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 – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079Z2PPJL
            Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/seventh-born-2

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 – http://eepurl.com/4sbsv

Giveaway


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.

So... 
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?

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Night, Night Farm | Book Review


Cute cartoon animals illustrate the pages of this book as the reader explores the farm, making animal sounds, and telling them all goodnight. It begins with an overview of the farm then travels to say goodnight to the pigs, cows, horses, cats, sheep, chickens, and mice. I have to say that I loved the two little mice who scampered across the pages of this book.

The rhyme is catchy and easy to read, though a few of the words feel a little odd and out of place—like it seems to mix proper rhyme with a sudden cutesy phrases (“Oh, the animals God has made! And hey, He made me too!” for exam
ple).

As soon as I got this in, I opened it to explore the “touch and feel” aspects. I loved the curly sheep, the smooth pig, the furry horse, fuzzy cat, and glossy hen’s comb. But then, on the second-to-last page, there was nothing to feel besides an indent on the page. I suppose I like consistency. Where the animals had a little circle to feel a “sample” of their skin, there was an embossed “car” for mice? At least, I think that was what the “feel” was supposed to be. My younger sister read it, and brought it to me with the same question, “Where is the touch-and-feel on this page?” It’s not a huge issue and doesn’t alter the reading of the book, but I can see many inquisitive toddlers running their fingers along the page disappointed.

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



Friday, March 30, 2018

"Lord, are You Sure?" (Decisions and Following God | Part 3)


In the beginning of this year, I wrote a two-part article on “Decisions and Following God” (part 1 and part 2). Since my heart-sharing today fits in with those two articles, this could almost be a completely unplanned “Part 3” of the series. Little did I know that the principles I covered in those articles would be tested in a very real way in my life. In fact, as I prepare to write this, I’m re-reading the articles and almost crying—because today I know more what it’s like to live what I wrote. Were I to write those articles today, I might add something like, “Be prepared to have your ship rocked, your world turned upside-down, your emotions a roller-coaster ride, and your heart freaking out!” Okay, so maybe not everyone responds to change the way I do. But when I wrote, “Now is a time for activesteps and changing,” my brain was gearing toward teaching piano and violin full time and becoming a “circuit teacher.” The more I prayed about those options, I sensed God honing my thoughts: I didn’t just need to pour out music, I also needed to get back into receiving music instruction so I could be better equipped to help others. The answer was completely not what I was anticipating. College.

College? Really?
As I began telling my friends and family of this decision, it made sense to them. They were all excited. Me? Oh sure, it made sense—and it excited me to so how many, many ways college was answering a lot of prayers for direction. But I was petrified. While everyone else saw all of the benefits, I highlighted all of the changes I’d have to make in my life (“I’m the girl who likes life to stay the same.”), and how many, many things I’d have to either eliminate or minimize. Because, unlike kids leaving high school and entering college, I have had ten years in which my life has been established outside of school. In fact, my world was rocked just a short four years ago, when my entire family moved from one state to another (during which, consequently, I had to leave my first set of music students behind). Two years ago we finished building our house, and since then, I had gradually been settling into a new, established life in my new location. I was finally feeling settled. So college? Now?

Even though I had written, “The first step is to save for and purchase my own vehicle. The second step may be to getsome long-distance studios set up. Or…God may change the direction after I takemy first step,” I didn’t know. College wasn’t on my radar. But, I believe without a doubt that it was on God’s. I knew change was going to happen—I just didn’t know to what extent.

In three days, my decision was made. Three days. I am not impulsive. Invite me over, and it will take me a month (or a year) to actually get there. One Saturday, I was talking to a friend casually about the college. At this point, I still wasn’t seriously thinking college, but that night, since it was all fresh on my mind, I wrote out the pros and cons to be praying about. I got on the college website to solidify a question only to see that the deadline for some paperwork was the following Friday—in six days. The next night, I talked with my parents (and found them to be fully supportive and maybe more excited than I). And on the third day, I was walking campus (a local college, just a few miles from home). That was March 5. It has taken almost the rest of March for me to actually be “okay” with the idea of college.

In this time of change, like many times before, God has brought me face-to-face with a lot of spiritual issues whose extent I didn’t even realize existed in my life. Pride has surfaced in a dozen new ways. Worry rose in my heart (Worry? I’m not a worrier! Or wasn’t…). I grappled for control of the reins. I saw the word “trust” in a new light. So many issues I thought I had victory over resurfaced (I’d gotten over being a workaholic—until I needed to do an entire Algebra book in six weeks).



In the middle of decisions and following God, life isn’t always a smooth ride. But, even in the midst of the inner turmoil I was facing, I knew. I knew that this was what God was leading me to do in this season of life. How could I be so certain, yet have such a hard time with it?

I didn’t want to let go of my life. Reworking my entire life’s schedule cost me more than what some people can even imagine (unless you’re a big planner in a finally-established life). The reality that, instead of building my music studio, I would have to drop some students, threatened to tear my heart in two. Realizing that my writing would be even more limited than it is today overwhelmed me. Not to mention that the family-time I was learning to actively attain would be interrupted by college-work. Some people say I’m just preparing for the worst. My family knows me, though. They have seen me as I’ve struggled to overcome my work-obsession and they know the temptations that I’ll face with becoming a full-time student. Words fail to articulate the flood of thoughts that have passed through my mind in the last three weeks. It all boiled down to one thing, though: surrender.

This was a new angle of surrender that I didn’t even realize was needed in my life. In fact, I didn’t even realize that surrender was the issue until this week, when I texted all of my students’ parents to notify them of my fall plans. As soon as the last parent was texted and everyone now knew (and was wholly supportive of) the change in my schedule, I felt the calm peace that I had longed to accompany the assurance God had given me. It wasn’t the action of texting the parents that did it, though. It was because, as I was texting, I was also releasing it all to God. I had surrendered the writing-time. I had communicated with my family about my concerns about our limited time together. But until the point when I texted all of my student families, I hadn’t let them go in my heart. “Teaching is my life” was close to true for me, and I had refused to honestly acknowledge that I couldn’t do college and keep every single student. Last weekend when I was talking to my sister-in-law about it, she said, “So, you’ll just have to say, ‘God, You’ve got to work this out for me.’” I actually told her, “I’m scared to do that—what if He takes away the ones I don’t want Him to?” Yes, it was an issue of surrender.

In all of this, though, there has definitely been more than struggle and challenges. There is the assurance that where God leads, He will keep me. There is the beauty of seeing answered prayers. There is the incomparable comfort of Scripture. There is the blessing of the amazing support from everyone I know. There are the prayers of others on my behalf. There is the peace in knowing that God has clearly led me to take this step. There are so many, many things for which I’m daily grateful in this season of life. It has been hard (It would be a lie to not admit it), but it has also been a beautiful season. And, as I am going through it, I have seen others who are also experiencing this “season of change”—and it makes me grateful to know that none of us are in this alone. We have each other, but above that, we have God as our guide.

Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand. Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever. For, lo, they that are far from thee shall perish: thou hast destroyed all them that go a whoring from thee. But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works. Psalm 73:23-28

- - - - -
On a personal note to my blog-readers, in saying all of this, blogging may be one of the things I need to cut out. For the next month, for sure, I'm going to be doing minimal blogging as I do have that deadline in which to get Algebra done (I'm hoping to test out of remedial math so I only have to do the one college Algebra required for a music major). 




Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Of tea parties, music, walks and... a few words...

Last week was a busy week. My mom stayed down in Louisiana to help my grandparents, so I was in essence surrogate mom for the week (on top of teaching piano/violin and other typical week responsibilities). It was a great week--just not one for writing.

Many things seem to be coming at me as a whirlwind, so one day, I just went to the park, walked for about an hour, and called a friend that I hadn't talked to for a few months.


It was my first time at this park, and I think I'm going to definitely be revisiting!

To conclude the week, we had our homeschool tea party. This year was a vintage/retro picnic theme. I had the joy of being photographer for the event, and decided on a fun editing style--kind of bringing back the "old picture" thought.





And then, behind all of that, was writing. Writing last week was hit and miss--and more miss than hit. One thing I did write was a post for blogger Jessica--"A Day in My Life" (visit Jessica's blog)--which was kind of a crazy abnormal day (which... is about every day). It is an interesting thought, though: what is a day in your life like? I'd love to hear!

I had hoped to add 1,000 words in my manuscript ("Protecting the Poor"). Instead, I got 849 (why didn't I calculate that before-hand and write just one more? Anyone else do that?). And, no research for the week. In fact, I returned the library book that I was in the middle of reading, just because I don't see much research time coming up soon. :P

One last update, for those who don't follow me on social media.

From Thursday:

I should be writing. I should be studying. I should be doing many of the things on my to-do list. But sometimes, when my day is busier, all I really need is a little time with the piano. Because so often, time with my piano means time reflecting on beautiful truths and reminders of my Lord and Savior. So maybe, I just really should be on the piano. 

What do you do to refocus?


Monday, March 26, 2018

Scripture Graphics #84


And the LORD said unto Moses, Fear him not: for I have delivered him into thy hand, and all his people, and his land; and thou shalt do to him as thou didst unto Sihon king of the Amorites, which dwelt at Heshbon. (Numbers 21:34)
Even though Israel’s sin and disobedience led them to the forty years’ wander, God still used this time to prove His power through them to conquer the enemy.


But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)
When we think of pleasing God, our minds always go to works. If we try hard enough, we’ll please God. If we do this or that, we’ll please God. But what about having faith—or seeking Him? These don’t seem to be the “big things” to us, yet such pleases God. Do we truly want to please God or just appease our conscience?


When we’re tempted to focus on our problems, it helps to remember what Jesus went through. Others may wrong me—but I wrong Jesus, and how does He treat me? With forgiveness, mercy, and grace. Others may demand my time and help-how often do I go to Jesus for the same? He gives unconditionally, in love, not begrudging. People may do things against my will—Jesus surrendered His will so that I could have salvation. Remembering all that Jesus is, has done, and is doing puts a new perspective on life and my little problems that I face.


"Unless the LORD had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence. When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O LORD, held me up. In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul." Psalm 94:17-19


What verses do you cling to for help?

Friday, March 23, 2018

Count it All Joy | AudioBook Review


I didn’t realize when I began this book (listening to it audio-version) that it is a study on the book of Philippians. Wow. Dr. Jeremiah covers so much material in this book and it is well worth the reading (or listening to).

At this point in my life, I really needed the reminders in Philippians, and Dr. Jeremiah used many illustrations that really drove the points home. He goes from church members’ responsibilities to individuals’ lifestyles to our attitude and focus to suffering and more. Most of this is very practical, down-to-earth, and everyday-applicable. I now want to get the paperback form to have on my shelves.

He uses a few various versions of the Bible, which I prefer KJV, but it didn’t alter the doctrine of the book at all.

I highly recommend this for Christians who are finding themselves in a rut of life and need a bit of encouragement and direction. There is a big emphasis on joy (given the title), especially in the midst of suffering—no matter what that suffering is.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Night, Night, Jungle | Book Review



Yet another cute children’s book! The reader takes a journey into the jungle and explores the various animals, drawn in brilliant colors. A catchy verse of poetry accompanied each page as you say goodnight to lemurs, Jaguars, toucans, chameleons, monkeys, parrots, frogs, and sloths. I appreciated a small touch of expectancy as when one animal was featured, the next animal was peeking out somewhere.

There are two references that make this a Christian book: the first is thanking God for food, the second is about God’s creatures and Him loving them all. It flows well and is a nice little touch.

This is the perfect night-time book for children. I’m happy to have it on my shelves!

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

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Leviathan Art, Protecting the Poor Progress...


Yes, it feels like it has been ages since I've been able to sit down to write, when in truth, it had only been about a week's break. Last week, I was able to reach my 1,000 word goal in "Protecting the Poor!" I am still working on rewriting the beginning to strengthen the plot and characters' goals before I finalize the ending. I didn't get any research reading in, but this week looks a little less busy, so I may be able to do so this week.

Also, last week, my young artist friend gave me the first picture to go into "Quest for Leviathan!" Here's a sneak-peek. It's quite amazing!! :D


Also with writing, I had writing day #2 of the year at our house. Do you ever have those days when you're sitting down to write, and that was the last thing you feel like doing? Yeah, that was me on Thursday. I was able to get about 200 words in--during the three hours we had set aside. :P But, on the bright side, I replied to everyone's comments here on the blog (if you commented in the last three months, go back and check ;) ) and got the writing assignment up on Wordquill.


And THEN!!!!!!


For about two years, my cousin has been trying to get me down to Louisiana on a certain weekend to go with her to a library book sale (it's a building specifically for this, and they open it every month). At long last, our weekends worked out, and I was able to go.


This place is dangerous, guys! 



No, those are not all for me. I promise!! I did manage to keep about half of them and the others went to my sisters and some are for reselling. 

Here is one of my favorite finds: 


And yes, I did find room on my bookshelves for all of the new books I have. ;) I just may need to do some arranging before I get any more books...

How was your week last week?
Is there any way that I can be praying for you?


Oh, and before I forget...
This week's goals...
- Write 1,000 words
- Read 10 pages research

Do you have goals for this week?


Monday, March 19, 2018

Scripture Graphics #83


Following God has never been doing the same thing over and over. The apostles tried to go various places in which “the Spirit suffered them not” (Acts 16:7). God may keep us in one place, ministering in one way for years or just a few months—this is why we must daily seek His direction.


Do we extend to others even half of the goodness that God has extended to us?


And the LORD said, I have pardoned according to thy word: But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD. Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice; Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it: (Numbers 14:20-23)
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And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. (Hebrews 3:18-19)
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Unbelief is a powerful thing with powerful consequences. At no time will God allow our unbelief to mar His glory.



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