Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Contributor Review ~ A Broken Kind of Beautiful by Katie Ganshert

From WaterBrook Press
“A Broken Kind of Beautiful” – reviewed by Rebecca Maney

It's the kind of story that movies are made of! Fantastic, yet realistic; gut-wrenching, but satisfying; the healing power and nature of God's unfailing love was displayed in all of its glory through-out the pages of this book. Watching Ivy Clark metamorphose from a pile of shattered pieces into a totally new creation was a beautiful thing to behold. And the fact that her journey left a wake of answered prayers made the story even better.

Ivy Clark, super-model and Davis Knight, photographer par excellence, meet up again, after many years, in the small town of Greenbriar, South Carolina. When their lives are inextricably thrust together in a town fund-raising effort, their careers and their dreams are muddled with doubts, regrets, and hidden agendas. Davis and his aunt are confident that God has called them to "see" the beautiful-on-the-outside, but empty-on-the inside Ivy as she truly is; but, how to "fix" her? . . . . . .. is another matter indeed.

I read and enjoyed Katie's first two books, but this one is in a class all its own!

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Have you read this book? I know it is now on my TBR list after reading Rebecca's review.

By using the purchase link above I make a small commission on the sale of the book.

Have a blessed day in the Lord!

Monday, April 28, 2014

A Devotional for Women from Tyndale House Publishers

I love receiving this daily devotional from Tyndale House right into my inbox. They're short and easy to read but always have a nugget of something I need for the day. I look at them as God's gentle reminder to take time to reflect and meditate on Him and what he has done for me! They don't, nor are expected to, replace daily reading in His Word, the Holy Scripture. I use them to complement study.

Check out their list of devotionals here. Sign up is easy peasy!

And they have a terrific rewards program at Tyndale Rewards. You can earn points toward Tyndale products just by signing up!
NLT WebsiteFind a BibleVisit Us On Facebook
Monday April 28, 2014
So Hosea married Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim, and she became pregnant and gave Hosea a son.
Hosea 1:3, NLT
It is difficult to imagine Hosea's feelings when God told him to marry a woman who would be unfaithful to him. He may not have wanted to do it, but he obeyed. He married a woman named Gomer. Hosea knew ahead of time that his wife would be unfaithful and that their married life would become a living object lesson to the adulterous northern kingdom. Hosea's marriage to an unfaithful woman would illustrate God's relationship to the unfaithful nation of Israel.

What did Gomer think and feel? What was her reaction when a holy man plucked her out of a life of prostitution and made her his wife? The original language doesn't say Gomer was already a prostitute but a promiscuous woman--a girl with a reputation. Just the girl all the boys want to know but no one wants to love, the very motivation that often causes her behavior. Did Gomer believe Hosea could love her? One assumes that Hosea had a choice of several wanton women with whom he could have obeyed God's command. Why did he choose Gomer? We don't know.

Hosea and Gomer had three children together. She was apparently unfaithful for a while, but Hosea bought her back from her enslavement. She had sold herself into prostitution. Did this second chance mean anything to Gomer? We only know that Hosea "laid down the law" about Gomer staying at home and chaste for "many days." If the parallels hold, Hosea 3:3-5 may indicate that Gomer put her past behind her and became devoted to her marriage.

Probably the closest we come to feeling what Gomer felt are those times when we act unfaithfully towards God yet he continues to faithfully lavish his love on us. We know Gomer better than we might think at first, for she was what we are--sinners offered overwhelming grace! Yet how often, even when we understand the lengths God has gone for us, do we treat his grace lightly!

God often required extraordinary obedience from his prophets who were facing extraordinary times. God may ask you to do something difficult and extraordinary too. If he does, how will you respond? Will you obey him, trusting that he who knows everything has a special purpose for his request? Will you be able to accept the fact that the pain involved in obedience may benefit those you serve and not you personally?

God's presence and truth can be found even in the most shameful situations.
Recommended Resource
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Have a blessed day in the Lord!

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Living From Glory To Glory

Saturday, April 26, 2014


I just love this photo! 
It seems like even this precious bird is thanking our Lord.

Psalm 84:3

Even the sparrow has found a home,
    and the swallow a nest for herself,
    where she may have her young—
a place near your altar,
    Lord Almighty, my King and my God.

Praising the Lord for His lovingkindness!

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Words from a Poet

And fear no more for me; or if you fear
Cast all your cares on God; that anchor holds.
Is He not yonder in those uttermost
Parts of the morning? if I flee to these
Can I go from Him? and the sea is His,
The sea is His: He made it.

The above is an excerpt from Enoch Arden, a narrative poem by Alfred Tennyson, published in 1864. In the poem, Enoch Arden is a happily married fisherman who suffers financial problems and becomes a merchant seaman. He is shipwrecked, and, after 10 years on a desert island, he returns home to discover that his beloved wife, believing him dead, has remarried and has a new child. Not wishing to spoil his wife’s happiness, he never lets her know that he is alive. (from Encyclopedia Britannica)

My son purchased this collection at a library sale. I always feel a bit sad when they get rid of these great works. They should keep these classics. There is much to be learned about life within their pages.

Do you have a favorite poet? If so, please share in the comments.

Have a blessed day in the Lord!

WINNER of Wild Mint Tea by Valerie Comer is...

Congratulations, Kathleen from http://lanehillhouse.blogspot.com/.
I hope you enjoy the book.

Thanks to all who came by entered the drawing. 
Stay tuned for another great book coming next week.

Have a blessed day in the Lord!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Giveaway ~ Wild Mint Tea by Valerie Comer

About the Book
She’s rooted deep. He flies free.
Local-foods chef Claire Halford envisions turning Green Acres Farm into an event destination. Weddings prove trickier than she imagined when the first one comes with a ruggedly handsome brother-of-the-bride, who has everything but a fixed address. Oh, and faith in God.
Noel Kenzie loves the freedom his reforestation company affords him. Why worry about deep stuff like God and commitment when he’s in his prime? Except there’s a woman who might make it worth giving up his wings…and digging in some roots. If he dares.

I interviewed Valerie back in March. Here's a link to the post: Interview with "Farm Lit" author Valerie Comer

Valerie and her publisher Choose NOW Publishing are offering a copy of Wild Mint Tea to one of my blog followers. To be entered in the giveaway, tell me one thing you learned about Valerie after reading the interview. Leave your comment on THIS post along with an email address so I can contact you. I will select a winner using Random.org on 4/25. US Only due to postage costs.

Review ~ A Match Made in Texas: A Novella Collection

In Dry Gulch, Texas, 1893, a young woman with a tender heart that longs to help those in need takes it upon herself to meddle in the affairs of three acquaintances who are in dire straits. Wanting to stay anonymous, she relies on unusual methods to hire men and women of good character who she thinks can solve the problems facing her "targets." How was she to know that her meddling would turn into a cupid's arrow? And what will she do when her friends turn the tables on her with a matchmaking scheme of their own? Four novellas in one volume. Bethany House Publishers, Jan 2014

My Review

A Match Made in Texas: A Novella Collection brings together four of historical fiction’s finest story tellers. There’s some matchmaking going on in Dry Gulch, Texas and life will never be the same for eight of the most fun characters I have read about in a novella collection in a long time.

A Cowboy Unmatched by Karen Witemeyer brings the youngest Archer brother, Neill, into the path of  Clara, a lady who desperately needs a husband. Well, Neill’s not looking to get married and little does he know that someone in Dry Gulch has sent him right into the path of his future  bride. Their love blooms amid trying circumstances that pulled at my heartstrings. This is a sweet story laced with Karen’s trademark faith and humor.

An Unforeseen Match by Regina Jennings is a poignant tale of two people who are scarred in different ways and each feels unlovable. I literally couldn't put this story aside. I was compelled to continue on and find out what was going to happen between Grace and Clayton. At times I chuckled at Clayton’s sense of humor and then I would turn right around and feel deep sorrow for Grace. Of the four stories, this one impressed me the most with how ordinary the characters’ situations were, and yet completely relatable, even today.

No Match for Love by Carol Cox was a fun and fast-paced read. Lucy Benson is about to go on the adventure of a lifetime. Andrew Simms is looking to hire a companion for his aunt, whom he thinks is getting a might delusional. Let me tell you, Aunt Martha is not crazy and Lucy is just who she and Andrew need in their lives. All of these characters were so full of life, they jumped right off the page and into my heart.

Meeting Her Match by Mary Connealy reveals who our matchmaker is and it was a complete surprise to me. This story brings together Hannah and Marcus, former classmates who haven’t had too much to say to each other in a long time despite living in the same town. A little different than the other heroes in this novella collection, Marcus is rather shy around Hannah. That endearing trait brings about some great laughs of the good kind. Mary is a master at making me imagine that inner dialogue a character has with themselves and Michael is a hoot! But then, so is Hannah. This was a great wrap-up to my visit in Dry Gulch, Texas and I look forward to future collaborations between these authors. At least I hope they do!

I think fans of Christian historical fiction will enjoy these four stories. Not knowing who the matchmaker is brings a fun element into play and adds a nice touch of mystery. I received a copy of the book from author Karen Witemeyer and Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my review. No other compensation was received.

Purchase link for the individual e-books:
Bethany House Publishers

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Happy Resurrection Day!!!

How Great Thou Art

I used one of my son's paintings that was accepted into an art show recently as a backdrop for one of the verses from the hymn, How Great Thou Art. 

The name of the painting is 'Loss' by Coan B Payne.

The painting actually looks much better than the graphic turned out. For some reason, it depixilated (?).

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Are you posting my picture again?

Why, yes. Yes, I am. 

I never get tired of seeing these American Goldfinches. They are so pretty and vibrant!

Not much time for blogging this week. I'm keeping the grands for a couple of days. 

I hope y'all are enjoying some warm spring weather. The leaves are filling out most of the trees here and the flowers are emerging in glorious spring colors! Take some time to smell them :)

Have a blessed day in the Lord!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Palm Sunday

And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting,

All Glory Laud and Honor

Thou art the King of Israel,
Thou David’s royal Son,
Who in the Lord’s Name comest,
The King and Blessèd One.

All glory, laud and honor,
To Thee, Redeemer, King,
To Whom the lips of children
Made sweet hosannas ring.

Words: The­o­dulph of Or­le­anscir­ca 820 (Glor­ia, laus, et hon­or); 
trans­lat­ed from La­tin to Eng­lish by John M. Neale, 1851.

Have a blessed day in the Lord!


~ Britney Adams ~

You won a copy of Just 18 Summers by Rene Gutteridge and Michelle Cox!

Winner has been contacted. 
Thanks again to all who came by and left comments. 
Stay tuned for another great book giveaway coming soon. 

Have a blessed day in the Lord!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Giveaway ~ Just 18 Summers by Rene Gutteridge & Michelle Cox

About the Book

After the tragic death of Butch Browning's wife, Jenny, four families begin to realize how precious--and fleeting--their time together is. Each is at a different stage in life: Butch is facing single parenthood. The O'Reillys are expecting their first child. The Andersons are approaching an empty nest, and the Buckleys are so focused on providing their children with everything that they've forgotten what they truly need. With just eighteen summers before their children are grown, how do they make the most of that time when life so often gets in the way?As summer flies by, each of these parents must learn about guilt and grace . . . and when to hold on to their kids and when to let go.

Author Bios

Rene Gutteridge
Rene Gutteridge is the award-winning and bestselling author of
twenty-two novels,including her latest releases, Misery Loves Company (suspense), Greetings from the Flipside (comedy), and Heart of the Country (drama). Her recent suspense titles also include ListenPossession, and Escapement. She has novelized seven screenplays and movies, including two new releases due out in 2014, Just 18 Summers and Old FashionedNever the Bride, a romantic comedy with screenwriter Cheryl McKay, won the Carol Award in 2010 for best women's fiction.

Her indie film—the comedy Skid, based on her novel—is in postproduction and due to release in 2014. Rene is a creative consultant on Boo, a film based on her beloved novel series, which is in development at Sodium Entertainment with Cory Edwards attached as director and Andrea Nasfell as screenwriter. Rene is also a cowriter in a collaborative comedy project called The Last Resort with screenwriters Torry Martin and Marshal Younger.

Find Rene on Facebook and Twitter or at her website, www.renegutteridge.com.

Michelle Cox

Michelle Cox is a speaker, songwriter, conference and webinar instructor, and the author of seven books. She has been a guest on numerous radio and television programs, including Hannity, The Harvest Show and Focus on the Family. Most importantly, she’s a wife, mom to three sons, and grandmother of five perfect grandchildren. Visit her websites at 

Read Michelle's guest post here: 

Michelle Cox shares about Just 18 Summers + Giveaway

***UPDATE- I will combine the comments from BOTH posts when the giveaway is over in order to choose a winner

Tyndale House Publishers is offering one print copy to a reader of Stuff & Nonsense. You must be a follower of this blog and leave a comment below sharing about a memorable family vacation to be entered. Don't forget to leave an email address so you can be contacted if you win!
US ONLY  Ends 4/11.

Purchase link:

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Michelle Cox shares about Just 18 Summers + Giveaway

It’s a joy for me to be here with all of you today and especially with my dear friend, Anne Payne. Our friendship goes back many years, to those times when we were newly married and then when both of us had the joy of welcoming a baby into our homes. Now gray hairs and wrinkles (let’s call them character lines) have shown up and my three sons are grown—and had the nerve to get married and leave home!

Wow, the time zoomed by. And that brings me to what I want to talk about with you today. When my oldest son was a baby, an elderly couple stopped me at the mall and said, “Honey, enjoy that little one. They grow up so fast.” Turns out she was right—and now I’m that (ahem) old lady saying that to moms and dads.

That message really hit home one Sunday morning when my pastor dedicated a baby at church. As the parents turned to leave the platform, Rev. Sexton said, “Don’t forget—you have just 18 summers. Take time to make some memories!” Whew, those words slammed into me, particularly since my youngest son was getting married.

Eighteen years sounds like a long time, but we really have just 18 summers before our children leave home. Eighteen short summers to instill character and values, to make memories, to savor the sweetness of the moments.

So you’ll understand why I’m excited to tell you about the Just 18 Summers® brand of products and resources that I’m developing for parents. My Just 18 Summers novel (co-authored with Rene Gutteridge) has just released from Tyndale. It features the stories of four families at different stages of parenting. (More info is available on our website.) The book has the poignancy you’d expect but we’re hearing from our readers that they also love the unexpected discovery that it’s really funny. Just 18 Summers would make a great Mother’s Day gift!

I hope you’ll also check out our parenting blog at www.just18summers.com. We have a new post each Monday-Friday and our staff of 18 writers brings a wealth of great content ranging from home décor to recipes, craft projects to organizational tips, devotionals, object lessons, practical advice, and so much more.

The screenplay is written and we are working to raise the funding for a film. Other plans include music, a complete line of books, and other products.  

Just 18 Summers® isn't a guilt-trip. It's a gentle reminder to slow down and savor the moments, to make some memories together, and to instill character and other important traits in our children. It’s a wake-up call that our children won’t always be there, to enjoy each precious season with them—because we can't go back and rewind yesterday, no matter how much we'd like to do that.

In the words of that elderly couple from so long ago, “Enjoy that little one. They grow up so fast.” How many summers do YOU have left, and what are you going to do with them?

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Thanks, Michelle, for sharing about this fabulous project you've been working on. I've been to the website and oh my, it is fabulous! I hope y'all will visit soon. Be sure and have a large cup of your favorite beverage on hand because there's lots to discover, both for parents AND grandparents.

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Tyndale House Publishers is offering a print copy of Just 18 Summers to one of my blog readers. You must leave a comment for Michelle below. "Please enter me" won't get you entered. US ONLY!!! Ends April 11.

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Journal 52 {slightly} Out of Order

Becoming completely stumped by one of the Journal 52 prompts, I had a tough time getting back into the challenge. Finally, after much encouragement from the group and my friend Pat, I have completed a few more pages. 

This prompt is actually from Week 8: Found Poetry, which means that I am doing them out of order but at least I am doing them ;)

This one came together in a snap. It must been because I love finding poetry! I did not prep my page with Gesso. I used watercolor paints straight onto the watercolor paper, mostly Cerulean Blue with a tad bit of Green Light for some faint highlights. 

- not sure why this photo has a greenish tint - 
I also painted over the water areas on the map page that I cut out of an old 1957 National Geographic, shaking it a bit to give it the run look. Not caring that the adhesive bubbled was fine because it adds texture and dimension to the water, as well. 

Using my fingertip, I smeared a little Gesso around the edges to give it a softer, cloudy feel. It just looked harsh without it. 

So there's my Week 8: Found Poetry.

I think I have three more weeks completed but need to edit my pictures.  I do hope you're having some fun crafting or painting or whatever creative outlet you enjoy.  

It's a gorgeous time of year to start gardening, too. Pat is giving me some strawberry plants this week, so you might end up seeing how I decide to plant them this year. Pinterest is great for getting new ideas. 

Have a blessed day in the Lord!