Book Quotes

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

Thursday, January 28, 2016

A Quick Visit in 2015

Doh! I meant to post this a month ago but I forgot about it being in my drafts folder.

Our oldest son came in for a quick visit two weeks before Christmas. Even though we would have liked it to have been longer, we are thankful for time together! He was pretty exhausted his first day back so no plans were made to do anything other than sit on the deck and relax. And the weather cooperated! I think this was his first view of the bay from our temporary home. He's saying something like, "Wow. This is a pretty good view." :-)


It was a gorgeous day! The temps were warm and apparently perfect for sailing.


This was a particularly fun trio to watch. They looked like they were having a blast zipping around out there, showing off those colorful sails! All in all, it made for an entertaining afternoon.


But the best part was just sitting across from our son and treasuring the moments spent with him, no matter how short. I'm learning to be thankful for the morsels that God allows to fall my way and not be greedy. One day (or six in our case) is better than none. It gave us an opportunity to talk about lots of things. Military life and its challenges, and all the changes that recently occurred in our family were top on the list. We were able to talk about the importance of our faith in Christ through it all.
Sweet moments!

Romans 1:8-12 (NASB) Bible Gateway
 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, because your faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world.  For God, whom I serve in my spirit in the preaching of the gospel of His Son, is my witness as to how unceasingly I make mention of you, always in my prayers making request, if perhaps now at last by the will of God I may succeed in coming to you.  For I long to see you so that I may impart some spiritual gift to you, that you may be established;  that is, that I may be encouraged together with you while among you, each of us by the other’s faith, both yours and mine. 


: : :

Have a blessed day in the Lord!

Sharing with
The Enchanting Rose

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Sunday Morning {Worship & Praise}

Such beauty as the sun rose, casting it's warmth upon our snow covered deck.

Many have been impacted by Winter Storm Jonas. I pray you are each safe and secure in your homes on this snowy and frigid morn!  

 : : :

Psalm 143:8 (NASB) 

Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning; 
For I trust in You;
Teach me the way in which I should walk; 
For to You I lift up my soul. 


~Have a blessed Sabbath~


Thursday, January 21, 2016

Rebecca Maney Reviews ~ With This Ring?, 4 in 1 Edition by Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings, Melissa Jagears

Paperback, 384 pages
Published January 5th 2016 by Bethany House


Reviewed by Rebecca Maney
4 STARS 
 
Expect the unexpected, imagine the unimaginable and relish four young women's attempts at matrimony while maneuvering, pretending, escaping and competing for the opportunity to say, "I do". 

Savvy writer Karen Witemeyer's, "The Husband Maneuver", captures unremitting romance on an isolated Texas ranch, when an unexpected storm forces Daniel Barrett and Marietta Hawkins to acknowledge what heroes are made of, flesh and blood heroes, that is. It's a clever, witty, and highly charged romance packed into short, entertaining chapters. 

When Katie Ellen Watson was younger, Josiah Huckabee was her best friend, until a childhood kiss changed everything. Regina Jennings's, "Her Dearly Unintended", couples Katie and Josiah back together in the most awkward of circumstances, posing as a young married couple, in order to protect the Watson family property. Improper or not, can these two clash their way back to "happily ever after? 

 On the run from a cruel fiance, Carrie Haley's "knight in shining armor" is a trail seasoned Texas Ranger. Big John Conroy never expected to fall in love, but in Mary Connealy's "Runaway Bride", there is a lot of love going on, and it might just be the answer to all of Carrie's problems, if they can trust each other enough to "do the deed". 

Charlotte Andrews is a desperate woman, desperate enough to propose marriage to a man that she does not love in order to save her mother's sanity and her family property from ruin. What she never expected was that true love might re-enter the picture, especially when Harrison Gray left her behind so many years ago. Will these two unlikely lovers find a way to end their incessant competition? Melissa Jagears's, "Engaging the Competition" just might hold the answers they need. 

A copy of this book was provided by Bethany House Blogger Review Program for the express purpose of sharing my honest opinion.

: : :
Rebecca is a graduate of Bryan College with a degree in Christian Education, and is currently serving at the First Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Gastonia, North Carolina as the Director of Children's Ministry. With nearly 28 years of experience in her field, she has had many opportunities to use her love of reading and writing in creative ways across the generations. A wife, mother of four "nearly" grown children, and grandmother to four beautiful grandchildren, Rebecca has been able to return to her love of reading and more recently reviewing, with a renewed passion for the "beauty of story".

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

COVER REVEAL & GIVEAWAY!!!

The Cautious Maiden, Dawn Crandall's 2016 fall release from Whitaker House, has a FABULOUS cover, don't you think?!

If you haven't read the first three books in this series, you'll want to grab a copy and start today! 


Amazon has them on Kindle or PB here. I don't make any money from the purchase.

Also, Dawn is hosting a giveaway. Just follow the Rafflecopter instructions below to be entered to win.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A graduate of Taylor University with a degree in Christian Education, and a former bookseller at Barnes & Noble, Dawn Crandall didn’t begin writing until 2010. That is the year she shared with her husband her long-time dream of writing books. He encouraged her to quit her job and to pursue her passion to write stories. Apart from writing books, Dawn also recently became a mother—she and her husband were blessed with a baby boy in March 2014. She also serves with her husband in a premarriage mentor program at their local church in Fort Wayne, Indiana.   

Dawn is a member of Romance Writers of America, American Christian Fiction Writers, secretary for the Indiana ACFW Chapter (Hoosier Ink), and associate member of the Great Lakes ACFW Chapter. Dawn is represented by Joyce Hart of Hartline Literary.

CONNECT WITH DAWN:  website,  facebook,  twitter,  pinterest email a passion for pages blog 

An Interview with Elizabeth Oates - If You Could See As Jesus Sees

Q&A with Elizabeth Oates
Author of If You Could See as Jesus Sees
Part 2
From the outside, she has it all together. She’s committed to her family, her friends, and her church. Her Instagram account is an inspiration. But behind every carefully worded post and perfectly posed picture is a woman tormented by the voice in her head: Am I pretty enough? Smart enough? Thin enough? Good enough? Success­ful enough? Am I ever enough? Author and speaker Elizabeth Oates knows that voice all too well.
Q: According to statistics you quote in If You Could See as Jesus Sees, only 2% of women believe they are beautiful. What is God’s view of beauty? What are some helpful exercises women can do to banish their negative self-talk regarding their appearance?
Beauty is not what we look like, but who we look like. The more we look like Jesus, the more beautiful we are. True beauty comes from living out our faith and living out the plans God has for us. Just as a mother dotes on her newborn baby’s pink, wrinkly, soft, squishy flesh, God delights in us. God knows you are the most beautiful, radiant, flawless, creature He has ever created.
So the question we need to ask ourselves is, “Do I believe God is a truth teller? Or do I believe God is a liar?” If you believe God is truthful, then you must believe Him when He says you are beautiful. Why? Because the Bible tells us we are “wonderfully made” unique creations. Every time someone—whether our husband, our friend, or our parent—gives us a compliment and we turn it down, we call that person a liar. Every time we criticize ourselves, we call God a liar. To really understand the devastating effects of negative self-talk, try this exercise:
Make a list of the negative things you tell yourself about the way you look. For example, “My thighs are huge. I really hate them.” Then replace “my” with the name of a close friend: “Kate’s thighs are huge. I really hate them.” You would never say such cruel things to someone else. It’s just as hurtful—and sinful—when you say them to yourself.
Q: You identify shame as one of the factors that keeps women trapped in their negative self-image. What are some common reasons women feel ashamed? How can they break free from the shame trap?
A: Shame is the feeling that because there is something wrong with us, we don’t deserve to be loved. It is almost always tied to an element of secrecy. We try to hide those flaws, so we won’t be rejected. We feel shame for things both big and small, both past and present, both within and beyond our control. Some common reasons include: missed opportunities, poor choices, sexual impurity, eating disorders, sexual abuse/sexual assault, addictions, family dysfunction, failure, and socioeconomic status. Sadly, the church has sometimes contributed to that sense of shame, particularly concerning the issue of purity. Women who have made the wrong choice in the past feel like “damaged goods.” Hopefully, we will do a better job with my daughter’s generation.
The only way I know to move past those feelings of shame is to find someone you can trust and talk about your story. Shame’s power depends on secrecy and darkness. When we step into the light, we can experience life through God’s lens of redemption.
Q: In If You Could See As Jesus Sees, you contrast our feelings of discontentment with God’s character of generosity. Why do you think we so often struggle in this area? What does our lack of contentment cost us?
A: A popular quote flooding Instagram and Pinterest reads, “Her suc­cess is not your failure.” What wise words for today’s woman. Have you watched someone in your own life receive something you wanted, something you thought you de­served and allowed your greed to run your life? Maybe a coworker received that sought-after promotion. Maybe a friend moved into your dream home. Maybe you have played the part of the bridesmaid but never the bride. When we look at life through Jesus’ lens of generosity, we realize the many blessings He bestows on you and me and everyone else who doesn’t deserve them. Anytime we are left feeling slighted, upstaged, or empty-handed, we have a choice to make: give ourselves over to our discontentment, or submit to a spirit of generosity, knowing that all we have received is an open-handed gift from our Savior.
When discontentment wells up in our hearts, it eclipses all the good­ness and beauty that used to reside there. We live in darkness, suffering from temporary memory loss and forgetting the many ways in which God has met our needs—and wants—in the past.
If You Could See As Jesus Sees
Elizabeth Oates
January 2016 / 978-1-63409-512-9 / $14.99
Shiloh Run Press
Elizabeth Oates is an author and speaker who encourages, inspires, and equips a new generation of women seeking a deeper relationship with Christ. She is a cliché Generation Xer from a broken home who once searched for purpose and significance apart from Jesus Christ. Today she devotes her life to spreading the message that we are not defined by our past; our God is bigger than our broken family trees and stronger than the sins that weigh us down.
Elizabeth lives out her faith and passion not only through her writing but in hands-on ministry as well. She and her husband offer pre-marital education to engaged couples through Legacy Family Ministries and also founded Project Restoration Ministry, which offers affordable Christian counseling and mentoring for married couples in Central Texas.
Elizabeth’s writing includes a Bible study for teens, Dealing with Divorce: Finding Direction When Your Parents Split Up. Since 2008 she has written a monthly faith column for Waco Today Magazine, and she regularly blogs about life and faith. Elizabeth is among the experts featured in the DivorceCare DVD curriculum along with Dave Ramsey, Anne Graham Lotz, and others. She earned a B.A. from Baylor University and received her M.A. in Christian Education with a focus in Marriage and Family Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Sneak Peek of a NEW Dawn Crandall book cover!

Dawn Crandall, author of The Everstone Chronicles, will be revealing the cover for her new book, The Cautious Maiden, on Wednesday! 



Come back on Wednesday to see the whole cover!
Plus, Dawn will be having a Rafflecopter GIVEAWAY you don't want to miss!


Friday, January 15, 2016

My Top Ten Favorite Books in 2015 & Giveaway

I totally forgot to share my favorite books of 2015! It was a great year for Christian fiction fans. I know this from all the recommendations and reviews I've read from other bloggers, especially my fellow partner here at Stuff & Nonsense, Rebecca Maney. You can read Rebecca's list here

While I would like to be able to say I read over a 100 books in 2015, I struggled just to read 20. There were multiple life changes that occurred and my time was not my own. I did manage to squeeze in a little reading time and found the caliber of plot and characterization in these books to be worthy of mentioning! 
Sooooo, in no particular order they are:

 The Lost Heiress by Roseanna White 

 After a Fashion by Jen Turano 

 Gabriel’s Atonement by Vickie McDonough 

 Brentwood’s Ward by Michelle Griep 

 Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor by Melanie Dobson 

 Falcon by Ronie Kendig 

 In Good Company by Jen Turano 

 Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Beth Vogt 

 The Wonder of You by Susan May Warren 

 The Lumberjacks’ Ball by Carrie Fancett Pagels

A Refuge at Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky

Ooops....That's 11 books but only 10 authors. Jen Turano made it twice!

I know there were many fabulous books published in 2015 that I didn't manage to read. And not all of the above books were through requests. I checked out two from the library. :-)

Have you read any of these books? If so, which ones? Do you have any recommendations for me? Please leave a comment telling me a book you enjoyed reading in 2015 and I will enter you to win this extra journal I picked up the other day. 


You don't have to be a blog follower but I would love it if you decide to follow along. It's best to sign up by email or Bloglovin' now unless you have a Google account already. Then you can go the GFC route, if you want. 

~Happy Reading~

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Anne's Review of PULSE (Pulse Effex, # 1) by L.R. Burkard

Published August 3rd 2015 by Lilliput Press
Kindle Edition, 275 pages
Author(s):
 About the Book

What do you do when the whole world stops?
When everything you've come to depend upon--transportation, grocery shopping, cell phones, the internet--comes to a sudden, crashing halt?
Welcome to PULSE.

Three teenage girls and their families must survive when America's worst nightmare actually occurs: The failure of the electric grid due to an electromagnetic pulse.

To outsiders, Andrea Patterson has the American dream house and family. But when the unthinkable happens and life is forever different, the dream looks more like a nightmare--one from which she and her family may not wake up alive.

Lexie Martin's farm family has never been cool like Andrea's, but they've been prepping for disaster for years. For them, the world didn't stop; it just slowed down. The one thing they didn't prepare for? A psycho school bus driver who wants what they've got.

Sarah Weaver, friend of Andrea and Lexie, lives on the top floor of a ten-story apartment building. When things went black, she thought it could be romantic--like living in the time of Jane Austen.

She was wrong.

Has the world collapsed forever?
Who will survive when technology fails? Or perhaps the right question is, Who will get to eat?


Anne's Review

In a fictional account written in diary form, three teenage girls tell their story of what happens after an EMP (electro-magnetic pulse) occurs. PULSE is a Science Fiction/Young Adult targeted narrative filled with intrigue and suspense. Parts of the story seem hard to believe, but in actuality could happen. You don’t have to be a ‘prepper’ to know that if something catastrophic occurred and all electronics went down for an extended amount of time, towns, cities, our entire country would be in one big heap of trouble. It’s bad enough when the electricity goes out for a few hours or days during a bad storm. Imagine what it would be like if it lasted for weeks or months. 

Burkard’s writing from a teen POV is pretty convincing. I could easily picture the scenes and that caused me to think about what I might have felt in the same situation as a teenager. PULSE is an absorbing story but I was often compelled to stop and tell my husband about a particular scene taking place. We had some interesting conversations about the story line.

There are some disturbing scenes that take place but they are written with the utmost care. Emotions run high at times and fairly leap off the page. The faith element is strong throughout and the author does not sugar coat her views. Character growth is paramount in any story, and in PULSE, Burkard knocks that element out of the ballpark. Bravo!

PULSE is outside my usual genre of fiction but I enjoyed reading it. It certainly makes one think about readiness in the event of a disaster, whether short term or long. 

The author sent me an electronic copy for review purposes. I was not required to write a positive review, only my honest opinion of the book. No compensation has been received.


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

An Interview with Elizabeth Oates - If You Could See As Jesus Sees

Q&A with Elizabeth Oates
Author of If You Could See as Jesus Sees
Part 1
 
 
From the outside, she has it all together. She’s committed to her family, her friends, and her church. Her Instagram account is an inspiration. But behind every carefully worded post and perfectly posed picture is a woman tormented by the voice in her head: Am I pretty enough? Smart enough? Thin enough? Good enough? Success­ful enough? Am I ever enough? Author and speaker Elizabeth Oates knows that voice all too well.
 
Q: If You Could See as Jesus Sees was written to reach women who struggle with self-worth. How common is this problem?
 
A: I think most women—from ages ten to one hundred—wrestle with feelings of inadequacy, doubt, worthlessness, hopelessness, and even self-loathing at some point in their lives. We scorn our bodies, our faces, or our hair. Maybe we even dislike ourselves at our core: our personalities, our gifts, our talents, and our souls. So we spend days, if not years, comparing ourselves to our friends or media celebrities and daydreaming about a different life. Eventually, we morph into an existence vaguely similar to ourselves, yet not quite us. We alter our behavior to please others. We dress like our friends or emulate what we see in InStyle magazine. We may even change our appearance through plastic surgery. Before we know it, we are just an empty shell of our true selves, mere imposters of the women God created.
The details vary from woman to woman. Yet, for each of us, a common thread weaves through our stories: the grand story of the fall. Think back to Eve in the Garden of Eden. She lived in paradise with her loving husband, Adam, and her devoted God. They enjoyed constant fellowship with their Creator. Then the deceitful serpent entered the stage. Listening to his empty promises and twisted propaganda, Eve succumbed to his lies, and women have been believing those lies ever since. We view ourselves through our own distorted lenses of self-loathing, ugliness, shame, and discontentment instead of Jesus’ lenses of love, beauty, redemption, and generosity.
 
Q: The topic of social media comes up often in this book. How do Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media sites negatively affect some women?
 
A: Have you ever mindlessly surfed Facebook, only to shut your lap­top, feeling lonely, useless, and discouraged? It’s tough not to succumb to jealousy, envy, greed—and even despair—when we are inundated with our friends’ vacation photos, dream homes, new cars, job promotions, and all the other exciting things people want to celebrate. We are left feeling as if we are living a less-than-stellar life. For the woman who already struggles with a negative self-image, those posts are a constant reminder of the many ways she doesn’t measure up. Social media has become a driving force in our culture, but it doesn’t reflect reality. It’s the highlight reel. We see people living life seamlessly—the perfect family, the perfect house, the perfect job, the perfect faith—and we wonder, “What am I doing wrong? Why am I not married yet? Why am I not pregnant yet? Why don’t I live in my dream home?”  What we don’t see underneath those beaming Facebook posts is the crumbling marriage, the house in foreclosure, the credit card debt, and the I’ll-show-up-for-church-on-Sunday-morning-but-don’t-you-dare-ask-me-do-to-anything-riskier kind of faith.
 
 
 
 
 
 
If You Could See As Jesus Sees
 
Elizabeth Oates
January 2016 / 978-1-63409-512-9 / $14.99
Shiloh Run Press
 
 
Elizabeth Oates is an author and speaker who encourages, inspires, and equips a new generation of women seeking a deeper relationship with Christ. She is a cliché Generation Xer from a broken home who once searched for purpose and significance apart from Jesus Christ. Today she devotes her life to spreading the message that we are not defined by our past; our God is bigger than our broken family trees and stronger than the sins that weigh us down.
 
Elizabeth lives out her faith and passion not only through her writing but in hands-on ministry as well. She and her husband offer pre-marital education to engaged couples through Legacy Family Ministries and also founded Project Restoration Ministry, which offers affordable Christian counseling and mentoring for married couples in Central Texas.
 
Elizabeth’s writing includes a Bible study for teens, Dealing with Divorce: Finding Direction When Your Parents Split Up. Since 2008 she has written a monthly faith column for Waco Today Magazine, and she regularly blogs about life and faith. Elizabeth is among the experts featured in the DivorceCare DVD curriculum along with Dave Ramsey, Anne Graham Lotz, and others. She earned a B.A. from Baylor University and received her M.A. in Christian Education with a focus in Marriage and Family Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Rebecca Reviews ~ At Love's Bidding by Regina Jennings

 
At Love's Bidding
Paperback, 352 pages
Published December 1st 2015 by Bethany House (first published November 24th 2015)
 
 
Reviewed by Rebecca Maney
4 STARS
 
Miranda Wimplegate has lived an entire life in the shadows of her parents' prestigious auction house, faithfully cataloguing and describing items of infinite worth for Boston's elite. One ordinary transaction evokes quite an extraordinary reaction, when a treasured family portrait is mistakenly sold to an anonymous buyer. Miranda rushes to her family's defense and accompanies her grandfather to a remote western auction house with the intention of surreptitiously recovering the painting and avoiding scandalous ruin. To their complete surprise, they arrive in Pine Gap, Missouri only to discover that the place of business which they have hurriedly purchased is nothing more than a large rural stock barn with an irate manager, not at all pleased to have been bought out by cattle-ignorant "city slickers".

Wyatt Ballentine is not about to lose control of his family's heritage to Bostonians, even if one of them is the most beautiful woman on the face of God's green earth. He cannot imagine what they could possibly want with a stock barn, but he is convinced that there is more to Miranda Wimplegate than meets his most pleased eyes. But then, there is more to Wyatt Ballentine than anyone in his family is willing to admit. Wyatt's background is riddled with mystery and it is no coincidence that his mystery and Miranda's mystery begin to coincide, no coincidence at all. The question is, what will they decide to do about it?

This delightful story is stocked full of interesting characters, intriguing suspense, and unabashed romance that hits dead end after dead end until the gavel announces; "going once, going twice, loved by the heart's highest bidder "! Enjoy every page of "At Love's Bidding"!

It was my pleasure to receive a copy of this book from the author in return for my honest opinion.

: : :
 
 
Rebecca is a graduate of Bryan College with a degree in Christian Education, and is currently serving at the First Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Gastonia, North Carolina as the Director of Children's Ministry. With nearly 28 years of experience in her field, she has had many opportunities to use her love of reading and writing in creative ways across the generations. A wife, mother of four "nearly" grown children, and grandmother to four beautiful grandchildren, Rebecca has been able to return to her love of reading and more recently reviewing, with a renewed passion for the "beauty of story".
 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

A Walk On The Beach


I enjoy walks on the beach and picking up handfuls of sand and shells to see what lies within. I've found a few pieces of Sea Glass and several heart-shaped rocks! I'm collecting what I think is interesting and keeping them in a treasure box for when the grandchildren make their first visit to our seaside home. I can just imagine their delight in discovering so many fascinating things that the Lord has created. 


On this day, as my eye was drawn downwards to investigate the trappings in the sand, I saw a hint of green. This lone sprout was about two inches in height and not more than an inch across, and its roots were tucked underneath this bit of... well I'm not sure what it is. But it was providing the perfect spot for this little plant to take root and grow. So, not wanting to pass up an interesting photo op [ ;-) ] I got down on my hands and knees to capture the sight. I figured I might not see this again. Most days have been rainy with high winds so I'm not sure this little guy could stand the harsh conditions for very long, let alone the tide coming in and possibly sweeping him out to sea. 


What a magnificent God we have who created all this beauty to be enjoyed by His children. May my eyes always see Him in my surroundings and be lifted to Heaven in worship of who He is and what He has done for me in and through Jesus Christ!

Psalm 139: 17-18
How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand.
When I awake, I am still with You.

~Have a blessed day~

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

What Pro-Life Really Means | Evangelicals for Life

EFL Button

Even if you're not heading to Washington, D.C., January 21–22 for the March for Life event, block out some time those two days because you'll be able to attend some of the events in the comfort of your own home. Focus on the Family and The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission will host Evangelicals for Life, a major pro-life conference held in conjunction with the March for Life event.

The event will take place in Washington, D.C., at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill. Evangelicals from across the country will gather to hear from leading speakers, such as David Platt, Russell Moore, Jim Daly, Kelly Rosati, and others—to be equipped and encouraged to become a voice for life! The event will also be simulcast for FREE so individuals, churches, and organizations from coast-to-coast and around the world can take part.

Speakers will encourage evangelicals to engage the culture on issues of abortion and end-of-life decisions, and the event will affirm the evangelical belief in the sanctity of life, that every life matters to God and is created in His image.

For more information, visit http://evangelicals.life/.

Readers of this blog will receive 15% off their registration by using the code FocusLife.



What Pro-Life Really Means

By Daniel Darling

It was a flippant comment by the spokesmen for a presidential candidate: “It doesn’t matter. They’re just Muslims.” But it made shudder.

This is how societies begin to dehumanize a people group, and every generation of Christians is responsible to face this thinking and fight it. This is what it means to be a pro-life champion.

We are pro-life because we are pro-human dignity. It is the uniquely Christian message that sees in every soul a person created in the image of God.

When Planned Parenthood and their allies say, “That’s just a fetus,” we say, “No, that’s a baby, a human life, that deserves dignity and respect.”

When corrupt profiteers look at vulnerable young girls and boys and say, “They are just a commodity to be trafficked for money,” we say, “No, they are boys and girls created in the image of God and deserving of dignity and respect.”

When eugenicists look at the elderly and say, “They are just burdens to be managed,” we say, “No, human dignity is not defined by utility, but is a unique gift given by God.”

When politicians look at immigrants and say, “They are a drain on society,” we say, “No, they are created in the image of God and worthy of kindness, welcoming, and respect.”

When ISIS brutally dehumanizes its victims—Christians, Muslims, Jews, and anyone who doesn’t subscribe to their ideology—and they say, “They are just infidels,” we say, by our acts of justice, “No, they are people created in the image of God and worthy of life and respect.”

When the disabled are marginalized, we say, “No, each was created in the image of God and is worthy of our full love and acceptance.”

Even in our discourse, even when we look across the aisle, across the screen, across the table at someone who doesn’t share our beliefs, we say to ourselves, “This person is worthy of respect and dignity because they too were created in the image of God.”

Human dignity, the intrinsic worth of every human soul, is not just a once-every-four-years mantra for voter guides and political scorecards. We live out the imago de as a way of life, and we seek justice wherever human dignity is compromised.

This is why ERLC and Focus on the Family join hands to help raise up a new generation of evangelicals who are passionate about the sanctity of human life. This why you should come to Washington, D.C., this January to the Evangelicals for Life event or participate via the free simulcast at your church or on your computer.

You should join Evangelicals for Life, not simply to make a powerful stand in the nation’s capital. You should come, not simply to be stirred by the gifted speakers. You should come, not only to fellowship and strategize with other champions for life.

You should be a part of of Evangelicals for Life because God is calling you, in this time and in your sphere of influence, to be a voice for human dignity.

Answer for yourself what it means to have a pro-life, whole-life vision. Discover where your gifts and talents best serve the kingdom of God in this way, and send a message to the world that your Christianity compels you to look every human being in the eye and not see what everyone sees. You see in them the image of their Creator.

Daniel Darling is the Vice President for Communications for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention (ERLC), the co-sponsor of the Evangelicals for Life conference. Dan holds a bachelor’s degree in pastoral ministry from Dayspring Bible College and has studied at  Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife Angela have four children and reside in the Nashville area. They attend Green Hill Church in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, where Dan serves as Pastor of Teaching and Discipleship.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Rebecca's Top Ten Reads of 2015

Note from Anne: I have been plagued with computer problems for months. My laptop was sluggish to the point that I couldn't upload any images, let alone edit anything in a timely manner, meaning I basically quit. My husband suggested a week ago that I take advantage of the free upgrade to Windows 10. Now I'm a girl that's kind of set in her ways so the transition has not been an easy one, and I wouldn't do it if I had the choice again. On top of that little quirk, my laptop actually ended up having to be reset after upgrading. Not fun at all! I lost emails from friends, family, authors, publishers, and all my installed programs. In short, it's been a nightmare. Hopefully some of the problems are resolved now and I can get back in to posting here at Stuff & Nonsense. Thanks for hanging in there with me.

Now on to Rebecca's favorites for 2015!

: : :

Admittedly, choosing only ten books out of over one hundred and fifty titles, is a daunting task to an avid reader. Every committed reader devours and enjoys a good story, but these particular novels have risen to the top of an amazing year of reading due to the author’s ingenuity, creativity, depth of spirituality or simply because they have struck a chord of personal connection on some level. The year 2015 has been an amazing year to have a “nose in a book”! Thank you to the amazing writers that have made this list possible. Choices are listed in no particular order, other than when they came to mind . . . . .

“Brentwood’s Ward” by Michelle Griep


“Tiffany Girl” by Deanne Gist


“To Win Her Favor” by Tamera Alexander


“The Art of Losing Yourself” by Katie Ganshert


“Battered Justice” by Linda J. White


“Love’s Fortune” by Laura Frantz


“The Wood’s Edge” by Lori Benton


“Spy in Richmond” by Jocelyn Greene


“The Wedding Chapel” by Rachel Hauck


“The Sea Keeper’s Daughters” by Lisa Wingate


My favorite debut authors have penned these great stories . . .

“The Thorn Bearer” by Pepper Basham


“One Plus One Equals Trouble” by Sondra Kraak


“Irish Meadows” by Susan Anne Mason



Rebecca is a graduate of Bryan College with a degree in Christian Education, and is currently serving at the First Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Gastonia, North Carolina as the Director of Children's Ministry. With nearly 28 years of experience in her field, she has had many opportunities to use her love of reading and writing in creative ways across the generations. A wife, mother of four "nearly" grown children, and grandmother to four beautiful grandchildren, Rebecca has been able to return to her love of reading and more recently reviewing, with a renewed passion for the "beauty of story".

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Thanks, Rebecca, for sharing your favorite reads of 2015! These look like some great stories. I've only read two of these books so I'm adding the other eight to my TBR. :-) Y'all can read the reviews for each of these books over on Goodreads.

Readers, Have you read any of these books? If so, which ones are your favorites? Please share in the comments below. We love to know what you're reading and any recommendations you have for us.

Blessings for a new year filled with love, hope, joy, good books, and no more computer issues!