29 November 2011

Winter Musings of a Corgi...

Colder and Rainy weather...

Short days, long nights...

Winter is coming... 

This one is titled: Corgi gets bored ...(if you could not guess it!)

Waiting for snow...Please Santa! (And I could use a new frisbee too!)

Until then, time to snuggle up (Mum turned off the heating vent for fear I might singe my beautiful coat) but oh, it feels so good to be a Corgi!

Cocoa anyone? (I don't mind the biscuit myself!)

Try Sanford's personal recipe (here) (For 'moi' the marshmallows are the best part!)

Looking good Sanford (the tie looks cute!)

That's all for now Folks!

Mum says 'Blessings to all and to all a  good night!'

27 November 2011

First Day of Advent...

“Lord, the light I choose to let into my life today is based on my trust in you.  It is a weak flame, but I so much desire that it dispel a bit more darkness today.  Today, I just want to taste the longing I have for you as I go to the meeting this morning, carry out the responsibilities of my work, face the frustration of some difficult relationships.  Let this candle be my reminder today of my hope in your coming.”

Come, Lord Jesus!  Come and visit your people. 
We await your coming.  Come, O Lord.

For more on celebrating the Advent please read (here)

"Taken from Praying Advent, on Creighton University's Online Ministries web site:
Used with permission."

The Names Of God Bible, Book review

Bible description:

One of the best ways to get to know God on a deeper level is to know the names and titles both he and his people give to him. Now the bestselling author of Praying the Names of God reveals the richness of God's character and love found in his names. The Names of God Bible restores more than 10,000 occurrences of specific names of God--like Yahweh, El Shadday, El Elyon, and Adonay--to help readers.

Discover the Hebrew names of God within the biblical text
Understand the meaning and significance of each name
Encounter God in a new way through prayers, promises, and devotional readings.

My review:

Each of us have our favourite version of the Bible. I prefer the Roman Catholic Family Bible (Douay-Rheims) or the NRSV but ex-RAF flyboy was raised with the KJ version. 
We both agreed however 'The Names Of God Bible' turned out to be a very welcome addition to our library:  a G.W. version (God's Word) (see sample text here) written in the original language with the names not only highlighted in the text but also cross referenced in the margins with special meanings and/or definitions of scriptures passages in which the name is revealed. 
In the 'Name pages' for each name of God, you will discover God all over again!

This particular version of the Bible restore more than 10,000 times the names of God as they appeared in the original Hebrew version. Reading paths shows readers the next reference of the names allowing for easy ways to study or pray!

'The Names Of God' Bible' will enrich your prayer time with God and your time witnessing in His name!
A 5 stars Bible, I highly recommend this version for any serious study person in your family or church and as a great gift for this blessed season!

Meet Ann Spangler:

An Award winning writer Ann Spangler is the general editor of 'The Names Of God' Bible and the bestselling author of 'Praying The Names Of God'.
Ann Spangler likens herself to the proverbial canary in the coal mine. Her sensitivity to the ever-changing spiritual and cultural climate in which we live has enabled her to address themes of profound interest to many readers. Praised for the freshness, depth, and honesty of her writing, Ann writes in ways that reveal not just her intellectual curiosity but her desire for a deeper connection with God. 
She tells us: "Even those of us without the positive influence of an earthly father can experience God's faithful fatherly protection. Secure in His arms, we can learn to take the risk that faith requires."
For more on Ann Spangler read (here)

I received this book free from BAKER/REVELL as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not asked to write a positive review and the opinions expressed are entirely my own.
I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

26 November 2011

A Good And Perfect Gift, Book review

Book description:

Challenging surprises often lead to unexpected joy. Amy Julia opens eyes and softens hearts as she brings readers into her own story of disappointment turned to blessing. This is a journey of discovering strength through weakness, and the author learns to embrace the fact that we are all dependent on God and one another. This books will inspire readers who appreciate beautiful writing coupled with deep insights about life and faith.

My review:

'A Good And Perfect Gift' is the story of one family's struggle to deal with Down Syndrome and a beautiful little girl named Penny! This is the true recount of their joy and sometime disappointment but ultimately the discovery of their blessings! An inspiring story particularly as it brought back  a few memories...

A few years back I met a loving family and a little girl diagnosed before birth with many challenges. Despite their fears her parents never thought of abortion and trusted in the Lord for the future. Told their little angel would never be 'normal', she would neither hear or walk and her health would be poorly, this family rallied and faced each new challenge together! With time and much love, many therapies and countless surgeries later, this very special Child of God loves to listen to music, sings, speaks a mile away, goes to school, and attends Bible school. She still wears (leg) braces and uses a wheelchair but she scoots faster than you can run, swims and attends to her own daily needs. 

Raising a child against all odds is not for everyone. Amy Julia Becker candidly shares in 'A Good And Perfect Gift' how her world came crashing down when she experienced this personal challenge. Her heart broken, she tells us of the painful realization her little girl was 'different'. Family, friends and acquaintances rallied with much prayers, love, care, compassion. Yet others judged without understanding and it hurt! 
In her words Amy tells us 'how she had trouble talking to God months after Penny's birth and for a time did not feel the need to pray. Passively and gratefully she accepted intercession from others in the same way she received casseroles, baked chicken and meatloaf!'

Today Penny uses sign language to communicate with her family and the outside world and she is now a proud big sister!

After reading this story you will realize Penny is not a Down Syndrome child but a little girl, a beautiful little girl who loves to clap her hands, bounce and sway to music!
Amy recalls the band performing at a Thanksgiving dinner. During a break the band leader approached Penny held in her Dad's arms, looked her in the eye and told her Dad: 'She's beautiful', 'She has an old soul'.

A heartwarming story about a little girl who is all about love! This is an honest recounting of what happened and it is not just for parents of special children but for anyone willing to accept the beauty of those who are just different!

I give it 5 stars!

Meet the Author:

Amy Julia Becker writes and speaks about family, faith, disability, and culture. A graduate of Princeton University and Princeton Theological Seminary, she is the author of Penelope Ayers: A Memoir, and A Good and Perfect Gift (Bethany House).
Her essays have appeared in The New York Times, First Things, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Hartford Courant, The Christian Century, Christianity Today, and Books and Culture.
For more on Amy Julia read (here) .

I received this book free from BETHANY HOUSE as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not asked to write a positive review and the opinions expressed are entirely my own.
I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

24 November 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Blessed Lord, we pray thee
to be present at our table
hallowing thy gifts to our use;
that eating to satisfy our needs
we may remember those who lack. 
(St Francis of Assisi)

Blessings to all,

23 November 2011

Game Of Your Life, DVD review

DVD sypnosis:

When industrious high school gamer Zach Taylor lands a prized scholarship to the prestigious Digital Institute of Game Design (DIGD), his future breaks wide open. The opportunity to study under gaming legend Marcus Bentton and alongside the country’s most creative minds will certainly propel him into a successful career as a video game designer. That is, if he can pass the infamous freshman project that eliminates more than half of the class within the first three months.
Paired with brilliant yet socially awkward teammates Phillip and Donald, the trio persuades Sara Ramirez – a determined and striking team leader with whom Zach has a history (and possibly a future) – to join their team. Working off-campus in the teched-out Lincoln Alley loft, the four set out to involve the entire campus in a quirky new social interactive game. But as the group becomes entrenched in the project, Zach learns that his father Billy, a widower, is facing growing financial woes at home. To help out, Zach accepts an opportunity to work directly with Marcus Bentton on a secretive side project that seems too good to be true. The effort requires nearly all of Zach’s time and energy, which he should be devoting to the project. Struggling to keep it together, Zach is torn between his responsibility to his team, his admiration for Bentton and a chance to help his father.
Everything comes to a breaking point when Zach’s team threatens to remove him from the group and the deceptive truth behind Bentton’s project comes to light. With the guidance of Professor Abbie Lambert, Zach must make a decision that not only affects his future, but the lives and livelihoods of the people around him as well. It’s a revealing story that recognizes the magnitude behind the choices we make and the importance loyalty plays in making good decisions.

My review:

Computer games are an unknown entity to me! For years I have heard my children, friends and acquaintances speaking of their favourite pastime (games) and I never quite grasp the idea of sitting in front of a little screen for the sole purpose of moving little people/objects around a background and all to simulate a treasure hunt, a sport or even a fight!
There is however a flight simulator on this laptop for ex-RAF flyboy's pleasure and he loves it!

The subject of this particular movie was therefore very new. It did not take long however for me to finally understand the complexity of designing a computer game and I loved to discover the numerous ideas a programmer uses to create a new game. Even better, this is a very entertaining movie!

'Game of your life' is a family movie which you can share with children of any age and adults alike! In fact I will recommend you take the time to see it as a family for the many life lessons it uncovers. Right and wrong decisions influence not just your life but also others. Consequences results ultimately from these decisions but it is never, ever too late to change!

'Game of your life' shows an amazing group of talented young people, dedicated and caring teachers, (you will recognize Lea Thompson from 'Back to the Future') and supporting families!
There is of course a bad guy but never fear...remember if you choose your moves carefully, this game will teach you something very special!

I rated this DVD 5 stars!

Note to readers: 'GAME OF YOUR LIFE' premieres on NBC, 2nd Decembre at 8/7!

Website: http://www.familymovienight.com/game-of-your-life/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/familymovienight
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/fmnib
Trailer: http://vimeo.com/31917601

Also Family Movie Night offers you a chance to win $5000 for your favourite Grade School or High School!
See (here) for more information! Sweesptakes ends 2 Decembre!

I received this book free from PROPELLER as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not asked to write a positive review and the opinions expressed are entirely my own.
I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

21 November 2011

The 21-Day Dad's Challenge, Book review

Book description:

This fall, men all over the U.S. will emerge from movie theaters wanting to be better fathers—having just watched Courageous, the new film from the producers of Fireproof. This book will help them reach that goal. Using well-known names from the worlds of sports, Christianity, and parenting, The 21-Day Dad’s Challenge will inspire and equip men to succeed in practicing “Championship Fatherhood.” Though not an official tie-in to the movie, this joint project by Focus on the Family and the National Center for Fathering will aid dads in applying the film’s message. The “challenge” format will appeal to men’s competitive instincts. And the simple, straightforward approach, combined with the limited time frame required, will convince them that they really can become measurably better dads in just three weeks.

My review:

This particular title immediately caught my attention as I know how much ex-RAF fly boy (hubby) likes Focus on the Family and because being a Dad means everything to him! You see, he came to be a Dad later in life. Challenges sometime arose but were conquered with lots of faith and he continually strives to be an even better Dad!
'The 21-Day Dad's Challenge' is an excellent book for a new Dad or one having trouble relating to his children or just wanting to be a better one!
Carey Casey is the CEO of the National Center For Fathering and he gives you a simple and practical way to become a better Dad in 3 weeks including great advice on spending time with kids in a fun and loving way!
Dads come home after a long day's work, tired and worn out and the last thing they feel like doing is spending time playing with the kids. Providing for the family means directing all their energy to their work, often putting in many extra hours! 

Yet there is an easier way to become a better Dad and it involves changing our way of thinking, listening to our children and learning what their interests and goals are.
Drawing on the experience of friends, business associates and Dads of all ages, Carey Casey explains what worked for them. It might surprise you how simple it is! 
Giving a word of encouragement, sharing a hobby or telling a story: it will be fun even rewarding and it will definitively improve Dad's relationship with the children.

The 21-Day Dad's Challenge is certain to bring a little wisdom to tired Dads everywhere so go ahead take the challenge and recommend it to your friends!
I give it 4 stars!

Meet Carey Casey:

Carey Casey is Chief Executive Officer of the Kansas City-based National Center for Fathering and author of the book, Championship Fathering – How to Win at Being a Dad. Through his work across the country, Casey has earned a reputation as a dynamic communicator, especially on the topic of men being good fathers. He’s known as a compassionate ambassador, particularly within the American sports community.
For more information read (here

I received this book free from TYNDALE Publishers as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not asked to write a positive review and the opinions expressed are entirely my own.
I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

And The Winner Of The Promise Of Deer Run Giveaway Is...


Michelle - giggle2much 

Congratulations Michelle and thank you to all who enter!

20 November 2011

A Story Certain To Touch Anyone...

Only a few days ago I mentioned how much I love to browse through blogs and learn!
The following post is certain to touch anyone's heart, woman or man!

Just like any other readers, bloggers comment on each other's blog, sending thoughts, hugs, love and even prayers.

This is one of those times...

I first noticed  'Posie gets Cozy' blog not due to her wonderful touch with crafts, in particular knitting, but because of her lovely four paws friend featured you will see on the left side of her blog page... MacIntosh the Corgi and I just fell in love!

As a fellow blogger or just a reader, take a moment to read her latest post and send love and prayers her way! She is going to need all the love we can give her!



God's Amazing Palette...

Colours, textures, smells, the amazing palette of God...

Rustling leaves, thick moss...

His hand shows everywhere...

Have a peaceful Sunday...
God bless,

19 November 2011

Arms Of Deliverance, A Story of Promise - Book Review

Book description:

Arms of Deliverance is the fourth and final chapter in the thrilling World War II series. Mary and Lee have gone from best friends to competing WWII journalists, but a bombing raid gone wrong puts Mary's life at risk and sends Lee on a heroic rescue attempt through the fierce teeth of combat. Then, amidst an adventurous struggle for freedom, they uncover the story of the unspeakable Lebensborn atrocity.With equal doses of adrenaline and poignancy, Tricia Goyer's storytelling brings well-crafted characters to life in a graphically authentic World War II setting. She places readers not only behind enemy lines into the heat of battle, but also deep into the innermost sanctuary of the human heart.

My review:

I recently noticed a post on Sarah Sundin's blog 'Under his Wings' featuring a most memorable 'Veteran's Daymessage by author Tricia Goyer and chance was with me as our library had two of her books on the shelves!
'Arms Of Deliverance, A Story Of Promise' is Book 1 in the Liberators series and it is my first experience with Tricia Goyer's 'authentic fiction, real life truth'.
I will tell you immediately she now has a new fan!

A compelling historical fiction novel set in the WW2 era, the story reflects a startling outlook in the infamous Lebensborn scheme of Himmler, the young heroes who flew B17 missions over enemy territory, some never to come back and the often faceless men and women who risked their lives to bring folks back home news of the war!

Tricia Goyer describes her characters with clarity, each revealing a facet few readers would not described as realistic! As for her plot it will pull at your heart's strings! 
Her vivid descriptions of flights aboard flying fortresses are one of the finest and comes with heartfelt recommendations of pilots, co-pilots and pathfinder navigators of the 390th and 91st Bomb Groups!

Survival instinct takes over in times of conflict leaving little time for dwelling on the rights and wrongs of war for soldiers as well non combatants. Faith remains a guiding light at such times for many, the only sure thing in a world where no one can be trusted. Jews and Gentiles are fighting for survival whilst Nazis exhibits their darkest side. Against all odds, there is yet a time for love in this gripping story.

In 'Arms of Deliverance' Tricia Goyer offers readers a breathtaking portrait of a world filled with terror, the men and women who fought for liberty and justice, those who survived to live yet another day and those who give their life for what they believed in.

Skilfully weaving her tale against the war ravaged European theater, Tricia Goyer draws you in her story set for the most part in the Belgian Ardennes and you find yourself holding your breath!
In the end you find yourself witnessing so much humanity you will close the book and say 'well done!'.

I give this one 5 stars!

About the author:

Tricia Goyer is the author of 30 books and has published over 500 articles for national publications such as Focus on the Family, Today’s Christian Woman and HomeLife Magazine.
For more information on this fascinating author, visit her website (Here)

Note to readers: I was not asked to review this novel and all opinions expressed are entirely my own!

And The Winner Is...

One winner has been selected using Random.org and her/his name is being sent to the Kathy Carlton Willis Communications to be included in the Grand prize drawing of 'The Promise of Deer Run' 

The selected comment was # 6!

bookittyblog said...Hanks for the giveaway! Bethzaida Bookittyblog at gmail.com    
Note: I will be confirming your win Bookkittyblog by email shortly!
Thank you also to the others readers/comments! It is always a pleasure to read comments from others! Don't forget to read 'The Promise of Deer Run' if you have not already! 
Be sure also to check with this blog on the 21st of this month to find out the Grand Winner of this Giveaway!
Blessings to all,

18 November 2011

Patience ...

Patience does not come easy as I well know! I fail miserably time and time again! 

These days life demands such a quick turn around to everything. We hardly have the time to appreciate our surroundings let alone the people we love. Quantity has replaced quality!

I like to take a moment or two in the mornings to sit at my desk and just take a 'stroll' amongst the blogs I follow...It gives me time to reflect and in thruth I appreciate all that I learn! 

Read on! 

So true! 

Helen Steiner Rice wrote the following:

~ A Prayer For Patience ~

God, teach me to be patient, teach me to go slow,
Teach me how to wait on You when my way I do not know.

Teach me sweet forbearance when things do not go right
So I remain unruffled when others grow uptight.

Teach me how to quiet my racing, rising heart
So I might hear the answer You are trying to impart.

Teach me to let go, dear God, and pray undisturbed until
My heart is filled with inner peace and I learn to know your will.

For just one moment today I will try to be patient...and remember how blessed I am as I accomplish the slightest task...


Water is as near as opening the tab...

But she has to walk miles to reach the nearest water supply...



16 November 2011

Holiday Shopping And The Meaning Of Giving...

My paternal grand mother often regaled us with tales of raising up the hem of her skirts in the 20's, choosing the best hat to match her dress intricately hand sewn by treasured dressmakers with an impeccable reputation, not forgetting the careful selection of gloves and matching shoes to complement her ensemble. 

Another era bygone and whilst we are relieved not to wear uncomfortable attire such as corsets and other devices (surely thought of by someone as just another torture for the 'well dressed' woman), there is perhaps something missing today...Women (and men) have adopted a careless attitude in choosing their garments and somehow lost their identity.

Holiday shopping is something many of us are thinking of these days and I have carefully read all the advice offered so far online, sites and blogs in particular tooting one gadget or another, toys, books, movies etc...
Despite a sad worldwide economy and so many out of work and loosing their homes to foreclosure I am surprised to hear how much will be spent this holiday season! 

The thought of giving the 'perfect' gift seems to consume people, never mind that too often the carefully chosen item is not exactly what the recipient wished for (hence those long lines at the return desks the day after Christmas!)

Celebrating St Nicholas day on the 6th of Septembre enabled our little family to stress giving to the children only with one main gift and assorted oranges, chocolates and spekuloos. I am happy to report albeit our children are now in their thirties, they learned to appreciate gift receiving and are as frugal as we were.

With the Christmas season soon to open the day after Thanksgiving in this country we noticed more than ever the media brainwashing the public in thinking 'spend, spend, spend!'. Gone almost is the time when Mother would knit a well needed jumper, Dad would craft a bi-plane from carefully chosen wood and Granny baked fruit laden cakes, biscuits and assorted sweets to give to family and neighbours! Even Christmas cards are now printed with cheerful greetings and the sender's name to save time!

Holiday shopping has always elicited wonderful memories of dressing up in our finest and traveling by trolley to the business district to check out shoppes windows decorated for the season with twinkling lights and shining baubles. 
A stop by the market place to see the newly erected Christmas tree, a leisurely eaten luncheon in a nearby restaurant and the acquisition of a few carefully chosen but humble gifts for family and friends rounded up our outing. 
There were lots of oohs and aahs, no one seemed frazzled and everyone cheerfully wished acquaintances and strangers alike a Merry Christmas!

The meaning of giving seems somewhat lost these days. Somehow we have forgotten the true meaning of the season, the celebration of a small child born in a stable 2000 years ago! 
Giving is not the purchase of a trinket or such but sharing with others whatever we have to give in 'His' name! 
Giving means so much more than spending a specific amount on a loved one or dropping a few coins in the Salvation Army kettles!

I was happy to notice one blogger stressing the need for canned goods for food banks, toiletries for shelters, a reminder that animal shelters also are much in need this season and so on...Cheers to her!

In turn I have chosen to remind readers that our troops are faraway from home and need your generosity!
Snacks, jerky, biscuits, socks, toothpaste, reading material are only a few of the things men and women overseas would appreciate! 
Many servicemen and women are available for adoption! Show you care!
Don't forget mail! A card with a few meaningful lines will help to cheer them up!
Their families have also sacrificed so much and are in need as well! If you know a military family let them know you appreciate them, see if someone needs a helping hand (such as a few hours of freedom whilst you babysit?) 

As a Soldier's Angel I would like to mention this wonderful association :


and also http://www.anysoldier.com/

Both have done outstanding work for service people all over the world but there are many others! Check also with churches, business and acquaintances! Perhaps you might join with a friend in sponsoring someone far away from home and let them know you care! Make it a family event!

Giving...don't forget its meaning!

Blessings to all,

15 November 2011

The Measure of Katie Calloway, Book review

Book description:

The Civil War has ended, but in Katie Calloway's Georgia home, conflict still rages. To protect herself and her young brother from her violent and unstable husband, she flees north, finding anonymity and sanctuary as the cook in a north woods lumber camp. The camp owner, Robert Foster, wonders if the lovely woman he's hired has the grit to survive the never-ending work and harsh conditions of a remote pine forest in winter. Katie wonders if she can keep her past a secret from a man she is slowly growing to love.

With grace and skill, Serena Miller brings to life a bygone era. From the ethereal, snowy forest and the rowdy shanty boys to the warm cookstove and mouth-watering apple pie, every detail is perfectly rendered, transporting you to a time of danger and romance.

My review:

Should the above description not entice you yet enough, read the following recommendations of 2 authors whose research and writing skills I always appreciate!

"With fascinating historical detail and heartfelt characters, The Measure of Katie Calloway captivated me from the very first line. Great storytelling, coupled with a unique north woods setting, will carry your heart from one vivid scene to the next. Miller writes the kind of rich historical fiction I love--with a plethora of romantic twists and turns to keep you reading far into the night. Not to be missed!"--Laura Frantz, author of The Colonel's Lady

"Serena Miller's charming characters leap off the pages and straight into your heart, and her setting feels so real you'll wonder why you don't hear trees falling in the forest and bacon sizzling on the woodstove."--Emilie Richards, author of
Sunset Bridge

The Measure of Katie Calloway is certain to grab you from the first! If like me you seek adventure (and a touch of romance) whilst just sitting by the fire with a cuppa, you are sure to enjoy this historical fiction!

Serena B. Miller is an amazing storyteller and her story is so realistic in its intricate details, you will smell the aroma of her heroine's meatpies and the wonderful scent of the pine boughs slipped under her trestle bed! 

Not unlike Serena I have many times over witnessed startling photos of logging on the nearby peninsula. This is afterall Washington State and logging has been a vital part of the economy. It is not unusual to see on the walls of shoppes, ferry docks or even the postal service's, photos of time gone by with logging camps, stern shanty boys faces, sometime a camp follower be it woman or children near a cabin hastily erected for the season.

These men (and women) lived in often primitive conditions to earn a decent wage, returning to their family's holdings with enough money to hang on until the next season, only to come back once again for the next harvest. Some however as Serena describes so well spend it all in a matter of a few weeks!

'The measure of Katie Calloway' is a fascinating tale of one woman's courage in the face of adversity, the men who logged and lived in the wild of Michigan in the 1800's and their endurance when pitted against Mother Nature and harsh working conditions!

Rich with historical details and certain to transport any reader in a by gone era, this superbly written Christian novel will captivate any romantic soul! Each chapter starts with a portion of shanty songs long forgotten I wager, yet revealing much about a life by any standards rough and often unforgiving. For a special touch you will even discover shanty boys have a language of their own!

The measure of Katie Calloway is a heartfelt story you will enjoy reading as you discover the true measure of its heroine and the shanty boys that becomes part of her life!

I give this one 5 stars!

About the author:

Serena B. Miller is the author of Love Finds You in Sugarcreek, Ohio, as well as numerous articles for periodicals such as Woman's World, Guideposts, Reader's Digest, Focus on the Family, Christian Woman, and more. 
To read more about this author check out her website (here)

I received this book free from Baker Publishing Group as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not asked to write a positive review and the opinions expressed are entirely my own.
I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

13 November 2011

The Kregel Pictorial Guide To The Apostle Paul, Book review

Book description:

Sound research and illuminating visuals make biblical and historical times and teachings come alive for today's middle-school and highschool students as well as Bible students, teachers, and pastors looking for a concise overview of familiar topics. This new volume continues the valuable tradition of the best-selling Kregel Pictorial Guide series, making history easy to understand and interesting to learn.
Paul is one of the most influential figures in history-and one of the most controversial. In this comprehensive outline of Paul's life, travels, writing, and theology, Dr. Todd Wilson sets out to clear away some of the misunderstanding and present the extraordinary achievements of the man from Tarsus.
Fully illustrated with maps, color photographs, and charts, this book offers an invaluable introduction to Paul, the voyager and church-builder, writer and theologian.

My review:

With a mere 32 pages this 'Kregel Pictorial Guide To The Apostle Paul' written by Todd Wilson, PhD. brings us an oustanding view of the life and letters of Paul through his travels and love of the Church!

Beginning with Paul's background we 'see' the amazing conversion of the Apostle and read a detailed account of his mission followed by his theology and ending with his legacy. Also included in this pictorial guide is the potential students introduction to Paul's letters to the Churches as well as his letters, these written whilst in prison, to Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Philemon.

With a careful selection of photographs, many detailed maps as well as charts of Paul's travels you will find this guide to be a must have for home schoolers, Sunday school teachers and church libraries.

A great publication from Kregel, I can only describe this one as a perfect 5 stars rating!

About the Author:

Dr. Todd Wilson (PhD, University of Cambridge)) is associate pastor of adult training and ministries at College Church, Wheaton, and an adjunct professor at Wheaton College. He has written The Cure of the Lay and the Crisis in Galatia, a number of scholarly articles on the New Testament, and has edited a volume on expository preaching.

I received this book free from KREGEL PUBLICATIONS as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not asked to write a positive review and the opinions expressed are entirely my own.
I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Remembrance Sunday, 13 Novembre 2011

Whilst on the Continent we celebrate Armistice Day on the 11th of Novembre our Ally across the North Sea have dedicated the second Sunday of Novembre to remember all Veterans.
I wanted to take a moment to share with readers a post that is certain to reach out to many!


Having fought in the trenches for four years my Grand Father never missed a parade along many other "Anciens combattants'. It happens also that today would have been my Grand Mother's birthday! Both are missed very much!


11 November 2011

The Promise Of Deer Run, Book Review And GiveawayTour

Book description:

The Year is 1790. The American Revolution has long been over, but the wounds of battle still linger in the hearts and minds of many. A veteran Continental soldier still awaits the return of his missing father, years after the last battle. Haunted by the painful memories of war and scarred from betrayal in love, the young man turns away from faith. The only hope he clings to is that perhaps his father still lives. Then he discovers his hope is shared by a young woman, who understands loss and the longing for a father. As they encounter this unexpected connection, their hearts become drawn together. But jealousy, slander, and misunderstanding ignite a fire of doubt and mistrust-destroying their relationship. Can two souls longing for healing and trust, love again? Can faith-and a family-be restored?

My review:

'The Promise of Deer Run' is book two in the series 'The Deer Run Saga' and I will admit I am not fond of sagas usually.  The incentive to read this particular novel was in fact entirely its historical setting, the American Revolution and this being a veteran story held much appeal.

Elaine Marie Cooper weaves a good story based on her research of the many challenges Continental veterans faced when returning home, sometimes years later, and as such her characters are carefully described. 
I always enjoy reading the lives of these Colonials who fought so hard to eck out a living in a land often hostile. Families and communities depended on each other for survival. Tragedies happened and you had to be a hardy soul to survive! Historical facts such as midwifery and childbirth in the 18th Century is chilling! Details such as authentic Colonial era address betwixt the different characters is a nice touch!

The author's heartfelt dedication to all veterans who suffer from PTSD pulled a string of my heart as I am sure it will for many. I felt Nathaniel was indeed the most attractive character of her story as she describes his yearning to find his father, another veteran gone now for 8 years, and his love for young Sarah is sure to appeal to the most romantic soul! 

I give it 4 stars!

About Elaine Marie Cooper:

Elaine Marie Cooper grew up in Massachusetts but now lives in the Midwest with her husband, her three dogs and one huge cat. She has two married sons and triplet grandchildren who are now one years old. The Promise of Deer Run is dedicated to the triplets and to veterans who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
 Elaine has been a magazine freelance writer for many years, and is a regular contributor to a blog on the Midwest called The Barn Door and a blog on Christian living called Reflections In Hindsight. She is the author of The Road to Deer Run and the sequel, The Promise of Deer Run. Prior to becoming an author, Elaine worked as a registered nurse.
Note to readers: Elaine Marie Cooper has a Corgi too! 

The Story Behind the Story:
How The Deer Run Saga Was Birthed
By Elaine Marie Cooper
When I was young and first heard that one of my grandfathers had been a Redcoat during the Revolutionary War, I was somewhat embarrassed. Growing up in Massachusetts had made me proud of our country’s heritage. But instead of finding zealous patriots in my bloodline, my DNA was from an enemy soldier named Daniel Prince!
Calmer reasoning prevailed, however, as I thought about the reality of his story. Living conditions in Colonial times were difficult, to say the least. It was a frightening period of our history for both Americans and the British. And in the midst of our nation struggling to be birthed, two people on opposing sides in a bloody war met and fell in love.
This story from my family’s history was transformed in my thinking into an inspiring one of romance, unhindered by the politics of the day. It became, purely and simply, a love story.
And so was birthed the idea to create a fictional account of actual events. Since the story is from my imagination, I opted to change last names, the names of the communities, and many other details of the time. However, many of the historical events are documented facts.
The particular information on Daniel Prince’s military background was discovered thanks to the diligent work of Betty Thomson, independent researcher at The National Archives, Kew, in England. 
In book one, The Road to Deer Run and now in the sequel, The Promise of Deer Run, I made every effort to stay true to the colonial times. Descriptions of food, homes, clothing, farming, worship practices, medical care, etc. are the result of extensive research.
It has been a personally inspiring experience to write these novels. While the times have changed since the 18th century, the same struggles of their day are our own. Forgiveness, fear, pain, illness, despair, the pain of having a family member at war, the death of a loved one—these are all the battles we contend with in the 21st century. But we also share faith, laughter, love, the excitement of that first kiss, the wonder of looking at a newborn. These are the same joys that we share with our ancestors who are so much a part of who we are.
Their journeys are interwoven with our own.

And now for our Giveaway:

Thanks to KCWC and Elaine Marie Cooper one lucky reader will receive the chance to win the following:

Grand Prize (Retail Value: $297.38) Contains:
  • Basket
  • $25 Starbucks gift card  
  • Spode Christmas teapot  
  • Spode Christmas mugs   
  • Yankee candle
  • Hardbound copy The Road to Deer Run
  • Hardbound copy The Promise of Deer Run 
  • Bath and Body Paris Amour scent 

All you have to do is place a comment on this post by the 18th of Novembre to qualify for an entry!
Be sure to include contact information should you be our lucky winner (i.e. smith1 at yahoo period com).
I will then send the name of the randomly selected reader to KCWC as a finalist. One Grand Prize winner will be selected by the Publishing Company and the Author on the 21st of Novembre! Winner will be announced on blog and contacted by email.
Best of luck everyone!

I received this book free from KCW Communications as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not asked to write a positive review and the opinions expressed are entirely my own.
I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Armistice Day...

Lest we forget...

Remember the dead and never forget the living...

Freedom is not cheap...

Semper Fidelis!

Blessings to all,

10 November 2011

Island Life in Autumn For A Corgi

Autumn on the island, fair weather, leaves changing colours....

Time for Corgi play...

This spot looks good for a roll...

Who says you cannot have fun...

Oh yeah...

Feeling good Mum! Frisbee time!

Blessings to all,

09 November 2011

Remembering The Basics...

My cup seems to overflow with frustration today, a touch of sadness and loneliness is not far behind I fear!
I am such a dreamer after all!
So to shake it all off and perceive my day in a much lighter frame I reminded myself that I am not alone, God is never far and in Him I have a true Friend! He made the world truly beautiful and everything is in His power!

(by J. W. Johnson)

And God stepped out on space,
And he looked around and said:
I'm lonely—
I'll make me a world.

And far as the eye of God could see
Darkness covered everything,
Blacker than a hundred midnights
Down in a cypress swamp.

Then God smiled,
And the light broke,
And the darkness rolled up on one side,
And the light stood shining on the other,
And God said: That's good!

Then God reached out and took the light in his hands,
And God rolled the light around in his hands
Until he made the sun;
And he set that sun a-blazing in the heavens.
And the light that was left from making the sun
God gathered it up in a shining ball
And flung it against the darkness,
Spangling the night with the moon and stars.
Then down between
The darkness and the light
He hurled the world;
And God said: That's good!

Then God himself stepped down—
And the sun was on his right hand,
And the moon was on his left;
The stars were clustered about his head,
And the earth was under his feet.
And God walked, and where he trod
His footsteps hollowed the valleys out
And bulged the mountains up.

Then he stopped and looked and saw
That the earth was hot and barren.
So God stepped over to the edge of the world
And he spat out the seven seas—
He batted his eyes, and the lightnings flashed—
He clapped his hands, and the thunders rolled—
And the waters above the earth came down,
The cooling waters came down.

Then the green grass sprouted,
And the little red flowers blossomed,
The pine tree pointed his finger to the sky,
And the oak spread out his arms,
The lakes cuddled down in the hollows of the ground,
And the rivers ran down to the sea;
And God smiled again, 
And the rainbow appeared,
And curled itself around his shoulder.

Then God raised his arm and he waved his hand
Over the sea and over the land,
And he said: Bring forth! Bring forth!
And quicker than God could drop his hand,
Fishes and fowls
And beasts and birds
Swam the rivers and the seas,
Roamed the forests and the woods,
And split the air with their wings.
And God said: That's good!

Then God walked around,
And God looked around
On all that he had made.
He looked at his sun, 
And he looked at his moon,
And he looked at his little stars;
He looked on his world
With all its living things,
And God said: I'm lonely still.

Then God sat down—
On the side of a hill where he could think;
By a deep, wide river he sat down;
With his head in his hands,
God thought and thought,
Till he thought: I'll make me a man!

Up from the bed of the river
God scooped the clay;
And by the bank of the river
He kneeled him down;
And there the great God Almighty
Who lit the sun and fixed it in the sky, 
Who flung the stars to the most far corner of the night,
Who rounded the earth in the middle of his hand;
This great God,
Like a mammy bending over her baby,
Kneeled down in the dust
Toiling over a lump of clay
Till he shaped it in is his own image;

Then into it he blew the breath of life,
And man became a living soul.

God is good, God is great!
Blessings to all,

The Three Trees, Book review and blog tour

Book description:

"Three forest trees dream of what they will one day become. One dreams of becoming a royal throne; one of being a ship that can withstand any storm; and one longs to stay in the forest and grow as tall as tall can be. When they are felled, it seems their dreams are over. But as each tree is crafted into a new item - a manger, a fishing boat, and a rugged cross - it becomes clear that through the role they play in one important life their hopes are more than fulfilled. This traditional folktale is accompanied by stylish artwork from a highly sought-after children's book illustrator, and will help set the Christmas and Easter stories into the overall context of the Christian faith. "

My review:

Anyone who read my review of 'The Tale of Baboushka' will guess how much I enjoyed this opportunity to review also 'The Three Trees'!
Albeit a traditional Christmas or Easter folktale told many times over, this beautiful tale of hope and faith based on biblical stories never fails to come across as truly inspiring anytime!

In her elegant and unique style Elena Pasquali chose to tell this well loved story whilst collaborating with the perfect illustrator to enhance her words! A delight in itself, each page is enhanced by drawings bound to appeal to even the most discriminative person! Any collector will appreciate a copy of this inspirational book!
Parents and little ones alike will enjoy precious moments together whilst rediscovering the warmth of this folktale! A perfect Christmas gift!

5 Stars rating!

Read an excerpt (here)

Note of worth (as I know only too well once children learn to read they will notice and bring it to your attention and it might deter serious collectors). Editing missed one word in my copy: when the second tree speaks of dreaming of power, it should say 'I want to be made into a proud ship'.

About the Author:

Elena Pasquali studied romance languages at university and has a special interest in researching folk tales. She worked for some years in children's publishing before going on to be an author in her own right.

About the Illustrator

Sophie Windham has illustrated books for Bloomsbury and Orchard and was shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal for Unicorns! Unicorns! by Geraldine McCaughrean.

I received this book free from KREGEL as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not asked to write a positive review and the opinions expressed are entirely my own.
I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

06 November 2011

God's On The Phone: Stories Of Grace In Action, Book review

Book description:

"By the grace of God and the work of the Holy Spirit, a wrong number led to a change of heart. A man needed to make the right decision, and God was ready and willing to help him. Perhaps his mother or some friend had been praying for him; perhaps even he had asked for God's help. I was available, and God worked through me. Wrong number, indeed!"—adapted from Chapter Seventeen. You'll also be touched by the stories of:
•a booklover's decision to give away her library
•an agnostic who is innocently challenged by a little boy
•two young women who share a common loss

My review:

'God's on the phone' is a wonderful collection of stories guaranteed to lift your spirits and inspire your inner self to God's glory!
Including 30 stories drawn from real life experiences, some the author personally witnessed, you will find in this book many firsthand accounts Regis J. Flaherty received.

The chapters includes a brief description of a specific topic and 5 different elements from which a moral or lesson can be drawn: a story, a quote from Scripture and another from Cathechism or other religious document, a prayer and questions for reflection or discussion. 
The detailed contents section will makes it a cinch to choose a particular subject, perhaps in dealing with a specific family problem or even to witness to a friend or associate!

Chapter 21, a Catholic Warrior on living a humble and holy life is definitively my favourite: inspirational, encouraging and truly remarkable! No doubt it will remind you of someone you know or love!

'God's on the phone' is a perfect addition to any family library but it will also make an excellent gift for a Pastor or anyone you wish to reach!

I rated it 4 stars!

About the author:

Regis Flaherty is Director of the Gilmary Retreat Center (www.gilmarycenter.org) and a best-selling author. He has over 30 years of experience in working with Catholic organizations.
Rege's book credits include God's on the Phone: Stories of Grace in Action; Last Things First; Catholic Customs: a Fresh Look at Traditional Practices; The How to Book of Catholic Devotions (co-author with Mike Aquilina); Catholic for a Reason III: Scripture and the Mystery of the Mass (co-editor with Scott Hahn); Catholic for a Reason IV: Scripture and the Mystery of Marriage and Family Life (co-editor with Scott Hahn); and The World's First Christmas (co-author and co-editor with Mike Aquilina). He and his wife, Libbie, are contributing authors to Catholic for a Reason IV: Scripture and the Mystery of Marriage and Family Life.
His articles have appeared in national and diocesan publications including: Lay Witness, New Covenant, Celebrate Life, National Catholic Register, The Pittsburgh Catholic, Catholic Vision, and Our Sunday Visitor. Regis has appeared on several radio and television programs including, EWTN Bookmark, The Abundant Life with Johnnette Benkovic, and Searching the Word with Chuck Neff.
He is a frequent speaker to Catholic gatherings on the topic of lay spirituality and along with his wife, Libbie, teaches pre-marriage and marriage enrichment classes.

I received this book free from Catholic Company as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not asked to write a positive review and the opinions expressed are entirely my own.
I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on God's on the Phone, also a great source for a Catechism of the Catholic Church or a Catholic Bible.