28 February 2014

When Calls The Heart - Lost and Found, DVD review

  • Studio: Word Films
  • Run Time: 89 minutes


From Amazon Editorial:

"When Calls the Heart" tells the captivating story of Elizabeth Thatcher (Erin Krakow), a young teacher accustomed to her high society life, who receives her first classroom assignment in Coal Valley, a small coalmining town where life is simple, but often fraught with challenges. Lori Loughlin plays Abigail Stanton, a wife and mother whose husband, the foreman of the mine, along with a dozen other miners, has just been killed in an explosion.

The newly widowed women find their faith is tested when they must go to work in the mines to keep a roof over their heads. Elizabeth charms most everyone in Coal Valley, except Constable Jack Thornton (Daniel Lissing) who believes Thatcher's wealthy father has doomed the lawman's career by insisting he be assigned in town to protect the shipping magnate's daughter. Living in a 19th century coal town, Elizabeth will have to learn the ways of the frontier if she wishes to thrive in the rural west on her own.

The series is inspired by Janette Oke's bestselling book series about the Canadian West, and reunites Oke with Executive Producer and Director, Michael Landon, Jr.

When Calls The Heart “Lost and Found”
RELEASED TO DVD on 25 February 2014
(From the Television Series inspired by the writings of Janette Oke)

My Thoughts:

An Hallmark Channel movie directed by Michael Landon Jr., When Calls The Heart - Lost and Found is inspired by the Janette Oke's best selling series and has all the making of a classic. 
What better way to enjoy it therefore than with the whole family, sharing quality time the old fashioned way:TOGETHER

For those of you who had the opportunity to see 'Little House On The Prairie' produced by Michael's legendary father, I am certain this movie will bring back many souvenirs!

Janette Oke, Michael Landon Jr. and screen writer Brian Bird make a great team in this latest cooperation, providing viewers with Christian entertainment, a great cast and a change from Hollywood latests! 
This is a much needed and greatly refreshing approach to movies which anyone will appreciate! 

Anyone who had the opportunity to see the pilot movie (reviewed HERE) will notice a few changes of course in the cast but it still manages to come out 'new' with a different twist in the story as well as in the performances and provides good wholesome values to boot!

Filmed in British Columbia, Canada, it features breathtaking scenery and brings viewers a nostalgic look at life in a remote western town where the Mining Company rules everyone's life, the women fight for their families, the newly hired teacher instills hope in her students and Mounties keep the law!

Thoroughly enjoyable and well worth its 5 stars rating!!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this DVD title from Edify Media Inc/Word Entertainment to review . I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255 'Guides concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. I was not asked to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are entirely my own.  

27 February 2014

Where Courage Calls by Janette Oke, Book review (and GIVEAWAY Information)

  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (February 4, 2014)
  • Series: When Calls the Heart
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764212314


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?

My thoughts:

Janette Oke's series including 'Love Comes Softly' have captivated the imagination of many and like the Laura Ingalls Wilder 'Little House On The Prairie' are clearly destined to become classics! 

Few authors have managed to reach such a wide spectrum of readers worldwide! Young and old alike frequently immerse themselves in her novels for a chance to enjoy heart warming adventures set against solid historical settings. If you buy one novel, you are sure to collect all volumes of the series!

Known for a solid faith reflected in her writings Janette Oke's appeal is often linked to a gentler life, where family unity, duty and loyalty still means something.

Where Courage Calls is a special companion story to the Hallmark Channel 'When Calls The Heart' TV series (Pilot movie reviewed HERE).
Together with daughter Laurel Oke Logan, Janette Oke gives us yet a new adventure, this time set in the foothills of Western Canada. 

Placing her trust in God, Beth Thatcher leaves the comfortable world of her father's wealth to accept a teaching position in a coal mining town. Once there however, Beth is faced with many obstacles and must either muster her courage or turn back and admit she is not cut out to live in the West.

Proving themselves to be an excellent writing team Janette and daughter Laurel gives us yet another opportunity to see courageous people willing to make a difference whilst walking in God's intended path.
There is certain to be a little something for everyone in this latest novel, be it adventure, mystery, a hint of romance or just plain entertainment!

5 Stars!

Note To Readers: Join me tomorrow for 'When Calls The Heart - Lost and Found' DVD review!

Meet the Authors:

Janette Oke and daughter Laurel Oke Logan co-wrote this story!

Janette is of course celebrated across the world for her significant contribution to the Christian book industry. She is credited with launching the modern era of inspirational fiction with the publication of her first novel, Love Comes Softly, in 1979. Today, her novels have sold more than 30 million copies, and she is the recipient of the ECPA President's Award, the CBA Life Impact Award, the Gold Medallion, and the Christy Award.

See additional information including a list of all her books (HERE)

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 as well.

Interested in Janette and Laurel's Giveaway? 

(Pst...a chance to win an iPad MIni and participate in their Facebook chat party 
on 4 March 2014!)

Then be sure to visit the link below for all information!

http://litfusegroup.com/author/joke page: 

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book courtesy of LITFUSE as part of this book promotion. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255 'Guides concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. I was not asked to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are entirely my own. 

25 February 2014

Chasing God by Angie Smith, Book review

  • Publisher: B and H Books (January 1, 2014)
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433676611


Maybe you’ve never asked the question out loud, but you’ve wondered. You do the things that look good on paper: read your Bible, pray, attend study groups and go to church on Sundays.

But you aren’t convinced you really know Him.

Angie Smith understands, because she had run circles around the same paths searching for Him, frustrated at her lack of progress. And she probably would have continued to do so had it not been for one realization that changed everything.

She wasn’t following God; she was trying to catch up with Him. 

And without realizing it, you may be as well.

It’s a distinction that affects every aspect of our lives with Christ, and it begins with learning where we’ve relied more on man’s explanation of God than God Himself.

So many requirements, so many rules, and so much guilt where there is supposed to be freedom. It’s the reason you wonder if you’ve measured up, and the nagging voice that tells you you’re a failure as a Christian.

Three simple words changed everything for Angie, and she believes they can do the same for you.

Stop chasing God.

My thoughts:

Remember Angie Smith's AUDREY BUNNY (see review HERE) ? I always enjoy Angie's books because they are so easy to immerse myself into and maybe just because of her particular conversational style of prose.

In Chasing God she explains the instinct many Christians follow in chasing God instead of walking with Him. You quickly get the hint that if we only learn to redirect our thoughts, we might walk right into His arms, having no need to run after Him!

If you have ever fretted and wondered if you are in fact pleasing God with your lifestyle or have experienced nagging thoughts your prayers are truly making a difference, this is the book for you. 
Angie Smith makes the simple truth of God's love come alive in a refreshing and comforting way! No need to look for eloquence in conversing with the Lord, just know in your mind and heart He welcomes us into His presence without rules or formal attitude.

If I had to summarize the book, I would have to refer to Angie's own words: "This book is not about presenting you with (yet) another formula for living as a Christian but rather to offer my thoughts on the difference between looking for Him and looking at Him."

A beautiful experience for those of us "who often fail to understand what happens when we try to use religion to fill in the gaps in our faith!", Chasing God will appeal to many!

You are certain to enjoy the introduction taken from C.S. Lewis 'Miracles' along with each chapter header highlighting well known quotes by such as Charles Spurgeon, C.S. Lewis and others. 

Be sure also to note the references at the end of her book for additional inspiration!

5 Stars (Yes, I am a fan!)

Meet the Author:

Angie is the wife of Todd Smith (lead singer of Dove Award winning group Selah), best-selling author of Mended, I Will Carry You, and What Women Fear, and one of the most popular speakers and blog writers in the country. She holds a Master's degree in Developmental Psychology from Vanderbilt University 

Visit her website

I received a ARC copy courtesy of Icon Media Group as part of this book promotion. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255 'Guides concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. I was not asked to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are entirely my own. 

On Jac Wright's New GIVEAWAY And Victor Moubarak's Latest Book...

  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 2 edition (December 10, 2013)
  • Series: The Reckless Engineer
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • ISBN-13: 978-1494726461

From my review in November 2013: 

Readers will have a hard time to put this novel down!

The Reckless Engineer is definitively a book for serious 'Whodunnit'! Author Jac Wright created gripping characters for his new novel and each one could be a suspect...until your turn the next page and someone else comes into the play!

(See review HERE)


Jac Wright is asking his readers to help him chose a cover for his book 'The Reckless Engineer'!

Interested? Then take a moment to visit Jac Wright's website and vote (see link below) 
and Good Luck to you!

The Reckless Engineer GIVEAWAY


  • Publisher: Xulon Press (September 11, 2007)
  • Paperback: 228 pages
  • ISBN-13: 978-1604770322

For those of us who follow TIME FOR REFLECTIONS, Victor never ceases to bring a smile and a chuckle whilst sharing a kind word!

Best known for his book VISIONS, Victor is said to have written "a challenging Christian book you must not miss. A vibrant tale of supernatural events with strong believable characters and a fast-paced exciting storyline.
The author skilfully combines humour with suspense to deliver a Christian message relevant to today's society.
This book will keep you guessing what happens next."

(Quotes source Amazon)

Note: A Kindle version is also available (HERE)

Victor Moubarak wrote many more books to be found also in Kindle and here is a sampling:


And now for his latest:

Scottish writer Victor Moubarak has delighted his readers recently with the antics of an affectionate if slightly eccentric Australian aunt who came to visit his family (for a rather extensive length of time!).

From Aunt Gertrude herself:

"Hello cobbers !!! G'day to you fellas. I hope ye're all doin' well and have fed your little wallabies and the big kangaroo too and now have time to sit back and relax.

I know what it's like being a hard working housewife with umpteen jobs to do and no time to do it in. And the big kangaroo just sits there fillin' his belly with amber nectar and watching England being beaten at cricket on the TV.

Nothin' wrong with the amber nectar, mind. One of the best things to come from Australia. I like a can or three ma'self.

Nothin' wrong with England losing at cricket either ... they just get used to it in time!

Another good thing from Australia is me of course. I've spent the last few dog years living with my dear nephew in England and now the poor fella has written a book about me.

I was hopin' for a share of the royalties but the silly wallaby has gone and offered the book free to you ma darlin's."

That's right Folks, Victor is now sharing his (mis)adventures with Aunt Gertrude free for you on his website (HERE) along with his other titles! 
(Note: Scroll down the featured page to download!)


I guess I better dust off my Kindle Folks!

23 February 2014


I am almost certain a few people will write and say 'typo' mistake when they spot the title of this post. This has nothing to do with W W J D but then again, He is certain to let me know His thoughts to be sure!

Whilst I must admit to being computer challenged most of the time, this title is therefore not a spelling mistake but rather some reflection of my upbringing by the Ursuline.

In lieu of an explanation, let me quickly say Sister Marie Renee would turn any question or rather problem by asking us: 'What would you do?' - thus making it personal, she never failed to get our attention. 
Her highbrows would shoot up when I came up with yet another 'interesting' notion, but in my defense I am sure the good Sister knew at least I was listening...even if I rarely came up with the answer she hoped (prayed) for!

Back to W W Y D (or What would you do?) I am looking for some direction...

 photo Compass.jpg

Life on an island is most enjoyable when all is quiet and peaceful, the birds are singing, the occasional deer visits and you eat Al Fresco under the shade of cedars whilst listening to the screeching of seagulls and the nearby surf...(the island is about 1 1/2 mile long by 1/2 mile wide!)
Once Summer comes, goodbye tranquility! A guest pass is required but given to a friend of a friend of a friend and we never know whom is visiting. Rules are discarded quicker than you time to say 'hello'!

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Our pets are making the most of island life, napping side by side as you can see. 
Mac loves the cabin (all that snow!) but Maira has yet to visit and experience life in the wilderness!

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We have lived on the island almost 12 years (rather a long stretch for us!) and have been thinking of a change, this time in a different climate.
It is amazing to note how very different one side of a state is different from the other and since we happened to own not one, but two residences, we have a choice.
There are some differences however which would help making such a choice so if interested in helping me to decide, read on.

The island house is three times the size of the mountain cabin (1040 sq ft versus 320 sq ft), the first has a community well, the second is ours only. With a depth of 306 ft. it is solar powered  (as is the cabin, no electricity).
The island house is situated on 1/3 acre versus 20 acres of prime forest land for the cabin (next to a national park).
The island house is only accessible by a private ferry running on a schedule which prohibits any outing after 1850 hours. Miss that ferry and...well, you get the picture!

Any emergency involves approximately a 45 minutes round trip for the crew, providing the Fire Dept. is available to respond. Mountain response is the same.

With no amenities on the island, shopping means ferry rides both ways (short but expensive), a lengthy ride across a peninsula to reach the motorway etc...It means going off island twice a month with an occasional run to the mainland to pick up the post (no postal deliveries).
Shopping amounts to hauling food in bulk (forget about ice cream due to the many shuttles).

Another obstacle...the ever increasing cost of HOA (Home Owners Association) dues...Thirteen times for the island the amount we pay for the mountain's with only one difference, the running of the ferry for the island (ferry tickets are additional!) and going up yet again this year. Special assessments are a regular occurrence as well.

The cabin is situated on a mountainside, 3.5 miles off the road and approximately 21.5 miles from the nearest 'general store' (think West here Folks!). Other amenities can be found another 6.5 miles down the motorway and whilst limited, not an obstacle. There is even a farmer market on Saturday.

Whilst the temperature on the island is relatively mild, the cabin sees snow 7 months out of the year, accessibility drastically reduced in Winter (possibility of being snowbound a couple of months).
Our garden is a concern since growing period is rather limited but containers is a possibility.

There are more neighbours on the island of course (approximately 40+ families living full time) versus a handful of weekenders on the mountain and a few ranchers here and there.

Our four legged neighbours (see photo above) would be exchanged for others (see photo below) including elks and a few I prefer not to encounter on a regular basis (grizzlies, black bears, mountain lions etc...) 
You didn't think I stood taking photos did you? Check again though, I might surprise you in the future!
I would still have songbirds and even hummingbirds!

 photo 004-32.jpg

One chain of mountains could be exchanged for another (yes, we like their proximity)

 photo 001-13.jpg

Island view

 photo 002-2.jpg

Mountain view.

Of course the terrain would be more rugged...A four wheel vehicle is a blessing!
And a very well stocked fishing lake is only 1/4 mile away (as the crows flies)!

 photo 009-1.jpg

Pastimes would remain the same with Internet access provided via satellite. Let's not forget a daily Scrabble game! 

 photo Oldbookandglasses.jpg

Bookshelves would need to be planned for our rather extensive library!

 photo 008-11.jpg

Knitting is always easier over there for some reason!
Alright, you get the idea! With no electricity, cooking and heating is done with wood and I am surprised at the ease I switched to cooking on a cast iron stove!

So what do you think or more accurately, W W Y D???

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22 February 2014

And Now For The Rest Of The Story as Paul Harvey would say...

I always enjoy that particular segment of any story, the special features, what makes it that much more significant...
The rest of the story as Paul Harvey would say which tells us just a bit more and explain a lot...

For those of you who followed my three posts regarding South Korean born Maija Rhee Devine and her latest novel 'The Voices of Heaven, here is a follow up which Maija was very kind to share.

First her interview on a Seoul TV station:

Followed by her 'A Birthday Event for Unlived Lives' (see post HERE)

"A Birthday Event for Unlived Lives" was held on 20 February 2014 in remembrance of the 30,000 female fetuses aborted in 1994 alone and in my short talk, I said that I didn't organize the event to "let those spirit of lost children rest in peace," but by remembering them, we allow the statistics to migrate from our heads down into our hearts and when we do that, their spirits might move us to take pro-active steps to push for more gender-equal legislation and public policies.  
If such changes could occur because of our remembrance of those girls, their unlived lives will not have been for nothing.  Their lives will have been worth something important."  

Note to readers: 
This particular event was held at One World Language School for Adults.
Maija Rhee Devine's Brian who opened the school in Seoul, Korea, presented a poem in memory of those remembered.

 Learning every day just a little more...
Thank you Maija!

19 February 2014

The Pleasure Of His Company by Dutch Sheets, Book review

  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (February 4, 2014)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764209482
  • Hardcover: 272 pages


Experience God's Presence in a Whole New WayThere's just something about people who are close to God. Through the ups and downs of life, they remain secure, hopeful. If you want a more rewarding spiritual life, if you want the pleasure of knowing your Creator's heart, this soul-lifting book is for you. 

Learn from Dutch Sheets as he shares his life lessons for cultivating an intimate relationship with God. Each of the thirty short chapters reveals a simple practice or biblical mindset that will help draw you away from the noise of life and into the Lord's peaceful presence. 

With profound insights from the Bible and stories you won't soon forget, The Pleasure of His Companyis like a spiritual mentor, showing you simple ways to enjoy God more.

This powerful book can also be enjoyed as a daily devotional.

Now for my thoughts:

Just for one moment, imagine yourself inviting God for tea, perhaps a stroll in the garden... How would you prepare yourself, what would you share?
The Pleasure Of His Company: A Journey To Intimate Friendship With God invites us to discover a refreshing spiritual life with God. 

Divided in 30 chapters Dutch Sheets' latest book brings practical suggestions on how we can journey alongside God and enjoy His company to the fullest.
Beginning with 'The Person' to the last chapter 'The Price' each segment includes a prayer reflecting the chapter, and includes the scriptures and passages which inspired the prayer.

"Lord, help me to keep my Christianity real simple; resting in Your grace and trusting in Your love." 
As he thanks God for His amazing grace, the author reminds us of the famous lyrics:

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now I'm found,
Was blind, but now I see.

As customary you cannot but feel Dutch Sheet's flowing style as he describes a simple practice of drawing away from life's many distractions and concentrate on listening to the words of God, but always as a Friend.

"Good Shepherd, I choose to rest in Your abundance and drink from Your living waters. Let my heart never be led astray from a simple, pure, and steadfast devotion to Christ. May the pleasure of Your company always remain my favourite and first choice." 

Using a light conversational tone as if the Lord himself was sitting across the table, Sheets reveals some of his own experience whilst inviting each of us to develop a more intimate relationship in our relationship to Him. 

Finding a special place to 'visit', placing ourselves in the right frame of mind, enjoying His presence and thus making Him a priority in our life.

The Pleasure Of His Company is a delightful insight in making your relationship with God that much more enjoyable!

An excellent addition to church, home library or youth's pastor resources!
Grab a copy and enjoy!!
A keeper of course and 5 stars!

Meet the Author:

Image of Dutch Sheets

DUTCH SHEETS is an internationally known conference speaker, pastor and author. He has written many books, including Authority in Prayer and his bestseller Intercessory Prayer. 
Dutch travels extensively as a guest lecturer in various venues. 

He is fervent in empowering believers for passionate prayer and world-changing revival. Dutch is the senior pastor of Freedom Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He and his wife, Ceci, their two daughters and three dogs make their home at the base of the Rocky Mountains.

Visit his website for additional information (HERE)

I received a copy of this book courtesy of BETHANY  HOUSE as part of his book promotion. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255 'Guides concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. I was not asked to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are entirely my own.