Monday, April 30, 2018

Scripture Graphics #89

For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of him: Therefore also I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD. And he worshipped the LORD there.
(1 Samuel 1:27-28)
How often do we have a deep desire, beg of God, receive it, then selfishly hoard it? Hannah did no such thing, and it was her very own child! God’s blessings on us should enable us to give more back to Him and bless others, but do we selflessly give back to God or selfishly cling tightly to what we have?

How many people try to do good things and follow the commandments—yet neglect to believe in Jesus Christ as the only way to salvation! This is the most important commandment for us to obey!

These verses bring out just three aspects of God’s love:
- God loved those who did not love Him
- God gave what was most precious to Him, to demonstrate His love
- By His love, God atoned (appeased) our sin
And this is how we are to love: by extending love to those who do not extend love to us, by giving what is valuable to us for others (be it ourselves, our time, our money), and forgiving others’ sin against us.

And when the men of Ashdod saw that it was so, they said, The ark of the God of Israel shall not abide with us: for his hand is sore upon us, and upon Dagon our god. They sent therefore and gathered all the lords of the Philistines unto them, and said, What shall we do with the ark of the God of Israel? And they answered, Let the ark of the God of Israel be carried about unto Gath. And they carried the ark of the God of Israel about thither.
(1 Samuel 5:7-8)
It is amazing…the enemy of God knew exactly Who was punishing them and bringing judgment, but today, many Christians lay all of their afflictions at the hand of satan. Yes, sometimes trials are sent by satan (look at Job), or the affect of another’s sin (Joseph), but we tend to neglect examining ourselves to see if maybe God Himself sent this punishment because of our sin. In the Philistines’ case, they knew it was God, yet their solution was not humility and repentance before God. They “removed themselves from the presence of conviction.” Even as believers, we can do the same by neglecting God’s Word, neglecting church, avoiding Godly friends, and spending more time with worldly friends who convince us that “sin is okay.” Are we like the Philistines?

How has God's Word challenged you this week?

Monday, April 23, 2018

Scripture Graphics #88

No leader of any group of people has ever had a perfect group. Moses, though he was the meekest man on earth and talked face to face with God, could not change to heart of the nation. Yet that never hindered his relationship with God. Dealing with tough people is a part of life, but never should we use it as an excuse to draw us away from God.

The first step to sin is when we forget Who God is and what He has done FOR US.

If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. (1 John 1:6-7)
True fellowship with God comes only one way: through Jesus’ blood. We cannot do enough works to open this fellowship nor can we turn over enough new leaves. Any relationship with God apart from the blood of Christ is no relationship at all—and we deceive ourselves.

These were established in God’s Word, saved, and strong—yet look at what John wrote to them: reminders of salvation, focus, ministry, attitude, assurance, sin, God’s commandments, so on. Even if we have a solid, Christian foundation, we need to be reminded of some things and taught some things. This is why believers should never stop daily reading God’s Word or going to church. We still need to be reminded of some things.

What are you reading in your Bible today?

Saturday, April 21, 2018

KJV Minister's Bible | Book Review

Though I am not a minister, I was interested to see what all this publication of the Bible contained, as I heard it had extra resources. It is a soft leather and very comfortable to hold. There are three bookmarks, which is a major plus for me, as I usually read in more than one place at a time. The text is small print (not tiny, but definitely not large print) and portions of Scripture are separated by titles and captions.

In the center of the Bible is a tab for easy flipping to the minister’s resources (which thus make this a minister’s Bible). I didn’t read through all of them, but skimmed somewhat, just to see what they were like. One of the categories that I read was on baptism. I found that some of the method suggestions and approach used was a little extra-Biblical (almost leaning toward baptism being what seals our salvation, rather than it just being a symbol). On that note, I would mention that though there are these resources, whoever is using the Bible should be careful to be certain that the material given here is actually in line with the content of God’s Word.

*I received this from Book Look Bloggers and happily provided my honest review*

Book Description

Pastors and church leaders stand ready to meet the needs of their flocks. And Thomas Nelson's beautiful and durable KJV Minister’s Bible is here to help. With sermons, readings, outlines, prayers, and more, this Bible is a one-stop resource, offering direction for weddings, funerals, communion and baptism services, confirmations, dedications, and a variety of other pastoral care situations.
Features include:
Complete text of the timeless and beautiful King James Version, perfect for devotional and worship settings
Exclusive KJV Comfort Print®
A comprehensive collection of pastoral resources, located between the Testaments—prayers, sermons, outlines, and more
Sewn, lay-flat binding to ensure easy, one-handed use
Three satin ribbon markers to quickly navigate between favorite passages and resources
Elegant, durable, understated covers, appropriate for any ministry setting
9-point print size

Friday, April 20, 2018

Spread Too Thin | Book Review

Every single family member who saw me reading this book gave a little grin with, “Yep, that’s your book.” Ellen Miller hits the nail on the head with the subject (and title) of this book. Today’s women are definitely spread too thin, trying to go too many directions at once, and lacking the peace and joy that God yearns for us to have.

This was very easy to read. Because I was reading this for a deadline review, I didn’t do the devotional in 90 days, as intended—but I can see where the 1-3-page devotions would be perfect for just that little “gem” to get your day started on the right foot and your heart refocused. Not all of the devotionals were applicable to me as a single gal, but there was still a lot of great soul-searching content.

A few of the devotionals sounded very “modern Christianity” about accepting/knowing your worth, etc. but in context, I don’t think it was over-done. Just a little, “Hey, don’t beat yourself up because you’re a child of God.” Overall, though, this did take on a more modern Christian woman viewpoint. In some ways, Mrs. Miller explained how sometimes we’re “spread too thin” because we’re not accepting the calling God has given us—but she really didn’t go into what a woman’s calling is, or what the role of a woman should be Biblically. It was just more of how to balance things in your busy life. It’s not a book that I think would really get on people’s toes in that aspect (which, I personally could have taken a little more Biblically backing for what womanhood should be, but I realize this may not have been her intent in the book).

The author did reference quite a few Bible translations, and I prefer the KJV, but I didn’t find she took any Scripture out of context.

So overall, a good devotional book. Sometimes in devotional books, the authors will throw a few cringe-worthy examples (speaking of content-cringing, not Spiritual truth-cringing), and this book was wonderfully lacking in that area! I handed it to my teen sister without any disclaimers or “skip this chapter.”

To finish; a quote:
“Gratitude—not talent, money, prestige, or any other things we might hope for—can do the most for resetting the mind, heart, and soul toward abundant living.” (Page 71)

*I received this book from Tyndale House Publishers and happily provided my honest review*

About the Book
You know the drill. Somebody asks, “How are you?” and you respond automatically: “Crazy busy!” “I’m exhausted!” “Running too fast.”

And it’s no wonder! Between the breakneck speed of your job, the one million family activities on the calendar, the volunteer luncheon you signed up to host, the growing to-do list on your phone, and the workout you’ve been meaning to get to for weeks—if you ever stopped long enough to think about it, you’d be curled up in the fetal position on the floor.

Life these days. It’s exhausting, isn’t it?

Ellen Miller gets it—and she wrote Spread Too Thin just for you. Whatever stage of life you find yourself in, you don’t have to live it frantically. Written for women who care deeply and extend themselves selflessly, this 90-day devotional offers an honest look at the obligations that have drained us and then point us toward a more abundant life with Jesus. Through personal stories, practical insights, and classic Ellen humor, you’ll discover that it is possible to find hope—and even peace!—throughout your harried, overcommitted days.

Purchase on Amazon

Monday, April 16, 2018

Scripture Graphics #87

If we were truly convinced at how big and powerful our God is, then we would not let fears overtake us—fears of unknown, fears of what “might happen,” fears of men.

And I stayed in the mount, according to the first time, forty days and forty nights; and the LORD hearkened unto me at that time also, and the LORD would not destroy thee. (Deuteronomy 10:10)
One man’s prayer saved a nation. Do we think our prayers are in vain or that “Who am I, that God would listen?” What if we are the one whose prayer is the only thing that changes something?

Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
(1 Peter 2:1-2)
If we are not desiring God’s Word or it seems we’re unable to grow, maybe we should do a quick heart-check. Are we harboring malice (badness, malignity, trouble, evil), guile (a trick, wile), hypocrisy (acting under a feigned part), envies (ill-will, jealousy), or evil-speakings (defamation)? If we are, then we very well may be squelching our appetite for God’s Word. We must apply the principles of God’s Word in order to learn more and grow. To hold onto wickedness is only deaden our desire for God’s Word.

This list is not one that, applied once, we have for life. Different circumstances will arise that present different angles in which to apply these spiritual traits—and at different levels. To stop striving after these things is to be blind and careless (vs. 9). It will rarely be easy, but the Holy Spirit is in us to guide us (John 16:13) and help us to will to do (Philippians 2:13). Ours is the choice whether to go to God for help, or to give up.

What passages have encouraged you in your spiritual growth this week?

Friday, April 13, 2018

Seventh Born | Blog Tour and Giveaway

I have finally tried a fantasy book. You can read my full thoughts in the review below (spoiler: I'm not into fantasy, for Biblical reasons). 
But for now... the tour!

Having seven sons is a honor above no other. Which is why she is a disappointment. The only girl of seven children, she brought shame to her family. Who knew something like this could be turned into a book, but Rachel Rossano has done just that with her book, Seventh Born. Read on to learn more about the book and enter the giveaway.

About the Book

In a world where seventh born sons are valued for their strength and power, she is born a daughter.

Zezilia Ilar is the disappointment. Born after six brothers, she was supposed to be the son to restore her family’s prestige. She intends to remedy her shortcomings by being a dutiful daughter, marrying well and producing children, preferably a set of seven sons. But when someone offers her an alternative, she begins to dream of more.

In a society that worships a goddess, he follows the Almighty.

Hadrian Aleron, as a seventh son of a seventh son, stands to take up the second highest position in government, Sept Son. His main qualification for office is his birth. Despite preparing for this role from childhood, he does not desire what is to come. As a follower of the Almighty, he knows he will be the target of many, and his faith might eventually lead to death.

            Amazon –
            Kobo –

My Review

I’m basing my review off reading only about 15% of the book. Yes, I am giving it three stars, which may seem unfair since I didn’t even read a quarter of the book, but my rating is based on personal preference as a conservative Christian reader (had I read the entire book, the rating may have been lower). Not only did I agree to review this book, but I also realize that some of my reader friends may be interested in knowing my thoughts on it.

I knew going into this book that it was fantasy, so I can’t bash the author because of it. But, I guess you could say I got weirded out and thus didn’t want to finish it. The fantasy elements (at least up to the 15% mark) were mind-reading and body-moving (kind of like the “force” in Star Wars? Not sure, I haven’t seen it in decades). I think I could have handled the mind-reading in moderation, but pretty much the entire plot was wrapped around the “talented ones” who had the ability to both read minds and transfer their thoughts to others. And then there was the instance when, by mere intellectual focus, one lifted a body and moved him without touching him. I guess the supernatural effects made me uncomfortable. There are just some things that you don’t really mess with spiritually—the devil is the one who does weird things. Not Christians. So, as a Christian reader, I found the fantasy elements to dip too much into the spiritual realm of things that are extra-Biblical. I definitely didn’t feel at peace reading the rest of the book.

This is supposedly a Christian book. I realize that I probably didn’t read enough of it to get the Christian theme, so I’ll not critique that content. The one main character is a believer in the one true God, the other main character believes in “all the gods.” I would have been interested to see how that played out fully, but for reasons mentioned above, it wasn’t enough to get me to finish it.

I started this book with every intention of enjoying it, but yeah… it didn’t settle right with me; especially in this day and age when spiritual things are becoming blurred lines and people are more inclined to believe others’ words and experiences over what the Word of God says. 

*I received this book from the author and happily provided my honest review*

About the Author

Rachel Rossano lives with her husband and three children in the northeastern part of the United States. Homeschooled through high school, she began writing her early teens. She didn’t become serious about pursuing a career as an author until after she had graduated from college and happily married. Then the children came.

Now she spends her days being a wife, mother, teacher, and household manager. Her evenings and free moments are devoted to her other loves, writing and book cover design. Drawing on a lifelong fascination with reading and history, she spends hours creating historical feeling fantasy worlds and populating them with characters who live and breathe on the page.

Follow Rachel on:
Newsletter Sign Up –


Rachel is giving away an eBook of her book. You can enter here. Your odds of winning increase with every person you refer so spread the word!  Good luck, and I hope you win!

Character Spotlight

Name – Hadrian Aleron

As the youngest of seven sons, he was given seven names (a cultural tradition): Ilias Durand Fidel Hadrian Krispin Valens Savill Aleron (which mean Jehovah is my God, enduring, faithful, dark one, curly-haired, valiant, from the willow farm, eagle). However, he goes by Hadrian most of the time.
Physical Appearance – Tall, dark brown unruly curls, angular features, and intense dark eyes

Tallest among his siblings, he stands out in many ways. Perhaps it was because of the knowledge that he was going to have to help lead a nation at a young age, but even before he took up the role, he carried an air of purpose and gravity about him.

Hadrian was raised by believing parents to honor, love, and obey the Almighty at all costs. In a nation that worships a goddess, that fidelity could mean persecution and, for a public official, possibly death.

Tour Schedule

April 9
Bookish Orchestrations – Introductory post
Just A Glimpse – Guest Post

April 10
Rachel John Writes – Book Review
Annie Louise Twitchell – Book Review
Letters from Annie Douglass Lima – Character Spotlight       

April 11
God's Peculiar Treasure Rae – Character Spotlight     

April 12
Rebekah Lyn Books – Book Spotlight
Frances Hoelsema – Book Spotlight
Hunting for Truth – Book Review and Guest Post

April 13
Reading On The Edge – Book Spotlight          
Ember's Reviews – Book Review
With a Joyful Noise – Character Spotlight

April 14
Bookish Orchestrations – Giveaway winner

Monday, April 9, 2018

Scripture Graphics #86

All of these points are reiterated for New Testament believers--yet, do we doubt God? He is not man to forget His promises or change His. Words (or "what I really meant was..."). He is faithful! Our human eyes cannot see the whole picture; we have to take God at His Word and trust Him no matter what the circumstances are.

“Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing.” Psalms‬ ‭107:21-22
We often think of all of the sacrifices which we make in a day—a sacrifice of time, money, talents, rights, etc. Today, though, why not make an effort to sacrifice some praise to God?

“Ye shall observe to do therefore as the LORD your God hath commanded you: ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. Ye shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess.” Deuteronomy 5:32-33
“If ye love Me, keep My commandments.” John 14:15
Keeping God’s commandments are not for His benefit. He created all things; nothing that we do will enrich His life and make it beneficial. *But*…keeping the commandments will surely enrich our lives and benefit us. God has provided so many lessings for us to tap into for a rich and full life—but we have to be diligent to do our part.

Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. (James 4:5-8)
When things are going awry, plans thwarted, and my attitude souring, I need to check some things. Am I seeking God’s grace to overcome my natural tendencies to envy and pride? Am I resisting (standing against, opposing) the devil or giving place to him (Eph ‪4:27‬)? Am I fully submitting to God—with my ideas, plans, hopes, dreams? Is my main desire to draw nigh to God? When I honestly evaluate myself in light of Scripture, do I then take the next step to change what is lacking? “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” (James 4:17)

Share a verse from your reading this week.

Friday, April 6, 2018

I Prayed for You | Book Review

What an adorable book! Unlike the last few children’s books I’ve reviewed, this one is hard-cover a jacket and paper pages.

The illustrations are soft, pencil drawings of a mama bear and her cub. They are very relaxing to look at—and remind me of some of my favorite childhood books as well.

Each page-spread has both a message of “when I prayed for you” and a little prayer to go along with it. It is very sweet, going from the time that the cub was an infant to his early childhood. For me, it is a book just as precious to a mother as to the child, as it will remind the mom to pray during these different points of life.

*I received this book from Book Look Bloggers and happily provided my honest review*

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Writing Goals and Blog Break

Last Friday, I posted a life update.

Life has suddenly taken a pretty crazy turn. I'm not only trying to get a whole Algebra book complete before April 23 (or, as much as I can to hopefully test out of remedial math, so I only have to take the one college Algebra required for a music major), but I'm also preparing for recital in May as well as teaching piano and violin and somewhere, in the midst of all that, dreaming about getting "Quest for Leviathan" published and "Protecting the Poor" written.

I'm going to get off pretty much all social media platforms for a month or so. Since I won't be updating my blog with regular writing progress, I'll just mention the goals I hope to accomplish in the next few months.

My main goal is to get "Quest for Leviathan" published! I have gotten the illustrations from my illustrator, and have reminded my final editor (aka, Mom) that the story is in her hands (my fault as much as hers that she forgot).

I would love to have it ready to hit the shelves for July.
Also for July, I want to get this other short story edited and published:

Yes, I've kind of forgotten about this gem, but my beta-readers have gone through it and given me wonderful feed-back. I just need to polish her up some.

And added to all of that is "Protecting the Poor," which I still haven't completely finished a draft for. I wrote about 75% of a first draft then decided to go back and change the beginning... and that is where I am still working. The first half of the 75% of the story.

So, those are my hopes and goals for the next few months in writing. At the same time, I realize that writing may need to go a little more on the back burner than usual, so I can't promise that these stories will be done in that time frame. I would really appreciate your prayers as I work through this season of life and find the balance that I need!

Farewell for now! I'd still love to stay in touch, so shoot me an email at
amandaterobooks(at)gmail(dot)com if you'd like!

Monday, April 2, 2018

Scripture Graphics #85

We have a choice today: a choice to be grateful for what we DO have, or a choice to be ungrateful for what we do NOT have. "Ingratitude is like a bucket with holes." (Nancy Leigh DeMoss) Our lives are constantly filled with blessings, but if we choose to be ungrateful, we will always feel empty, because we don't see those blessings that are leaking through holes are ungratefulness. Which will we be today? Grateful or ungrateful? The choice is ours.

We have a choice today: a choice to be grateful for what we DO have, or a choice to be ungrateful for what we do NOT have. "Ingratitude is like a bucket with holes." (Nancy Leigh DeMoss) Our lives are constantly filled with blessings, but if we choose to be ungrateful, we will always feel empty, because we don't see those blessings that are leaking through holes are ungratefulness. Which will we be today? Grateful or ungrateful? The choice is ours.

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. James 1:22-24
When we leave the mirror, our eyes can now see others. This could be good or bad, depending on what we did with ourselves in our "mirror time" with God's Word. If we heard and ignored our problems, then when our eyes are turned to others, we will see their flaws and how they need to change.
But if we have used the mirror time to obey God's Word and do what He has convicted us to, then our attitude when we look at others will be love, service, self-lessness.
"But whoso looking into the perfect law of liberty, and continuity therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed." (Vs. 25)

Moses was not able to go to the Promised Land, but he could be a part by helping the next leader. We are not all able to do the same ministry, but we can strengthen and encourage those who are in various points of ministry.

What encouragement have you found from God's Word this past week?

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