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"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house." Matthew 5:14-15

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it." Matthew 13:45-46

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Plant - Word Nerd Blog Hop

As I considered what to blog about this week in regard to the word plant, I was faced with several different ways to look at this word. Of course there is the traditional saying - "Bloom where you are planted." And there is also the possibility of exploring the whole concept of planting and harvesting. Honestly, I had thought about looking at the word from that angle.

But then... God showed me a different aspect. And no I'm not going to get into all the scientific terms and processes. Let's look at a few things together.

Seed - The nugget, or kernel of information needed to make a plant.

Seedling - A plant that is just beginning to grow and form.

Plant - A fully mature plant.

If you had to pick one of these to represent your Christian walk, which would it be?

Another thing to contemplate with planting are the things that plants need.

Sunshine - Are you allowing the 'Son' to work in your life?

Water - Are you sharing your 'showers of blessings', giving praise to God?

Good Soil - Are you rooted in God's Word?

Fertilizer - Do you have fellowship with other believers?

Which of these do you need to further develop in your life?

How do you look at the word 'plant'?

The 500 Hats of a Modern-Day Woman by Joyce K. Ellis

Joyce Ellis' The 500 Hats of a Modern-Day Woman explores the many roles that women find themselves in each day - a woman, a wife, a mother, a working woman, a daughter, part of God's family, a servant, an adventurer, and a growing older woman.

Each chapter delves into the various roles that women experience and provides a Biblical view of the responsibilities associated with each. This book provides fresh perspective on the thought that it's okay to say no to some things. What is most important is knowing the positions where God desires for us to serve and being faithful to them.

This quote from Ellis sums it up - "And if we quit panicking and fretting about how we're going to get everything done and trust Him for His ultimate purpose for our lives, He'll show us how to wear all our hats - at the right times - with style."

This book was provided free for review by Encourage Communications.

Book Info
About the book: Strength for Today's Demanding Roles
In The 500 Hats of a Modern-Day Woman you'll find strength, purpose, and perspective to balance your many roles-and gain insight into the roles of women around you. With honesty, humor, and practicality, Joyce Ellis helps you see how your roles can fit together to make a difference in your world. Questions for reflection or discussion at the end of each chapter make this book suitable for book clubs and small-group Bible studies as well.

Purchase a copy: 

About the Author: Joyce K. Ellis, award-winning author of more than a dozen books, speaks for women's groups and retreats across the country and internationally. She and her husband enjoy reading by lakes and rivers and oceans, and spending time with their grown children and delightful, too-quickly-growing grandchildren. They live in suburban Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Learn more about Joyce at:
In Joyce K. EllisThe 500 Hats of a Modern-Day Woman you’ll find strength, purpose, and perspective to balance your many roles—and gain insight into the roles of women around you.

Want a helper for your modern-day journey? Enter to win a Kindle Fire in Joyce's "500 Hats" giveaway!

  One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • The 500 Hats of a Modern-Day Woman by Joyce K. Ellis
  • A Modern-Day woman kit (T-shirt and hat)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 30th. Winner will be announced April 1st on the Litfuse blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by the Litfuse blog on April 1st to see if you won.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Frame - Word Nerd Blog Hop

A picture is worth a thousand words.... or so goes the saying. I imagine your home is much like mine - photo-filled frames of loved ones. Perhaps friends grace those frames as well. I would hazard a guess that the people gracing your walls are ones that are special to you - ones you hold dear.

Even though my photos aren't gracing the walls right now because of a bathroom renovation, one of the ones I hold dear are photos from when our first son was born. I'm especially thinking of him today since it's his 23rd birthday.

What kind of memories do you recall when you glance at the photos on your walls?

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Are You Looking for a Sign Post? - Word Nerd Blog Hop

When I considered what to write about for this week using the word 'sign', my first thought went to the verse....

"Today a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord, was born for you in the city of David. This will be the sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in cloth and lying in a feeding trough.” Luke 2:11-12

But then I thought further, especially as we enter the Lenten season - the time where we remember what Christ did for us on the cross, I thought about the different sign posts God places in our lives. Now they aren't physical ones that you can see. Often they are nudges by the Holy Spirit, directing us which way to go.

The thing is though, you have to be close to the Heavenly Father in order to recognize those signs. Sometimes they may be a flashing red light warning us to stop. Yellow to proceed with caution. Every once in a while we get a green light, saying something similar to the promise God gave in the Old Testament.

"...if you obey all I command you, walk in My ways, and do what is right in My sight in order to keep My statutes and My commands as My servant David did, I will be with you." 1 Kings 11:38

How are you doing with walking in God's ways? Are you following the sign posts He's left for you in His Word?

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Where Courage Calls by Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan

Where Courage Calls marks the return of bestselling author Janette Oke to the fiction world. I haven't been able to watch, but apparently the book is a companion to the When Calls the Heart Hallmark Channel's TV series.

Beth Thatcher decides to leave the safety of her home and family in Toronto to travel to the rugged foothills of western Canada to teach in a coal mining town. She isn't prepared for the conditions that face her when she arrives to the new destination.

In addition to all her struggles, Beth is divided between two Mounties vying for her attention - one is a lifelong friend and the other seems to come to her rescue whenever she needs someone the most. What will her heart decide?

I found Where Courage Calls to be a delightful read. After reading all of Janette Oke's prior books, I welcomed the opportunity to review her new endeavor.

This book was provided free for review by Bethany House Publishers.

Book Info
About the book: Her courage and her heart will be tested in ways she never expected . . .

Beth Thatcher has spent her entire life in the safe, comfortable world of her family, her friends, and the social outings her father's wealth provides. But Beth is about to leave it all behind to accept a teaching position in the rugged foothills of western Canada. Inspired by her aunt Elizabeth, who went west to teach school several years ago, and gently encouraged by her father, Beth resolves to put her trust in God and bravely face any challenge that comes her way.

But the conditions in Coal Valley are even worse than she'd feared. A recent mining accident has left the town grieving and at the mercy of the mining company. The children have had very little prior education, and many of the locals don't even speak English. There isn't even a proper schoolhouse. In addition, Beth's heart is torn between two young men---both Mounties, one a lifelong friend and the other a kind, quiet man who comes to her aid more than once.

Despite the many challenges, Beth is determined to make a difference in the rustic frontier town. But when her sister visits from the East, reminding her of all the luxuries she's had to give up, will Beth decide to return to her privileged life as soon as the school year is over?

Purchase a copy and read an excerpt:

About the Authors: 

Janette Oke Celebrated for her significant contribution to the Christian book industry, Janette Oke is the recipient of numerous awards. Her novels have sold more than 30 million copies and are beloved by readers around the world. Janette lives with her husband, Edward, in Alberta, Canada.

Laurel Oke Logan is the daughter of Edward and Janette Oke, is the author of "Janette Oke: A Heart for the Prairie," as well as the novel "Dana's Valley," which she co-wrote with her mom. Laurel and her husband have six children and two sons-in-law and live near Indianapolis, Indiana.

Janette Oke's newest book, Where Courage Calls (co-written with her daughter, Laurel Oke Logan), is receiving rave reviews. It is the companion story to Hallmark Channel's TV series When Calls the Heart, set in the Canadian west.

Janette and Laurel are celebrating with an iPad Mini giveaway and a Facebook author chat party on March 4th.
One winner will receive:
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 4th. Winner will be announced at the Where Courage Calls Facebook Party on March 4th. Connect with Janette and Laurel for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more!

So grab your copy of Where Courage Calls and join Janette and Laurel on the evening of March 4th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by clicking JOIN on the event page. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 4th!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Tool - Word Nerd Blog Hop

For as the body is one and has many parts, and all the parts of that body, though many, are one body—so also is Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. So the body is not one part but many. If the foot should say, “Because I’m not a hand, I don’t belong to the body,” in spite of this it still belongs to the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I’m not an eye, I don’t belong to the body,” in spite of this it still belongs to the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But now God has placed each one of the parts in one body just as He wanted. And if they were all the same part, where would the body be?  Now there are many parts, yet one body. 1 Corinthians 12:12-18

There are many tools in a tool box - screwdrivers, hammer, pliers, wrenches, etc. My husband would be much better at identifying all the tools than I am. :) But each of these devices has a particular job that they perform. You wouldn't use a hammer to screw or a pliers to hammer a nail.

In the same way, God has a specific job that only you can do. You are one of the tools in God's toolbox. Each instrument is needed. Neither is better than the other. It takes all of us working together to do the work that He has for us. But you have to get out of the toolbox to do the job that God has given you.

What tool are you? Are you still lying in the toolbox, or are you using the gifts that God gave you to reach others with the Good News of Christ?

Monday, February 24, 2014

A Little Bit of Spice

Last night I browned chicken breasts in the frying pan. I was making chicken fried rice - a box mix. :) As the chicken cooked, it smelled good. But it wasn't until I added just a little bit of spice that a wonderful aroma emanated from the pan.

It made me wonder, how many times do I go through life, just browning in the pan? What would happen if each day I invited the Holy Spirit to add that spice to me and my witness? Is it evident in my life that I've been spending time with the Lord? How am I doing with examining my life to see areas where I need to be changed?

Tenderized meat isn't good until it is beaten and the fibers are broken. How often do I allow the Lord to work in me, ridding the parts that don't edify Him?

When's the last time God poured on a little bit of spice on you?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Exotic - Word Nerd Blog Hop

I've never lived in an exotic place. Most think of somewhere warm and tropical when you mention the word exotic. The closest I came to exotic was when my husband and I went on a missions trip to Alaska and saw the beauty of this northern state. Another time was when we were stationed in Germany and had the opportunity to visit the Alps in the winter.

I think for me, exotic is the beauty of a fresh snow covering the lawn and branches. Exotic is when the snow glimmers and glistens like a bed of diamonds twinkling.

What does exotic mean to you?

Thursday, February 13, 2014

When's the Last Time You Allowed God to Clean the Glass? - Word Nerd Blog Hop

Over the weekend we traveled to Virginia to visit my in-laws. On our way back home on Sunday evening, we ran into snow most of the two hour stretch. The roads had been treated and each time moisture splashed onto the windows, they were coated with a thick sludge.

Yesterday when I ran some errands I noticed that the van and windows were still splashed with the grayish-white substance they coat the roads with when they anticipate bad weather. You could see a distinct line on the front windshield where the glass had been cleaned. The side windows were still coated, making it difficult to see out.

As I saw the smeary mess, I couldn't help but think about my own life. How often do I try to clean the windows of my heart by myself and instead end up with a complete mess. What if instead of trying to fix things with my own limited skills, I went to God and allowed Him to make things sparkling and clean again.

What's the condition of the glass in the window of your heart? Is it glistening and gleaming, washed clean, or is it filled with dirt smudges?

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Construction - Word Nerd Blog Hop

I did a quick search of the word 'build' on and came up with 226 references. Here are two that are the most significant to me.

Unless the Lord builds a house,
its builders labor over it in vain;
unless the Lord watches over a city,
the watchman stays alert in vain.
In vain you get up early and stay up late,
working hard to have enough food—
yes, He gives sleep to the one He loves.

Psalm 127:1-2

How are you doing with allowing the Lord to build your house?

Every wise woman builds her house,
but a foolish one tears it down with her own hands.

Proverbs 14:1

Are you a wise woman or a foolish one?

How goes the construction of your house? Are you trying to be in charge or are you allowing God to have the reins?