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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, October 25, 2013

N is for November - Blog Hop Friday

A to Z blog hop at Patterings.
Welcome to Blog Hop Friday. And yes, I know technically we still have another week until November starts but unfortunately we'll be on a different letter of the alphabet by then. :)

As October soon fades away, often our hearts and minds turn toward the upcoming holidays. We may feel rushed or stressed as we think of all that we'll need to accomplish over the next eight weeks. (Yesterday it was exactly eight weeks until Christmas.)

I encourage each of us, myself included, to take time to rest and think about the reasons why we celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas. This year I plan to be more intentional with the activities that surround these holidays.

What special things do you do to prepare for the holidays?

Monday, October 21, 2013


In a couple weeks I'll be reviewing Robin Lee Hatcher's new novel, Beloved. In anticipation of that, I'll be giving away a free copy of this book to one blessed person who leaves a comment. (Within U.S. only please).

Comments left between now and November 16th on any of my posts will be entered into the drawing. If you sign up as a follower of my blog, you'll have an extra chance to win. :) The winner will be announced on Monday, November 18th. Have fun!

Friday, October 18, 2013

M is for Memories - Blog Hop Friday

A to Z blog hop at Patterings.
My people, hear my teaching;
    listen to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth with a parable;
    I will utter hidden things, things from of old—
things we have heard and known,
    things our ancestors have told us.
We will not hide them from their descendants;
    we will tell the next generation
the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord,
    his power, and the wonders he has done.
He decreed statutes for Jacob
    and established the law in Israel,
which he commanded our ancestors
    to teach their children,
so the next generation would know them,
    even the children yet to be born,
    and they in turn would tell their children.
Then they would put their trust in God
    and would not forget his deeds
    but would keep his commands.
They would not be like their ancestors
    a stubborn and rebellious generation,
whose hearts were not loyal to God,
    whose spirits were not faithful to him.

Psalm 78:1-8

So often we become wrapped up in our memories - not that this is a bad thing, but it can be when we choose to live in those memories.

I heard a blurb on the radio a couple days ago about living in our backstory. defines it as: a narrative providing a history or background context, especially for a character or situation in a  literary work, film, or dramatic series.

Now one could argue that this only applies to the movies or fiction stories. But each of us have a backstory, and often they are filled with hurts and sorrows we've experienced through the years. Those memories that we continue to relive and can't move past.

I'm a firm believer that we weren't created to live in our memories or our backstory. We are called to live in the present. Like this scripture says, the things we are to pass on to the next generation is the goodness of God and how He has provided for us.

How are you doing with letting go of those painful memories (backstory) and instead looking toward finding the ways God has provided for you?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Journey of Josephine Cain by Nancy Moser

Josephine Cain longs to move on and break free of the binds that have tied her to the grief of post-Civil War. She has missed out on a social life and desires to join her father in the Wild West as he supervises the building of the Transcontinental Railroad.

Hudson Maquire, an Irish railroad worker, is far beneath her social standing but yet he has a charm and zeal for life that intrigues Josephine. Even though he has a girl back in Pennsylvania that is waiting for him, the General's daughter spurs something deep inside him that he can't deny.

I found this novel fascinating as it dealt with an interesting part of our Nation's history. Nancy Moser created an exquisite tale about this event, one you will enjoy reading.

This book was provided free for review by Summerside Press.

The Journey of Josephine Cain by Nancy Moser follows the adventures of a D.C. socialite as she gets involved with the building of the Transcontinental Railroad right after the Civil War. Be sure to check out Nancy's fun Pinterest board for the book!

Enter to win 1 of 5 copies of the book!

  Five winners will receive:
  • The Journey of Josephine Cain by Nancy Moser
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 26th. All winners will be announced October 28th at the Litfuse blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to visit the Litfuse blog on the 28th to see if you won one of the books!

Friday, October 11, 2013

L is for Laughter - Blog Hop Friday

One of the first recorded incidents of laughter in the Bible was with the birth of Isaac. His name was appropriate since his mother laughed when she learned that she would have a child in her old age.

Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” And she added, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.” Genesis 21:5-7

I don't know about you, but laughter has a way of lifting our hearts in a way that nothing else can, except for the Lord, of course. He brings joy and laughter. I like this promise He gives in Job 8:20-21.

“Surely God does not reject one who is blameless
    or strengthen the hands of evildoers.
He will yet fill your mouth with laughter
    and your lips with shouts of joy.

Psalm 126:1-3 also talks about laughter and joy and the great things the Lord has done.

When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
    we were like those who dreamed

Our mouths were filled with laughter,
    our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
    “The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us,
    and we are filled with joy.

What in your life brings laughter to your heart and a smile to your face? Share your thoughts on this blog hop Friday.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A Christmas Gift for Rose by Tricia Goyer

Rose Yoder's heart is broken when the man she loves chooses to join the Englisch during World War II instead of remaining in her Amish community. When he returns, Rose isn't sure she can ever trust her heart to him again.

Jonathan Fisher has evidenced many atrocities as a medic during the war and still carries the haunts from what he has witnessed. His sole desire upon returning is to woo back the woman he loves. Will she ever forgive him for the choice he made in leaving her?

Christmas novels are one of my favorite things to read as I ready my heart for celebrating the birth of my Savior. Tricia weaves a sweet tale of hope and faith in her new book. It is sure to touch the hearts of readers.

I had the distinct pleasure of hosting Tricia for a speaking event at my church when she was on her research trip to my area of the country, which eventually resulted in this book. What a sweet honor to have the privilege of reading this tale.

This book was provided free for review by Zondervan.
Book Info

About the book: Rose turned her back on the man she loves after he assisted the Englisch during World War
II---only to discover she's an Englischer herself. Born in the midst of the hardships of The Great Depression, Rose grew up in Berlin, Ohio, in the arms of a loving Amish family. But she is overwhelmed by self-doubt when she learns that she was born Englisch and abandoned when her family moved West in search of work. Was she meant to be Amish or would she have been better off growing up with her own
kind---Englischers? When the man she loves leaves her behind, Rose is certain he left for good. Yet Rose discovers sometimes our greatest gifts are the ones we fear.

Purchase a copy:

About Tricia: USA Today best-selling author Tricia Goyer is the author of over 35 books, including the three-book Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors series and "Lead Your Family Like Jesus," (co-written with Ken Blanchard). She has written over 500 articles for national publications and blogs for high traffic sites like and She is the host of Living Inspired, a weekly radio show. Tricia and family live in Little Rock, Arkansas. They have six children.

You can find out more about Tricia at
Tricia Goyer is celebrating the release of her first Christmas novella, A Christmas Gift for Rosewith a Christmas Gift giveaway! 

Enter to win a NEW Kindle Fire HDX for you AND one for a friend!


One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A brand new Kindle Fire HDX and one to give away to a friend!
  • A Christmas Gift for Rose, by Tricia Goyer for you and your friend!
Four second place winners will receive:
  • A Christmas Gift for Rose Christmas pack (includes a recipe card, bookmark, a signed book plate, discussion questions, and a Gathering & Giving handout!)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 19th. All winners will be announced October 21st at Tricia's blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to visit Tricia's blog on the 21st to see if you won one of the great prizes! (Or better yet, subscribe to her blog and have the winner announcement delivered to your inbox!)

Friday, October 4, 2013

K is for Kindness - Blog Hop Friday

A to Z blog hop at Patterings.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. - Galatians 5:21-22a

Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive. - Colossians 3:12-13

Welcome to blog hop Friday. Last Christmas season I remember hearing about a campaign called - R.A.K., otherwise known as Random Acts of Kindness. Many ideas were given of ways to bless people during a hurried and often frazzled Christmas holiday.

Several places in scripture we are encouraged to show kindness one to another. I'm a firm believer that those acts of kindness shouldn't just be at a certain time of year but instead throughout each day.

This topic is one I had planned on writing about this week. To my surprise last night, the neighbor kids knocked on our front door. When we opened it, they handed us a bag of apples. They blessed us by their simple act of kindness.

Who can you bless today with an act of kindness? Are you known by being a kind man or woman? If not, what can you do to change that? 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Gunpowder Tea by Margaret Brownley

Gunpowder Tea is the last in Margaret Brownley's The Brides of Last Chance Ranch series. Miranda Hunt, Pinkerton detective, goes undercover as Annie Beckman to try and discover the identity of the Phantom who has been robbing trains and banks in the area of the Last Chance Ranch. She poses as a potential heiress. This assignment will finally provide the opportunity to prove herself as a competent Pinkerton agency detective and hopefully win the esteem of her male colleagues in the process.

When an accomplice to the train robbery shows up for the position as a ranch hand, Annie is suspicious of him from the start. Jeremy Taggert is a thorn in her flesh, but she also can't deny an attraction to the man as well. It will take the two of them working together to discover the true identity of the Phantom. Will they choose to work toward a common good or instead fight against each other?

I found this book to be a delightful end to The Brides of Last Chance Ranch series.

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