Book Quotes

“but for my own part, if a book is well written, I always find it too short.”― Jane Austen

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

CRAFTERS ALERT!!!

For all my crafty friends out there, my crafty friend Marianne over at Lady Bird Hope is having her very FIRST GIVEAWAY!!!! Check it out for an opportunity to win this great prize.


http://ladybirdhope.blogspot.com/




Monday, June 27, 2011

Blog Blitz & Giveaway!!!

I'll still post about book giveaways, etc going on over at my new book blog until I feel like I need to stop reminding folks to check it out @ http://duhpaynes.com/

Delia Latham is celebrating her birthday today, June 27th, by having a blog blitz today only!!!

 Click here to find out what's happening, prizes that are being given away!!! 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Check out this Book Giveaway ~

Go to my new book blog to enter the giveaway @  http://duhpaynes.com/?p=286
Leaving comments here will not get you entered!!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday Funnies...Gone Vintage






Maybe not so funny, but I liked them, and I've been sick...well, I still am, so I'm not up to finding too much stuff to put on here. Until next time, when maybe I have something better...

Have a great day in the Lord!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

MOVING....

to Wordpress!!! I decided to move my book blogging to Wordpress after all the blogger issues I had recently. I'll keep this blog for personal stuff. Here's the new address for my book reviews, etc:

http://www.duhpaynes.com/

Please consider coming over and following me if you are already a follower on here. I appreciate it!

Have a great day in the Lord!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Launch Day Contests

Kathleen Y'Barbo is celebrating today's release of her new book

The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck...see my review on the previous post.

If you want to enter email Kathleen through her website at http://www.kathleenybarbo.com/!


Contests and free books all day!





Monday, June 20, 2011

Book Review ~ The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck

About Kathleen

RITA and Carol award nominee Kathleen Y’Barbo is the best-selling, award-winning author of more than forty novels, novellas, and young adult books. In all, more than one million copies of her books are currently in print in the US and abroad, and her books have been translated into Dutch, German, and Spanish, to name a few.


Her newest historical novel, THE INCONVENIENT MARRIAGE OF CHARLOTTE BECK (Waterbrook) released in June 2011, and in 2012 she debuts a contemporary Texas beach series for Love Inspired.

Kathleen is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America, and the Public Relations Society of America. She holds a BBA from Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School and a certification in Paralegal Studies, and is a member of the Texas Bar Association’s Paralegal Division. In addition, Kathleen also served exclusive publicist for Books & Such Literary Agency.

A tenth-generation Texan, Kathleen Y’Barbo has a daughter and three grown sons. She recently married her own hero in combat boots (read about their real-life romance here!) and is proud to be a military wife, even if it did mean giving up her Texas drivers license.


About This Book


Unlikely romance is sometimes just an inconvenient marriage away

Charlotte Beck may be entering adulthood, but she can’t seem to keep to her stubborn, independent spirit from bucking social protocol. Fed up with her behavior, Charlotte’s father Daniel pressures her to settle into a nice marriage despite knowing she is set on going to college. Then Daniel sees Charlotte with the handsome but annoying English astronomer Alex Hambly, and everything changes.

Though Alex and Charlotte can barely stand one another, Daniel offers them a deal they can’t refuse: if they agree to marry, he will save Alex’s family from financial ruin and grant Charlotte the freedom to go to college. Reluctantly the couple agrees, but in private they plot to annul the marriage as soon as possible.

But when Alex’s feelings change and he refuses to dissolve their contract, will Charlotte find a way out of her vows? Or will she discover that maybe this marriage isn’t so inconvenient after all?

My Review

If you're looking for a quick-paced, fun book to read, look no further than The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck. I found it an entertaining story about a young socialite who meets her match in an unassuming but determined astronomer.

In a time when young ladies had to have their father's permission to do most things, Charlotte finds herself scheming to get what she wants, or at least she tries. But she has a very clever and loving father. He knows just what she needs to keep her straight and decides it must be a husband. Along comes Daniel, who has no intentions of marrying anyone yet let alone Charlotte Beck. She's a menace as far as he is concerned. Let's just say that there are plenty of antics to keep you chuckling and stimulating banter to keep one turning the pages.

The cast of characters are quite appealing. I enjoyed Charlotte's relationship with her daddy the most. They share a singular affection for one another that was a pleasure to be witness to.

This is one of my favorite historical fiction books so far this year. Yes, it's zany, but that appeals to me. I hope it appeals to you!

This is the third book from Kathleen Y'Barbo in The Women of the West Series. I read it as a stand alone, but will definitely go back and read the first two, The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper ( #1) and Anna Finch and the Hired Gun (#2).

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah in exchange for my honest review.  No other compensation has been received.


Click here to download chapter one of The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck.

Click here to purchase. IN STORES TODAY!!!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Book Review ~ To Win Her Heart by Karen Witemeyer


Author Bio

Karen Witemeyer holds a master's degree in psychology from Abilene Christian University and is a member of ACFW, RWA, and the Abilene Writers Guild. She has published fiction in Focus on the Family's children's magazine, and has written several articles for online publications and anthologies. A Tailor-Made Bride is her first novel. Karen lives in Abilene, Texas, with her husband and three children.Visit Karen's Web site at http://www.karenwitemeyer.com/ .



Karen has lots of fun tidbits on her website and is offering a Fan Fiction Contest until June 30th. Be sure and visit her site for some great stuff and let her know how you like her new book!
 
Synopsis
 
Do They Have a Fighting Chance at Love?

After completing his sentence for the unintentional crime that derailed his youthful plans for fame and fortune, Levi Grant looks to start over in the town of Spencer, Texas. Spencer needs a blacksmith, a trade he learned at his father's knee, and he needs a place where no one knows his past.

Eden Spencer has sworn off men, choosing instead to devote her time to the lending library she runs in the town her father founded. When a mountain-sized stranger walks through her door and asks to borrow a book, she's reluctant to trust him. Yet as the mysteries of the town's new blacksmith unfold, Eden discovers hidden depths in him that tempt her heart.

Eden believes she's finally found a man of honor and integrity. But when the truth about Levi's prodigal past comes to light, can this tarnished hero find a way to win back the librarian's affections?

My Review
 
I know you can't judge a book by it's cover but this one is every bit as good inside as it is pretty outside. When this book fell out of the package into my hands I said to my husband, "Oh, it's so pretty! It's embossed!" 


Not only did I fall in love with the cover but I fell in love with Levi from the beginning. He's such a tortured soul with a heart as big as the sky! For all his largess he has a gentleness about him that is misinterpreted as a lack of intelligence. Levi is far from it! He has his reasons for taking his time when answering a question or making a remark. I'm not going to reveal what it is but it is a vulnerability that just makes you want to give him a hug. He's my favorite character of all.


Eden has such fine manners, is very respectable and has a stellar reputation. That means a lot to her! She is going to find out what it means to be stretched in her faith and her reputation. I like how Karen takes Eden from being consumed by her own uprightness to becoming wholly concerned about a misjudged young girl. The relationship that Eden builds with this girl, even though caring for her was Levi's idea and not a role that Eden wanted to take on, is a pleasure to watch unfold.

There are a host of other characters that play pretty important roles in the story. You know there is at least one (or two) who is not so likeable and will cause some serious trouble for Levi & Eden but I was surprised at who it turned out to be. I kept saying it can't be...but it was. Good job, Ms. Witemeyer!


If you enjoy historical fiction you will love this one! There is never any disconnect in this story. The writing is flawless. Flow is perfect. Karen Witemeyer has once again given us an immensely pleasurable read and characters that are thought of long after the final page is turned.

To read an excerpt and/or purchase your copy from Bethany House click here.

Also available from:
Amazon
Christianbook.com
BarnesandNoble.com

I was provided a copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest opinion. No other compensation was received.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

WINNER!!! of When Sparrows Fall

CONGRATULATIONS


JUDYJOHN2004!!!

Winner has been notified and has 48 hours to respond to my email.

Thanks to everyone who left comments. Stay tuned for another giveaway coming soon.

Saturday Sillies

Since I missed Friday Funnies I thought I would post some Saturday Sillies instead...I readily admit to "stealing" these from a church friends Facebook, but I'm pretty sure she "stole" them first!

Before giving a piece of your mind, be sure you have enough to spare!

If you're too open-minded, your brains will fall out!

I stepped on a cheerio this morning. Does that make me a cereal killer?

What did the fish say when it hit a concrete wall? "dam"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now the next ones I got from the internet. I'm sure they are oldies, but they are still silly...maybe.



I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather.. Not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.

Evening news is where they begin with 'Good evening', and then proceed to tell you why it isn't.
 
Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of payments.


Okay...hope you at least cracked a SMILE!!!

Have a great day in the Lord!!!!


*images are from microsoft clipart

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Book Review ~ Wolfsbane by Ronie Kendig

Author Bio

Ronie Kendig grew up an Army brat, married a veteran, and they now have four children and a Golden Retriever. She has a BS in Psychology, speaks to various groups, volunteers with the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), and mentors new writers.

Ronie can be found at the following places on the internet:
http://roniekendig.blogspot.com/
http://supernaturalcraving.blogspot.com/
http://www.discardedheroes.com/
http://www.facebook.com/ronie.kendig


Synopsis

Embark upon a danger-laden mission within the pages of Ronie Kendig’s riveting Wolfsbane.

Demolitions expert Danielle Roark thought escaping from a brutal Venezuelan general was a challenge. Now she’s charged with espionage and returned to the jungle where a new nightmare begins. Will Dani survive or become just another political pawn destined to be lost forever?


Former Green Beret Canyon "Midas" Metcalfe is disgusted with the suits on Capitol Hill. Still wrestling with the memories of a mission gone bad, he and Nightshade launch a mission to find Dani. Can Canyon rescue Dani, armed with nothing but raw courage?


Coming July 1, 2011

My Review

Let me say up front this is not going to be my typical review. I've thought long and hard about how to describe this book without giving anything away and without overusing certain adjectives. That being said, when I read the last word of this book I took a deep breath and said “WOW!” I was grinning from ear to ear. Wolfsbane is the BEST book yet in the Discarded Heroes Series.



Tension mounts from page one... no, from paragraph one...no, from the first word and it is a non-stop roller coaster ride until the last. There were moments when the tension was so palpable I found myself putting my hand up to my neck in fear of what would happen next. I think I earned a few new gray hairs over this one but it was worth it!


Seriously, if you even remotely like military thrillers then you will like this book. You don't have to read the first two although I highly recommend starting with the first book and progressing through the characters lives and experiences. Each one builds on the other and you really get to know and appreciate these Discarded Heroes.


Ronie Kendig shows masterful articulation in bringing to light the horrors of war and the healing that can take place through surrender to Christ in all things! She shows us that He is our redeemer, even amidst the worst nightmares in life, and reaches down to where we are, cradling us in His arms, lifting us out of the pit of hell, and delivering us free from bondage!

To purchase click here. While you're there, get the first two!


I was provided a review copy from Barbour Publishing through NetGalley in exchange for my review. No other compensation was received. This is my honest opinion!

I don't have very good success with embedding videos. If you can't see & play the video, go here.






Monday, June 13, 2011

Another Giveaway!!!

I'm reposting this review because the publisher sent me an extra book so their mistake is YOUR gain!




When Sparrows Fall by Meg Mosely


Publisher by Multnomah Books

Release date: May 3, 2011

Storyline:

Freedom. Safety. Love. Miranda vows to reclaim them--for herself, and for her children.

A widow and mother of six, Miranda Hanford leads a quiet, private life. When the pastor of her close-knit church announces his plans to move the entire congregation to another state, Miranda jumps at the opportunity to dissolve ties with Mason Chandler and his controlling method of ruling his flock. But then Mason threatens to unearth secrets from her past, and Miranda feels trapped, terrified she’ll be unable to protect her children.

College professor Jack Hanford is more than surprised when he gets a call from his estranged sister-in-law’s oldest son, Timothy, informing him that Miranda has taken a serious fall and he has been named legal guardian of her children while she recovers. Quickly charmed by Miranda’s children, Jack brings some much-needed life into the sheltered household. But his constant challenging of the family’s conservative lifestyle makes the recovering mother uneasy and defensive—despite Jack’s unnerving appeal.

As Jack tries to make sense of the mysterious Miranda and the secrets she holds so tightly, Mason’s pressure on her increases. With her emotions stirring and freedom calling, can Miranda find a way to unshackle her family without losing everything?


My Review:

My chains are gone, I've been set free! My God,  my Savior has ransomed me!
That's the first thought that entered my mind when I finished this book.

The author weaves a convincing plot while showing us the life of Miranda, a woman bound by man-made chains. These “chains" are placed on her by her husband first, and then continued by her pastor. I felt deep sorrow and pain for her while at the same time appreciating the choices she made in such difficult circumstances. She loves her children deeply and seeks to protect them at all costs. I was challenged in my own life by her unwavering faith in God, and the trust she had that He alone would set her free.

Jack's character is very down to earth and realistic. He has an honest desire to help Miranda and her children, and to show them what life could be like without those “chains”. I love the fact that he embraces the children unconditionally, even though he has a rough start in their life. He's full of humor and discovers he has an amazing capacity to love. His faith is a little less grounded but that only makes for more reality to me.

Ms. Moseley uses such descriptive language I had no trouble envisioning the characters or places in the book. I could see Jack ruffling his hair in his frustration, Miranda huddled in her cuddle-quilt, the children blowing bubbles and their laughter ringing out. I could even smell the campfire! There are many wonderful characters in this story and you will find yourself routing for more than just Miranda.

If you are looking for a contemporary story that will draw you in and keep you fastened to the pages for the duration, then I highly recommend When Sparrows Fall.

I received this advanced reader copy from WaterBrook Multnomah in exchange for my honest opinion.

Click here to read Chapter One.



I am giving away this copy to one commenter. US ONLY!!! PLEASE leave an email address in the comment. NO EMAIL = NO ENTRY!!! It should look like this only with your info: johndoe[at]here[dot]net

Rating my review would be appreciated.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday Funnies...

Church Humor..gotta love it!

Some people are kind, polite and sweet-spirited --- until you try to get into their pew. [George Goldtrap, Madison, Tennessee]

The good Lord didn't create anything without a purpose, but the fly comes close. [Mark Twain]

Do you know the three times that most people are in church? When they are hatched, matched and dispatched. [Lowell B. Yoder, Holland, Ohio]

 
Quit griping about your church; if it were perfect, you couldn't belong. [Msgr. Joseph P. Dooley, Martins Creek, Pennsylvania]

If a church wants a better pastor, it can get one by praying for the one it has. [Rev. Robert E. Harris]



A lot of church members who are singing "Standing On The Promises" are just sitting on the premises. [Sr. Monique Rysavy]


We were called to be witnesses, not lawyers. [Donna Maddux, Stillwater, Oklahoma]

Every evening I turn my troubles over to God - He's going to be up all night anyway. [Donald J. Morgan, Columbus, Ohio]


I don't know why some people change churches - what difference does it make which one you stay home from? [Rev. Denny Brake]


If a Savior leaves you as you are and where you are, from what has He saved you? [Rev. Denny Brake]



Young man, the secret of my success is that at an early age I discovered I was not God. [Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.]


To err is human; to blame it on somebody else is even more human. [John Nadeau, Medford, Massachusetts]



Some minds are like concrete, thoroughly mixed up and permanently set. [Rev. Denny Brake]


and now some cute doggies and a kitty :0)

 







Quotes from Gospelweb.net
Images from Microsoft Images


Have a great day in the Lord!

WINNER!!! of A Vision of Lucy



Winner has been notified and has 48 hours to respond to my email.

Thanks to everyone who left comments. Stay tuned for another giveaway coming soon.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

FIRST Wild Card Tour~ Pressing Into Thin Places by Margaret Wills

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:


Pressing into Thin Places

Brown Christian Press (May 2, 2011)

***Special thanks to Audra Jennings, Senior Media Specialist, The B&B Media Group for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


A writer and a poet, Dr. Wills is dedicated to the ministry of encouragement and helping people experience hope, wisdom, and faith in their spiritual journey.

She has written for a number of publications including The Journal of the Fort Smith Historical Society. She previously served on the board of the Arkansas Community Foundation. Dr. Wills makes her home in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

Visit the author's website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Dr. Wills knows from her own experiences that life is not simple and that we all need encouraging words and reasons to hang on to hope. She offers these in abundance in this deeply personal, beautiful, and thoughtful work that summons authenticity and contemplation while soothing the dark night of the soul with kindness and truth. With transparency and refreshing gentleness, Wills tackles universal fears, disappointments, wounded relationships, and even death and beckons readers to pull aside the veil and to see into that "thin space," as the Celtics called it, where all that separates heaven and earth becomes almost transparent. She invites readers to wrestle and be comforted by assurances of God's love and goodness even in the darkness.

Pressing into Thin Places is a collection of stories from the author's personal experiences, punctuated by her poetry and infused with biblical verses and rich truths. Wills answers questions like, "How do we keep from falling into despair when pain and suffering weigh heavily upon us?" and answers honestly questions about doubt, mystery, and the experience of not knowing. Wills offers insight for bringing biblical truth to life, wisdom to cultivate a listening heart, encouragement for the downhearted, reassuring words for the faltering, and comfort and rest for those in any stage of their faith journey.

Product Details:

List Price: $16.95
ardcover: 232 pages
Publisher: Brown Christian Press (May 2, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1934812994
ISBN-13: 978-1934812990

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


Chapter 1 – Thin Places


Aaron
Oswald Chambers in his book, Christian Disciplines, says that the “unexplained things in life are more than the explained.” I recall the time I flew to Phoenix to be present for the birth of my sister’s first child. Betsy is my baby sister, fourteen years younger than I am. I mothered her from the moment she was born. She was the flower girl in my wedding and she made me promise to step on every petal she threw on the floor. I was there as Betsy gave birth to her first child, a severely brain-damaged son, a son named Aaron. A baby was born. I grieved at the stillborn joy.

I recall standing in the hospital hall, peering into the nursery with my head and hands helplessly pressed against the glass. I remember back at her room standing at the head of her bed with my hand on her head while she kept repeating, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; I will run to it and be safe.” I grieved until I was sick. I wanted a miracle and not the trial. I beat down heaven’s door until Aaron died at age four and a half.

Aaron could never see, hear, or respond to anything except pain. At times he seemed to be a bundle of blank agony. Aaron had a bushy head of uncontrollable hair, and onto that head, his parents put earphones. Aaron heard music, and Aaron heard the Bible read through twice. When Aaron died, the Gift that pressure-tested our faith went to be with his Creator and his God, where he may have been all along. I went with Ed, Betsy’s husband, to select a cemetery plot. As we went out the door, Betsy said, “Find a tree.” The Lord gave us the last tree in that Arizona cemetery.
Aaron’s life and death raised questions. My faith had been challenged. Why didn’t God heal the firstborn of an “upright” man and a praying mother? Why didn’t God protect Aaron’s birth? Why does God heal some people and not others? I was not angry at God. I just wanted to understand. In seeking to understand, I realized that somehow I wanted God to prove Himself or be more predictable. God wanted me to know that I, a fallen child with a finite mind, will never comprehend His ways. He wanted me to know that He understands me and my wobbly faith.
When we ask why or say we don’t understand, we are reminded of the Last Supper when Jesus sat before His disciples with the bread and the wine and told them a mystery. He told them to eat the bread and drink the wine because it was His body poured out for them. He did not tell them to understand or to make sense of His strange request. He said, “Take and eat.” They did not understand. There is much we do not understand. The scriptures say God’s thoughts are higher than our thoughts and His ways are past understanding. But God says we can know Him. He longs to know us in a personal way. He invites us to contemplate His mysteries and to experience the power of His resurrection and the full measure of His grace.






Faith is a dynamic process. The endurance and strength that comes from pressure-tested faith does not come overnight. Betsy and Ed were not okay all of a sudden because they were Christians and loved the Lord. They grieved and questioned why and to what purpose this deep and lingering pain had been part of their lives. It was by faith they testified that the Most High God was their God. It was by faith they believed that He would lead them through the wilderness to His place of certain good and He would be a light for them in their “valley of the shadow of death” (Ps 23:4 NASB). In the process, from time to time, God gave Ed and Betsy small gifts of comfort, a small song of joy.

When Aaron died, Betsy and Ed were in Arkansas visiting me. My sister Shawn called saying she was at Betsy’s house because the caregiver had called to tell her Aaron was not doing well. Shawn, a nurse, went to check on Aaron. Then she called Aaron’s doctor and Betsy. About ten minutes later, Shawn called again. “Betsy, he’s gone.” I remember clearly the primordial sounds of parental grief.

We all immediately flew to Phoenix to prepare for a funeral. After the funeral, Betsy and Ed returned to Fort Smith to pick up their van and drive back to Arizona. Along the way, they stopped to eat. Isaac, their two-year-old son, was asleep. Not wanting to wake him, they parked the car in the front of the restaurant bay of windows so they could see him when he awoke. They had just sat down when Isaac popped up and Ed went to get him.

When he got settled in the high chair, he had a strange look on his face and Betsy asked him if he was all right. He said, “I just saw brudder.” Obviously, Isaac had a dream. “What was brother doing?” Betsy asked. “He was running and singing and playing,” Isaac replied. Isaac’s dream was a comfort, a reminder of what is truly real behind the veil. Every once in a while, God draws the curtain and lets us see. He gives us reminders that though we are tethered to this earth there is another realm of reality just as real. Every once in a while, He lifts the veil. He thins the space between heaven and earth. He lets us experience the “thin place.” He helps our faith.

Storm Exposed

I

A bruised reed He will not break

And a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish.

—Isaiah 42:3 NASB (italics added)

II

Father,

I feel like a flickering wick in the wind

I am poor in spirit and prone to stray

But You, O Lord, bless the poor in spirit

You say that Goodness and Mercy

Follow Your sheep, even when they wander

And You call them by name, even when they are lost

And they know Your voice, even

When they know nothing else.






Your voice is like a gentle, rolling thunder

It reminds me that my heart is deceitful

And the heart is the heart of the matter.

Unlock my self-guarded, reed-bent, broken, secret places

Dismantle my walls of self-deception

Search the deep resources of my being

Control the center and the corners of my mind

Let Your light shine, shine in a humbled heart.

Shine in this one who is poor in spirit,

Who perseveres under trial and

Whose faith is pressure-tested.

Prevail when my candle is storm-exposed

Raise up the fragile reed

When I bend beneath the gale.

Remind me of what I know:

God will not break a bruised reed

Or extinguish a flickering wick

God will stand between the wick and the wind

And lift up the one who bows beneath the load

God will ignite my flame again

I will shine as a Light in the night

I will shine and bless the poor in spirit.


Thin Places

In the Celtic tradition, a “thin place” is the place where the veil that separates heaven and earth is nearly transparent. It is a place where we experience a deep sense of God’s presence in our everyday world. A thin place is where, for a moment, the spiritual world and natural world intersect. There are moments when we do feel the divine breaking through into our world. We feel unified and connected with God. It is not an intellectual knowing, it is felt in the spirit. It can be a sudden momentary awareness or profound unexplainable experience. I would like to share a few “thin place moments” with you and encourage you to have eyes to see the gifts of thin places.

The phenomenon of a place where the physical and natural everyday world merges into a thin line is well rooted in biblical history, but it was the Celts who first gave the descriptive phrase “thin place” to it. I first understood the idea of thin places when I heard a minister from Tulsa speak to a group of ear, nose, and throat surgeons in Washington, D.C. His point was that he as a minister and they as physicians were in a unique and privileged position to witness “thin places” because both the physician and the clergy dealt in the realm of life and death. He gave an indelible example of one of his experiences.
He said he had been called to the hospital to pray for a dying woman who was in a deep coma. He went in and although she would not be able to know or respond to his presence, he went over and stood at the foot of her bed and prayed for her aloud. He began, “Our Father, who art in heaven . . .” About midway through the prayer, the woman, without waking up, began to join in with him: “Give us this day our daily bread . . .” She finished the prayer and died shortly thereafter. He knew he stood on the line of a thin place.

Another example was told to my husband and me by his senior partner when his wife died. She was in the hospital and the family had been called in because her death was imminent. As Charles and his two children sat by her side, she left her body in the early morning hours. Sherard, the daughter, said to her brother, “Chuck, did you see it?” He said, “What? I did not see anything.” She then asked, “Daddy, didn’t you see it?” He said, “No, baby, I didn’t see anything.” She said, “Just as mother died, I saw a mist rise from mother’s body, float to the ceiling, and disappear.” Sherard witnessed a thin place.
Thin places come in different ways and some can be subtle. I call them “Garden of Eden moments” because they remind me of the way things must have been in the Garden of Eden when the earth was perfect and at peace. I think we have all experienced them, kind of a time of unified joy. The bounty and beauty of nature can bring such joy: a sunrise or sunset, the coming of spring, or a deep winter snow.

Moments of a unified spirit can also come within relationships. One such Garden of Eden moment came when Paul and I went to Disneyworld with our children and grandchildren. After a long day of activity at the park, we headed back to our hotel room on the bus. Paul was sitting next to me with his arm around the back of the seat touching my shoulder. Across from us were our two sons and their wives, talking quietly and content with each other. Their children were curled up, lying in their laps and cradled in the crook of their arms. For one brief moment, I experienced the way it must have been in the Garden of Eden when peace and joy ruled, when all was perfect and everything was the way it should be.
We all have moments of thin places. They are holy places if we just pay attention and let our spirits see. Elizabeth Barrett Browning said:

Earth’s crammed with heaven

And every common bush afire with God;

But only he who sees takes off his shoes.

I believe I had a less than subtle thin place experience when I went back to graduate school. Most days, I drove seventy miles to northwest Arkansas to attend the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. Early on, almost every day, I would wonder what my brain was thinking when I began this task. My brain was rusty, and besides, I was driving a stretch of mountain road that was known for death-producing accidents. I remember questioning if this had anything to do with God’s will for my life. I reasoned that I could be using my time doing something more for Him or more beneficial to others.

Then one day I was coming out of a history class and heading across campus. I was somewhat protected under my umbrella but the rain was coming down in sheets and I was wading through puddles of standing water trying to navigate to my next class. When I was almost there, I saw a young man under a tree, sitting on a bench. His umbrella was propped up beside him, and despite the shelter of the tree, he was getting soaked. His clothes were wet and he sat with his wet head in his hands, sobbing, his shoulders shaking hard.

I slowed down and sloshed across the muddy grass and went over to him. I asked, “Can I help you?” He shook his head no. I thought about just walking away, leaving him to his private moment. But I stood there a second and said, “Can I pray for you?” He nodded yes. I placed my hand on his shoulder and said a very short prayer. He never moved, never looked up. He just said, “Thank you.”





I walked off and left the young man on the bench in the pouring rain. When I arrived at my building and headed up the steps, I turned around to look at him once again. He was gone. I did not see him walking away. He was just gone. I turned and walked to my class. But I was mystified. My thoughts were, Where did he go? Then I wondered if maybe he was an angel. Then I thought, Maybe I was his angel? I did not know. All I knew was that I had experienced a special moment that had a meaning, a thin place.
As I thought about the experience, the Lord began to speak. He reminded me that His work is everywhere, and everywhere we are, in every situation, He has plans for us if we have eyes to see. God reminded me He is not just in some planned “spiritual” activity but He is in the everyday sacred mundane of our appointed days.

It is in the flatlands of our everyday routine that we need to remember our thin places. We need to be aware that God has spoken and still speaks. Remembering is one of our greatest challenges. We forget too easily.
C.S. Lewis addresses this tendency to forget in The Chronicles of Narnia. In the book The Silver Chair, Aslan, the Christ figure, sends Jill and her friend Eustace on a mission. The last words Aslan speaks to Jill as he sends her on her journey is about remembering the signs or spiritual truths and heeding a warning not to forget what she learned on the mountain:

Here on the mountain I have spoken to you clearly. I will not often do so down in Narnia. Here on the mountain, the air is clear and your mind is clear; as you drop down into Narnia, the air will thicken. Take great care that it does not confuse your mind. And the signs which you have learned here will not look as you expect them to look, when you meet them there. That is why it is important to know them by heart and pay no attention to appearances. Remember the signs and believe the signs. Nothing else matters.

—C. S. Lewis

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair

We are graced with thin moments from time to time, some profound, some subtle. They sneak up on us. So let us keep our eyes open for the gifts of the thinning of the veil as we walk on the mountains. And then let us remember the truths in the flatlands and in the valleys.



My Review:

Encouragement flows like a refreshing stream in this small but useful book containing Scripture and poetry along with personal views from Margaret Wills.

Pressing Into Thin Places is an easy to read inspirational that many will find providing uplifting words of assurance that even in difficult times God is always with those who are believers in Him through faith in Christ Jesus.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Book Review ~ A Vision of Lucy by Margaret Brownley

Author Bio ~ Margaret Brownley


Thrills, mystery, suspense, romance: Margaret penned it all. Nothing wrong with this, except Margaret happened to be writing for the church newsletter. After making the church picnic read like a Grisham novel, her former pastor took her aside and said, "Maybe God's calling you to write fiction."

It turns out God was and Margaret did. She now has more than 20 novels to her credit. In addition, she's written many Christian articles and a non-fiction book. Still, it took a lot of prodding from God before Margaret tried her hand at writing inspirational fiction which led to her Rocky Creek series. "I love writing about characters at different stages of faith," she says of the new direction her writing career has taken, "and I'm here to stay."

Happily married to her real-life hero, Margaret and her husband live in Southern California.


—Excerpt from A Vision of Lucy


Sage Advice for Photographers

•When photographing stampeding cattle, charging bulls or blazing shoot-outs, use a fast shutter speed.

• Brides, take pity on your photographer. Matthew S. Brady and his helpers were able to record the entire War Between the States with little more than 1100 photographs. Half that number should satisfy most brides.

•Doctors, do not look at the camera like it’s a patient needing help through death’s door. Such a pose will speak ill of you, and it won’t do much for your practice, either.

•A man imagines himself more handsome than his photograph; a woman believes herself more homely.

•While posing for a photograph spinsters should avoid looking desperate or deprived. A serene smile will show that your circumstances are by choice and not for lack of beauty or character.

•The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. For this reason a woman wishing to look appropriately domesticated for her Mail-Order Bride photograph should wear an apron and wield a kitchen utensil (preferably not a rolling pin).



Synopsis:


A Rocky Creek Romance: A Vision of Lucy

Trouble follows Lucy wherever she goes. So does a vision of second chances . . . and love.

Lucy Fairbanks dreams of working as a photographer at the Rocky Creek newspaper. Her deepest hope is that her father will see her as an artist, the way he thought of her deceased mother, whose paintings still hang on their walls.

But disaster follows Lucy on every photo assignment: a mess of petticoats and ribbons, an accidental shooting, even a fire.

When Lucy meets David Wolf—a rugged, reclusive man who lives on the outskirts of town—she thinks she can catch the attention of the town with his photograph. She doesn't count on her feelings stirring whenever she's near him.

Two things happen next that forever change the course of Lucy's life. But will these events draw her closer to God or push her further away? And how will David accept this new vision of Lucy?

My Review:

Lucy is a delightful girl who finds herself in so many mishaps, all because she's out to take the perfect photo! Mind you, there weren't too many women photographers back then and she is determined to make a profession out of it. At the beginning of each chapter Margaret has included humorous quotes from Miss Gertrude Hasslebrink, like this one: “While posing for a photograph, spinsters should avoid looking desperate or deprived. A serene smile will show circumstances are by choice and not for lack of beauty or character.” Although I'm pretty sure they weren't intended to be funny back in the day, they certainly are entertaining and I couldn't help but read them aloud to my husband, who chuckled many times! The history taught in this book is phenomenal. Margaret is a great teacher and writer. I feel like my life has been enriched by the knowledge I have gained in reading about the beginning days of photography!


Now Lucy, being the adventurous young woman she is, needs someone who is going to be a bit more serious in nature. In comes David Wolf who has a troubled past and is out to find and take back something that was stolen from him as a young boy. He's convinced that Lucy is beyond his reach because of his...well, you just need to read the book!

Once again, Margaret has pulled together charming characters and firmly planted me right smack dab in the middle of their lives! Using humor, suspense, and serious spiritual concepts she has woven a beautiful story of forgiveness. There are a lot of characters to get to know, but Margaret flawlessly portrays them to such an extent that I felt as if I was right there, involved personally in their lives, and watching each one come to terms with past sin, present forgiveness, and future redemption.

A Vision of Lucy is the third book in the A Rocky Creek Romance series.

Thank you, Margaret for my ARC! 

No other compensation was received. This is my honest opinion of this book.

A Vision of Lucy can be purchased at the following:

Amazon

Christian Book Distributors

Barnes & Noble

Family Christian Stores

Lifeway Christian Stores

I'm giving away my ARC copy to one commenter. U.S. ONLY!!!

No strings...follow if you want ~ that's always nice but not necessary.

I'll announce a winner on Friday, June 10th.



Sunday, June 5, 2011

♥ A Poet's Heart ♥



A Prayer of Self-Examination and Surrender



Oh Lord, You are amazing.

Your power and glory are marvelous;

Your love, mind and ways are pure and true.



I am but a man undeserving of your grace.

I am weak. You are strong.

I am like that of unclean rags. You are pure as the whitest snow.

I am but a worm upon the ground. You are the great I Am.

I am nothing. You are Something.



You came to me in my time of need, oh Lord.

You found me in the wilderness of life; for I was lost.

Oh so lost was I!



I weep with joy for what you have done for me, a sinner, groveling upon the earth;

While you are the Architect of all that was, is and will be.

Truly you are merciful oh God of Jacob to have seen me, with your eyes of holy fire,

skulking in the shadows of sin.



Forgive me of my transgressions, oh Lord God Almighty.

Let me be your slave oh God. Own me Lord Almighty.

Have me serve at your feet, Abba Father.

 

I surrender my all to you; my life, my love, my thoughts,

my heart, my body, and my devotion, God of my life.


 
Amen.


original work by Coan Payne
Please do not copy or redistribute without authors permission(me)

I wanted to share this lovely prayer with y'all today. My son wrote this. He writes poetry almost daily. You can find him here @ http://thepaynefulpoet.blogspot.com/  He's just starting out in the blog world :)
 

              Have a great day in the Lord!


Saturday, June 4, 2011

WINNER!!! of Fade to Blue...



Congratulations

Woo Hoo Gal!!!!

Winner has been notified and has 48 hours to respond to my email.
Thanks to everyone who left comments. Stay tuned for another giveaway coming soon.


Friday, June 3, 2011

In my mailbox today!!!




!!SQUEAL!!

About the Book
How can she love the king of kings without forsaking her Lord of lords?

Kasia grew up in a poor Jewish home with more siblings than luxuries. But when a chance encounter forces her to the palace of Xerxes, she becomes a concubine to the richest man in the world. She alone, of all Xerxes' wives, loves the man beneath the crown. She alone, of all his wives, holds the heart of the king of kings.


Traveling with Xerxes through Europe as he mounts a war against Greece, Kasia knows enemies surround her, but they’re not the Spartans or Athenians. The threat lies with those close to the king who hate her people. She determines to put her trust in Jehovah–even if it costs her her marriage.


Years of prayers are answered when Kasia's childhood friend arrives at the palace after the war, but even as she determines to see Esther crowned in place of the bloodthirsty former queen, she knows the true battle is far from over. How far will her enemies go to see her undone?


Combining the biblical account of Esther with Herodotus's Histories, Jewel of Persia is the story of a love that nearly destroys an empire . . . and the friendship that saves a nation.


If you haven't read Roseanna's books then you are truly missing an experience. She is one of the BEST writers of biblical fiction!

Here's a link so you can buy your copy today :-)
 


Have a great day in the Lord!



Friday Funny!

Church signs...they're everywhere!





this one sounds fun :-)






~all photos from Google Images~



Have a great day in the Lord!