The First Week…

… of my being laid off (for 4 weeks to start) got off to a great start. These past 3 days? Not so much. I have gotten a lot of leaves raked, been cooking and cleaning, and crocheting. I have been trying to do something constructive every day and it is just too much.

I now have requests for 10 pairs of slippers. Don’t mind the scar and veins, breaking your ankle in 3 places can wreck a foot

My anxiety has been on fire since Wednesday, and our new Michigan orders have even the most basic things being restricted.

I have a duck pen and coop to get built, but the weather and my aching body are not cooperating these last couple of days. Snow? Really???

I have a stack of books to read, some from the library and some I bought last month. I have instead been binge watching Midsomer Murders for the past week when I am not outside.

I think not being able to celebrate Easter with my family and church is bothering me more than I realize right now. I am assuming when my youngest daughter and I are eating dinner Sunday it will hit me like a brick to the face.

I know so many others have it so much worse than I do, and I am trying to focus on how fortunate I am to keep my spirits up. And this too shall pass.

I am about to watch The Passion of the Christ. If that can’t fix my attitude, nothing will.

I hope you are all coping with whatever level of quarantine you are under right now, and staying healthy and happy!

I would love to hear what you are doing to feel good, and even what is getting you down right now!

Be well and I look forward to hearing from you!

Babylon Rising – Tim LaHaye and Greg Dinallo

Wow! Just Wow! What a page turner this story is! This was another random find as I was strolling through the aisles in my library, and I grabbed this book and the second book in the series. As I normally do, I looked it up online to find out exactly how many books are in this series.

I was hesitant to even start this book (series) as not only did I find there are 4 books, but all of the reviews lead me to believe that the fourth book did not wrap up any of the stories, and that at least one more book was meant to be/needed to be written.

Did I want to start a series that was not going to be wrapped up all nice and neat at the last book available? Not really. But it is about Biblical history, prophecy, and the coming end times, all of which fascinate me. So I got comfortable in my bed, or I should say my two cats got comfortable on me in my bed, and I opened the book.

Benjamin and Franklin
Benjamin and Franklin; my reading partners and all-around naughty boys.

Michael Murphy is a Professor, as well as Biblical Archaeologist. Thanks to a nemesis who is more than willing to have Murphy (as he is called) risk his life to get his hands on these historical treasures, this latest test involves the book of Daniel, and an object that is not only priceless, but will also help Murphy in his quest to prove the Bible is historically true.

Babylon Rising cover image

This book is one you will not be able to put down; or at least I couldn’t as I read it in a day. The twists and turns will have your heart not only racing, but also breaking, and celebrating all at the same time. There is a group of people who have set out to make all Evangelical Christians look like fanatics willing to do anything, and I mean anything, to get their point across to the public. Who would devise such a plan, and why? And why is this small group of people so powerful that they are able to get a few individuals to do their bidding, no questions asked?

I cannot wait to start book 2, The Secret on Ararat, and hope I do not regret reading this series which does not end all wrapped up nice and clean with a bow on it.

Priceless – Luke & Joel Smallbone

What a fantastic story! It is a quick read, and I could have finished it easily in a day. If I wasn’t trying to move, homeschooling, and working, that is.


I did not get to see the movie while it was in limited theaters, but I will be purchasing it on Valentine’s Day when it is released to DVD.

If you have daughters, sisters, nieces, or any young woman in your life that is important to you; this is a must read. I became familiar with For King & Country because I only listen to Christian music in my vehicle. Although I cannot control what my girls listen to when I cannot monitor cell phones, computer access, I refuse to listen to the crap on the radio that is degrading while they are with me.


Now I don’t care what my 2 youngest girls may try to say; we had an amazing time at this concert and rocked it out! Yes; Christian music rocks. We had perfect seats, and literally had the band right behind us at one point.

Priceless the song, and Priceless the story are amazing, and whether you are an agnostic, Christian, Atheist; it does not matter. This message is universal. Seeing them Live? That was Priceless!


Prince Caspian – The Chronicles of Narnia – C.S. Lewis

One of my favorites from the Narnia series, this story had me laughing out loud, angry, and sad, all in one setting. The thing I enjoy most about C.S. Lewis and his writing is how he just puts it out there. Right there; yes, for you to see, and contemplate, and enjoy.

Prince Caspian 005

Okay, enough reminiscing.

There are some great lines in this story, as well as the others, that make me remember them long after I read them.

Chapter 3: “The worst of sleeping out of doors is that you wake up so dreadfully early.”

Prince Caspian 006

The Pevensies wanted to go back to Narnia, but they did not know what that would cost them. Prince Caspian is the rightful heir, being denied his throne by his uncle. It is a quick story, with all of the allegories you come to expect from Mr. Lewis. And I have to honestly say; Reep-a-Cheep is likely my favorite “character” out of all of them! Well, except for Aslan, of course!

Prince Caspian 007

If you have seen the movie, I have to say it is quite different from the story, but I do enjoy the movie as well. How did you feel about this installment in the Narnia series?

Prince Caspian 008

The Horse and His Boy – The Chronicles of Narnia – C.S. Lewis

Book number three in the Narnia series, by the numbering on the books I have, is “The Horse and His Boy.” This is also the only book I seem to have missing from my collector’s box that holds all 7 of these books. I haven’t the slightest idea where it went, who may have had it last, or how I managed to lose a book!

The Horse and His Boy

With that being said, this is actually my least favorite book out of the 7 in the series. This is a novel that can stand alone, and there is no need to read, or have read, and of the other books to enjoy this one. I did like this story, I just did not find it as interesting as the other 6 stories. This story is set in Narnia for its entirety, and focuses on a boy running away from home, who meets a horse who is also running away from home.

The Full Color Edition
The Full Color Edition

Shasta discovers his adoptive father is going to sell him as a slave, and learns from Bree, a horse at the stable, that Bree has been treated badly by this same adoptive father. A plan gets underway, and soon both Shasta and Bree are on the run, trying to get to Narnia and the High Kings and Queens there; yes, the Pevensies. (And yes, of course the horses talk, it is Narnia!)

They also meet a girl and her horse who are running away from home; she being a Princess forced to marry against her will. Once they reach their destination, they both learn things about themselves that will change their lives forever. These two eventually get married, and have a son who becomes the most famous King of Archenland.

Aslan 1

The thing I liked best about this story was the cat who seemed to follow Shasta all through his journey. Sometimes a lion chasing him, and sometimes a cat comforting him; Aslan always makes his presence known.

Which Narnia story did you like the least? I know it’s hard to choose when they are all great stories, but they can’t all be your favorites, or are they?

The Scimitar and the Glory Boxes – Frederick Morse

Some of the best books I have read are ones I stumbled upon, and this one is no exception. I actually came across this book on a free ebook site, and due to the quality of this story, I am hoping (and going to suggest) that the author get this book somewhere where it can make the money it justly deserves to.

The Scimitar and the Glory Boxes Cover image

This story takes you on a 2000 year journey that begins with one person trying to obtain the 3 iron nails, and the wooden cross, that were used to crucify Jesus Christ. One man’s journey turns into a journey through the ages, with people hired for the entirety of their lives to track the history of one young girl who experienced stigmata when she was near the holy relics. They were tasked with tracking her family lineage, and passing on that duty to others that could be trusted, and it was made clear that this was a job that would never end. And it did not end. They knew this family’s bloodline would be one that could likely find these relics, no matter how much time may pass.

The iron nails were melted down and used to make a scimitar. The cross was cut down and made into three Glory Boxes, or what we would in today’s time call a Hope Chest. This scimitar enables the owner certain supernatural powers. Currently hid in the desert, it is being tracked both for the right, and wrong, reasons. Dependent on who it is that is searching for it.

This is one story where I do not want to give too much away, and certainly no spoilers. But I assure you, if you enjoy religious based stories, religious historical ideas, and mystery and intrigue, this is a story you will want to read. It is less than 160 pages, and I promise you will not want to put it down once you begin reading it!

The Lutheran Ladies Circle: Plucking One String – Kris Knorr

Being as I am a long-standing-volunteering-attending member of a Lutheran Church, this book took on a special interest for me. Do the people in the story relate at all to the people I encounter at church? I have to say, there were a few characters whom I could easily rename to someone who attends my church. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, I am just saying I now definitely have an image in my head of what Lorena, Ellie, and Vera look like. When I now read their name in the text, I am picturing a specific woman of the congregation.


I do have to be honest right from the get-go, this story has one thing that I absolutely cannot stand. Say it with me people. “Too many characters”. This is my pet peeve; having so many characters (and usually storylines to match) that you cannot keep them straight, let alone determine if they are relevant to the story or not. With that being said, I am about halfway through the story, and am starting to get the correct pattern worked out to whom belongs with who, whose children are being talked about when no reference to their parents are mentioned, etc. As the author stated in her forward that she has herself encountered some of these types of people at church, I am guessing that it was easy for her to write because she knew all along in her mind that Ellie was Mrs. Y, and Vera was Mrs. Z, etc. She did not need to fill in the blanks on who these characters were, because she could see them already in her mind’s eye.


So enough of that. It is a good story, and I will read more in the series (I am guessing there is a series as this book says it is #1). I am getting comfortable with the who’s-who, and am feeling a connection to these characters enough that I already want to know how their stories continue on past this book. I am trying to be better about the spoilers, so I will just say that their Pastor died unexpectedly, to be replaced by someone younger, someone looking to change some things. Vera is the widow of said previous pastor, and feels she is slowly getting pushed out of her “always involved in everything even though it is not my job” situations.


We also get a birds-eye view of bickering amongst the women at their weekly-monthly meetings, and this has be wondering exactly how much bickering is going on at my church meetings. Expecting to be finished with this sooner rather than I will let you know if there is anything off the wall that happens at the end that I never even saw coming, otherwise I am moving along to the next story.



Ben-Hur To The Finish

I didn’t skip Book 7, exactly. This basically covered Ben-Hur meeting up again with Balthasar and his daughter, Iras. They travel together along with Ben-Hur’s group of people to meet the prophet John the Baptist, who was prophesying about the coming Son of Man.   

During their travels, Iras tells Ben-Hur the story of how the earth, man, and woman were created. The story was of Isis and Osiris, deities who were of the moon and sun. Osiris sent Isis away from him, determined to create everything himself. He was able to, with exception to creating woman. Isis was responsible for this.

It really is a beautiful story, and an interesting way to think of the earth and mankind being created.

So, onto book 8 we go!

This book begins on March 21st, 3 years after Christ was first proclaimed in Bethabara.

Simonides has a conversation with his daughter, Esther, concerning her love for Ben-Hur and the fact that he is likely to marry Iras, who sees him as her way to leading Rome.   Iras is quick to let Esther know that she will be wed to Ben-Hur, and Esther is left in tears. (Some things never change, do they? Hearts were broken then as they still are today).

Ben-Hur told the entire group of the miracles he had seen Christ perform; from turning water into wine, to making 7 loaves and 2 fish enough to feed five thousand. He spoke of how he witnessed him cure lepers, and raise the dead to life again.

Amrah, hearing of the cure for the lepers, went the next morning to the mother and Tizrah, wanting to bring them to the Nazerene, so they too could be cured and made whole again. Ben-Hur believed them still to be dead.

The women made the trek to where they thought to meet the Nazerene, and asking for mercy when they met him on the street, He did indeed heal the two women. As he took to traveling with the Christ, Ben-Hur himself was present to witness the transformation of his mother and sister. While waiting for an examining priest to declare them perfectly cleansed, they each shared their stories of their lives over the previous years.

And finally, as Ben-Hur again is on the move, Iras shows herself for whom and what she truly is. Not being able to bear hearing her speak another word against the Christ, Ben-Hur asks that they part and forget they ever met (haven’t we all said “I wish I never met you!” once in our lives?) Iras continues on to reveal she knows all the secrets of Ben-Hur, whom he had killed, and that he knew Messala. After much debate, and Iras trying to force Ben-Hur to pay Messala money to right the wrongs he did to him, the two part ways.

Ben-Hur comes upon Esther sleeping, and declares his love for her, and vows to come back another time as she is awake.

Soon enough, as Ben-Hur returns to his group of followers, he witnesses the Romans coming, and watches as they capture the Nazarene. Ben-Hur rushes to him as he is being led away, asking if he will accept his rescue if Ben-Hur should give it. The Nazarene never speaks a word of an answer.

It is not much longer that he realizes that this was the plan of the Christ all along. The plan of God, and the plan he had for the Christ.

As the procession marches past their camp, they all watch in horror as the Christ is moved past them. Balthasar, Simonides, Esther, Ben-Hur, and all the others of their group, heartbroken at once to see what is happening to their Savior.

The death of Balthasar happened as the death of the Christ happened. Ben-Hur tried to tell Iras the bad news, but she was nowhere to be found.

The story moves ahead 5 years, and Ben-Hur and Esther are now married. As Esther played with her two children, she had a visit for Iras, aged beyond her years, cursed by her own evil thoughts. She brought the message of Messala’s death, and her punishment for the curses she spoke to Ben-Hur.

Ilderim’s son makes a final appearance as well, to bequeath to him his father’s last wish, the Orchard of Palms is to be given to Ben-Hur, for his actions at the Circus so long ago.

The last we learn of Ben-Hur is that he orders Malluch to prepare the ship, as they are going to Rome to fight the persecutors of their bretheren.


I really enjoyed this story. The details were amazing, and being as long as it was, it was not the type of story to be boring, then good, only to become boring again. Oh. Yeah. I will have the movie version of this bought before the weekend is out 🙂 It shouldn’t be too hard to find with Easter right around the corner!

Almost Finished! With Ben-Hur, That Is!

I will have this finished by tomorrow and will post my last one about this book! Then on to something new 🙂 I am really enjoying this story though, and will definitely be getting the movie this week to add to my collection. So, to continue on….

Simonides returns to Ben-Hur all of the property that was his, as well as everything he accumulated while running things. Ben-Hur simply returned it back to Simonides, lest the 120 talents that were Ben-Hur’s fathers, and what Simonides used to build his vast fortune.

It is also made clear to Ben-Hur that he must return to Rome, to finish what must be done for the coming of the Christ.

The next major portion of the book is focused on Ben-Hur getting prepared for the Circus, and hopefully exacting his vengeance on Messala.

The night prior to the games, a brochure given to Ben-Hur shows that he is named as such in said brochure; obviously the work of Messala. It should also be noted that no one is willing to place a wager on the race, because no one is willing to bet against Messala. The saloon that night is filled with supporters wearing the scarlet color that represents support of Messala: no other color is worn in the saloon. Sanballat, another Jew in Rome, proudly enters the saloon to take bets in the favor of Ben-Hur.

And then the chariot race is on! The details are descriptive, and you can just as well see this race taking place. Ben-Hur won, as I expected; Messala is left never to walk again, and another driver did not survive at all.

Book 6 is 30 days ahead of the night Ben-Hur left Antioch to go into the desert in search of his family with Sheik Ilderim.

The first sentence in Chapter 1 of Book 6:

A great change has befallen–great at least as respects the fortunes of our hero. VALERIUS GRATUS HAS


When I hear the name Pontius Pilate, I immediately think of a coward, someone who knew Jesus was innocent of the crimes spoke of him, yet he didn’t want to upset the people of his city. He let them decide who was to be crucified, Jesus or Barabbas, and then washed his hands of the whole situation (likely both literally and figuratively).

As this is going on, a person whom we today would consider a prison guard) brings to the attention of a tribune that he has discovered a woman and her daughter locked in a hidden prison cell for 8 long years. Finally, Ben-Hur’s Mother and sister are found. They refused to let the men who broke them free lay eyes on them, because they were lepers.

They were set free, being reminded of what the law for lepers was, and in the middle of the night stood at the gates, unsure of what to do next.

We return to Ben-Hur, who at last has Jerusalem in his sights. His first place to search is his former home.

Tirzah and her mother had of course the same idea; to return to their home. The women saw their son and brother sleeping, but did not wake him. They witnessed his reunion with their housemaid, Amrah, and were the next day driven from the village and told to go with the dead, as that is where lepers belonged. Amrah in turn heard the story of the women’s rescue at the water well, and had to decide if and how to tell Ben-Hur, for she feared his search for them would make him leprous as well. After seeing both mother and daughter, she was instructed to not tell Ben-Hur she had seen them, for it would mean his death. She obeyed, and tended to the two women both morning and night, and they lived in their tomb amongst the other lepers, waiting for death.

The tribune, on the other hand, had no such orders to obey and showed Ben-Hur the written document of how the two women were found. Finally, he knew they were lepers.

The end of book 6 details Ben-Hur defeating a Roman after Pilate has his disguised men kill those whom have gathered to see him and refuse to leave. 

Wallace, L. (1880). Ben-Hur: The Tale of the Christ. New Jersey