Thursday, February 14, 2013

All for a Song: A Review for Tyndale House

All for a Song
View all my reviews

All for a Song by Allison Pittman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I chose this book to review because I liked the look of the cover and the description caught my attention. I don't necessarily agree with a woman being an evangelist and it was looked down more in the early 1900's than it is today. I think I chose this book because I like seeing different viewpoints, even if I don't agree with it. This book was fiction but there was one character in the book that was a real person from the 1920's, which I thought was a neat idea for the book if the author was going to include a woman evangelist in the plot. In my opinion, I think the book focused on one denomination but I don't think it was made out like that denomination was being forced upon the reader. The only issues I have with this book is how Roland and Aimee are portrayed. Roland's character just creeps me out and he comes off as a bad person to me. Aimee comes off as an arrogant person, even though she is supposed to be an evangelist. I just didn't like how their character's are portrayed.

~About the Story~

This is the first book I have read by Allison Pittman and I thought it was a great choice for a first read. The story is about a lady whose name is Dorothy Lynn and the story changes perspective between her being 107 years old and 18 years old. At 107 years old, Dorothy Lynn has had two strokes and lost her voice to the second stroke. Dorothy Lynn's father was the preacher in her small town of Heron's Nest until he passed away. Dorothy Lynn's fiance, Brent, has taken her father's place as the preacher. Dorothy Lynn loves playing the guitar that was given to her by her brother and she enjoys writing her own songs. Her love for playing the guitar and singing is the part of the reason she has chose to travel with Sister Aimee's crusade to California but the main reason is to find her brother. She travels through different states, playing for Sister Aimee's crusade, until they reach California. Roland is with Dorothy Lynn throughout the trip to California and makes sure she has everything she needs.

~Where to Buy~

BarnesandNoble

~About the Author~

Award-Winning Author Allison Pittman left a seventeen-year teaching career in 2005 to follow the Lord's calling into the world of Christian fiction, and God continues to bless her step of faith. Her novels "For Time and Eternity" and "Forsaking All Others" were both finalists for the Christy Award for excellence in Christian fiction, and her novel "Stealing Home" won the American Christian Fiction Writers' Carol Award. She heads up a successful, thriving writers group in San Antonio, Texas, where she lives with her husband, Mike, their three sons, and the canine star of the family--Stella.

I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers. I wasn't required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Self Image in 2013 by Amanda Reed

Self Image in 2013 by Amanda Reed 

As we start a new year, many of us are making resolutions, or avoiding making resolutions, or resolving to call resolutions something else, so that it’ll be different this year than it was last year. And in any case, most will probably have forgotten them or altered them in some way by January 15th. We have good intentions. It’s a fresh start, right? Out with the old and in with the brand spankin’ new.

For some of us the new is keeping in touch with friends or family that we often lose contact with after the holidays. For some, it’s to be more patient with our littles, or to do more activities with them. And there are, on a different spectrum, those that are hoping to make more money this year, to get a promotion, to work harder then they have before. There are a wide range of needs and wants, carnal and spiritual, that we are wistful about as we say goodbye to 2012: to pray more, to read more, to be more… to be better.

Commonly, at this time of year, we also resolve to “fix” our body. I’m certainly there myself. I want to lose “a lot” of weight this year, and to get as strong and as fit as possible. You may want to lose a few pounds yourself, or to gain a few pounds, or to change that soft, squishy part to a firm, muscled part or to get some fancy serum that promises to tighten the wrinkles around your mouth and eyes. Whatever your resolution concerning your body may be, I’d like to impart something to you regarding your self image.

I’ve been a member of the “yo-yo dieters of the world club” for many years now, I’m like the vice president or something, I swear. And for the last 3 years, I’ve also been a member of a very popular weight loss group, you probably know the one. During this time, I’ve learned a lot about myself and about others who struggle with their body image. So, at the risk of sounding like a know it all (I’ll pass out wet noodles to beat me with after), here we go.

First and foremost, it’s a mental struggle; before food or drink, and before exercise or the lack thereof, we have the battle of the bulge in our brain (ha! I’m so clever!). Now I don’t mean that you need to sit for hours trying to figure out the exact moment you gave up on your body, or seeking out the person or persons that wounded you so gravely that you lost your self worth. You don’t need to go find a personal trainer, Jillian Michaels style, that will scream at you until you break down crying and spill your guts about how awful your mom or dad or childhood bully was. Because the fact is, most likely, you are your own worst bully. I recently read a book by a very famous person about learning to talk to ourselves more positively. Her book costs money, but I’m going to give you the gist for free. (I’m so nice! Give me back those noodles…)

When you see your best friend in the whole world, do you look at them and say, “Gee whiz, Meredith*! Eat a cow today?” or “You are so stupid stupid stupid!” No, of course not, because (a) Meredith wouldn’t stay your friend for very long if you did and (b) because you don’t see her that way. You see your beautiful friend that has been with you through thick and thin, and has always listened to you cry and laughed with you when you were joyful and loved you even when you were a little unlovable. (*I picked that name from nowhere, so if your name or your best friend’s name is Meredith, pretend I said Louise.) And yet, we do those exact things to ourselves all the time. You are with you through thick and thin, too, and through joy or tears or unlovable crabby times. And yet you (and I) treat ourselves like rubbish.

Now is the time to realize that, and this is my own quote - I’m so smart:

A body is a body, regardless of whether the person abused food or was using food to abuse themselves. And your body is just that: yours. Your own. It’s the only body you get. Loving yourself, no matter how you look, is the single most important thing any person needs to overcome whatever caused them to gain the weight in the first place. It's a mental battle field before all else. We must love ourselves the way we are to realize we are worth the effort to take back our health!

You can take out the gaining weight part and put in whatever matches your circumstances. Because it’s true, regardless. We must begin to love ourselves, no matter what we look like or how we feel or whether we’ve abused ourselves or been abused by others. That does not mean that we must be satisfied with our lot, or ok with our lumps, it just means that we love who we are and what we are no matter where we are … in life, in our journey, or in our place in the world. That is the first step to a successful resolution. Take it day by day, talk to yourself in the mirror, hug yourself, and tackle the bad internal dialogue, and that’s how you will see changes. Because you cannot change the outside, without first changing the inside.

Alright, that was so way too deep… I need to do something goofy and frivolous now, like dance around or make funny faces. Do you know how to spell that sound you make when you stick out your tongue, clamp it with your lips, and blow (otherwise known as a raspberry)? It’s just like this, and I quote, “plllbbbbbbbbbbt”. Three Ls and ten Bs. I’m serious. Sometimes we need to do that to ourselves in the mirror, too. Hehe.

Anyway, if you’re interested in reading the book I mentioned, it’s called “Talk To The Mirror” by Florine Mark. And I resolve to read it cover to cover before January is out. I wish you a happy new year and a happy new you.

About Amanda: Amanda is a homemaker, wife and mother. She has a deep love for the Lord and family. You can learn more about Amanda at her blog Shine Like the Moon

Monday, December 24, 2012

12 Pearls of Christmas | Day 11

12 Pearls of Christmas | Day 11 - Just Like Mary by Carla Anne Coroy

 
Welcome to the 12 Pearls of Christmas blog series!

Merry Christmas from Pearl Girls™! We hope you enjoy these Christmas “Pearls of Wisdom” from the authors who were so kind to donate their time and talents! If you miss a few posts, you’ll be able go back through and read them on this blog throughout the next few days.


We’re giving away a pearl necklace in celebration of the holidays, as well as some items (books, a gift pack, music CDs) from the contributors! Enter now on Facebook or at the Pearl Girls blog. The winner will announced on January 2, 2013 at the Pearl Girls blog.

If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see what we’re all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Mother of Pearl, Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace or one of the Pearl Girls products (all GREAT gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.
 
***
Just Like Mary

By Carla Anne Coroy

Mary. Amazing Mary. Mother of Jesus. We marvel at her simple, faith-filled acceptance of God’s will for her life. There’s so little written about Mary in the Bible. We know almost nothing, really, about this woman that God chose to parent His Son.

Many have speculated about the exact age of Jesus’ mother. How old was she, really? What would it have been like to be greeted by an angel—and told you would become pregnant by the Spirit of God?

I wonder about other things sometimes, though. Like if she had morning sickness, or gained a lot of weight during her pregnancy. Was she overdue, or was baby Jesus born right on time? Did she mistake Braxton Hicks contractions for the real thing before labor really started? Was it a fast labor or did Joseph have eighteen hours to get that place into birthing readiness?

Most women who have ever given birth to a child have shared pregnancy stories. Everyone’s story is unique and interesting. Surely Mary’s was, too!

Then there are the stories of potty-training and conversations on how to get the baby to sleep through the night. Did Mary bounce Jesus on her knee while sharing recipes with other young moms?

We cannot find answers for these questions in Scripture. And as interesting as it might be to share pregnancy stories with Mary over a cup of coffee (maybe in heaven?) and get her tips on potty-training, we really don’t need to know any of that to love the Son she bore.

But Mary’s example raises questions about me and my own life that get under my skin.

Am I the kind of woman God will choose to be part of His plan? Do I trust and love my God enough to give faith-filled answers like she did? If there were just a few paragraphs written of my life for future generations to read, would those words reveal a heart of willing submission to God?

“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” (Luke 1:38, NIV)

God has not asked me to carry the burden of His Son in my womb. There are other burdens He is asking me, and you, to carry instead. Are we being the women He needs for the part of the plan we’re living in now? Am I saying to Jesus today, “May it be to me as you have said”?



During this Advent season, let’s prepare ourselves to be used by God, filled with faith and anticipating His grace—just like Mary.
 
***
Carla Anne Coroy is a Christian speaker and blogger, and the award-winning author of Married Mom, Solo Parent. She ministers to a wide audience through her website and blog at www.carlaanne.com. Carla Anne has served full-time with organizations such as Youth for Christ and Crown Financial Ministries, and is currently developing mentoring resources for women and an international mentoring organization for youth. She also serves as a staff writer for the online magazine Mentoring Moments for Christian Women and is a spokesperson for Faithbuddy.com. Carla Anne lives in Canada with her husband and four homeschooled children.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

A Rough Week

Whew! This has been a rough week!

I've had the flu this week. I got really dehydrated Tuesday and I was also running a fever! I passed out twice within five minutes and my arm got burnt on the space heater the second time I passed out. I went to the hospital and had to have an IV to get fluids. I'm feeling ALOT better but I'm still feeling a little sick. I have a lingering cough and a stuffy nose but NO MORE FEVER and I'm drinking PLENTY of water. I do NOT want to have another dehyrdation scare!

I hope I NEVER get the flu again! I'm glad that I'm recovering quickly but I can't wait until I'm fully out of the woods!

Take precautions! Wash your hands with soap and water, do NOT go around people that you know are sick or if you feel you are getting sick do NOT go around others, and drink plenty of fluids.

Take care and Happy Reading :)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Traditions

 

Traditions by Lori Wildenberg

Don’t you love traditions? I think most women do. For a number of years my mom has baked Christmas cookies with my kids. I love watching her hang with the grandkids and pass along her Christmas cookie recipes and baking tips. Maybe it seems even sweeter because we are typically separated by many miles. Every year my mom flies the friendly skies from Minnesota to Colorado. She stays with us from Thanksgiving to the first week in December. We pack in a lot.
 
We begin by celebrating Thanksgiving. The whole family cooks together but my mom is the only one who makes the gravy. No one can make better gravy! As a woman of many talents she is also the photographer for my gang’s Christmas card photo. This is no easy task by the way, getting six distractible people to look in the same direction, keep their eyes open, and smile all for the same moment is a huge feat! The day after Thanksgiving, she and I put up the Christmas decorations together. And… and she is Cookie baker extraordinaire!
 
This year will be different. Due to some other considerations, my mom won’t be with us for her typical November/ December trip. We will have to figure out the gravy, find a patient photographer, decorate and produce cookies without her. We will miss her laugh, stories, and the way she listens to each of us.
 
A mom’s and Nana’s love is a special thing.
 
I am really going to miss her presence. And…so will Tom and the kids.
 
But we will be of good cheer and if we forget a baking tip or two…thankfully she is just a phone call away.
 
What traditions does your family have?
 
“His mother treasured all these things in her heart.”
Luke 2:51b
 
 
Shared from the blog of Margaret McSweeney:
Author and Pearl Girls Founder
http://margaretmcsweeney.com/blog/


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

And in God I Will Find My Strength

This year has been full of loss and remembering people we've lost in the past year.

Unfortunately, I lost my great-uncle Allen this past Sunday to a cancerous tumor but Heaven received another angel. It is always hard losing someone you care about and love BUT I know he isn't suffering anymore. That is the thing that comforts me, knowing he isn't suffering anymore!

My grandfather passed away this past April. I had a much harder time with it than I thought I would considering I wasn't too close to him. I guess it's the fact that he was my grandfather and I wished I could've spent more time with him.

This past Friday, July 20th, was the one year mark of Lucille passing away. She was my best friend's mother. She was such a sweet lady and almost like a grandmother to me. She reminded me of my own grandmother who passed away 11 years ago. Sometimes it hurt so much when I'd see her because she would remind me of my grandmother. I am so thankful for the few months I got to spend with her and help take care of her. I wouldn't trade those months for anything.

Just like the picture below says, I will forever keep them safely tucked in my heart.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Worth It - Francesca Battistelli

I have fallen absolutely in love with this song!! I'm so happy I came across it :) I hope you enjoy it as much as I do and get something out of it.