Thursday, February 23, 2012

Enemies of the Heart

Enemies of the Heart

Breaking Free from the Four Emotions That Control You

Written by Andy Stanley

Break free from the destructive power of guilt, anger, greed, and jealousy.

Divorce. Job loss. Estrangement from family members. Broken friendships.

The difficult circumstances you are dealing with today are likely being fed by one of four emotional forces that compels you to act in undesirable ways, sometimes even against your will.

Andy Stanley explores each of these destructive forces—guilt, anger, greed, and jealousy—and how they infiltrate your life and damage your relationships. He says that, left unchallenged they have the power to destroy your home, your career, and your friendships.

In Enemies of the Heart, Andy offers practical, biblical direction to help you fight back, to take charge of those feelings that mysteriously control you, and to restore your broken relationships.

Includes a six-week discussion guide—a valuable resource for small groups!

Previously released as It Came from Within

My review:
Andy Stanley is a great speaker and he's a great writer. His writing (like his preaching style) is laid back and easy to understand. He tackles the tough topics - not just a portion of the gospel, but the whole gospel. This book is good for anyone to read, whether they are looking for a biblical approach to the enemies of the heart or not. While I was reading, I kept thinking of people who could benefit from this book (when, in fact, I was benefiting!)

I highly recommend this book to anyone. (I highly recommend Andy Stanley to anyone.) 

Thank you, Waterbrook and Andy Stanley for providing me with a free review copy in exchange for my review. It was such a great book!
Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Darkly Hidden Truth

A Darkly Hidden Truth
The Monastery Murders, Book 2
Donna Fletcher Crow

Felicity has decided to become a nun. She departs to visit convents in spite of her mother's imminent arrival and Fr. Anselm's request that she and Fr. Antony recover a missing priceless Russian icon before the Patriarch of Moscow arrives at the community for Holy Week.

Felicity's discernment journey takes her to Rempstone, Norwich, London, and Walsingham, but her discovery of a friend's murdered body in a shallow grave, the disappearance of more icons, the shooting of a London art expert just after she visits him, the disappearance of Antony, and finally the abduction of Felicity and her mother teach her far more about motherhood, life, and love than she could learn in any convent retreat.

Breathtaking chase scenes, mystical worship services, dashes through remote water-logged landscapes, the wisdom of ancient holy women, and the arcane rites of The Knights of St. John of Malta keep the pages turning. And will Felicity choose the veil--or Antony?

About the Author: Donna Fletcher Crow is author of more than thirty-five novels. She has twice won first place in the Historical Fiction category from the National Association of Press Women, and has also been a finalist for "Best Inspirational Novel" from the Romance Writers of America. She is a member of The Arts Centre Group, and Sisters in Crime.

This is my first time to read a book by Donna Fletcher Crow. I really enjoyed it! It's suspenseful and fast moving - two things I require from a novel. (Well, let me not forget entertaining!) I will have to check out some of her other books. She has quite a few. How have I missed reading her books?

Thank you Kregel Publications and Ms. Crow for the opportunity to review this book for free!

1 Peter - It's all about community

It's all about community!    

Tender Scar 3340
(From Kregel and/or Sue Edwards) We have reached our sixth week of study already! I'm encouraged by how much we've learned about our priestly calling, about the Holy Spirit, about how to have a luminous faith. And I'm refreshed by the fun we've had too. I don't know if any other study has ever given me the chance to talk about chocolate, beauty, AND men :-).

This week we discuss what we all want during troubling times: PEACE. In the introduction to this week, Sue says, "If we are to survive in hostile times, we must learn to get along and to love one another as brothers and sisters in the family of God." I don't know about you, but I don't always find this easy. I'm looking forward to the challenge of pursuing peace this week!

Week 6 Instructions
What does the word harmony mean to you? Whether it is at home, work, or church, what is a practical example of how you have embraced harmony in your own life?

Harmony to me is everything working together, without strife or complaining. It's when you each work together (whether at home, work, church) with a common goal in mind. Like - Saturday morning is cleaning day. You know it's cleaning day, so you each go about your tasks - without grumbling - and work together to get the house cleaned up for the week. (Ok, this doesn't happen in my house, but I think it's good example of harmony!)

I feel a sense of harmony when we have worship services on Sunday. We're all there to worship the Lord, praise Him and hear from Him. (While there may be grumbling at some point, it's not during the service.) It's harmonious.

I have been enjoying this study and this blog tour. We're almost done!

Thank you Kregel Publications and Sue Edwards for allowing me to participate in this blog tour!
Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Picture from
One of the best things about online shopping is that items appear to become less and less expensive as the options are broader and broader! Look at this site I have just discovered (with $2 shipping no less): is the online shopping destination for those who want quality brand named apparel and accessories for up to 90% off retail! They offer a variety of amazing authentic designer merchandise, fantastic products and cool trendy items through exciting short term daily deals.

nomorerack loves an amazing sale and so do I! Their goes is to keep prices low. Their whole team works together to make sure that every product matches the highest quality and style standards possible. By finding the best product sources and minimizing overhead, they pass these great savings on to their customers!
Monday, February 13, 2012

1 Peter - Week 5

Strengthen the Sacred Mix!  

Tender Scar 3340

Week 5
What are the two qualities that Peter instructs women to emulate? Illustrate how you or someone you love embodies those qualities. 1 Peter 3

Peter instructs women to emulate purity and reverence. Your beauty comes from the inside - not from being adorned on the outside. The unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit is of great worth in God's sight.

I have tried to put this instruction to use, especially around people who aren't Christians. God desires people to be won over without words but by my behavior. I have a tendency to put things out there in my own way and those ways don't always show who my heart belongs to - the King of kings and Lord of lords. I'm grateful that we have gracious Father whose grace and mercy extends to all of us, especially when there is just too much of me!

Father, more of You and less of me.

Thank you Kregel Publications and Sue Edwards for allowing me to participate in this blog tour!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Smart Purchases

Smart Purchases
Authored by Rickey Combs

My husband is the kind of guy who researches everything we buy. Sometimes I find it really annoying, but I know he does it with our family’s best interest in mind. He wants to make sure we get the best product for our money, since there isn’t a lot of it to go around. I just don’t always believe that customer reviews and consumer reports are that accurate. We have bought some things that come highly recommended that I don’t think are great products. The last thing he looked into was home alarm systems. He spent all this time looking for the right one at the right price, and then the one we got had so many problems. The alarm would go off all the time when no one was home, and no one was trying to rob our house. The noise was so loud, that all of our neighbors started to hate us. We signed a year long contract with the company, so it took us forever to get out of it. The one good thing that came of the whole ordeal is that my husband has started listening to me more when choosing what to purchase. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

February is Library Lovers Month

February is Library Lovers Month (Guest Post)
Picture courtesy of The Best of Times
At Home in the Library
By Gerry Wakeland
If you asked me to describe my dream home, without pause I'd respond, "My dream home would be an old vacant library where I would remove all the fixtures except the bathroom and the bookshelves and then I'd move my bed and desk into the center and start filling the shelves with my books." At which point you would stare at me quizzically.
My love affair with books and the library began as a child and continues to this very day. I remember as an elementary student begging my mother to take me to the library. She'd pull up to the curb in front and let me out, reminding me she would be back in an hour. Every time, I'd race up three sets of steps, fling open the double doors, run inside and stop. I would stand perfectly still and inhale the fragrance of the books. True love.
The library was my refuge. It provided a safe and silent haven from the noise and chaos of my home. But more than that, it opened doors for me, doors to the past, doors to the future, doors of adventure, and doors of romance, most importantly doors of wisdom.
I learned so much at the library. I learned that as a woman I could be brave and bold like Amelia Earhart or save lives like Florence Nightingale or Clara Barton. I could write poetry like Elizabeth Barrett Browning or books like Jane Austen. The library gave me hope!
Over the years I have continued to be a library patron. Sometimes I take my laptop and head to the library to work on a project. With the world at my fingertips, both digitally and in hard copy, I can research any topic to my heart’s content. Hardly a Saturday goes by that you cannot find me at some point in the day at the local library, perusing the new arrivals for the week.
Or sometimes I just sit quietly in one of the easy chairs wishing that the books could talk and wondering what they would say if they could tell the stories behind the stories.
I may never have the unusual, almost bizarre, home of my dreams. But the library is still my refuge, affording me a place that’s safe and silent, where dreams are born and hope exists.
Gerry Wakeland is the President and CEO of CLASSEMINARS, Inc. She loves helping Christian communicators identify their passion, clarify their vision and define their mission so that they can articulate God’s message effectively. Gerry is the mother of two grown daughters and grandmother to three precious grandsons. She makes her home in the land of enchantment, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Her favorite pastime is reading and one of her favorite places is the public library. In March, the CLASS website will release news of the 2012 Christian Writers Conference: Come meet Gerry and the rest of the CLASS faculty there!
Wednesday, February 8, 2012

February 9th is Read in the Bathtub Day!

February 9th is "Read in the Bathtub" Day 
(Guest Post) 
Take a Break
By Linda Gilden
I held the dripping book by one corner. Water poured from between its pages. How could that have happened? Until this moment I had never even gotten a cover wet.
For years the bathtub has provided my favorite literary getaway. Preparation for bath time means gathering the essentials: a glass of cold water, one towel for drying, a small one for drying hands occasionally, a flashlight, eyeglasses (a fairly recent addition to the list), and a good book.
You may not be a bathtub reader but finding a daily time for yourself is important and reading enhances that special, individual time. Making the effort to have personal time each day has great benefits.
  1. Keeps you grounded. The best way to start every day is with a personal time of devotion. Making a connection with God when you first get up gives you a solid foundation for the day. This time may include Bible reading, your favorite devotional book, and a time of meditation and prayer. 
  2. Recharges your “batteries.” We were not created to go and go and go. We need a break. Life is busy if not frantic for most of us and burnout lurks just around the corner. A few minutes away from the family, workplace, and the demands that go along with them gives you new strength, energy, and perspective to face your day.
  3.  Provides a time for enjoyment. Everyone needs to have a little fun every day. Reading is one of my favorite pastimes. So relaxing with a good book, whether in the bathtub, under a tree, or wrapped in a blanket in the recliner gives me a few minutes of enjoyment and entertainment.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
Linda Gilden is an author, speaker, editor, and writing coach. She has written hundreds of articles as well as the Love Notes series, Mommy Pick-Me-Ups, and has ghostwritten or contributed to over three dozen books. Directing the CLASS Christian Writers Conference in Abiquiu, NM, she encourages others to clearly communicate God’s love to the world. Linda lives in SC with her family – a great source of speaking and writing material!
In March, the CLASS website will release news of the 2012 Christian Writers Conference: Come meet Linda and the rest of the CLASS faculty there!

Picture courtesy of Days of the Year.
Sunday, February 5, 2012

Alabama Disaster Relief - Blogging Program

What an incredible opportunity I have been given to help with the tornado relief. If you blog, you have the same opportunity! You only need submit a blog post about the recent tornadoes in Alabama and submit the post to A $25.00 donation will be made to disaster relief. So, come on people, let's write!

I cannot believe that in less than 9 months, parts of Alabama have been devastated by tornados. It's not even "far away" places, but places right around the corner from where I live and work. Places that I have visited and where friends live. One of the scariest aspects of a tornado is it seems to come out of nowhere. Sorta like an earthquake (been through that too). You cannot plan or prepare for the tornado days in advance like you can with a hurricane or snow storm.

So, what can I do to help these people whose homes have been destroyed by the tornados? Well, this is one way....donating money (by blogging no less) to a reputable organization. Christian Service Mission has a huge warehouse and they accept everything from groceries to building supplies. So, in addition to financial support, clean out your closet and donate your new to gently used clothes or household goods. Now, if you think it's trash, then it is trash. Don't donate it! (I helped sort donations after the April tornados and it changed my thoughts on what I will donate.) Do you like to get your hands dirty? Donate your time to cleanup efforts or rebuilding. Cannot do any of those things? PRAY!!

Married Mom, Solo Parent

Married Mom, Solo Parent
Finding God's Strength to Face the Challenge

Bookstore shelves are full of parenting resources for moms who are newly divorced or widowed. But where do moms turn if they feel like a single parent--but they’re not? Whether he is away on business, deployed in the military, or obsessing over a computer game, dad may not be available for a variety of reasons. Moms who parent in this situation still need help and don’t necessarily relate to the advice given in divorce recovery or single parenting resources.

Married Mom, Solo Parent is a common-sense, down-to-earth look at the struggles wives and mothers face when their husband is not actively involved in family life. Writing from her own experience as a married single mom, Carla Anne Coroy will help wives and mothers sort through their questions, such as: Can I do this alone? How do I raise kids to honor their father? How do I give my children a healthy perspective of marriage if they never see one in action? With practical suggestions, anecdotes, and biblical teaching, this book will encourage moms to see their position as a high calling, to find healing for their worries and frustrations, and to tap into God’s strength for help in facing the daily challenge of being a married mom, solo parent.

Short Biography: Carla Anne Coroy has served full-time with organizations such as Youth for Christ and Crown Financial Ministries, and is currently developing an international mentoring organization for youth and a ministry to wives who parent alone. She runs the Married Single Mom blog at She speaks regularly and serves as a staff writer for an online Christian women’s magazine Mentoring Moments for Christian Women. Carla Anne lives in Canada with her husband and four homeschooled children.

My review:
I appreciate someone acknowledging the fact that many moms are married, yet parenting solo. When my girls were little, their dad was first in the Air Force and traveled constantly and then he had a contractor job and was gone for long stretches of time. It was always a struggle when he was gone and then when he returned. If you are a married mom but parenting solo, then I would highly recommend this book for you. You are not alone!

Thank you Kregel and Carla Anne for the free review copy and the privilege of writing a review.

1Peter, weeks 3 and 4

Week 3 of 1 Peter, Finding Encouragement in Troubling Times
by Sue Edwards

I have been working through 1 Peter study. This post will incorporate weeks 3 and 4. (I have trouble blogging on my iPad and I haven't had time while at work computer (off-clock) so I'm a little behind.

Week 3 is based on 1 Peter 2:4-10, Rejoice the You Rock.

The ministry I have been called to do is women's ministry. Women's ministry is such a broad ministry that I am constantly asking God to help define and refine what He desires for me to do. By His grace, I am part of the United Methodist Women, Sunday school class, small group studies. Recently, a door has been opened for me to be a part of a human trafficking ministry. Seems God is opening the door a little wider!

Ms. Sue also asked if we had any special nicknames. Besides the ones of Mom or Mommy, I am sometimes referenced as the energizer bunny. This one cracks me up because I love to nap but I guess I'm seen differently.

Week 4
Shadow the Servant
1 Peter 2:11-25
This is a harder lesson to blog about. It's a lesson on how we are supposed to live, all to the glory of God - not because of how we think we should live.

I worked with a precious woman of God a while back. The people she worked with directly did not act like godly people. She was accused of wrongdoing on a continual basis. The thing was - she always talked about how blessed she was and how God was in control. She didn't bad mouth or slander her boss(es) or fellow coworkers who were also not godly. She and I prayed together and encouraged each other, so I was more in the know than most. However, even on her worst day, you would not know how bad things were. She also did her job to the best of her ability and to God's glory. I think of her example of godliness when I am having a rough day. Unfortunately, I do not think I handle myself as well as she did. Thankfully, the grace of God carries me!

Follow along - Week 1

Thank you Kregel Publications and Sue Edwards for the opportunity to participate in this review and study process of this book!