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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

Friday, September 28, 2012

To the Ends of the Earth

 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:7-8

This scripture was used in a recent Our Daily Bread devotion. It may have even been this morning, I can't remember for sure. But as I read it, I was struck by it. With the advent of our current technology, we are able to reach the ends of the earth with the things we write.
 
I'm particularly aware of this with writing a blog. I can check the stats on my account. It's been amazing to see where I get hits. People from all over the world, in various countries, and also places in the United States, towns, cities, and out lying areas. Somehow they each have stumbled upon my blog, and the words that I have written. My prayer is for my words to somehow touch hearts, not because of me, but because of my Heavenly Father. He is my reason for existence.

Thank you for chosing to read the words I write. May they be a blessing to you, and help you on your journey of growing closer to the Lord.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

When Hope Blossoms by Kim Vogel Sawyer

I was swept away as I began When Hope Blossoms by Kim Vogel Sawyer. I entered the world of young Old Order Mennonite widow Amy Knackstedt, trying to raise three young children on her own. The family settles down in a new town, hoping to get over the pain and loss of the husband and father.

Tim Roper, their nearest neighbor, doesn't want any reminders of the faith that he left many years ago. Nor does he want to be attached to anyone after the loss of his wife and son, but the neighbor children have found a way of sneaking into his heart. Will he be able to find a way to come to grips with his past, or forever remain alone?

This book moved me to tears and laughter. Kim has a unique way of weaving words that touch the hearts of her readers. I highly recommend reading this book.

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

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Keeping Up Appearances

The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7

I've been thinking a lot lately about this concept. Sometimes, even as Christians we struggle with looking good on the outside, or keeping up appearances. We can look great in what others physically see, but be a complete mess inside, in our hearts. Maybe our lives are filled with turmoil or strife and it splashes out onto those we meet or come in contact. Or perhaps we lash out, but then make excuses or justify our responses instead of choosing to be humble and accept ownership to how we acted.

The Lord never promised that we would have an easy road ahead of us as we walk this path as a Christian, but most important is that He promised to be with us and to not give us more than we can endure.

So have you been merely keeping up appearances lately, or are the spiritual truths and God's love bursting through in your actions and responses?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Love In Disguise by Carol Cox

Love in Disguise by Carol Cox depicts a fascinating time period in history - the era of the Pinkerton detectives. I liked the twist in the story in that the heroine was the lead detective through a chance of circumstances. When Ellie Moore found herself jobless, she never contemplated a career in sleuthing until, an overheard conversation and a trunk of costumes and wigs inspire her to start on the track as a detective.

Steven Pierce is on the brink of ruin unless he can find out who has been stealing the silver shipments from the local miner owners, himself included. The miners throw in money as a deposit, hoping to encourage a Pinkerton detective to come and sort out the mess. Not even Steven suspects a young woman, nor does he realize that she is playing two roles as she tries to ferret out information before more is stolen. In the process of the investigation, he finds himself falling in love.

I found this book to be an interesting read on this era of history.

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

Friday, September 14, 2012

The God of All Comfort

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. 
2 Corinthians 1:3-5

Do you ever have days where everything seems to be hitting you all at once? Today has been one of those times for me. I know a lot of it has to do with the pain I'm experiencing from a pesky kidney stone that has lodged in my body and refused to move. Today it's been a week since it first began. Then add on raging hormones and not being able to do a whole lot, makes for a day of feeling blue.

But even in the midst of my struggles God provided His comfort. A friend called who has also undergone kidney stones and let me know she is praying. Two other friends emailed to let me know they too are praying. I praise God who comforts us when we most need it. I pray He uses me to comfort others as well. Perhaps we need to live each day looking for someone who needs to hear and experience God's comfort, and make an effort to share it. 

What do you think? Who can you comfort today?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Over the Edge by Mary Connealy

Over the Edge by Mary Connealy is book three in the Kincaid Brides series. It was my first one to read of this series, and I found it to be typical of Mary Connealy - lots of fun, laughter, action, and excitement. The book begins with a shootout and attempted robbery of a stagecoach. Young mother, Callie Kincaid scrambles to save her infant son and the people on board.

Seth Kincaid struggles with emotions and hurts from his past, and the aftermath from fighting in the war between the States. Some say he isn't quite right in the head. His memory is patchy at times, but it seems he has forgotten one important detail - that he is married. He isn't prepared when the feisty woman shows up with an infant in tow.

This book is a great read and one I highly recommend. I look forward to going back and reading the first two in the series.

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

Christmas Roses by Amanda Cabot

Christmas Roses by Amanda Cabot was my first new Christmas book of the season to read, and I found it to be delightful. Set in Wyoming Territory in 1882 it weaves the tale of Celia Anderson, young widow trying to make ends meet, and raise her infant daughter on her own. She doesn't see a need for a new husband, unless she can find one who will love her and be spontaneous enough to bring her roses in December - not an easy feat when she lives in a cold and snowy land.

Mark Williams has no intention on staying more than a night or two in the sleepy little town of Easton, in Wyoming Territory. In fact, he is only there in hopes of finding his delinquent father. He has been searching for over two years and believes that his search may finally come to an end. Helping the young widow with a sickly infant, and a snowstorm delay his plans to leave.

I found this book to be a quick and enjoyable read, and was disappointed when it was over.

This book was provided free for review by the author and Revell.

The Preacher's Bride by Laurie Kingery

The Preacher's Bride by Laurie Kingery is one of the Love Inspired Historical books for October 2012. I had the distinct pleasure of reading this tale about a young woman named Faith Bennett, who is attracted to the new preacher, Gil Chadwick. Only one problem - she has lost her faith in God and questions whether He really exists, and if He does, then how could He have let her brother die.

Her friendship with the minister deepens as she helps to take care of his ailing father. Will she be able to overcome her doubts about the Lord and find love in the process? This book by Laurie Kingery is a delightful read.

This book was provided free for review by the author and Love Inspired Books.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Become a Forgetter

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

In my devotions this morning I stumbled across the verses above and also Psalm 130:3, which says: If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? Now it isn't very often that being forgetful is exalted or encouraged, but this is what God is calling us to do - to forget and let go of the hurts and learn to be thankful for what He has given us.

How are you doing today with being thankful and letting go of the hurts from the past...or even the hurts from today? Let's work toward that goal and forget instead of harboring pain and bitterness.