Have you seen the inflatable chair/sofa things that you fill up with air? Have you thought about purchasing one? Are you curious if your child can fill them up? Are they worth the money? How long do they stay full? Let me know if you have any questions about them. I recently reviewed two different brands. Here and Here

So, after reading Sun Stand Still, I had really high expectations of this book. I must be honest, it took me forever to finish because it didn’t keep my attention. It was very hard to stay with it, it didn’t leave you wanting to know what was coming next because it was so unrelated. Although the entire book was drawn back to one area, being Unqualified for what God has called us to do, each part of the book was very different. A lot of the book is about finding your “third word” as in “I am…”. For me, I just know who I am in Christ, and I do not struggle in this area of life. I suppose that’s why the book was hard to get through. THAT BEING SAID, I am sure this book is perfect for many people there. I know there are several readers including new Christians, those going through life changes, etc who would really benefit from this book. I do recommend it as a quick read for anyone. 51IqOUg0V1L._SS300_

So, this is a great title, and frankly that’s why I chose this book to review from all of the other choices. I can think if so many things that “Messy Grace” can apply to in my life. That being said, it took me a while to identify with this particular messy grace. As a Christian, I was certainly intrigued when I saw this book was written by a pastor who had gay parents. That’s interesting right?

I felt like the book began by being against Christians, in reality, it told the LGBT Community’s view of Christians. In fairness, it was two member’s view of Christians. Frankly, it was negative, very negative. Honestly, I had a hard time relating. I’ve been around people in the LGBT Community for as long as I can remember. I certainly never hated them or held up signs condemning their lifestyle. So, the beginning took me a while to get through. It just seemed a little out there, or focusing on the worst case scenarios.

Next, it got into truth. I was wondering how this would look after the beginning of the book. The author does quote a lot of scripture. He does condemn the LGBT lifestyle. However, he teaches how to do that through a messy grace. He tells us, as Christians, that our job is to love and not to judge. He says we can be accepting without approving. I agree with that statement. I have family and friends who are part of the LGBT Community; that involvement ranges from people whose every post on fb is about gay pride to people who most don’t know they are gay.

I love the passages about a messy church. He says we need to be accepting to everyone. I agree with that, he says we don’t need a country club church and I believe that as well. He recalls a church he pastored that said his mom wasn’t welcome there. He left that church and I don’t blame him. As a church, we are not to turn people away. We are not to judge people. He says we are to disciple people, and with that, I agree. I think Christians and members of the LGBT Community will take issue with parts of this book. However, at the end of the day, it gets you thinking. He makes good points from both points of view.

I can’t say this is the best book I’ve ever read. As I stated, it took me a while to get through the first few chapters. It is interesting and thought provoking though. Worth a view. Disclaimer: I received this book for free in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

Well, after two years off, I’m starting to review books again. I love a good book, but sometimes I let life get in the way of that love. So, here goes…

rising

I REALLY wish I had started the book on page 9. Reading the first few pages really gave a lot away, and I wish I had been kept in suspense. Nonetheless, this book is very well written. Any time we hear about a tragedy that someone has gone through, I believe it’s human nature to want to know more details. It’s our natural curiosity that keeps us wanting to know more. I remember hearing on the news about the guy whose family was killed and burned and he narrowly escaped after being beaten and tied up. I can remember being curious. This book answers just about any question you could think of about those events.

I must admit, my husband has working nights this week, and it’s been hard to get to sleep after reading this book. My worst fear is never for myself but always about not being able to protect my children in a situation like this. A home invasion where the kids are tied up, there is rape, gasoline, fire, etc. It keeps you on the edge of your seat. Again, if it weren’t for the first nine pages I would not have been able to put the book down. Of course, it’s better for my sleep this way.

After you get through the details of “that night and early morning”, you get to the funerals. The way this book is written, it makes¬† you feel like you were there, You can picture the location, the setting, the people, every detail. You can imagine the friends and the family, and the community of supporters. Again, well written.

The trials, you feel like you are sitting in the courtroom with everyone. The author sets up the room for you. He lets you know where everyone is sitting. He lets you know how people are dressed and how they look. You can picture them as he details their mannerisms. I don’t want to get too detailed in the story line because I want the book to keep you on the edge of your seat as well. You grow to hate the attorneys, especially the one in the second trial. I wonder about the families of the murderers, they are not mentioned in the book.

The nonprofit established after the girls’ deaths, you want to be a part of it. I seriously plan to look it up and donate to the causes they chose. I have always been an advocate of battered women and children. It happens way too often, and groups need funding. This book builds a respect for Bill Petit, the husband, the father. He seems so strong through everything. He remains composed, I know my husband would not keep his composure. I respect his family, they take the high road. They advocate for justice in a calm and collective manner. That usually gets you further. In this case, that proves true.

Rising after the fall, well the title is The Rising, so that tells you there is one. However, to see exactly what that entails, go buy the book. You won’t regret it.

Buy The Rising here.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

 

 

As a decision counselor at church, I occasionally get the honor and privilege of leading people to Christ. It is an amazing moment each and every time. Throughout the past few years, I have been blessed to witness the salvation of a couple of precious family members. Several weeks ago, I was honored to be present when yet another family member, who I love dearly, accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior, what a blessing! Tonight, I was humbled to be able to lead my son to Christ. Maddox Leo has been asking for some time (about a year) to be saved and “babatized”. Occasionally, we have asked him a few questions and his answers let us know he didn’t really understand salvation. However the past few days, he has been adamant about being ready. I told him he could tell his teachers at church and they could help him, or he could wait until tonight and I would. He said he wanted me to tonight. So, as I prayed over him, God led me to several scriptures for Maddox. We looked up each one and we talked about being a sinner. Maddox admitted he is a sinner (but he said he tries really hard to be good :)). He said that he knows God sent Jesus to die for our sins (he actually recited John 3:16). He told me that we serve a Risen Savior. He said that he knows he needs God’s forgiveness and that by grace through faith we are saved. Then, my sweet boy said that he wanted Jesus to be his Lord and Savior. He said he wanted to live a life different from others, trying to live as the Bible tells us to.

After that, I knew he was ready to pray for salvation. I asked him if he wanted Carter to join us for his prayer, and he said yes. Sadly, daddy is working. Although Josh knew he was ready and wanted to do this TODAY! ūüôā So, we got Carter and Maddox prayed, (I would love to quote this, but I’m not sure I remember it all, however this is pretty accurate) Jesus, I am a sinner, I try to do good, but I am a sinner. God, thank you for sending your one and only Son to die for me. Thank you for forgiving me of my sins. Jesus, I want you to be Lord of my life. I want to be new in you. I want to live my life as you tell me the best I can. Amen. Romans 10:13 says ‚Äúeveryone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.‚ÄĚ

Then, with the biggest smile on his face, he hugged me and told me he is my brother in Christ. He thanked me for helping him go to heaven. Let’s be real, I did nothing. He is an amazing young boy. He knew what he wanted and did it. For we are saved only by grace only through faith. I know that God has given him grace and I know that he has faith. I could not be more proud to be mommy to my precious Maddox. I love that his spiritual birthday (John 3:3 says “Jesus answered him, ‚ÄúTruly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.‚ÄĚ) is on my physical birthday.

Luke 15:10 says “Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” I believe there is a party going on in heaven and Maddox Leo Souliere is written forever in the Book of Life.

For those of different faiths, there is no magic formula to salvation! There is no magic prayer and it doesn’t matter when or where you accept Christ as your Lord and Savior! You may read more about what we believe here http://longhollow.com/what-we-believe/. We love our church, but more importantly, we love our God. We would love for everyone to join us when Maddox publicly professes his faith through baptism. We will let you all know when we set a date.

Most people who know me, know I am not a big crier. I didn’t cry at the Titanic or any other movie I can think of at the moment. I have went through several funerals without crying, weird, yes I know. It’s just me. I see the¬†joy in death, especially of a saved person. Getting to meet our Lord and Savior, I am jealous. I have no fear in death. All that to say this Sunday at church, I teared up a bit.

Hearing our Pastor tell us that he was diagnosed with a very rare, very aggressive, very deadly cancer and that the doctors told him maybe 20 months, 5 years on the long side, it was difficult. Hearing him say he accepts God’s plan, but wants to live to see his grandchildren, it was so powerful. I loved when he said that God had already saved him from the most deadly disease that exists..his sin! How true, God already sent His son Jesus to die on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins! He has already saved us from the most deadly disease on earth.¬† Please join me in praying for Brother David. He is such an amazing man, a gifted preacher, and a husband and father. I pray wisdom for his doctors, strength for his family, and healing for him.

Everyone should watch this video!

http://vimeo.com/61556118

In our home, the birthday parties are fun, but getting older also means change and responsibility. When the boys turned 1-bottles were no longer used, at 2-we got rid of sippy cups, at 3-they are responsible for completely¬†cleaning their own rooms. When Kyson¬†turned 3, Josh and debated who had to enforce his room cleaning. If you know Kyson, he’s a little….independent ūüôā To our surprise, Kyson is the best room cleaner we have! Rarely do I even have to tell him to clean his room. When he puts his jammies on or gets dressed for the day, he goes straight to the laundry basket and puts in his dirty clothes. He picks up his toys when he is finished playing. Just this morning, he picked up Maddox’s shoes off the living room floor and cleaned up his breakfast plate.¬†I¬†love when he helps out and does kind things for his brothers.

Truth be told, I received this book to review a LONG time ago. Like, almost a year ago. I am not sure why, but I simply didn’t feel the desire to read it. Strange because it is a very small book. In fact, I just read it within the last hour. My thoughts, why has this book been sitting on my shelf for so long? It was great. As I do with all books I receive for review, I just wrote my name and the year in the back, and I will now pass it on to someone else. OK, onto the book.

It was a great read. I loved the idea of dinner with Jesus. I loved that the character was¬†a stranger but likely won’t stay that way! I enjoyed the factual information on various other religions. The setting and the¬†characters were all basic. The focus was on the truth. There isn’t much to say, it’s worth the read as a Christian. More than that, it’s a great small book to put it the mailbox or with a gift for an unbeliever.

I could have read more; I didn’t want¬†it to end.

I am personally not a huge fan of the television. I think about how much family time is lost and sucked into a stupid device. Don’t get me wrong, I watch a few shows, I love a good football game, but seriously I don’t think people realize how much “down” time they spend in front of the tv. I am not judging anyone, because I have the same faults. It amazes me that we don’t make time to read 5 pages from the Bible in a day, but we watch a tv show for an hour, or several shows totaling many hours! I think we just get stuck in a routine. Josh comes home, we eat, put the kids to bed, watch tv, go to bed…exhausted.

I tried to get all of the tvs¬†out of the house, but I was overruled. That is a little extreme, but I would really do it! I did succeed¬†in getting “No tv Monday”. It is amazing how many things get done around the house on Mondays. Seriously, I get tons accomplished! And..I really¬†have never watched much tv. It’s just a little news in the am,¬†maybe a little news in the afternoon or turn something on while the boys are resting. On Mondays, we just spend time without the tv…or other electronic devices (iPod, leapster, wii, whatever).¬†It’s amazing that¬†I don’t have to say “not right now guys, mom’s busy”. I am not busy because I¬†have everything I need to do finished. Josh has been¬†coming home on Mondays and getting things that were long overdue done around the house. This week, he fixed some cracks in the foundation outside. Next week, I think he is going to repaint the foundation.¬†It’s so much easier when the there isn’t a choice of sit on the couch and watch a good show or do something productive. It’s much easier to just be in a mind-set that¬†there is no tv so¬†we may as well do something¬†productive. Monday, I designed Carter’s birthday invitations. Something I haven’t done in a few years for the boys because “there is never enough time”.¬† Truth is, even with 3 kids and a husband, I just need to manage my time better.¬† The hours in the day¬†really are enough, we just have to plan and use them wisely.

I am still campaigning for no tv 5 days a week, not sure if that will ever happen. I will take what I can get though!

My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings.¬† Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart; for they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh.¬†¬† ‚Äst¬† Proverbs 4:20-22

 

Recently, our church, Long Hollow Baptist, had a men’s conference entitled Man Up.¬† Honestly, I have no idea what was said there or what it was really about.¬† However, I am sharing our recent experience, thinking the outcome would have been different had my husband not attended the conference….

Since I have know my husband, he has wanted a motorcycle.¬† I am personally not a big fan of them.¬† Had he had one at the beginning of our marriage, he would probably be dead.¬† Although I think he would do ok now, I still worry about other people on the road. Of course the fact that were 4 motorcycle fatalities in Nashville in 3 weeks doesn’t help!¬† Anyway, Josh recently had the opportunity to buy one for $1,000.00¬† He was adamant he was buying it, and I was tired of saying no.¬† He had worked out a no interest payment deal, and he was doing it.¬† After everything we have fought for with getting out of debt, I had no desire to owe anyone money.¬† Therefore, I saved $600 of the extra money I am making right now and took $400 of our debt payment and gave him $1000 cash.¬† Looking at the amount of money made a bit more real.¬†

So, the next weekend Josh comes to me and says he needs me to budget money for a boat battery and few other things for the boat for his camping trip with his brother.¬†I told him we simply didn’t have it.¬† I said the only extra money we had, or were going to have any time soon, was paying for a motorcycle.¬†

The next weekend, to my amazement, Josh said the $400 was going back to paying on our debt and the other money was going to the boat and new tires for his truck. My husband willingly sacrificed something he has wanted for years for our family. I am so proud to be his wife and proud that he is the father of my children.  I love his selflessness. Now, we have spent a lot more than anticipated on the boat, but we are happy to make the sacrifice for something our entire family can enjoy this summer!