Start With Me (A Modern Parable) – Michael Seaton & John Blase

Start With Me Coer Image

This is a fast read that involves many different characters, all at different points in their lives, but also all connected in one way or another. A middle-aged married couple who have everything they ever wanted, and feel like “Is this it?” A young widow who lost her husband in Iraq, and is raising two young sons. A new pastor in town who is getting the feel for the members of the church. Another married couple who have never been able to have children, and are now looking to adopt.

The whole idea of Start With Me is right on the back cover: “In a hurting, broken world, one person can make a difference!”

As each of these people go on with their busy lives, along with other characters in the story, they slowly see opportunities to help someone in need. Or someone with a need who can not see it themselves. The smallest kindness, gesture, or even a few words, really can change a person’s day. It can also change their outlook, their attitude, and the way they view the world.

One person really can make a difference. And if many persons make those small differences, just imagine how much more wonderful things could be in your neighborhood, your town, your state, the world? I often feel like there is something I should be doing to help others, more than donating time and money. I pray about it daily, that I will see the opportunity or calling when it is presented to me.

If you are in need of a powerful, uplifting read, this is a book you will be glad you spent a quiet afternoon with.

Day One of my Crazy Busy Weekend!

Daughter #2 has her prom tonight, and I know she is going to have a great time!

Kendall Junior Prom 4-24-2015 022

Daughter #1 is graduating from college tomorrow; Grand Valley State University, anyone? So another busy day.

And daughter #3 was supposed to be getting confirmed at our church on Sunday, but that seemed to have fell through (much of the fault is mine and my daughter’s), but the lack of communication has me really, REALLY upset.

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library 1

So, as I get through this weekend, and then 2 and a 1/2 days of work next week, I am packing up 3 of my 4 girls, and heading to the land of Lincoln! So beyond excited to get to be a part of the Lincoln Funeral Train, and I will definitely be keeping you all updated. (If it bores you, just ignore me for a few days!)

I have 2 dinner tickets for next Saturday night to meet the man who has been building this train for several years, and be one of the first people to actually go inside the train!

Abraham Lincoln Funeral Train 2015 map-from-brochure

Anti-Christ 2016-2019 : David Montiagne

Not a story for the faint-of-heart, this is definitely a story to read if you are a Christian, you are Jewish, you are religious, you study religion, you hate religion, you have a knack for numbers, you live for what-could-be coincidences; oh goodness, you see where I am going here, right? You should just read this story already!

Anti-Christ Cover David Montiagne

As a disclaimer, I will say I am a Lutheran Christian (who are Protestant), and I spend a minimum of 2 days a week at my church; I teach at our weekly youth group, and I go to church nearly every Sunday, often doing the readings or volunteering in some other way. I am also a Democrat, who has twice voted for President Barack Obama, of which choice I did not, and still do not, have any regrets about my decision. I also did not read David’s first book on the Anti-Christ, “End Times and 2019”, which gives some detail to things that are referenced in this book I am about to review.

This story takes careful detail of Biblical Scripture, current events, and all the dates and numbers that will go far beyond “coincidence”. I will say I had a hard time reading this story. Not because it is hard to read, but because if it is true, it can be very hard to accept.

There is one thing I have heard from several sources, that said, in-a-nutshell, “The Anti-Christ may not even know at the current time that they are indeed, the Anti-Christ.”

To sum it up, this book is claiming that on June 6, 2016, we will indeed be told who the Anti-Christ is. They will be in such a position of power, that it will be difficult for most of the world to deny their requests.

Does this seem ridiculous? Let me take you back to September 11, 2001. At that point when President Bush was in the devastation of the World Trade Centers, vowing vengeance on the culprits, was anyone willing to deny him the vengeance he sought?

We all gathered up as Americans, and Foreign Countries united, and hung our flags out on our front doors, hugged our neighbors, and stopped being greedy-self-centered-jerks for a few months. Can all of this feel-good-united behavior stop what was foretold 2000 years ago?

What do you think? Read this story to either support your claims, or change your mind!

The Winner of the Two $25.00 Amazon Gift Cards…

is Glogirl!  I sent an email to you and will have your gift cards on their way as soon as I hear from you!

Thank you everyone who entered, and I will be having more give-aways in the very near future! I have unfortunately had some personal family issues happen in the past couple of weeks, along with getting ready for Christmas, homeschooling, and a bout of the flu. I have our Advent by Candlelight Christmas program at church tonight, and then my duties at church should slow down a bit.

My work duties, however, are in full force as we end the year; I work in the Materials and Planning department, and this is the busiest time of year for us!

I am down to minimal stories to review yet, and will have more reviews posted starting tomorrow. Thank you for your patience if you have been waiting on a review from me. I have 4 that are ready to go and will be posting over the next 5 days. I am also going to focus on author features once a week, and will be contacting those of you I am featuring in the next few weeks individually.

Thank you again so very much for following my blog, participating in my giveaways, and being awesome writers and readers!

The Generations Series: A Little Lower Than the Angels (Book 1) – Caryl McAdoo

If you love the stories of the Bible, if you are new to reading the Bible, or a seasoned expert looking to expand on the stories surrounding the creation of the human race- this story is the perfect place to start.

photo courtesy of Caryl McAdoo
photo courtesy of Caryl McAdoo

This first in The Generations Series, titled A Little Lower than the Angels, takes you through the lives of Adam and Eve, and Cain and Abel, and how the choices they each willfully made affected the rest of their lives.

You will experience Abel and his interactions in Heaven with various cherubim, his constant questioning of when the rest of his family will join him, and the biggest question of if Cain himself will be able to join him there.

Watch as Adam and Eve deal with the disobedience and sin of Cain, and his disappearance with his sister and wife, Sheriah. Adam and Eve are again left alone, Eve seemingly unable to bear the burden of her guilt that all of this tragedy her family is experiencing is due to her original sin in the Garden of Eden. Will she ever be able to repent enough and again enjoy a life on Earth with her husband? Your heart breaks right along with her as she buries her son into the ground, not quite understanding her husband’s insistence that they are from the earth, and to it they must return.

The facts in this story are true to the Bible, and come from the King James Version. The story is one interpretation of what life may have been like; what this family may have experienced as they lived through the ups and downs of their lives during this time period.

This story is a triumph for Biblical fiction: it gets everything right, while adding to the story to allow the reader to experience what the early Christians went through for and because of their faith.

I do not think Caryl McAdoo could write the remaining books of this series fast enough for me!

Be sure to visit her website for more great reads! I have another one already, and cannot wait to read it!

http://carylmcadoo.com

The Year of Living Biblically – A. J. Jacobs

Another great book by A. J. Jacobs will have you laughing, and cringing at the lengths he went to in order to follow the Bible for a year. His wife deserves an award for putting up with him as well 🙂

Year of Living Biblically cover

He followed the big ones; you know, the Ten Commandments, love thy neighbor, and be fruitful and multiply. Again, his wife deserves an award for putting up with him. He had the most difficulty with the rules in the Bible that some are aware of, and that very few attempt to follow. Such as:

Do not wear garments of mixed fibers. This involved worldwide searches for fabrics that were not mixed, with anything.

Do not shave your beard.

Stone adulterers. This is funny, you do not want to miss it.

Eating unleavened foods, and avoiding other foods or ingredients.

He was not dismissing the Bible as nonsense, but rather educating others on the sometimes complexity of it, and how as times have changed, some of the rules in the Bible are not applicable to this day and age. A.J. explains that he is Jewish, but said he is Jewish in the same way that the Olive Garden is an Italian restaurant. He states that he is also an Agnostic, so this was a spiritual as well as educational journey for himself.

This is definitely a story worth reading, and it is a book I would read again. Lucky for me, I own it, so I can do just that!

If you would like to buy this book, or read more about this and A.J. Jacobs, you can visit his website at http://ajjacobs.com/books/the-year-of-living-biblically/

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.

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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.