is more than an intellectual experience. This verse speaks of a dwelling place in which we can be physically protected if we run to Him. You may utterly believe that God is your refuge, and you may give mental assent to it in your prayer time, but unless you actually get up and run to the shelter—you will never experience it. I call that place of refuge a love walk!
   Most children have a secret hideout where they feel all safe and secure, hidden away from the whole world. They need to be taught, however, that those places where they feel protected are nice, but a hideout cannot keep them safe from everything. It will be life changing, however, when they are told that there is a place of shelter that will keep them protected from every evil this world has ever known. What a treasure you are leaving them when you teach them that God says He is a place of real safety from any bad thing they can think of in the whole earth—if they will run to Him. And how do they run to God? They don’t run there with their feet. They run to God with their heart! They need to be taught that they are running to God every time they think about Him—every time they tell the Lord that they love Him.

Cullen and Meritt
   When our grandchildren Cullen and Meritt were young, they would often stay the night with us. The moment they finished breakfast, each would run to his own secret place to spend some time talking with God. Cullen found a place behind the couch in the den, and Meritt headed behind the lamp table in the corner of our bedroom. Those places became very special to them.
   Where is your secret place? Everyone needs the security and shelter of a secret place with the Most High.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Get Back Up: Trusting God When Life Knocks You Down by Sheryl Giesbrecht, ©2013

With honesty and transparency, Sheryl Giesbrecht shares how she learned to trust in God, no matter what life may bringShe says, “Our lives can be a lot like that freefall, but we can survive whatever challenges God puts in front of us if we just get back up.”

Get Back UpLife is not always easy or fair for the follower of Christ. Yet, Sheryl Giesbrecht has learned, from the depths of past pain, it is possible to be raised up. It is possible to heal. Most importantly, it is possible to exchange hurt for hope. In her inspirational new book, Get Back Up: Trusting God When Life Knocks You Down, Sheryl tells her own story. She uses scripture to tell the stories of so many other Biblical figures who stumbled before they could be helped up. Sheryl’s message is one of hope. Trusting God in the midst of a life turned upside down is essential to survival. Without Him, life would not be worth living. Climbing out of the pits of despair would be impossible. Yes, with God to lean on, finding hope is possible. Healing is possible. God is capable of taking our losses and mistakes and turning them into something remarkably beautiful. Won’t you let Him?

Sheryl’s own story began with her conversion to Christ more than 30 years ago. Once a rebellious teenager, alcoholic and drug addict, she knows the difficulties that come with overcoming physical addictions. However, that is just the beginning of her incredible testimony of faith and resilience. A cancer survivor, Sheryl fought stage 4 lymphoma and knows the heartbreak of disappointment, discouragement and disease. She encourages others that they, too, can overcome. Recently widowed after 28 years of marriage, Sheryl has walked through the valley of the shadow of death after finding her husband immediately after a motorcycle accident that took his life. From the depths of these experiences, her desire is for believers to be set free from past hurts, to be healed and to be whole emotionally.  Sheryl's radio show, Kindred Moments, can be heard each weekday evening and Sunday afternoons on KAXL 88.3 FM Music for Life, kaxl.com.

“Exchanging hurt for hope” is Sheryl Giesbrecht’s focus. She loves to share how God rearranges loss, bitterness, and mistakes, and turns them into something remarkably beautiful. Find out more about Sheryl at FromAshesToBeauty.com.

I liked what Pam Farrel says in the Foreword of this book: "God is called mighty, and Sheryl lives 100 percent in God's might. Mighty in the Old Testament is often linked to meaning firm, strong, or showing power or force. It is the kind of power that many would perceive as miraculous. When used of God, one could say HE MAKES courage; when used of us, we could say we TAKE courage. God can be the source or provider of the might, strength, or power we need." (xv)

Very accurate! God makes courage, we take courage. As Cheryl shared about the death of her husband, I am reminded too of the death of my son of a heart attack almost two summers ago. I am thankful for the healing God has given me. I trust Him. I value the love we shared and the memories I hold dear. It is important to be transparent. Sheryl has shared insights of heartaches and coming victories. How deeply God loves us. He wants to touch our heart. I have never forgotten what a pastor once said, "He has seen to the end of your life here on earth and has come alongside to walk through it with you." The unexpected is not unexpected with God. I am so thankful for Him. Cheryl shares experiences each of us may have; the choice of forgiveness, releasing a grudge.

Here are some snippets:
   "The event, which lasted only an instant, became her identity. It took her a long time; when she finally did forgive her offender, she allowed God to restore her identity, and it changed her life." (36)
   "Holding onto grudges is self-deception. We believe we can control situations by refusing to let go. This doesn't damage the person we are 'begrudging' as much as it damages us." (37)

Woman-to-Woman, Cheryl shares common self-deceptions that can be healed as we trust God's love and forgiveness for us.
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and pray to me and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord, I will bring you back from captivity."
   --Jeremiah 29:11-12, NIV
There are Study Questions at the end of each of the ten chapters. Reading Cheryl's book is like sitting down together, caring and sharing.

"We are free to get back up, stand tall, and walk in freedom in Christ." (97)

***Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for inviting me to be part of this book tour for Sheryl Giesbrecht's Get Back Up: Trusting God When Life Knocks You Down. I received a copy of this book to review. No other compensation was received.***

Sheryl Giesbrecht is celebrating the release of Get Back Up with a Kindle Fire Giveaway. Enter today!


Get-Back-Up-S.Giesbrecht
One winner will receive:
  • A brand new Kindle Fire
  • Get Back Up by Sheryl Giesbrecht
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 28th. Winner will be announced on 4/30/13 on the Litfuse blog.

Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

One Thousand Gifts Devotional: Reflections on Finding Everyday Graces by Ann Voskamp, ©2012

DSC_2655

There are sixty devotions in the One Thousand Gifts Devotional and a lined journaling space in the back of this book, "counting the ways God loves you ..." to write your own one thousand gifts.

Each devotion begins with a daily Scripture, a concept of grace, and prayer. Ann's writings reflect an unique journey of discovering God's love directly for each of us.


Ann Voskamp is a Farmer's wife, the home-educating mama to a half-dozen exuberant kids, and the author of the New York Times bestseller One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are. She tells stories. She takes pictures. She sees the whole earth full of the glory of God. A columnist with DaySpring, a contributing editor to Laity Lodge's The High Calling, and a writer of articles featured in WORLD magazine, The Huffington Post, and Christianity Today, Ann partners with Compassion International as a global advocate for needy children. The poor have made her rich, and telling the stories of those who need a voice has changed her own story. Ann can be found writing about messy grace and a magnificient god at her daily online journal aholyexperience.com. Visit Ann's website at: onethousandgifts.com.

A Holy Experience
Excerpt ~*~ 

DEVOTION 24

beautiful grace

One thing I ask from the Lord,
    this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
    all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
    and to seek him in his temple.
                   Psalm 27:4

Bowed at the edge of the world, Jesus asks me soft what He asked of the man born blind: "What do you want me to do for you?"
   Jesus, I am struggling and I get turned around, but I think I know, at least in part, what I want. If I had never run, if I had never fallen here, I am not sure I would have known with blazing clarity. I may not know all that it means, but this is what I want.
   I whisper with the blind beggar, "Lord, I want to see" (Luke 18:41).
   This kingdom laden with glory, this, the pearl that crams me with a happiness that throbs, serrated edge, pit open wide for more of His glory.
   Beauty, God Himself, is the voice endlessly calling and so we see. So we reach. Doubt the philosophies, doubt the prophecies, doubt the Pharisees (especially the ones seen in mirrors), but who can doubt this--Beauty Himself? Beauty requires no justification, no explanation; it simply is and transcends. See beauty and we know it in the marrow, even if we have no words for it: Someone is behind it. Beauty Himself completes.
   This is what I'm famished for: more of the God-glory.
   The only place we have to come before we die is the place of seeing God.
   What is this that I feel sitting here, coursing through me relentless, hot, ardent? I have to seek God-beauty. Because isn't my internal circuitry wired to seek out something worthy of worship? Every moment I live, I live bowed to something. And if I don't see God, I'll bow down before something else.
   How could I have forgotten how badly I wanted this?
   To bow down and rightly worship.
   Do I have eyes to see it in His Glory and not the thing?
   I am bowed like wheat, raised like grass blades, grounded and rooted to now, and from Him and through Him and to Him are all things and all is His and everything that has breath praises Him, and I whisper it again, again, again, remembering, remembering, remembering.
   Eucharisteo, eucharisteo, eucharisteo.
   When the purity of Jesus lies over a heart, His transparency burns the cataracts off the soul. The only way to see God manifested in the world around is with the eyes of Jesus within.
   God within is the One seeing God without. God is both the object of my seeing and the subject who does the act of all real seeing, the Word lens the inner eye wears.
   To sit in the theater of God and see His glory crack the dark, to open the eyes of my heart to see the fountain of His grace--thousands of gifts--I have to split heart open to more and more of Jesus.
   Who can split open the eyelids but Jesus? Christ Himself tears the veil to the Holy of Holies, gives me the only seeing I have.
   I have been lost and now I am found and I sing it softly, before the flying of the flocks south: "Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart ..."
   These heavy glory-waters endlessly flood from Him and God spills. Skirts of stars swirl through black space and waterfalls canter over stones, manes of runaway horses, and lone mushroom tilts in the shadows of soundless forest, and God sees it all. This is His endless experience because this is who He is--beauty overflowing. God is happiest of all.
   Joy is God's life.
   Don't I yearn for it to be mine?
   I was lost but now am found again, Jesus, and I know what I want to see deeply, to thank deeply, to feel joy deeply. How my eyes see, perspective, is my key to enter into His gates. I can only do so with thanksgiving. Living in His presence is fullness of joy--and seeing shows the way in.
  Our endless desires are fulfilled in endless God.
   I long to know Beauty, breathe it into lungs, feel it heavy on skin. To beat on the door of the universe, pound the chest of God with the psalmist: "One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple" (Psalm 27:4).
   Faith is the gaze of the soul and I want to see in. So I can enter in.
   Isn't that what C. S. Lewis knew too?

   What more, you may ask, do we want? Ah, but we want so much more--something the books on aesthetics take little notice of. But the poets ... know all about it. We do not want merely to see beauty, though, God knows, even that is bounty enough. We want something else which can hardly be put into words--to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it.

   Isn't the longing for Beauty Himself the happiest place of all? *FN

~*~ 
Lord, in Christ You name me Beloved One, and in love I call You Beautiful One. Today, turn me from seeing burdens to seeking beauty. Cause me to glimpse at the grittiness and gaze on Your glory--because could there be more joy than adoring You more?
   --One Thousand Gifts Devotional, 84-87

*FN C. S. Lewis, "The Weight of Glory," in The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1965), 12-13.



I received an Advance Reading Copy from Zondervan Linked to Lit for this review. No other compensation was received. 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."

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Postcards from Misty Harbor Inn series by Evangeline Kelley, ©2013

The Postcards from Misty Harbor Inn series (Guideposts Books) introduces readers to Caroline, Gracie and Sam as they gather for a vacation where they spent the summers as children, and follows their adventures as they fulfill their mother's dream of opening a bed and breakfast. As the sisters heal from their mother's passing, they bond in ways they never imagined and discover evidence of God's hand in the unlikeliest of circumstances.

Seaside Harmony: Book 1, Postcards from Misty Harbor Inn, ©2013
This title is now available, release date April 1, 2013.

Can Caroline and her sisters make their mother's dream come true? Can it become their dream and bring these three different sisters together? Caroline, the eldest sister has been the family traveler. She is drawn to Misty Harbor Inn and can see beyond its disrepair to the home and B and B it can become. Gracie has been a widow for three years and is unsure of leaving her home and is helping with her young grandchildren. Sam is a newly retired elementary school teacher. Her daughter, Jamie, comes for a visit and wonders why they didn't come here to vacation when she was a child! So busy in each of their lives, is this an opportunity to come together again as sisters? They have come to Nantucket for two weeks together, where they had vacationed as children. They climb the bluff to see Misty Harbor but it has changed greatly from where their mother brought them for an afternoon tea. It is unoccupied with the gardens overgrown.
Caroline stood at the edge of the porch, gripped the handrail that needed sanding and fresh paint, and watched Sam stroll beneath a trellis choked with morning glories. Sam stopped when she reached a bronze birdbath with a pensive cupid holding a scalloped shell over his head. It was the birdbath their mother had had them toss coins into so many years ago.
   "What's this?" Sam said, parting the vines. She dug out a black and orange sign that said For Sale.
   --Seaside Harmony, 10
They try to peek through a knothole in a shuttered window. Furniture is left inside. Trying to pry on the next shutter, it comes off and they are startled by a neighbor watching for trespassers. This will turn out to be an unforgettable summer!

Seaside Harmony coverSeaside Harmony:

Three sisters, a charming inn, hints of mystery and romance, and a gorgeous seaside setting. Summer reading at its finest!

When Caroline Marris joins her sisters, Gracie Gold and Sam Carter for a Nantucket Island getaway, she has no idea how it will change her life. The sisters stumble upon Misty Harbor Inn, the place their late mother loved so much, and Caroline talks her sisters into buying the beautiful but dilapidated inn. But can free-spirited Caroline stay focused enough to make opening the inn a reality? Hand-drawn old postcards draw the sisters into the mystery of Hannah Montague, the young widow of the original owner. Can the sisters uncover the fate of this woman who disappeared in 1880? As Caroline and her sisters work together to make their mom's dream a reality, they bond in ways they never expected.





Sunflower Summer: Book 2, Postcards from Misty Harbor Inn, ©2013
This title is now available, release date April 1, 2013.

The sisters begin their first season, after a year of polishing, refinishing and refurbishing their bed and breakfast. With the ocean breezes and the scent of spring flowers, they are ready with their plan and excited to put it all in place as they await the arrival of their first guests, a honeymoon couple. Misty Harbor Inn will be renting bikes and providing picnic lunches to explore Nantucket Island. The community is getting ready for the weekend Daffodil Festival. Gracie will be driving their Packard station wagon in the parade as advertisement for the Inn, and used for picking up their guests at the ferry. Gracie has kept her home in Portland and is coming to the Inn for the summer months. She brings sunflower seeds to plant in the Inn garden. Will these midsummer blooms help Gracie find her place?  Beyond sharing their bluff home with guests, their lives become interwoven and blended with each of their giftings.


Sunflower Summer:

Misty Harbor Inn officially opens, and Gracie Gold, the middle Marris sister, wrestles with an overwhelming decision. As the sisters learn the day-to-day workings of running an inn, Gracie counsels its first guests, newlyweds whose honeymoon seems to be ending before it begins. Meanwhile, Sam's discovery of a clue in a secret room sheds unflattering light on Hannah Montague, who vanished from the house more than one hundred years ago. And as Gracie and Caroline welcome guests to the inn, they are delighted to see how God uses it --- and them --- to deepen relationships and transform lives.

Meet Evangeline Kelley: Evangeline Kelley is the pen name for the writing team of Patti Berg, Pam Andrews & Barbara Hanson, and Camy Tang, the four authors who collaborated to create Postcards from Misty Harbor Inn. Each of them has published novels individually, but this is their first series together.

Find out more about Evangeline at amzn.to/10d3FZM.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity Group for inviting me to be part of the book tour litfusegroup.com/author/ekelley where you may click on Blog Tour Schedule for other reviews for Books 1 and 2 in the Postcards from Misty Harbor Inn series.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. 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."

Whispers on the Dock: Book 3, Postcards from Misty Harbor Inn, ©2013
This title is available for pre-order and releases August 1, 2013.

Three sisters. A charming inn. Hints of mystery and romance. And a gorgeous seaside setting. Escape to Misty Harbor Inn.
As Nantucket reaches the pinnacle of its summer glory, and the Marris sisters welcome guests at Misty Harbor Inn, youngest sister Sam Carter enters her mother's cobbler recipe in the Summerfest baking contest. But she faces a formidable opponent, a past winner who is determined to keep her title even if it means stooping to dirty tactics. Can Sam's newfound faith help her rise above the fray and reach out to this lonely woman? Meanwhile, an elderly guest arrives who knows the inn's history, and the sisters are stunned to learn that their late mother lived there as a child. But she told them she'd never been to Nantucket until her honeymoon! Through the woman's reminiscences and photos, the sisters make an intriguing discovery -- not only about the mysterious Hannah Montague, the young woman who disappeared from the house in 1880, but also about their own family history.
Readers will delight in the inviting Nantucket setting and be enthralled by the adventures of these sisters who reunite to bring their mother's Misty Harbor dreams to life.

Guideposts Books is celebrating the release of their new Postcards from Misty Harbor Inn series with a fun giveaway and a Facebook party on May 9th.

Misty-Harbor-Series-300

One fortunate winner will receive:
  • A Nook HD
  • Seaside Harmony and Sunflower Summer by Evangeline Kelley
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 8th. Winner will be announced at the Postcards from Misty Harbor Inn Author Chat Facebook Party on 5/9. Connect with Patti Berg, Pam Andrews, Barbara Hanson, and Camy Tang (who collaborated together under the pen name, Evangeline Kelley) for an evening of book chat, trivia, and fun! There will also be great giveaways (gift certificates, books, and more) as well as a sneak peek at the next book in the series!

So grab your copies of Seaside Harmony and Sunflower Summer and join readers just like you on the evening of May 9th for a chance to connect with the authors and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the books - don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 9th!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Ring the Bell, ©2013 DVD & Giveaway

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. 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."



DVD Available Now ~*~ Sometimes the next big thing isn't what you expect.

Buy DVDRob Decker is a hard-driving sports agent who has everything he could want—until he learns that the next "sure-thing" athlete doesn't have an agent. Chasing down the latest high school phenom, Rob travels to small-town America where he experiences first-hand what it's like to live a meaningful life of faith. Maybe Rob Decker doesn't have everything after all.

RING THE BELL is a movie that your whole family can enjoy together. In addition to the movie, the DVD includes the great bonus features:
  • The Heart of RING THE BELL
  • Casting Crowns "The Well" Music Video
  • On Set with Casting Crowns
  • Famous Faces
  • A Very Special Movie
  • Ringing the Bell

Rob Decker thinks he has it all until he comes to this small Florida town and experiences a community coming together to support each other. Rob's car overheats and he does a lot of walking and thinking while it is being repaired. As he searches for what he thinks he has come to find, Rob becomes involved in community life at a festival, boys' home, ballgame, and concert, finding answers beyond his visits to the barber shop.
Ring the Bell is a wholesome feature film for your whole family. http://www.ringthebellthemovie.com/

God knows we've got stuff.
That's why Jesus came to free us from all that.

I think I will go sign this kid myself.
Because this is my life and I don't need more than this.

Slick, big-city sports agent Rob Decker has it all. But on his latest mission to sign a high school baseball superstar, Rob becomes stranded in a small town where the simplicity of life—and the faith of the people—stands in stark contrast to his own fast-paced, win-at-all-costs mindset. Torn between these two worlds, will Rob have the courage to let faith transform his life? Sometimes the next big thing isn't what you expect.
Starring Ryan Scharoun, Ashley Anderson McCarthy, and Casey Bond, RING THE BELL features Christian music artists Casting Crowns, Steven Curtis Chapman, and Matthew West, along with baseball legends Rick Sutcliffe, John Kruk, and Ben Zobrist. This heartwarming story of redemption will entertain and inspire the whole family.

Thank you to Fly-By Promotions for sending me a copy of Ring the Bell to view and write this review. No other compensation was received.

Giveaway DVD Available! Leave a comment with your contact information name[at]webmail[dot]com for notifying one winner of a copy of the Ring the Bell DVD.

The Quiet Place: Daily Devotional Readings by Nancy Leigh DeMoss, ©2012

It is my hope that this volume will help you cultivate a quiet heart and find fresh springs of blessing in the presence of the Lord.
   --Nancy Leigh DeMoss, author of The Quiet Place: Daily Devotional Readings



Excerpt:

April 6 Secret Treasure
Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth and teach me. --Psalm 25:4-5 NKJV

ONE OF THE GREATEST DESIRES OF MY HEART and one of my most frequent prayers over the years is that I might know the ways of God. To know His thoughts, His feelings, His heart, and even His "secrets." To have His perspective on this world, on history, on current events, on the future, on work, on ministry, relationships, my family, the church--on everything. To know what brings Him joy and what causes Him to grieve. I want to know His ways!
   I don't believe He owes me an explanation, and there are aspects of His ways that will remain hidden to us in this present life (Deut. 29:29). But I want to know everything about Him that He is willing to reveal.
   That's why, before I begin to read God's Word in the morning, I often pray the above words of David from Psalm 25. This psalm goes on to tell us the kind of man or woman to whom God will reveal His ways: the humble--"He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way" (verse 9); as well as the one who fears the Lord--"Him will he instruct in the way that he should choose" (verse 12); "The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him, and He will show them His covenant" (verse 14 NKJV). What an awesome thought: that the God of the universe would confide in us and trust us with aspects of His character and ways that remain hidden to those who do not fear Him.
   Are you hungry to know more of the Lord? Eager to grasp His will and His purposes? God's willingness to share His secrets with His creatures is evidence of His desire to have an intimate relationship and friendship with us. Come humbly and reverently. Let Him show you His ways.

For at least the next few days, pray the words of Psalm 25:4-5 before you begin your daily Bible reading.



Bestselling author Nancy Leigh DeMoss adapts the core themes of her teaching into a format her fans can enjoy daily—366 portions of rich Bible study and practical applications. Soft Touch. Nancy has a radio program you can enjoy at Revive Our Hearts: Calling Women to Freedom, Fullness, & Fruitfulness in Christ. Here is today's broadcast link: reviveourhearts.com/radio/revive-our-hearts/seven-snapshots-1/
I first became acquainted with Nancy Leigh DeMoss when she continued Gateway to Joy following Elisabeth Elliot, whom I had followed for many years. The wisdom and encouragement, the right-on topics discussed will fill your heart.
Content for The Quiet Place has been adapted from books by Nancy Leigh DeMoss, as well as transcripts of her radio programs. To find resources by Nancy, visit ReviveOurHearts.com/transcripts and ReviveOurHearts.com/store. Websites ReviveOurHearts.com, TrueWoman.com, and LiesYoungWomenBelieve.com offer daily blogs and a large, searchable collection of electronic resources for women in every season of life.

Thank you to MP Newsroom, Moody Publishers, for sending me this copy of The Quiet Place by Nancy Leigh DeMoss to read and review. No other compensation was received.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Getting Out of Bed in the Morning: Reflections of Comfort in Heartache by Alice J. Wisler, ©2013

Getting Out Of Bed in the Morning
forty devotionals

Hear my prayer, O LORD;
let my cry for help come to you.
Do not hide your face from me
when I am in distress.
Turn your ear to me;
when I call, answer me quickly.
    --PSALM 102:1-2



Tips for Writing the Heartache
  1. Buy a journal; make sure to buy it because it's one you like, not just because it's on sale.
  2. Spend some alone time with a pen and your journal.
  3. Don't worry about grammar or penmanship.
  4. Write freely.
  5. Write honestly.
  6. Write your struggles, your fears, your woes.
  7. Write a psalm of lament.
  8. Write a psalm of praise.
  9. Capture quotes and Scripture that are meaningful to you.
  10. Know that your journal will not judge you or ridicule you.
  11. Write with the feeling that you will survive this.
  12. Write a love letter.
  13. Pen your memories.
  14. Describe your favorite place.
  15. Spend time reflecting on where you've been and where you're going.
  16. Share your journal entries with a friend or choose not to share--the decision is up to you.
  17. Write knowing that, through the art of writing from your loss and grief, you are writing for healing, health, and hope.
         --Getting Out of Bed in the Morning, 173-174 [written consent of author to include]

This book is for anyone struggling. It is written for those like me--a sufferer of and a wrestler with heartache. Heartache comes in the form of the loss of a loved one, a career, health or finances, hopes and dreams, loss of marriage, loss of identity, and loss of relationships. These struggles present a multitude of questions to grapple with, and in these pages we'll talk about them. We'll talk about God, especially how He sustains us so that we can carry on and even thrive.
   My book is written in small reflections, offering a theme with thoughts to ponder; a Scripture verse or two (mainly from the psalms because they are such a great selection for both sorrow and praise), and a prayer. And it is my prayer that as we journey together and discover how God sustains us to continue in our relationship with Him, His mercy, love, grace, and peace will abide in our hearts.
   --Alice J. Wisler, Ibid., 18

I lie down and sleep;
I awake again, because the Lord sustains me.
    --PSALM 3:5
Sustain:
* to support, hold, or bear up from below; bear the weight of, as a structure.
* to bear (a burden, charge, etc.).
* to undergo, experience, or suffer (injury, loss, etc.); endure without giving way or
   yielding.
* to keep (a person, the mind, the spirits, etc.) from giving way, as under trial or affliction.
* to keep up or keep going, as an action or process: to sustain a conversation.
      --DICTIONARY.com

The Journey. I am so thankful for the path God has me on. I trust Him. It won't be your Journey, because each one is specific, and loved and cared for. My mother died when I was five, eight weeks to the day before my leaving babyhood birthday. My dear firstborn and only son died of a heart attack in the night two days before his birthday, two years ago. I smile and feel soft inside, when I think of him and the memories of our love for each other. How gracious the Lord is to us before we even lean and rely on Him. The first time I read Psalm 139, it answered all the questions I had about not having my mother. The Lord was with me all of the time. He will always be with me. He has seen to the end of my life on earth, and has come alongside to walk each moment with me. How I love Him and cherish Him. My Redeemer and my Lord.

Your journey will be different from mine. Your journey will be different from Alice's. Here are the sections you will travel with her in Getting Out of Bed in the Morning: Reflections of Comfort in Heartache. May you be blessed as you travel together on the path set before you. May you receive the Lord's healing in your life. He is indeed our Sustainer.

Section One: Sustained to Weep
Section Two: Sustained to Nurture
Section Three: Sustained to Encourage
Section Four: Sustained to Thrive
Section Five: Sustained to Hope


Getting Up in the Morning motivates readers who are facing grief and loss to get out of bed and face a life which, although diminished by unfathomable sadness, still holds purpose and beauty.

Written in devotional format, Getting Up in the Morning is a companion for those going through sorrow associated with loss--whether brought to the journey through the death of a loved one, failing health, job loss, broken relationships, or weakened family ties. Losses are real and raw; they often make people want to give up, quit trying. Yet, as readers discover how their circumstances can be used to lift hands to God, and in time reach others, they will see how God can use them to be people of encouragement and find beauty once again in a life worth living.

These forty devotionals address the painful hardships realistically, as well as the doubt, worry, and fear that come with them. The pages are packed with tips on how readers should take care of themselves and draw near to God so that healing is possible. Each devotional includes reflection, prayer, and suggestions for those who want to integrate walks into their daily routine.

Getting Out of Bed in the Morning:
Reflections of Comfort in Heartache
Alice Wisler
ISBN 9780891124191
Leafwood Publishers (January 2013)
176 pages
$13.99

About the Author
In 1997, Alice J. Wisler's four-year-old son, Daniel, died after eight months of vigorous cancer treatments. In his memory, Alice founded Daniel's House Publications, a grief organization, to help other parents cope with death. Through this organization, she created “Writing the Heartache” workshops, geared to help others discover the benefits of writing from losses. Alice is the author of five novels (two Christy finalists), the most recent being Still Life in Shadows. She lives in Durham, North Carolina, with her husband and children. Visit her Writing the Heartache blog at writingtheheartache.blogspot.com, her Broken Psalms blog at danielshouseworkshop.blogspot.com, and her Website at alicewisler.com.

I thank the author for sending me a copy of her book I won on a blogspot and I am pleased to share this review with you.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.
   --2 CORINTHIANS 1:3-5

Love at Any Cost by Julie Lessman, ©2013

New Series by Julie Lessman! "Heart of San Francisco"

Book 1 ~ Love at Any Cost



Fooled by a pretty boy once, shame on him. Fooled by a pretty boy twice, shame on me.
   --Love at Any Cost, 10

The Irish in California ~ Here We Come!!
 
love built on faith can set a heart free
~*~"Always remember," Nana would say, "life is an adventure and every day a fresh start ... especially with God by your side."
   --Ibid., 15

No way! Cassie is barely off the train, and Blake, her cousin Alli's brother is the Blake that is the friend of Mr. Pretty Boy?? What coincidence is that! Wait until Blake brings him home for dinner!

Hmmm... wonder if I am right? ~ Read on. 

First, for you to know, Cassie has come from her home in Humble, Texas, being spurned (she would have liked to have spurred him!) by her fiancé, sending her off with her boots and lasso to her aunt Cait's in California ~ with plans to stay beyond the summer this time. She and cousin Alli have graduated and join the dream to be teachers to the under-trodden of Barbary Coast with Aunt Cait, Alli's mother.

WOOOOOOOoooooo!!!! I am right! Wonder if she will be able to swallow and eat like the true woman she is! Mr. Pretty Boy is on his way to her welcome dinner at Aunt Cait's.

Both Jamie and Cassie come from a torn past. Cassie with a failed relationship that she trusted, and Jamie with an accident that he feels responsible for. Both have deep qualities for caring and relevance. Cassie trusts God with her life; Jamie blames. I felt like their physical relationship was too stressed and misplaced the story.

WooHoo~ Look at 24 now!

"Heart of San Francisco" Series:
From the glitter and glamour of San Francisco’s Nob Hill and Napa wine country, to the seedy dance halls and gambling dens of the Barbary Coast, “The Heart of San Francisco” series is a study in contrasts between the haves and have-nots, and barriers between rich and poor that only faith can transcend.
   The story of the McClares, a wealthy political family in 1902 San Francisco, not only highlights the struggles of faith and heart of three cousins, but of the matriarch of the family as well, Caitlyn McClare. A widow of strong faith and beauty, Caitlyn butts heads and hearts with her handsome brother-in-law Logan McClare, the fiancĂ© who betrayed her before she married his brother. In a breathtaking city where the Irish were predominant in the early 1900s and wielding power in both politics and wealth, the story of the McClares is a glimpse into beauty and degradation, poverty and promise during a riveting time in our nation’s history.

Book 1 ~ Love at Any Cost, "The Heart of San Francisco" Series

He's looking to take care of his familly. She's looking to take care of her heart. Trouble is ... love's looking to take care of them both.
   Jilted by a fortune hunter, cowgirl Cassidy McClare is a spunky Texas oil heiress without a fortune who would just as soon hogtie a man as look at him. Hoping a summer visit with her wealthy cousins in San Francisco will help her forget her heartache, Cassidy travels west. But no sooner is she settled in beautiful California than Jamie MacKenna, a handsome pauper looking to marry well, captures her heart. When Jamie discovers the woman he loves is poorer than he is, Cassidy finds herself bucked by love a second time. Will Jamie discover that money can't buy love after all? And can Cassidy ever learn to fully trust her heart to a man?

If you are going to venture around town, you will want to become acquainted with some of the places worth seeing, except for the underground ones!

And to have a few bills and coins in your handbag.

Currency 1902 issue from San Francisco mint ~ $20, $.50, $.10
 

1902 $20 National Currency Anglo & London Paris San Francisco CA VF  

 
AR 50 cent, San Francisco, United States, 1902-1902.
Reverse Image
Region: United States

Mint: San Francisco

1902 S Barber Dime
          Dime 0.10 USD

Jamie and Cassidy are going to find out ~ we hope! ~ that jingling a few coins will not be where their wealth will appear.

But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven,
where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and
where thieves do not break through nor steal:
For where your treasure is, there will your heart
be also.
   --Matthew 6:20-21
***Thank you to Revell Blog Tour Network Historical Fiction for sending me a copy of Love at Any Cost by Julie Lessman to review in my own words. No other compensation was received.***