Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Groceries and Grace

In fourteen short chapters Laura Willis reminds us how something as simple as a bag of groceries can change someone’s life. Quite often it is the person sharing the groceries that is changed. Laura Willis served for ten years in a rural Tennessee ministry providing help to the community. She leads us through her time with the Community Action Committee with stories of the people who touched her life. Laura Willis makes the connection of how people are hungry not just for peanut butter and beans but also for the word.  For anyone who has worked in a food ministry this is a humble reminder that compassion and grace are just as important as the food we share.
I encourage you to look into helping with a local food pantry. It could be as simple as collecting cans to meeting with clients. Many are not aware of just how much time and heart goes into a ministry like this. Laura Willis has done a brilliant job sharing the mission from both aspects.
From Goodreads...
If your pantry was empty, your children hungry, your electricity cut off for nonpayment, and you saw no prospect of support, what would you do? For a decade in a rural Tennessee community, you went to a shabby building behind a church and found Laura Willis. Running a program to help the needy, Laura discovered a world of people she never knew: the lonely and unemployed, chronically poor families, and middle-class folks surprised to be struggling in a great recession. And to each, she offered a bag of groceries, a compassionate ear, and a heart of love. Taking a tiny food pantry and watching it grow to feed hundreds, Laura learned about her own hunger for God and began to discern her own spiritual directions, learning how her calling card a bag of groceries could be a gift to others and to herself of abundance and grace.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

It's Party Time!

I have never attended a Facebook party, but since it is a Sandra Bricker Launch Party I am sure it is going to be a blast!
Hope to see you there!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Raw Edges ~ Sandra Bricker

Raw Edges is different than other Sandra Bricker books I have read. For some of us this book hits close to home. This story tells the story of love, love lost, enduring love and learning to love again. We get to look into the lives of three people who have each had Ovarian Cancer affect them in different ways. Sandra brings this heartfelt story together using pizza, quilts and baseball. The perfect blend for a great book if you ask me.

From the back of the book….

“Grayson McDonough has no use for teal ribbons, 5k runs, or ovarian cancer support groups now that his beautiful wife Jenna is gone. But their nine-year-old daughter Sadie seems to need the connection. When Annabelle Curtis, the beautiful cancer survivor organizing the memory quilt project for the Ovacome support group, begins to bring out the silly and fun side of his precious daughter again, Gray must set aside his own grief to support the healing of Sadie’s young heart. But is there hope for Gray’s heart too along the way?

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Dream of Time~Not your typical time travel

Dream of Time
When people ask what genre of books do I prefer I usually have a difficult time giving them a straight answer. Sometimes it depends on the mood I am in, or it may relate to something that is currently going on around me. I love the past and if I find a book that can take me to another place I am usually all in.  When I came across Dream of Time by Nancy J. Price the cover was the first thing that caught my attention. What was behind that cover really grabbed me. This is a story of time travel, but not your typical time travel. The main character Robin finds herself traveling in between current day and 1900 San Francisco when she goes to sleep. To give this an even bigger twist when she wakes up in 1900 she is not Robin but another woman who must untangle the past using clues from the future.

There is mystery and romance along with cute references to the differences in time periods.  I found myself doing some quick internet research on some of the historical references made in the book. The author did a wonderful job relating the settings in the book.  If you are looking for an escape I suggest Dream of Time.

More about the book from Goodreads……

When Robin drifts off to sleep each night, she finds herself dreaming about the life of a woman in the Victorian age. She soon realizes it’s not a dream at all, but she is truly slipping into San Francisco’s past.

While living two lives — one as a mom in the modern day, the other as a proper young lady at the turn of the century — she discovers how she’s being sent back to a bygone era is only the first mystery. A much more important question is why she’s there.

With the help of a rookie police officer, Robin takes off on a spellbinding adventure, sifting through a century’s worth of clues to solve a series of puzzles — and to put love to the test. History, though, proves itself a worthy opponent, and she comes to experience firsthand how destiny can be kind and cruel in the same stroke

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A Simple Change

A Simple Change (Home to Amana #2)
I recently had the chance to read A Simple Change by Judith Miller. At first I was excited at the chance to read this book and learn a little bit about the Amana Colonies but unfortunately I feel like I was left with wanting more. Jancey Rhoder, the main character adapts rather quickly and painlessly to the colony lifestyle and there are missed opportunities to see this character adapt to her new surroundings. A Simple Change was a nice read, but this reader was expecting more.

From Goodreads ......

Judith Miller's Novels Offer a Fascinating Look inside the Amana Colonies
Joining the communal society of the Amana Colonies isn't what Jancey Rhoder planned for her future, but when unforeseen circumstances force her family to make some difficult decisions, she chooses to give up her teaching position in a Kansas City orphanage and move with her parents to Iowa.
Her besotted suitor, Nathan Woodward, isn't at all happy about the move and is determined to get Jancey to change her mind. And Jancey herself isn't sure what she's gotten herself into when the simple life of the Amana Colonies means she'll be assigned a job and may have to give up teaching for good. Will Nathan woo her back to the city, or will she be forever changed by the mysterious events and new relationships that await her in the quiet villages of the Amana Colonies--and decide to make this unique place her forever home?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Trouble in Store

Trouble in Store
This is the first book I have read by Carol Cox. I really enjoyed it. The main character Melanie Ross is a great example of women in the late 1800's. She is forced to make a life changing decision that sends here to a new state and to a new line of work. Her strength and determination lead her right to where she needed to be.

More about the book......
Fired from her most recent governess position, Melanie Ross must embrace her last resort: the Arizona mercantile she inherited from her cousin. But Caleb Nelson is positive he inherited the mercantile, and he's not about to let some obstinate woman with newfangled ideas mess up all he's worked for. He's determined to get Melanie married off as soon as possible, and luckily there are plenty of single men in town quite interested in taking her off his hands.
The problem is, Caleb soon realizes he doesn't want her to marry up with any of them. He's drawn to Melanie more every day, and he has to admit some of her ideas for the store unexpectedly offer positive results.

But someone doesn't want the store to succeed, and what used to be just threatening words has escalated into deliberate destruction and lurkers in the night. When a body shows up on the mercantile steps--and the man obviously didn't die from natural causes--things really get dangerous. Can Melanie and Caleb's business--and romance--survive the trouble that's about to come their way?

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Great Paper Airplane Race

I currently work in children's ministry, mainly with preteens. The name of our group is bTween. This name symbolizes how the kid's in my class are between the children's class and the youth group.As a church I can see we are at another crossroads, we are lacking families. The neighborhood is full of families. The challenge is reaching outside the walls of our church and providing what is needed for our neighbors.
At times I think we forget about going back to the basics. In an effort to reach our neighboring families and provide a chance for church members of all ages to get reacquainted the Family Afternoon Adventure was born. The idea is simple, pick a theme and build around it.
Our first adventure was The Great Paper Airplane Race. One piece of paper and little bit of skill made for a fun filled afternoon.
Pinterest was a great tool for organizing different ideas. We had different areas set up so that everyone felt as if they were moving through the airport process. First was check in, from there our pilots were directed to Gate 1.

Gate 1 was the engineering process. Tables were laid out with paper and crayons, this is where pilots let their imaginations soar. It was great to see everyone working together, and humorous to see how many had their smart phones out looking for ideas for the perfect paper airplane.

Gate 2 is where the pilots registered their amazing air crafts to compete in the races and competitions. Pilots had to also name their air crafts, this really gave them a sense of pride in their creations.
behind gate 2 we had a practice area. This is where the "big" kids really let loose

Once everyone had registered we headed out through Gate 3 to the lawn. This is where the real fun the real fun began. There was a distance race and obstacle course of hanging hula hoops that the pilots had to get their planes through. It had been quite some time since we had so much fun on a Sunday afternoon. In addition to the activities airline snacks of peanuts and pretzels were provided.
After the great fun on the lawn it was time for our awards ceremonies. 
Upon handing out ribbons to our winners, everyone received a participant's ribbon for being such good sports. At the end of the adventure the pilots were reminded to pick up the luggage from the baggage claim.
This day was so much fun. I worked hard to keep it budget friendly and had some amazing volunteers. We talked about how pilot's have a flight course God has a plan for us and sometimes that plan gets readjusted but God is always there to guide us.
God definitely guided me through this and has led me to this new avenue. I will gladly follow him. It was wonderful to see everyone young and old enjoying a simple afternoon together. Our next adventure is in June. Stay tuned....

Friday, April 19, 2013

A Modern Day Fairy Tale


There is a saying that when we make plans God laughs; this could be one of the taglines for Sandra Bricker’s newest book “If the Shoe Fits: A Contemporary Fairy Tale”. Once I started reading I couldn’t put it down, it was chock full of witty characters and a timeless plot that filled my afternoon. So grab your tiara, a kicky pair of shoes, put your feet up and get wrapped up in Julianne’s world as she discovers God’s plan for her happy ever after.
About the Book
Julianne used to believe in fairy tales; she's been watching for Prince Charming to come charging in on his white steed ever since the day her mother read her Cinderella for the first time. But she's never come close to finding the perfect man-instead she's always tripping over her childhood best friend, Will. And who finds their Prince Charming on a 10-speed bicycle on the other side of the cul de sac? Well... Julianne does. Only she doesn't have a clue.
She and Will are attorneys now, and they've joined up in private practice in a beautiful Cincinnati office building that overlooks the Ohio River. And then one day Julianne is on her way to court, and runs right smack dab into Prince Charming. But when she looks again, all she finds is a metaphoric sign she is certain came straight from Heaven: The Prince's toolbox has fallen off the back of his truck, and a work boot along with it. What better way for God to grab the attention of a Cinderella-in-training than to show her a glass slipper...errrr, work boot?...waiting to be reunited with its owner?

So she sets out to track down the mysterious Prince Charming. He's the most gorgeous guy she's ever seen...and a caring animal rescuer, too. Surely he must be the soul mate God has prepared her for.

But, Julianne's prince is starting to look less and less charming all the time. No matter how she tries to romanticize him, he just keeps tumbling down off that dumb pedestal. And with the Bar Association dinner coming up that will honor her for her outstanding charity work over the year, Julianne wants so much for her friends and colleagues to see her with someone besides her best friend Will. To make matters worse, Prince Charming has no designs on wearing a penguin suit and attending a stuffy old dinner. With her pride pressing in on her like sticks from a cactus, Julianne sinks to the bottom of the proverbial barrel and actually offers to pay Paul to be her date.

Julianne is on a collision course with God's perfect plan for her life...if only she could open her eyes and see it before it's too late.

Here is you chance to read it also