Quotes to Live By

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.
(John Quincy Adams)

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit. (Aristotle)

Every artist was first an amateur. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude. (Thomas Jefferson)

It takes ten years to build up a reputation, but only five minutes to ruin one. (Anonymous)

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Broken Melody

Broken Melody resonated with me for some reason. When I first read the summary on Book Crash, I knew I had to get my hands on that book. I was drawn to Danae. She was very believable as a character and her feelings were raw. I really liked how the plot thickened as the reader went through the book.

All the characters developed well and the author even added a little bit of God in the book. It was sneaky and I liked that. People who don't believe in the faith would pick the book up and be preached to without even mentioning salvation. That's amazing. I never thought about doing that in my novels. I have to put that in somewhere now in my book.

Just like the book, A French Girl in New York,by: Anna Adams, the plot goes similarly down the same path. Maude, a girl that taught herself the piano is discovered in Paris and trained by a studio to perform in piano and voice. I really liked how Broken Melody portrayed life on the other side of a happy family.

Even though I cannot empathize with her, I know a little of her feelings. I was a little lost when trying to discover who I really was in college. But to have been in an abusive foster care and trying to discover yourself would be hard. Yet, many many girls out there are facing the same problems and they don't have good friends like Anne to support them through it.

As I read to the end, I realized I could be the Annes in each Danae's life I meet through my classroom. Since I am their teacher, I would be the help and support they need in their life. The author should write more books like this one.

I thoroughly liked this book and others with similar plots. I would recommend this book to my friends.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Outcasts Book 2

Uncovering the truth could cost them their lives.
Since entering the Safe Lands, Mason has focused on two things: finding a way to free his village from captivity, and finding a cure for the disease that ravages many within the walls of the Safe Lands. After immune-suppressive drugs go missing in the clinic, Mason discovers his coworker, Ciddah, may know more about the Safe Lands than imagined ... and may have an agenda of her own. At the same time, Mason’s brother Levi is focused on a way to free the remaining Glenrock captives, while Mason’s younger brother Omar decides to take the rebellion against the Safe Lands into his own hands as a vigilante.
Soon all three brothers are being watched closely - and when Mason stumbles onto a shocking secret about the Safe Lands meds, his investigation just might get those closest to him liberated.
I really like this series. I started reading book 1 and was kind of lost in the beginning, but when it got to the middle of the book, I was sucked into the plot. Then when the 1st book was done, I wanted to find out what really happened to Mason. The 2nd book was a lot more enjoyable because I already had some background knowledge. 
This book isn't available to the public until Jan. 7th, 2014. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Learning about My Limitations

Everyone has limits, don't they? Some have more than others, but everyone has them. I used to think I had more limitations than others until I stepped back and realized that I don't. I don't mean to get all philosophical on my readers, but it's just something to think about.

When I got this book, I was in a place where lots of people get. If I just read this book, maybe my problems will lessen. I've finished this book, and I don't think my problems will lessen, but it will help solve my future problems. I used to think religion was just a means to an end, a concept where you find what you're looking for and then in the end, there is only one true answer.

Don't get me wrong. I was born into a Christian family and I never debated that fact. When I was admitted as a student at Liberty University, I started to question what it really meant to be Christian. These people I live with, go to class with, converse with, and eat with...yet, because of their limitations, they lash out at me. I started questioning people's motives/actions towards me or anyone else for that matter.

They believed in: legalism, pride, achieving results using any technique, reliance on the human mind, having a faulty foundation, in bondage, and other things. This book by Sandie Freed called: Letting Go of your Limitations is about how a person with these problems can let them go. I learned numerous things that I wish I had learned before stepping in to Liberty as a student.

I can't make up for the time lost at the hands of self-righteous pharisees, but I can recommend this book to others who can then read this book and solve their own problems.

I got this book from: Bethany House Publishers.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Open Eyes

Is seeing better than not seeing? Sometimes I wonder. Not that I would ever trade my eyes for anything, I just wonder sometimes. 

I read this book about '10 Uncommon Lessons to Discover a Happier Life'. It's about how doctors removed Jake Olson’s left eye at ten months old. When he was twelve, after years of radiation and chemotherapy, the cancer took his right eye as well. That’s when Jake’s story really began.

When ESPN met Jake Olson, he was a twelve-year-old boy who wanted to spend his final weeks of sight with the USC football team. Jake’s story became one of the most recognized pieces in the network’s history, earning an ESPY award, instantly viewed by hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. But Jake’s story didn't’ end with his final surgery or with ESPN—not by a long shot.
Now sixteen, Jake Olson dreams of becoming the first blind golfer in the PGA. How is such a thing even possible? How does that level of perseverance endure in someone with so many reasons to give up?
In Open Your Eyes, Jake Olson tells more than his story. He reveals the ways of thinking, living, and praying that have kept him and his family triumphant in the face of their tribulations. Told with sincerity and humor in tandem with leadership coach McKay Christensen, Open Your Eyes is not just a heartwarming chronicle of the Olson family’s struggle. Jake’s story is a step-by-step lesson in perseverance and motivation from a young man who knows how to put the past in the past.
From the USC locker room to the fairways of Pebble Beach, Jake Olson will inspire you, your family, and your team with bravery, ability, and faith. It is time to learn from this remarkable young man and open your eyes to a happier life.

So I wonder if Jake Olson is happier without his eyes? Most people with eyesight do not act as well as Jake without his eyesight. Just something to think about this winter holiday. 
I got this book from: Booksneeze and is not released to the public until December 31st, 2013. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Captive Maiden

Happily Ever After …Or Happily Nevermore?
Gisela’s childhood was filled with laughter and visits from nobles such as the duke and his young son. But since her father’s death, each day has been filled with nothing but servitude to her stepmother. So when Gisela learns the duke’s son, Valten---the boy she has daydreamed about for years---is throwing a ball in hopes of finding a wife, she vows to find a way to attend, even if it’s only for a taste of a life she’ll never have. To her surprise, she catches Valten’s eye. Though he is rough around the edges, Gisela finds Valten has completely captured her heart. But other forces are bent on keeping the two from falling further in love, putting Gisela in more danger than she ever imagined.
I had the privilege to read a few chapters from this book a couple of months ago from Amazon. From the first moment, I was captivated. I wanted to read much more, but when I saw this book from BookSneeze, I knew I had to request it. The book is a modern tale of Cinderella with a lot more depth poured into it. I like the heroines to think and in a lot of fairytales, characters just don't think. They just get saved by guys, so this book was great. Good read for those who are stuck in the snow right now. 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Global Orphan Crisis

James 1:27 = The religious observance that God the Father considers pure and faultless is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being contaminated by the world.

 God's call to care for the orphaned and vulnerable children of the world
is not easy or comfortable.  And it will require willingness, commitment and
sacrifice. The more you know about the global orphan crisis the more your heartis
will break and it will cause you to want to do something... anything... to make
the life of an orphaned child a little easier.

The need is overwhelming, but if you are willing, you can be part of the global orphan solution. It is a decision that will change your life forever. The journey will be worth the effort in countless
blessings along the way.

Together, with God's strength, you can be the hands and feet of Christ and make a difference in the life of an orphaned child now and for all eternity.

Are you ready for the adventure of a lifetime?

This book really spoke to me because I am an educator who strives to make a difference in a child's life every day and it hurt me to see so many abandoned children living in the streets and barely surviving while I live comfortably every day. It made me want to reach out and help some of these kids.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Cloak of the Light

Drew is caught in a world of light - just inches away from the dark
What if...there was a world beyond our vision, a world just fingertips beyond our reach? What if...our world wasn’t beyond their influence?
Tragedy and heartache seem to be waiting for Drew Carter at every turn, but college offers Drew a chance to start over—until an accident during a physics experiment leaves him blind and his genius friend, Benjamin Berg, missing.
As his sight miraculously returns, Drew discovers that the accident has heightened his neuron activity, giving him skills and sight beyond the normal man. When he begins to observe fierce invaders that no one else can see, he questions his own sanity, and so do others. But is he insane or do the invaders truly exist?
With help from Sydney Carlyle, a mysterious and elusive girl who offers encouragement through her faith, Drew searches for his missing friend, Ben, who seems to hold the key to unlocking this mystery. As the dark invaders close in, will he find the truth in time?
This book struck a chord with me because my family is charismatic, so a lot of the spiritual realm is real to me. I can't see evil and good physically, but my aunt can see real demons and ghosts and stuff. I don't know if I would like to see as Drew sees, but it would be kind of nice to kind of see these things, so I know how to deflect the evil.
I would really like to read the 2nd book when it's published to see how the story ends and what happens to Drew and Sydney.
If you want to read this book, it's not published until March 18th, 2014. So until then, you can either get an advanced copy from Blogging for Books.com or just patiently wait for it to publish.

About the Author
CHUCK BLACK, a former F-16 fighter pilot and tactical combat communications engineer, is the author of thirteen novels, including the popular Kingdom Series and The Knights of Arrethtrae series. Chuck and his wife, Andrea, have six children and live in North Dakota. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


As a blogger and an educator, I always try to look for books that pertain to the people I teach. I also like reading books from time to time that spark my interest. I mean, why else would I read books if not in my interest? When I saw this book, I did what most people do: judge the book by the cover. Since I love the color pink, my eyes are naturally d
drawn to the cover.

I read the summary and thought, "oh, this will fit in when I teach middle school." I quickly applied to get this book. When I got it in the mail, I thought, "this is it! I'm going to love this book". I was quickly proven wrong. I only got to the end of the first chapter. The author speaks from her point of view, but she makes it like her life story.

Don't get me wrong, some people's life story is interesting, but not hers. It seems like a mediocre story to me and it preaches about the girls in their middle school age. I went through middle school too, but I didn't come across any of those problems.

I thought I was reading it all wrong and looked it up on Amazon to see if anyone else got my point of view. There were all sorts of glowing reports about this book. I was surprised because I couldn't find any substance in it. Of course, I am also critical about people who say they love God because I went to a school that had lots of hypocrites in it. They basically preached about God's Word and how much they loved God, but there was no fruit and no actions on their part.

So basically, I found this book to be somewhat like that. I couldn't even push myself to read to the 2nd chapter. So I don't know if I would recommend this book to anyone else.

Pirates on the Farm

“No one ever imagined that five swashbuckling pirates would settle in our proper little southern community. But they did.”

When pirates move in next door, life on the farm is bound to get interesting. But will the unadventurous Sanders family be able to handle the pirates’ bad manners, ghastly grub, and outrageous antics? Or will they learn the importance of loving one’s neighbor and help the graceless pirates find their “land legs”?

This story was heartwarming and I was able to share it with my Sunday School class. The students learned that it's okay to be different and that different is not always bad. I liked the illustrations and the students loved the story.

I recommend this book to any child who struggles to understand change and differences in other people. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Critical Reaction

When a Warning Siren Screams in the Desert Night,
the Worst Has Happened

After turning out plutonium for the Cold War, the shuttered Hanford Nuclear Facility's poisoned buildings may be a bigger risk than ever. The men who guard the facility from sabotage or monitor its buildings are told the dangers are under control. But then the worst happens--a thunderous explosion in the dead of night.

Kieran Mullaney survived the blast, but when threats and silence meet his attempts to discover what really happened, he reconnects with an old friend--inexperienced lawyer Emily Hart. Convinced Hanford is hiding something, they also realize their case is sunk without more help.

Emily's estranged father, Ryan, has the courtroom experience they need, but he's grown jaded and weary of the profession. Still, it's a chance to rebuild ties to Emily, and the deeper he digs, the stranger--and more dangerous--the case gets.

When I first got this book, I was excited to read it. I generally like crime-thrillers or any type of Christian thrillers or suspense. This type of book wasn't exactly my cup of tea. There was a lot of professional jargon that I didn't get. Maybe because I spend my time watching NCIS and other crime shows, I missed out on Judge Mathis and Judge Judy. I don't really get courtroom jargon.

So this book wasn't really that interesting after a few chapters, at least for me. I like the summary of the book, but reading it for yourself is different than summarizing a whole book.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Carolina Gold

The war is over, but at Fairhaven Plantation, Charlotte's struggle has just begun.
Following her father’s death, Charlotte Fraser returns to Fairhaven, her family’s rice plantation in the South Carolina Lowcountry. With no one else to rely upon, smart, independent Charlotte is determined to resume cultivating the superior strain of rice called Carolina Gold. But the war has left the plantation in ruins, her father’s former bondsmen are free, and workers and equipment are in short supply.
To make ends meet, Charlotte reluctantly agrees to tutor the two young daughters of her widowed neighbor and heir to Willowood Plantation, Nicholas Betancourt. Just as her friendship with Nick deepens, he embarks upon a quest to prove his claim to Willowood and sends Charlotte on a dangerous journey that uncovers a long-held family secret, and threatens everything she holds dear.
Inspired by the life of a 19th-century woman rice farmer, Carolina Gold pays tribute to the hauntingly beautiful Lowcountry and weaves together mystery, romance, and historical detail, bringing to life the story of one young woman’s struggle to restore her ruined world.

Available in print on December 10th, 2013! 

The Dawn of Christmas

This Christmas, experience learning to trust alongside the Plain folk of Apple Ridge, Pennsylvania in this heart-warming tale of second chances.
Sadie enjoys her freedom away from home and her mission trips to Peru, but after four years, her Old Order Amish family insists it’s time to come home and settle down. Levi, a bachelor who distrusts women after a family heartbreak, also has no desire for romance. To keep their families from meddling in their lives, Sadie and Levi devise a plan—but soon discover that the walls around their hearts are breaking down. Can they let go of their prejudices, learn to trust each other, and embrace a future together?

Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times and CBA best-selling author of numerous works of fiction and one of nonfiction. Her connection with the Amish community has been featured widely in national media. She lives in the Foothills of the North Georgia Mountains with her family. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


One choice could destroy them all.
When eighteen-year-old Levi returned from Denver City with his latest scavenged finds, he never imagined he’d find his village of Glenrock decimated, loved ones killed, and many---including his fiancée, Jem---taken captive. Now alone, Levi is determined to rescue what remains of his people, even if it means entering the Safe Lands, a walled city that seems anything but safe.
Omar knows he betrayed his brother by sending him away, but helping the enforcers was necessary. Living off the land and clinging to an outdated religion holds his village back. The Safe Lands has protected people since the plague decimated the world generations ago … and its rulers have promised power and wealth beyond Omar’s dreams.
Meanwhile, their brother Mason has been granted a position inside the Safe Lands, and may be able to use his captivity to save not only the people of his village, but also possibly find a cure for the virus that threatens everyone within the Safe Lands’ walls.
Will Mason uncover the truth hidden behind the Safe Lands’ façade before it’s too late?
I loved this book because I like reading about the future and I like the thrill of the whole adventure thing. I was a little lost because this is the first book in the series, but I still caught on and enjoyed the book in its entirety. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Andi Unexpected

Twelve-year-old Andora “Andi” Boggs and her fourteen-year-old sister Bethany move to rural Ohio to live with their eccentric twenty-something aunt after the sudden death of their parents. 

While dealing with her grief, Andi discovers proof of another Andora Boggs in the family tree whose existence was hidden in a Depression-era trunk in the attic. With help from her new friend and neighbor, Colin Carter, Andi is determined to find out who this first Andora was and what happened to her.

This book was kind of cute. I haven't read any children's fiction for a long time. So it was kind of nice to read something that didn't involve a murder or anything morbid. 

Although this is not the kind of book I would have been interested in as a child, it's nice to know that good books still exist for the future child. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Peaceful Trust

“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal” (Isaiah 26:3–4).

Peace and trust are best friends. Normally we do not see one without the other. Where peace resides, trust is close by; where trust abounds, there is peace. Their goal is to stamp out fear and doubt.

Our mind can cause us to well up with courage because our focus is on God. Or our mind can cause us to wilt in the face of adversity because our focus is on our circumstances. Peace melts away in the heat of distrust, and trust shudders in the face of fear. So as we trust the Lord, He gives us peace that passes all understanding. Trust leads to peace.

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).

Thus, fill your mind with the truth of God letting it lodge in your conscience. Truth releases peace and trust when you are pressured. Your mind is a school for study; so make sure your faculty members flow from the character of God. If you are preoccupied with the faulty teachers of fear and pride, you will wallow in the energy of worry. What you think about Christ’s capabilities determines your level of peace and trust.

Your thoughts, perceptions, emotions, will, memory, and imagination are all wrapped up in your human consciousness called the mind. This is why your mind is like the rudder of your life. Wherever your mind takes you, your behavior will follow. “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7 nkjv). If thoughts take you toward the rocks of fear, you will act fearful. If they take you toward the shore of peace, you will act calm.

But a mind latched onto the Lord trusts Him when circumstances beg for you to cower in fear. Thus, keep your perspective on the horizon of heaven. Like a ship surging through the open sea, you have the wind of the Holy Spirit moving you forward, with the compass of truth leading you toward the ultimate destination of God’s will.

Make peace and trust a staple of your spiritual diet, as they nourish your soul like food and water invigorates your body. Like a security detail, they will escort you through good and bad times. They will protect you from lashing out in anger when you have been deeply hurt. A steadfast mind is one that stays focused on Jesus and His expectations.

Cultivate your brain for more creative ways to apply His peace and trust. Do not analyze God out of the equation; rather, draw Him into your conclusions. A mind steadfast on the Lord will erupt like a volcano in perfect peace. Trust Him today and enjoy the lava of His hot love and warm embrace. A peaceful trust comes from our perfect God!

Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

Do I embrace the peace of Jesus daily? Does my thinking default to peace and trust?

Related Readings: Job 22:21; Psalm 85:8; Isaiah 52:7; Luke 2:14; Romans 16:20

Taken from the November 3rd reading in the 365-day devotional book, “Seeking Daily the Heart of God” volume 2... http://bit.ly/Tv6y9a

Post/Tweet: Trust and peace are a secure rudder directing us through life’s still and choppy seas. #peacefultrust

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Key to Answered Prayer

How to get what you want, and want what you get. At first glance that may sound crazy, of course I’ll want what i get, but if the truth be known every single person who reads or hears this message will be able to identify at least one time and probably many many times that we got what we wanted and wished we hadn't.

I personally don’t feel like I have enough time to waste on wrong choices, I would rather get it right the first time, Get what I want and want what I get.

Asking is more than just mere words, it’s an attitude. For asking to qualify you for receiving, it must be in the attitude of faith: God has in essence given us a blank check and said that it is up to us to fill in the blank. Every single promise of God is just waiting for the claim of faith.

Salvation, healing, deliverance, prosperity, etc. The design is that we seek first the kingdom and every other natural or earthly need will be added to us. Receiving what you asked for doesn't necessarily mean you are getting what you need. Don’t mistake an answer to prayer for you getting what you need. What do you want?

Jesus told us to ask, seek and knock, But he also told us what to ask for, seek for and what door to knock on. Salvation, healing, deliverance, prosperity, houses and lands, they are all kingdom blessings. But kingdom blessings must never take the place of the presence of the King.

Seek first the Kingdom of God, then ask what you want and you will want what you get.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Respect Between Children and Parents

Children need love. Parents need respect.
It is as simple and complex as that!
When frustrated with an unresponsive child, a parent doesn’t declare, “You don’t love me.” Instead the parent asserts, “You are being disrespectful right now.” A parent needs to feel respected, especially during conflicts. When upset a child does not whine, “You don’t respect me.” Instead, a child pouts, “You don’t love me.” A child needs to feel loved, especially during disputes.
But here’s the rub: An unloved child (or teen) negatively reacts in a way that feels disrespectful to a parent. A disrespected parent negatively reacts in a way that feels unloving to the child. This dynamic gives birth to the FAMILY CRAZY CYCLE.
So how is one to break out of this cycle? Best-selling author Emerson Eggerichs has studied the family dynamic for more than 30 years, having his Ph.D. in Child and Family Ecology. As a senior pastor for nearly two decades, Eggerichs builds on a foundation of strong biblical principles, walking the reader through an entirely new way to approach the family dynamic. For instance, God reveals ways to defuse the craziness with our children from preschooler to teen, plus how to motivate them to obey and how to deal with them when they don’t. In the Bible, God has spoken specifically to parents on how to parent. This book is about that revelation.

This book is available on November 5th, 2013! 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Gems of Love from Your King

If you have ever struggled to find a way to connect your heart to your heavenly Father, His Treasure is the book for you. In the tradition of Sheri Rose Shepherd’s bestselling His Princess series (with over one million in print) comes this book of beautiful “love letters” from God that will remind you of your priceless worth in Christ.

Each scriptural love letter is written in language that speaks to the heart of every woman. You’ll discover treasures of truth, real love, and wisdom from God’s Word. Get ready for an amazing encounter with your King!

I really liked this book because it breaks God's promises down into little gems that last the whole day and you can read it as a devotional each day or ponder upon it each week.

It has little prayers from God to His readers and when I read it, it just warmed my heart and it says it's from your Father and then you have these warm fuzzy feelings when you read it.

Here is an excerpt from my favorite page:

My Beloved Child,

The battle is never easy; hover, the victory is everlasting if it is fought for My glory in My strength. Don't give up your faith when you're worn out from the struggles of live. I have an endless supply of grace to get you through the pain, persecution, and problems this life brings. You will lose only if you forget what you're fighting for. Yes, you will have many days when the blows of the enemy will leave you felling s if you have been knocked out. However, victory is not measured by how your feel or what you win or lose; it is measured by your witness in the midst of warfare that wins souls for My Kingdom Your strength was be renewed when you focus on fighting for what is right in My sight. Now is not the time to give in or give up; rather, it is time to get on your knees and let Me reveal to you what is worth fighting for!


Your faithful Father who fights for you

For the LORD your God is going with you! He will fight for you against your enemies, and he will give you victory! Deuteronomy 20:4

If anyone would like a free copy of this, please leave a sincere message as to why you would want this book and how you think it would affect your future. Also, when you leave a comment, leave your e-mail too.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Beauty of a Persistent and Diligent Wife

The topic of diligence brings up the idea of hard work. And yeah, much of life can be hard work, and truly some things should be difficult, since we grow from experience and mature through each trial we face.

That's why diligence is a virtue, because through it we develop character.

How strong would we be if life was a downhill ride? We wouldn't be as mature as we are nor would we be as compassionate. I doubt that we'd value the things that we have as much as do when we work for them.

Life's tough, and let's face it, an uphill battle is never pleasant.

But here's the thing, anyone who's ever reached the top will tell you that the view is incomparable. And they'll encourage you to keep on keeping on when the going gets tough.

There's beauty to be found in the life of a persistent and diligent wife. And of course the same goes for the men, if any of you are reading.

How beautiful is it? Here are a few testimonies that give us a glimpse?

Nikki writes, "My husband and I have walked through so many of life's ups and down together. When I am down he lifts me up and when he is down I lift him up... God brought us together 33 years ago and I will never stop thanking Him for that day."

Susan says, "When Gods' hand is in it ... there is no stopping you from this kind of love. Not always easy but always worth the energy you put into it! Never take love for granted for tomorrow is not promised. Show your loved ones how much they mean to you so you will have no regrets. Don't let it be too late to show/tell them."

Anna writes, "We are coming up on 63 years married. I have to say it gets deeper."

Maria says, "I thank my parents for their beautiful example to me and my hubby. They're still holding hands and loving on each other at almost 50 years! I don't take a single day with my hubby for granted"

"Till the day my dad died, my parents held hands while sleeping. He died holding my mom's hand." - David

Rebecca writes, "I watched my grandfather release his last breath, after nearly 65 years of marriage, trying to kiss my grandmother. His lips were stuck in a pucker. A beautiful and vivid image of lasting and true love."

Rayna says, "My parents have been married 37 years--since age 19. Still in love, still slow dance in the kitchen and call each other by their lovey nicknames."

Della says, "My husband and I met at 15 and 17 in high school....Nov 1st we will celebrate our 38th Anniversary! God has brought us to the place of "perfection" in loving each other no matter what! We've never been better!"

And this one's my favorite:

"Having someone that loves you so stubbornly with the love of Jesus' is the greatest blessing." Annie Hendricks

If you're in a bad place, I'm not telling you this to discourage you or remind you of what you don't have. My hope is to encourage you to hold on with a fierce grip. We all have bad days. Some of these couples might have had bad weeks or bad years--including myself--but persistence pays off.

Regardless of where you are in your marriage you have the ability to love him so stubbornly that Christ can't be denied.

If you're facing an uphill battle, if you're going through trials, if you've hit a rough patch in your marriage get a fierce grip on his heart and refuse to let go.

Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ. - 1 Peter 1:6-7

You are loved by an almighty God,

Darlene Schacht

Friday, November 1, 2013

Homeschool Giveaway!!

Argh Mateys!  Come aboard our sailing vessels for 3 weeks and become an official pirate!  Through hands on crafts and activities, research and open ended projects/assignments, note booking style pirate journal pages included, and many literature and movie suggestions for visual learners, you will learn about what pirates wore, their weapons, ships, famous pirates, foods they ate, and more! 

Upon completion of unit study, receive a certificate of completion either by email or mail.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, October 31, 2013

For God's Glory

God had a purpose when He designed and created the world. God had a purpose when He designed and created you.
Do you know the purpose for which God designed you? 

A truck driver was hauling a load of 500 penguins to the zoo. Unfortunately, his truck broke down. He eventually waved down another truck and offered the driver $500 to take the penguins to the zoo. The next day the first truck driver got his truck fixed and drove into town and couldn't believe his eyes! Just ahead of him he saw the second truck driver crossing the road with the 500 penguins waddling single file behind him.

He jumped out of his truck, ran up to the guy and said, “What’s going on? I gave you $500 to take these penguins to the zoo!” To which the man responded, “I did take them to the zoo. But I had enough money left over so now we’re going to the movies.” That guy didn't fully understand what he was supposed to be doing. Likewise, many believers today are fuzzy about their purpose for living.

What is your reason for living? Are you a little fuzzy about why you’re here?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


During World War II, Jewish men were forced to box on Saturday night for Nazi entertainment. The winner got extra food. The loser went to the gas chambers.
The year is 1943, and Samson Abrams has just made a life or death decision, coming to the aid of a young Jewish boy being beaten by the Nazis. Before long, Samson’s entire family must board the train to Auschwitz.

As they arrive at the camp, Dr. Joseph Mengele, a man who will later go down in history as a person of pure evil, oversees the “selection” process. The young, weak, and elderly are all sent to their deaths. Samson tries to attack, but is calmed by Maximilian Kolbe, a Catholic monk also at the camp. For Samson, all of this evil reaffirms his belief that there is no God.

Samson is soon recognized as a 1936 Olympic boxing participant and is offered a deal: he can box for his life, but if he loses, he will find himself on Mengele’s experimental operating table.

Adding to the complexity is the slow renewal of Samson’s faith through his relationship with Kolbe. Here, he must somehow reconcile with God while he witnesses the violent, tortured deaths of so many.

A historic battle ensues with Hitler, Himmler, Höss, and many of the highest ranking officials in the Nazi Party watching... an incredible final fight which culminates in Mengele himself getting in the ring.

 I really liked this book and again, I couldn't wait for the book to arrive, so I borrowed it from my fellow blogger. I'm pretty sure he knows why I'm always knocking on his door. Good thing he reads the novels pretty fast. I really couldn't wait for a copy of my own, so I always need to borrow his.

This book was pretty fast-paced. I love anything to do with the Holocaust, so this book was a fast read for me. I really like survivor-type books from any history era. It's just that the Holocaust was so horrific, I hold a special fascination for it.

The book will be made available to the public on October 29th, 2013!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Payback in Panama

After two attempts on her life, Alex is faced with the ultimate decision . . . kill or be killed.
U.S. Treasury Agent Alexandra LaDuca is at a crossroads. Her job is beating her up, emotionally and psychologically. And the moral battle between her faith and her responsibilities is taking its toll on her effectiveness. For the first time, she wonders how long she can last.

Forcing an end to her long-running and treacherous duel with the heads of the Dosi Cartel, Alex knows this is her last do-or-die operation. It’s time call in all the favors owed to her.

Her fight takes her into the criminal underground of America’s east coast, south into the violent underworld of Central America, across Honduras and El Salvador, and finally to Panama for a shattering confrontation.
Alex’s career, her life, and her future with the man she loves---a future she never expected after the violent death of her fiancé two years earlier---are all at stake.

After a final payback in Panama, nothing will be the same . . . if she even survives.

 I love these thriller books that keep me on the edge of my seat. Even though I haven't gotten my copy yet, I borrowed it from a fellow blogger. I read it in two days between the times I do my homework for grad school and substituting for my county. I just can't get enough of reading these books. But once I finish, it's back to square 1. I am yet on another search to find a book that will keep me occupied for another two days.

This book comes out on October 22nd, so unless you have a fellow blogger that has 
the copy of the book, you will have to wait for another two weeks.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Not Romantic Enough for You?

The Little Book of Great Dates will help build romance and fun into any marriage with its creative ideas for a year’s worth of weekly affordable dates. This book—a simpler, gift version of Focus on the Family’s The Date Night Challenge campaign—will help couples to proactively and intentionally build their relationship, showing how everyday activities can become “dates” that strengthen the marriage relationship. It includes plans for special-occasion dates, such as the couple’s anniversaries (first date, engagement, wedding), birthdays, etc. Couples can get to know each other better by sharing fun times and discover dating again in their marriage with this great little book of ideas!

I read this book and learned some great ideas for the future. It has ideas that I've never thought of. My dad thought the book was weird and read a few pages. He put it down because he thought romance is supposed to come natural and not taught through a book.

But you can always be inspired from a book. You don't necessarily have to go step by step by the book.

So I suggest this book for all the men or women out there who needs some romance in their life!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A Wall Around My Heart

Family members hurt us. Friends betray us. Fellow Christians deceive us. But Jesus provides a path through the pain—the Lord’s Prayer.

In The Wall Around Your Heart, Mary DeMuth shows you that you can reach wholeness and healing in the aftermath of painful relationships by following the road map of the Lord’s Prayer. You’ll walk through story after story of hurt people who are led through biblical truth into amazing, life-sustaining, joyful growth.

Life is hard. People can be mean and petty and awful. But they can also be amazing and beautiful and sacrificial. God is good. He is faithful. You can trust him with your relationships. “He’ll send people to call out what is hard in your heart,” Mary shares. “And that’s a gift to you.”

Allow God to access the wall around your heart. Dare to say, “Tear down the bricks, Lord, whatever it takes.” Pray first. Ask for bravery—for yourself and for others. Risk engaging despite your hurt. Seek the shelter of Jesus. You don’t have to resign yourself to your wounds! You can rise above the pain. You’ll usher in a new life—an openhearted way of relating to others that expands the kingdom of God.

In the process, you’ll draw closer to Jesus, be healed, and become an agent of healing to others.

I have been hurt many times by people over the span of my life, starting in Kindergarten. I used to let it get in the way of my life, but God is healing me from all the past hurts. I don't struggle as much anymore, when people say things about me which aren't true or do things that betray a friendship I hold dear. I even wrote a poem about it in college.

This is the first time this poem has been published anywhere.

A Wall of Hurt
There’s a wall
So high
That no one dares to climb over.

One such person dared;
He started to climb,
Finding footholds here and there.
Carefully stepping,
Reaching for the impossible.

Almost reaching the top,
The end is near.

What’s this I hear?
A sound of tearing…
The wall is coming down.

Will he be safe?
Or will he fall?

The wall seems to come to life,
Shaking and trembling;
Keeping it together,
Trying to shun the man.
The man is holding on for dear life.
He lunges once more
And he’s over the top.

He jumps off the seemingly high wall,
Walks to the door,
Turns the knob with such gentleness
And turns on the light

Time stands still.
While the light is adjusting,
The wall seems to sag
With the weight of the world.
Crumbling into dust
And blowing away,
Leaving a golden key
In its wake
To let the man have her heart.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Gunpowder Tea

In a case that could change her career, Miranda uncovers a love that will change her life.

When Miranda Hunt sees the classified ad for an heiress to the legendary Last Chance Ranch, she knows assuming the identity of Annie Beckman is the perfect cover. As one of the finest agents for the Pinkerton Detective Agency, Miranda has been tasked with apprehending the Phantom—an elusive and notorious train robber thought to be hiding on the sprawling ranch.

But she isn’t the only one at the ranch with something to hide. Wells Fargo detective Jeremy Taggart is working undercover as well. Their true identities may be a secret, but it is impossible for Jeremy and Miranda to hide the sparks flaring between them.

Neither is about to let romance interfere with such a huge case. Besides, Miranda hasn’t removed Jeremy from her list of suspects yet. The closer they get to uncovering the identity of the Phantom, the more dangerous he gets—and no one on the ranch is safe.

The longer Miranda and Jeremy spend working together, the harder it becomes to keep their feelings in check. Their careers—and their lives—depend on solving this case. Love will just have to wait.

This book is available on October 8th, 2013! 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Forever Friday

Every Friday, a postcard.
Every Friday, a love poem.
Every Friday for sixty years.

Adam Colby is just doing his job, sorting through the unsold Alexander belongings after the estate sale. He is unprepared for what he finds in an old photo album, overlooked by the bargain hounds and treasure hunters—six decades of postcards and poems from Gabe Alexander to his wife, Pearl. The mystery of the Alexanders’ love entices Adam, a man unhinged by divorce and puzzled by the depth of commitment that he finds in the unabashedly romantic cards.

Forever Friday invites you to travel back in time to the early twentieth century Texas Coastal Bend where a young couple—Gabe and Pearl Alexander—are swept up in a miraculous love. As the heartwarming, pulse-quickening story of their relationship develops through Gabe’s poems, the Alexanders reveal a new way to consider what it means to be truly devoted to each other. Could the secrets of their love affair, laid to rest twenty years ago, hold the key to one man’s future?

 Book Trailer

TIMOTHY LEWIS is an author and playwright. He has authored more than twenty plays/musicals. In addition, he teaches a beginning novel writing class at West Texas A&M University and co-directs a summer writing academy. Timothy is also a professional speaker, cowboy poet, actor, and songwriter. He drew inspiration for Forever Friday from the postcards sent between his great-aunt and great-uncle over a period of sixty years. He lives with his wife near Amarillo, Texas. - See more at: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/author-spotlight.php?authorid=176289#sthash.iCdsp1QA.dpuf
TIMOTHY LEWIS is an author and playwright. He has authored more than twenty plays/musicals. In addition, he teaches a beginning novel writing class at West Texas A&M University and co-directs a summer writing academy. Timothy is also a professional speaker, cowboy poet, actor, and songwriter. He drew inspiration for Forever Friday from the postcards sent between his great-aunt and great-uncle over a period of sixty years. He lives with his wife near Amarillo, Texas. - See more at: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/author-spotlight.php?authorid=176289#sthash.iCdsp1QA.dpuf
Every Friday, a postcard.
Every Friday, a love poem.
Every Friday for sixty years. - See more at: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/catalog.php?work=227694#sthash.t5vu1rL6.dpuf

Thursday, September 19, 2013

True Love Dates

Young new voice, Debra Fileta, brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from her counseling practice to equip singles with sound dating advice.

In True Love Dates, Debra Fileta encourages singles not to “kiss dating goodbye” but instead to experience a season of dating as a way to find real love. Through reading powerful, real-life stories (including the author’s personal journey) and gaining insights from Fileta’s experience as a professional counselor, Christians searching for answers to finding true love need look no further.

True Love Dates provides honest help for dating by guiding readers through the relationship essentials that lead to healthy couples—and true love. Debra is a young, professional Christian counselor, and True Love Dates offer sound advice grounded in Christian spirituality. It delivers insight, direction, and counsel when it comes to entering the world of dating and learning to do it right the first time around. Drawing on the stories and struggles of hundreds of young men and women who have pursued finding true love, Fileta helps readers bypass unnecessary pain while focusing on the things that really matter in the world of dating.

I loved this book because it was different from "I kissed dating goodbye." I like how it talks about the expereince of dating to find true love. I have a lot of friends who date their spouses less than a year and then get married. I always wondered if their relationship would last, seeing how they got married young.

I guess I'll find out through Facebook or word of mouth if they get divorced early. But I love how this book guides readers through the stages of healthy couples and advises on relationship essentials. 

It will be available in bookstores on October 8th, 2013. 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

What Once was Lost

A woman meant to serve, a child in the dark, a man standing apart—can these three souls embrace a God with new plans for them?

On a small Kansas farm, Christina Willems lovingly shepherds a group of poor and displaced individuals who count on her leadership and have come to see the Brambleville Asylum for the Poor as their home. But when a fire breaks out in the kitchen leaving the house uninhabitable, she must scramble to find shelter for all in her care, scattering her dear “family.”

With no other options, Christina is forced to approach Levi Jonnson, a reclusive mill owner, to take in a young blind boy named Tommy Kilgore. Levi agrees with reluctance but finds himself surprised by the bond that quickly grows between him and Tommy. As obstacles to repairing the farm pile up against Christina, she begins to question her leadership ability and wonders if she can fulfill the mission to which she's dedicated her life. And when an old adversary challenges Christina, will she find an unlikely ally—or more—in the aloof Levi? Can Levi reconcile with the rejection that led to his hermit-like existence and open his heart and life to something more, especially a relationship with a loving God?

Author's own website: http://kimvogelsawyer.com/

Sneak Peek of the first chapter: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/blog/2013/06/24/sneak-peek-what-once-was-lost-by-kim-vogel-sawyer/

This book will be available on Sept. 17th, 2013!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Bible Trivia for Kids in One Year

What kind of fruit did Eve take from the tree of knowledge of good and evil? A. pear; B. apple; C. we don’t know.

What did Jesus serve the disciples for breakfast? A. fruit and cereal, B. fish and bread; C. manna and quail.

Learn a little Bible trivia while learning more about God’s message within the Bible. This One Year book features 365 trivia questions that lead into meaningful devotions about the questions. Each devotion also includes a For You section, which gives a simple application to kid’s lives. And the answer to the opening question wraps up the devotion and gives readers biblical references to read.

This book will keep curious kids on their toes and give them a reason to open their devotional and Bible daily. They can also use their knowledge to test family members each day. [The answers to the questions above are C. we don’t know and B. fish and bread.]

I had a privilege of trying this book with the kids I babysat and they loved it.  Elizabeth said, "I love the pictures and the questions. It helped me think." Jack, the younger one liked looking at all the pictures and seeing what was next, even though he was only 2 1/2.  

I mentioned this book to my cousins, and one of them said, "Man, I wish I lived closer to your house, so we can do devotions again." My other cousin said, "I like the Bible Trivia because it helps me learn more about the Bible and God's Word." I gave them a few trivia questions over the phone and read them the first few pages.

Even though this book may be for older kids, the toddlers I had liked the pictures and the applications that I made for them using the devotional book.

I highly recommend this book to any parent! Although, it won't be published until October 15, 2013.