Wednesday, June 21, 2017
I have always enjoyed Terri Wangard's books. Possibly because I love well-written historical fiction, but also because this lady obviously loves to write. The research and story development of Soar Like Eagles makes it a pleasure to read.
Carol Doucet has volunteered with the Red Cross to cook and serve donuts to the soldiers serving during World War II. She wants to be where that little dose of encouragement is most needed, and she gets her wish. Bombs and rifle fire and anti-aircraft guns all but leave her deaf, but still she and her crew must smile and lift the spirits of the men in uniform.
Chet Vogel is a navigator on a B-17. He briefly meets Carol first in America, then England. He battles the same fear most of the flyboys do: Being shot down and having to parachute over Germany--plus his father's voice in his head constantly reminding him he'll never amount to anything.
Despite her best efforts, they connect. She doesn't want a war romance, knowing how many of the men don't return. Besides, some of her friends had married soldiers with disastrous results once they really got to know each other. That wasn't for her. But Chet--well, she's afraid her resolve might weaken, so she volunteers to go into France. Besides, she'd like to see where her ancestors came from.
If she and Chet are meant to be together, somehow, sometime they'll meet again.
She wasn't considering that in wartime "somehow, sometime" can happen in unexpected, hazardous, and disastrous ways. Find out how by buying the book at Amazon.
I received a free copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.
Monday, June 19, 2017
Do not rejoice over me, my enemy; When I fall, I will arise; When I sit in darkness, The Lord will be a light to me. Micah 7:8, NKJV.
Many of us have been there, right? Maybe not only in the race but out in front when suddenly the slippery slope trips us, and down we go, face first into the mud. Other racers dash past without so much as a pitying glance.
Who's our enemy? No, not those who ran past me without offering a hand up. Not the mud. Not the race.
Sometimes I think I'm my own worst enemy. I wallow in guilt long after God has forgiven me. I wish for things to be as they once were, knowing that's impossible. I want more than the bank account will afford. That's human nature, I guess.
But don't gloat, enemy. God still loves me and will lift me to my feet again. I might be wallowing this month, but God will lift me! God is my Provider, not my bank account. God is my forgiver, not you and certainly not me. And things will never be as they were--but with God they can be even better.
Lord, while I am yet in the mud I give you thanks for always being there and being the lifter of my head. You will always win. For Jesus's glory and pleasure and in His name, amen.
Saturday, June 17, 2017
Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:9-11, NKJV
It seems like about once a year, a pastor stands up and gives the old stewardship sermon. Why? Don't they know it just turns people off? Everybody knows it's just a plea to get more money for the pastor's salary, right?
Okay, so here I am, preaching one more little bit about being good stewards. I hope that doesn't mean that none of you will read my blog anymore!👀
When you get to heaven, do you want the Lord to greet you with, "Well done, you good and faithful servant," or "Did you serve or not?"
Many churches these days are struggling. Old churches have termite damage, rotting timbers, cracked windows and not enough money to fix anything. However, at home, we also have financial woes. Would it be right to put the church building ahead of our own houses?
Next week I'm going to tackle our church. (No, I'm not the pastor. I'm just one of the congregation who occasionally gets to step up to the pulpit when the pastor is absent.) It doesn't take new glasses to notice we have some building maintenance needs. So I'm going to ask people to up their monthly giving. Not by a lot; no, by just a little--because if everyone would give an extra dollar or ten per week our shortfall would go away.
Most churches put funds into categories like maintenance and ministries and utilities and youth ministry. Normally, they won't take money intended to paint the church and put it towards utilities. It's as though they are separate accounts with separate checkbooks. So...if you want to make sure your money goes to a specific need, write that project on your check. The treasurer will make sure that check you wrote goes there.
It doesn't take a lot, but surely you can forego that Starbucks cuppa once a week and give it where it won't put an extra inch around your middle. And if you truly cannot afford an extra dollar--maybe volunteer to mow the lawn or pick up a paintbrush. For the love of God (literally), do something.
So...you have your assignment. God bless you and Amen.
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
One of the last reviews I wrote had a comment on it that I'd failed to say what I thought about the book. Well, let me say this: Third Strand of the Cord is definitely one of the best-written Christian romances I've read.
What could be more compelling? A Down's Syndrome six-year-old boy, the determined mother trying to protect her son from prejudice, from stereotyping, and from his own father (her ex)--and from Trent's impulsive, aggressive, and mischievous behavior. On the strong recommendation from his occupational therapist, she enrolls him in a Karate class. Even though she doesn't understand how teaching a child to fight will help.
Lee Marivaux is the instructor, a Cajun with a knack with kids. Caroline isn't even sure her developmentally behind son understands anything she says, but for some reason, he understands the new instructor and, more miraculously, obeys him.
You have probably guessed that Caroline and Lee are the two afore-mentioned romance's proponents. The ex is the evil antagonist. Not to mention you will want to on occasion, shake both Caroline and Lee from their stubborn refusal to see what's right in front of them--so you might say that on occasion first one and then the other is also an antagonist.
This delightful, suspenseful, marvelous book is available from both Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and I'm betting it's on a bunch of bookshelves.
I received a copy of Third Strand of the Cord from the author in return for an honest review.
Monday, June 12, 2017
Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. John 15:13-15, NKJV.
What a precious thing, that Jesus called His disciples "friends." Did they realize the King of Kings had bestowed a wondrous honor on them? I wonder, because so many other things seemed to fly by them--in one ear and out the other. It wouldn't be long, though, until He proved His love for them and they realized what He meant. He said these words at the last supper.
He also extends that gift to us, you know--to be His friends. It isn't something we have to earn. It's His gift that He offers to us.
I love being His friend. I hope I never again betray His friendship as I have in the past. I want to only give Him honor, now and for the rest of my life and beyond.
So...how about you? Would you love the privilege of being His friend, doing what He challenges you to do, following the path He sets in front of you? His paths may not be easy, but every rock in it is a blessing.
Lord, I know nothing I've ever done would be deserving to be a friend of the King of Kings. It never ceases to amaze me and filled me with wonder that You would choose friendship with me. Thank You for the grace You extended. I love You, Lord. Amen.
Saturday, June 10, 2017
But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! 2 Timothy 3:1-5.
Hubby and I were driving around the ranch one day when I spotted a tall plant in the ditch alongside the road with beautiful, pale yellow flowers. We went back to the house and I got my camera. I had to know what it was. Maybe I could dig it up and replant it in our flower garden. Or at least get some seeds. Fortunately, wisdom reigned for once.
I searched through gardening books. Went online with a picture. Finally found it. Whew! So glad I didn't plant it in my yard! It was a noxious weed that loved water. It was actually considered a water garden flower in some southeastern states, but here in the north central California valley where rice farms cover the landscape, definitely not so desirable! Once it gets started, it's extremely hard to eradicate.
Sometimes deceptions sneak into our lives in much the same way. They're pretty to look at, sound convincing, and are lots easier to live with than the principles in the Bible. How has our world (and even our churches) come to be convinced that adultery, lying, killing, and umpty-ump other things are acceptable in certain instances?
Weeds are like that. In certain instances they look pretty, but like noxious weeds they are, they choke out the grass, flowers, and even sometimes trees. For instance, we planted a half-dozen violet plants in the flowerbed. In a few years, the violets took over the flowerbeds, grass, and herb garden.
What weeds are you allowing in your garden because they look good?
Lord, please reveal every weed in our lives and help us get rid of them! For Jesus's sake and in His name, amen.
Thursday, June 8, 2017
I have always loved good Biblical fiction--and this one is definitely good!
The tribe of Ephraim (one of the half-tribes of Rachel's older son, Joseph) had developed a curious custom in the days following their settling in the Promised Land. The young women of marriageable age would perform a somewhat enticing dance for the eligible bachelors. Well, just a little before that, the whole of the Israelite nation declared war on the Benjaminites, killing every man, woman, and child they found in Gibeah in revenge for a brutal rape and murder of a priest's betrothed. Many men were left in the tribe, but not many women. Unless the Benjaminites could find wives, the tribe would die out. Families in Judah were forbidden to give their daughters to them. What was left for them to do? Kidnapping.
Which begins Naomi's story. She didn't like the dancing custom, but her friend Cuzbi, a less-than-beautiful girl, wanted to dance next to Naomi. Naomi's beauty might draw attention to Cuzbi. Cuzbi and Naomi were both selected, all right; just not as they hoped. Several Benjaminites raided their village, taking several of the virgins captive. Eliab took Naomi, and his brother took Cuzbi. Another brother selected Jael.
The captors with their new brides-to-be rode their mules hard for their land, east of Gibeah. Naomi was sure her father, brother, and many other men would surely follow to rescue them. Something odd happened, though. In fact, several odd things.
You might want to grab a copy. Definitely worth the price. Available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
I received a copy of this book from the author free in return for an honest review.