Friday, October 30, 2009

(John Ortberg is one of my favorite writers. The following is from his book, Love Beyond Reason)

The work of love is the work of paying attention. Love notices. Love listens. Love remembers. When is her birthday? What kind of coffee does he like? What is his favorite movie? Love is in the details. Deborah Tanner writes a wonderful story about a rag doll:

My great-aunt, for many years a widow, had a love affair when she was in her seventies. Obese, balding, her hands and legs misshapen by arthritis, she did not fit the stereotype of a woman romantically loved. But she was--by a man, also in his seventies, who lived in a nursing home but occasionally spent weekends with her in her apartment. In trying to tell me what this relationship meant to her, my great-aunt told of a conversation. One evening she had had dinner out, with friends. When she returned home, her male friend called and she told him about the dinner. He listened with interest and asked her, "What did you wear?" When she told me this, she began to cry: "Do you know how many years it's been since anyone asked me what I wore?"

When my great-aunt said this, she was saying that it had been years since anyone cared deeply--intimately--about her.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

When trouble comes your soul to try,
You love the friend who just "stands by."
Perhaps there's nothing he can do--
The thing is strictly up to you;
for there are troubles all you own,
And paths the soul must tread alone;
times when love cannot smooth the road
Nor friendship lift the heavy load,
but just to know you have a friend
Who will "stand by" until the end,
Whose sympathy through all endures,
Whose warm handclasp is always yours--
It helps, someway, to pull you through,
Although there's nothing he can do.
and so with fervent heart you cry,
"God bless the friend who just 'stands by'!"


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

No wonder the world is confused about sin. Many Christians are too.

An excellent article in Christianity Today by Mollie Ziegler Hemingway got me to thinking about this subject.

She said, "Hypocrisy isn't failing to practice what you preach. Hypocrisy is pretending to have beliefs you do not have." Read that again slowly and let it sink in.

The emphasis is on pretending. None of us are perfect at practicing what we preach. We fight the battle to overcome sin on a daily basis.

Hypocrisy is when a dear Christian sister says, "Clif, don't you just love my squash casserole?" And I say, "Yes, I do. This is delicious."

Hypocrisy is when a young Christian mother asks, "Clif isn't this the most beautiful baby you have seen?" And I say, "She sure is! And she looks just like her mother."

As a minister I often said, "Now that's a baby!" Even then I wondered if my enthusiasm might have been a little strong.

Harmless examples? I don't know. Probably. I think it may be like trying to decide if there is such a thing as a "little white lie." We can be so conservative and strict that we drive ourselves and everybody around us to despair. On the other hand, sin is serious and we don't need to mess around with it.

I have decided what works for me and this is what I try to live by. I know in my heart what is serious in the sight of God and I know when I am pretending and trying to make myself look good. I know when I'm not telling the truth about something that matters to God.

I want people to think well of me but most of all I want them to know I am trying to be genuine every day of the week. And even more than this I know that God knows what hypocrisy is and it's His good opinion I want.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

By Randall Arthur

Wisdom Hunter will grab your attention immediately and hold you captive until the last page is turned. This is one of the most significant books I have read recently. I agree with Wayne Jacobsen, publisher of The Shack who said, "Finally someone who understands that most religious trappings do not enhance faith but actually undermine it!"

This books asks the question, "What does it take to soften a heart so entrenched in law that it never truly loves?" The main character of the book is Pastor Jason Faircloth a man who knows what he believes. He relies on his faith to discipline his daughter, his wife, his church. He prays daily that others would come to see God's ways as he does. And it will cost him everything he has.

A fast-paced suspense novel rich in spiritual depth, Wisdom Hunter explores what it means to break free of Christian legalism and discover how grace can make the difference between life and death.

I recommend this excellent book with great enthusiasm. I look forward to reading another dramatic story by Arthur, Jordan's Crossing. This second novel offers a powerful message about the dangers of liberalism in the church, the perfect follow-up to Wisdom Hunter.

SHADOW GOVERNMENT How the Secret Global Elite Is Using Surveillance Against You
By Grant R. Jeffrey

In Shadow Government Grant R. Jeffrey writes, "Without your knowledge or consent, every aspect of your life is observed and recorded. But who is watching the watchers?"

"The high-tech surveillance trap has been set. Security cameras, surveillance of your financial transactions, radio frequency spy chips hidden in consumer products, tracking of your internet searches, and eavesdropping on your e-mail and phone calls."

Jeffrey believes that Satan is working toward global conquest and he identifies the tools of technology that he says the Antichrist will use to rule the world. He writes, "An ultra-secret global elite, functioning as a very real shadow governments, controls technology, finance, international law, world trade, political power, and vast military capabilities. Those who hold power are invisible to all but a few insiders. These unrivaled leaders asnwer to no earthly authority, and they won't stop until they control the world."

Grant R. Jeffrey is an internationally known prophecy expert. He has a popular television program, Bible Prophecy Revealed which airs weekly on TBN. He earned his masters and doctorate degrees from Louisiana Baptist University.

I found this book interesting and thought provoking. I have read much about prophecy but I still know very little about it. All I know about what Jeffrey calls the "secret global elite" and their methods of surveillance is what I read in this book. Therefore, I am not in a position to recommend this book beyond the fact that it is interesting to read. I suggest you check it out to see if it is something you might profit from.

You may purchase these books at

These two books were provided for review by Random House Publishers.


Monday, October 26, 2009

One of the happiest days of our lives happened in San Gabriel, California when our daughter Carol was born. Another happy day took place in that same city two years later when our son Allen was born. But this is not about Allen. This is about Carol. Today is her birthday! Notice I'm not saying how old she is. I have picked up on the fact that women don't like that too much!

We are missing Carol today. She is in Cambridge, MA. attending a class at Harvard.

We celebrated her birthday early before she left.

When we lived in northern California Carol went three hundred fifty miles away to school at Pepperdine University. We missed her something terrible.

After she graduated and continued to live in Southern California (Whittier) we missed her.

When we moved to Arizona and she continued to live in Southern California--we missed her.

But then one glorious day she and her brother Allen moved to Phoenix and now live about five minutes from us.

God has blessed us with two wonderful children and we are now able to be with them often.



Saturday, October 24, 2009

H O P E ! I love the sound of that word. H O P E ! You gotta have hope. You can't live without it.

I like what Max Lucado said about hope in his marvelous book, God Came Near.

"Hope is not what you expect; it is what you would never dream. It a wild, improbable tale with a pinch-me-I'm-dreaming ending. It's Abraham adjusting his bifocals so he can see not his grandson, but his son. It's Moses standing in the promised land not with Aaron or Miriam at his side, but with Elijah and the transfigured Christ. It's Zechariah left speechless at the sight of his wife Elizabeth, gray-headed and pregnant. And it is the two Emmaus-bound pilgrims reaching out to take a piece of bread only to see that the hands from which it is offered are pierced."

"Hope is not a granted wish or a favor performed; no, it is far greater than that. It is a zany, unpredictable dependence on a God who loves to surprise us out of our socks and be there in the flesh to see our reaction."


When I am not reviewing books I like to post about what is going on in my life. That's the reason I started blogging in the first place. It's a way to communicate with friends and loved ones without having to write each one of them.

I have a large library of good books--very good books.

So on those rare occasions when I am not reviewing a book provided by a publisher or not posting about something I am doing in my retirement days, I pull out one of my favorites and post about it.

Good Day! The Paul Harvey Story by Paul J. Batura is one of those favorites.

"He was the voice of an era. Millions grew up listening to Paul Harvey News and Comment and The Rest of the Story, and trusted the great man who spoke for the little guy. Good Day! by Paul J. Batura follows the remarkable life of one of the founding fathers of the news media. Paul Harvey started his career during the Great Depression and narrated America's story day by day, through wars and peace, the threat of communism and the crumbling of old colonial powers, consumer booms and eventual busts."

Another one of my favorite people, Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas and now a Fox News political commentator, wrote the forward to the book. Huckabee said, "Beyond the story of a life well-lived, Good Day! captures the essence of this late radio pioneer. Mr. Harvey embodied our common American ideals."

This is a colorful biography of a radio legend who guided us through dark times and good times. Paul Harvey spoke for the average people trying to make it day by day. He gave us the world using words we could understand and he did it with a sense of optimism and faith. He loved America!

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Paul Harvey was my kind of man.


Friday, October 23, 2009

Most of us have a problem spelling bougainvillea and even a bigger problem pronouncing it.

But one thing we all or at least most of us agree on--it is beautiful!

We have bougainvillea blooming just outside our front and back doors.

I was standing looking out at the bougainvillea in our back yard when Charlotte walked by and said, "I thought you were going to do a post." I muttered, "I was going to but I forgot about it." She then said, "That bougainvillea is beautiful." I said, "I was just standing here thinking the same thing and thinking that I would write my post about it." She said, "No you weren't." I said, "Yes I was!"

Guess who was right!


Thursday, October 22, 2009

(I love Phillip Done's book, Close Encounters of the Third-Grade Kind. The following post is from that book.)

Melanie often leaves letters out of her words. Once she wrote me a card that said, "Mr Done, you are god." I didn't know if she meant I was a good teacher, or she really had a high opinion of me. Another day I stopped at her desk and glanced over her shoulder while she was writing. "Uh..." I pointed to one of the words. "What's this word?"


"That's what I thought you meant. You left out the r, honey."


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Like Tony Bennett, I left my heart in San Francisco.

But when I think of that great city I always have mixed emotions. There is so much to like and so much to dislike.

One dislike started on a visit to Haight Ashbury Street back in the sixties. The Hippies had taken over that part of town.

I knew back then that one day these liberal, socialistic thinking kooks would be "running things" for all of us.

I have lived long enough to see that prediction come true. I'm not a prophet! I'm just an ordinary citizen with a little common sense.

Today, from the President of our nation all down through his administration we see these kooks.
They are liberal, socialistic thinkers with no moral values.

And the disturbing thing about all of this is that if you say anything about this or try to do anything about it, you are labeled a far right nut case and completely ignored.

My friends our country is speeding in the wrong direction.

Is there any hope? Yes! I believe there is. I believe there are enough conservative people with common sense to change this trend.



Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Woman's 52 Week Guide To Living A Positive Life
By Jane Thompson

Jane Thompson's new book, Choosing Happiness After Divorce offers hope to those devastated by divorce. Her book will guide you through the difficult period following divorce and inspire you to choose the path to happiness. Regardless of how long it has been since you divorced, this 52 week guide provides methods for leaving despair in the past and moving forward to happiness.

Thompson has lived through divorce and speaks and writes from experience. She shares with you how she chose happiness and how you can too. Each chapter contains a guided journal entry to help you explore your feelings and brainstorm ideas. She suggests further readings where you can seek advice from "experts" and inspiration from others. Jane gives a recipe in each chapter to provide a creative and fun way of bringing a smile to your face, and family and friends to the table.

Marriage and Family therapists, John N. and Marion Sue DeFoore wrote, "Your book is a beautiful, informative, logical, inspirational, and practical guide for any person going through divorce or any of life's traumatic challenges. your insight and learning as a result of your journey is an encouragement to any person who has to make a similar journey."

I agree with the DeFoores. This is a splendid book and I recommend it to all those who have been devastated by divorce. Is there anything I don't like about the book? Yes! Since I do not drink alcoholic beverages, I didn't like the advice, "...make yourself a drink" and the recipe for The Ritual Janetini which calls for 1 1/2 ounces of vodka. One and one half ounces is not much, I know, but it's too much for me. I don't feel this way because I think drinking alcohol is sinful. I think drinking too much is wrong. I think people looking for happiness will be better off staying away from alcohol completely. I realize this is just my opinion. But since this is my review, I must express my opinion. I wasn't thrilled with the chapter To Bed Or Not To Bed?

Many, if not all, the women who read my reviews are mature Christians. You can read and review a book as well as I can. You may have read My Strong Opinions on my blog and noted that one of them is: I accept truth wherever I find it. There is so much good in this book that I want to strongly recommend it to all those divorced and looking for a better life.


Monday, October 19, 2009

Around the corner, I have a friend,
In this great city that has no end;
Yet days go by, and weeks rush on,
And before I know it a year is gone,
And I never see my old friend's face,
for life is a swift and terrible race.
He knows I like him just as well
As in the days when I rang his bell
And he rang mine. We were younger then,
And now we are busy, tired men:
Tired with playing a foolish game,
Tired with trying to make a name.
"Tomorrow," I say, "I will call on Jim,
Just to show that I'm thinking of him."
But tomorrow comes--and tomorrow goes,
And the distance between us grows and grows
Around the corner!--yet miles away...
"Here's a telegram, sir..."
"Jim died today."
And that's what we get, and deserve in the end:
Around the corner, a vanished friend.
Charles Hanson Towne


Saturday, October 17, 2009

"Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter--when you see the naked, to clothe him and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard." Isaiah 58:7-8

It's not enough to simply think nice thoughts about others; we need to express them. As the old saying puts it: "Love is not love until you give it away." We should get up each morning with an attitude that says: "I'm going to make somebody else happy and meet their need today." Something supernatural happens when we get our eyes off ourselves and turn to the needs of those around us. When you reach out to the hurting people, God makes sure you are always blessed in abundance.

(From Your Best Life Begins Each Morning--Devoti0ns to Start Every Day of the Year by Joel Osteen)


Friday, October 16, 2009

Stories of Hope and Healing from the Authors of Same Kind of Different As Me
Ron Hall, Denver Moore, and Lynn Vincent

Instead of launching right into my review of What Difference Do It Make? I want to go back to my review of Same Kind of Different As Me. In January I wrote the following words about that book.

"It wasn’t a typical Sunday afternoon in Phoenix with an overcast sky and a cool mist falling. When I sat down to read Same Kind of Different As Me, I thought “I have already read sixty-three pages. I’ll read about that many more and then take a nap. It was around 1:00 p.m. when I started to read. When I read these words of Denver Moore: 'The truth about it is, whether we is rich or poor or something in between, this earth ain’t no final restin’ place' I glanced up at the clock. It was 3:00 p.m. I had been reading all afternoon and had come to the end of this splendid book."

"Same Kind of Different as Me is a true story written by Ron Hall and Denver Moore with Lynn Vincent. Their story is so heart touching and inspiring that you can’t put it down. It is a story of faith and true friendship. It is a story of a woman who loved God, trusted Him and wanted to serve others. It is a story of a man who struggled to be what God wanted him to be and what he wanted to be himself and then matured into that man. It is the story of a black, uneducated man growing up in the South when black people were treated like animals. He lived among the homeless population with no hope for the future until he met a white Christian woman who befriended him, gave him hope, something to live for, and changed his life. He said, 'Until Miss Debbie, I’d never spoke to no white woman before. Just answered a few questions maybe—it wadn’t really speakin’.”

"I believe reading this story, may change your life. Living this story changed Debbie Hall, her husband Ron, and their black, homeless friend, Denver Moore."

"Denver said, 'Money can’t buy no blessins.' This is probably true. But you will not be wasting your money when you buy this book."

Hundreds of thousands have read and been stirred by the true-life tales of Ron Hall and Denver Moore. If you are one of the few who missed that book--don't miss this one. What Difference Do It Make? is filled with stories of Hope and Healing. There are stories like the following: A little girl in Alabama opens a lemonade stand to raise money for the homeless. A grieving son finds a surprising way to bless his crotchery, alcoholic father. A library book picked up on a whim in Syrcuse, New York, starts a chain reaction that saves a marriage in Washington State.

Your heart will be touched when you read this book. And you will go away with the conviction that one life really can make a difference in this world.

This book was provided for review by Thomas Nelson Publishing Company.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Charlotte's high school graduating class (1954,Lawton, Oklahoma) had a reunion in Sedona for all who could come.

I graduated the year before from the same school so I was happy to "tag along."

It was a small gathering since it's a long way to Oklahoma and the graduates have scattered all over the country.

But the ones who came,about twenty-five to thirty, had a great time. It was hard to get an exact count since people were coming and going. Some stayed at time shares they owned in Sedona and others stayed with friends. Most of us stayed at the beautiful Best Western Inn overlooking the red rock mountains of Sedona.

Memories! I guess that's what reunions are all about. We shared some wonderful memories.

Our old school building is being totally renovated and turned into offices of some kind. One room is being set aside as a museum/history site for the school.

I don't expect you to be interested in all this. I just wanted you to know why I haven't posted for a couple of days. Charlotte has pictures of the reunion on her blog if you are interested.

I hope you are able to attend a reunion or two with your high school "gang."


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

(I like the following story from Max Lucado's book, Fearless)

God treats you the way one mother treated her young son, Timmy. She didn't like the thought of Timmy walking to his first-grade class unaccompanied. But he was too grown-up to be seen with his mother. "Besides," he explained, "I can walk with a friend." So she did her best to stay calm, quoting the Twenty-third Psalm to him every morning: "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life..."

One day she came up with an idea. She asked a neighbor to follow Timmy to school in the mornings, staying at a distance, lest he notice her. The neighbor was happy to oblige. She took her toddler on morning walks anyway.

After several days Timmy's little friend noticed the lady and the child.

"Do you know who that woman is who follows us to school?"

"Sure," Timmy answered. "That's Shirley Goodnest and her daughter Marcy."


"My mom reads about them every day in the Twenty-third Psalm. She says, "Shirley Goodnest and Marcy shall follow me all the days of my life." Guess I'll have to get used to them."


Saturday, October 10, 2009



A dual citizen of the United States and Ireland, Thad Carhart is the author of the international bestseller The Piano Shop on the Left Bank. He lives in Paris with his wife, the photographer Simo Neri, and their two children.


Across The Endless River is a historical novel about Jean-Baptiste Charbonneau, the son of Sacagawea, and his intriguing sojourn as a young man in 1820s Europe.

Born in 1805 on the Lewis and clark expedition, Jean-baptiste Charbonneau was the son of the Voyage of Discovery's translators, Sacagawea and Toussaint Charbonneau. Across The Endless River evokes the formative years of this mixed-blood child of the frontier, entering the wild and mysterious world of his boyhood along the Missouri. Baptiste is raised both as William Clark's ward in St. Louis and by his parents among the villages of the Mandan tribe on the far northern reaches of the river.

In 1823 eighteen-year old Baptiste is invited to cross the Atlantic with the young Duke Paul of Wurttemberg, whom he meets on the frontier. During their travels throughout Europe, Paul introduces Baptiste to a world he never imagined. Increasingly, Baptiste confronts the limitations of life as an outsider; only Paul's older cousin, Princess Theresa, understands the richness of his heritage. Their affair is both passionate and tender, but Theresa"s clear-eyed notions of love, marriage, and the need to fashion one's own future push Baptiste to consider what he truly needs. In Paris he meets Maura Hennesy, the bautiful and independent daughter of a French-Irish wine merchant. Baptiste describes his life on the fast-changing frontier to Maura, and she begins to imagine a different destiny with this enigmatic American. Baptiste ultimately faces a choice: whether to stay in Europe or to return to the wilds of North America. His decision will resonate strongly with those who today find themselves at the intersection of cultures, languages, and customs.

For the years I served as a minister I did not read many novels and almost no fiction. Now that I am retired I have found time for both. Across The Endless River is one of the best written and most interesting books I have read this year. This is a thoroughly engaging and captivating book. I agree with The New Yorker, when they write: "Carhart writes with a sensuousness enhanced by patience and grounded by the humble acquisition of new insight into music, his childhood, and his relationship to the city of Paris." If you enjoy novels, you will love this book.


One of the most beautiful passages in Scripture is found in Isaiah 43.God is speaking to his people, and although the words are addressed to Israel they are yours and mine as well.

"I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you, (for God is a great big God, though you can't see him or hear him, he is always with you. He never takes his eye off you). For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior... Because you are precious in my sight, and honored, and I love you."

Perhaps you could write down that last phrase on a card and carry it with you: "For you are precious in my sight, and honored, and I love you."

You are the beloved of God. What more do you need to achieve or prove or acquire? You are the beloved of God. Who else do you need to impress? What other ladder do you need to climb?

You are the beloved of God. What are you going to add to your resume' that is going to top that?

(From John Ortberg's excellent book, Love Beyond Reason)


Friday, October 09, 2009

CULT INSANITY--A Memoir Of Polygamy, Prophets, And Blood Atonement
By Irene Spencer, Author of The New York Times Bestseller Shattered Dreams

Cult Insanity delves deeply into the story of Irene Spencer's arduous life in a polygamous fundamentalist Mormon sect. In her book Shattered Dreams she tells of sharing her husband with nine other women (and fifty-six children) in abject poverty and intense mental and emotional anguish. Cult Insanity delves deeper and focuses on the terrifying acts of Ervil LeBaron her brother-in-law and a self-proclaimed prophet who determined he had been called to set the house of God in order. Irene tells how her life was enveloped in a dark cloud of fear and anguish. Survival for herself and her ever-growing family turned into a constant flight from one desert camp to another across the harsh badlands of Baja, California.

Bud Gardner, coauthor, Chicken Soup for the Writer's Soul wrote, "Irene Spencer is my hero. In her second book, Cult Insanity, she delves even deeper into the soul-stealing world of polygamy. She bravely exposes Ervil LeBaron, her evil brother-in-law and the self-proclaimed prophet of the world, for ordering the deaths of twenty-eight family members and converts who opposed him. This book plunges a dagger into the heart of polygamous slavery."

Why in the world would anybody want to sit and read this kind of horrifying story? I wanted to read it because it is a part of religious history. It's true. It actually happened. I wanted to know all about it and try to understand it. If you have that kind of intellectual and curious interest you will want to read this book. I'm not going to say you will enjoy it. But you will be informed and the book will hold your attention from the first word to the last.


The generous folks at Hachette Book Group are allowing me to host this book giveaway for five (5) copies!

  • Winners are restricted to the US and Canada. No PO Box mailing address please.
  • You do not have to be a blogger to win. You can win more than once on my blog.
  • I MUST have a way of contacting you, so be sure to leave your email address in your comment.
  • Some choose to omit the @ sign and the . dot by writing it in "code" like this: you (at) your email (dot)com.
  • I'll close the comments October 23 and pick the five winners. I will contact the winners via email to get their mailing information. The winners will have three days to respond. If I do not hear from them within three days, I will select another winner(s).


Thursday, October 08, 2009

October is my favorite month in Arizona.

We will be visiting the New England states a few days this month.

I wouldn't be leaving Arizona in October but this is the way our schedule worked out.

Oh well, in a few days we will be spending a couple of days up in beautiful Sedona, Arizona.

If you are planning to visit our great state--- do it now through May.

You will love it.


Wednesday, October 07, 2009

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

A Measure of Mercy

Bethany House (October 1, 2009)


Lauraine Snelling


Award-winning and best selling author Lauraine Snelling began living her dream to be a writer with her first published book for young adult readers, Tragedy on the Toutle, in 1982. She has since continued writing more horse books for young girls, adding historical and contemporary fiction and nonfiction for adults and young readers to her repertoire. All told, she has up to sixty books published.

Shown in her contemporary romances and women’s fiction, a hallmark of Lauraine’s style is writing about real issues of forgiveness, loss, domestic violence, and cancer within a compelling story. Her work has been translated into Norwegian, Danish, and German, and she has won the Silver Angel Award for An Untamed Land and a Romance Writers of America Golden Heart for Song of Laughter.

As a most sought after speaker, Lauraine encourages others to find their gifts and live their lives with humor and joy. Her readers clamor for more books more often, and Lauraine would like to comply ... if only her paintbrushes and easel didn’t call quite so loudly.

Lauraine and her husband, Wayne, have two grown sons, and live in the Tehachapi Mountains with a cockatiel named Bidley, and a watchdog Basset named Chewy. They love to travel, most especially in their forty-foot motor coach, which they affectionately deem “a work in progress”.


Eighteen-year-old Astrid Bjorklund has always dreamed of becoming a doctor. She had intended to study medicine in Chicago or Grand Forks, but when a disaster wiped out a major portion of her family's income, Astrid stayed home instead, receiving hands-on training from Dr. Elizabeth.

Joshua Landsverk left Blessing two years ago, but he's never forgotten Astrid. Returning to town, he seeks to court her.

Astrid is attracted to him, and when the opportunity unexpectedly opens for her to go to Chicago for medical training, she finds it difficult to leave. Love blossoms through their letters, but upon arriving back home, she makes a heartbreaking discovery. She learns he's left town--again. Believing Joshua no longer loves her, Astrid makes an impetuous, heart-wrenching decision.

Will she regret the choice she's made? Will she have to give up love to pursue her dream?

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Measure of Mercy, go HERE

It's difficult not to fall in love with Astrid Bjorklund. When you first meet her she is eighteen and studying medicine under the direction of Dr. Elizabeth Bjorklund. Her heart's desire is to become a Dr. and practice medicine in her home community called Blessing. The heart of the book is about her desire to follow the will of God for her life. She struggles with leaving home and going to Chicago for training, her romantic interest in a man named Joshua and the tug on her heart to respond to the need for medical missionarys in Africa. I found this book captivating from beginning to end. When I put it down I was looking forward to the next book in the series.
Astrid Bjorklund has made my faith stronger for doing the will of God and accepting his direction for my life regardless of the cost.


Tuesday, October 06, 2009

I have loved books since,"See Dick." "See Jane." "See Spot run."

I fell in love with the Carnegie Library. It was on the corner next to the first school I attended.

I read and review many books. I am a book reviewer!

Do you like to read? I hope so. I believe it is a necessary part of growing and maturing in life.

"If you can read this, thank a teacher." Anonymous

"Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body." Joseph Addison

"Reading is a basic tool in the living of a good life." Mortimer J. Adler

"There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them." Joseph Brodsky

"When I got my library card, that was when my life began." Rita Mae Brown

A rare thing has happened. No one has wanted to receive a free copy of MORNING SUNSHINE! --How To Radiate Confidence And Feel It Too by Robin Meade. This is surprising to me. I made two negative comments about the book in my review. Evidently this turned people away from it. I could just move on--and will. But I hate for you to miss this good book just because of my comments. Please take a second look and sign up. Your chances of winning are huge. If you and only four others sign up, guess what? Any way I shuffle the names you will WIN! Why not go for it?


Monday, October 05, 2009

EXTRAORDINARY--The Life You're Meant to Live by John Bevere

In his excellent book, EXTRAORDINARY--The Life You're Meant to Live, "best-selling author, John Bevere reveals how all of us were 'meant for more,' extraordinarily created and intended for a life that is anything but ordinary. Here is the roadmap for your journey of transformation. You are marked for a life that far surpasses the usual definitions of success or fulfillment."

Kurt Warner, NFL quarterback and two-time league MVP said, "John Bevere has done a wonderful job of showing what God created us for and how that applies to all areas of our lives."

I like these words by Bevere, "I see a generation comprised of all ages, inclusive of men and women, awakening to the extraordinary qualities hidden within. The power to accomplish remarkable feats and live an exceptional life is not defined by an individual's family, education, or occupation; it's a disposition of the heart. Unless it's suppressed, there is an innate desire to rise above the norm. I encourage you to step into the unknown, embrace the divine empowerment, and live your extraordinary life."

The thing that impressed me the most about this book is the number of Scriptures referred to and the splendid commentary on each one by John Bevere. I went away thinking this is not just his opinion this is straight out of the Word of God. James Robison, LIFE Outreach international, said, "John Bevere is one of the most passionate people I know, and I believe he has truly grasped the meaning of John 10:10: 'I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.' In Extraordinary he digs into the Word to show what it looks like to please God and use the talents he has given us."

I recommend this book as one that will help you to see that extraordinary living is within every person's reach.

You may purchase this book at


Saturday, October 03, 2009

The Apostle Paul said, "So our aim is to please him always..." 2 Cor. 5:9 NLT

The Message by Eugene Peterson reads like this: "Cheerfully pleasing God is the main thing, and that's what we aim to do..." 2 Cor. 5:9 Message

"Cheerfully pleasing God is the main thing." or "Our aim is to please him always."

Let those words sink in! Pleasing God.

Is that your aim? Is that the main thing for you?

If you want to please him, what should you be doing? Think about this verse: "You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed." Psalm 139:16 NLT It sounds like God has a goal for your life.

Now consider what the Apostle Paul said in Colossians 1:9-10 TEV "We ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will, with all the wisdom and understanding that his Spirit gives. Then you will be able to live as the Lord wants and will always do what pleases him."

WOW! That's all--JUST WOW!


WATERING PLANTS: We have an automatic watering system but it doesn't water everything. Plants in pots and a few plants we planted in "strange" places have to be watered with a hose. Most of the time this is my job. Charlotte will do it if she isn't busy doing something on the computer. LOL

CLEANING HOUSE: Saturday is the day I do house cleaning. I started doing this years ago when Charlotte worked as secretary at the church. She would do it now if she wasn't busy doing something on the computer. LOL

CHANGING AIR FILTERS: Wow. I got a great deal on air filters today at Home Depot. They were selling them in a package of three for the price of one. I changed the filters upstairs and downstairs. I don't think Charlotte knows how to do this. I would teach her but I don't think she has any time for lessons. She is busy on the computer. LOL

YARD SALES: Driving in our neighborhood this morning I saw signs advertising yard sales on almost every corner. On some corners they were pointing in every direction. I didn't stop. I was on my way to Home Depot. I would have stopped if Charlotte had been with me. She was at home doing something on the computer. LOL

FOOTBALL PREDICTION: The Cardinals absolutely will not lose Sunday. No Way!! (They don't have a game) LOL

WANT TO HEAR A JOKE? The weather person is predicting rain for this area. LOL



Friday, October 02, 2009

My wife and several other bloggers have received the Over The Top Award for their blog.

Everyone receiving the award was asked to answer a series of questions with one word.

I thought it was interesting that many of them gave the same answers for three or four of the questions.

Many of these ladies run around barefooted or at least they didn't have any shoes on when they answered the questions.

They are fearful.

Many of them said they cried yesterday but they laughed today.

What's my point?

I don't have a point.

( I wrote this post yesterday and scheduled it to post today. This morning I received this same award from a dear blogging friend. I have stopped accepting awards but I always appreciate the offer. I will say this: I have shoes on, I am not fearful, I laughed yesterday and I will both laugh and cry today. I am on my way to officiate at a memorial service.)


Thursday, October 01, 2009

("Phillip Done knows that children will always giggle more when you tell them to stop, that broken candy canes do not taste as good as unbroken ones, and that by spring there will be more balls on the school roof than in the ball box." My post this morning is from his excellent book, Close Encounters of the Third-grade Kind.)

First graders like to be the first in line. They will stand by the classroom door during the entire recess so they can be at the head of the line when the bell rings. First graders love to use big words like infinity and bazillion. They will know more dinosaur names than you do. First graders are obsessed with Velcro. During Story Hour they will strap and unstrap the Velcro on their shoes. If the teacher has Velcro on his shoes, they will strap and unstrap his, too. First graders like to bring the conversation back to them. If you're talking about crocodile teeth, they will open their mouths and show you where they lost theirs. If you talk about fish, they will tell you how long they can hold their breath underwater. First graders also love to glue. Whenever they glue something, they will use enough to cement a skyscraper. Advice for new teachers: Hide Elmer's.