Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Meaning of Family


I just finished watching the movie, "The Blind Side" which was nominated for movie of the year and didn't win. I think the movie industry made a huge mistake because they are missing the bigger picture.

It's about the story behind the story. The story of what family really means. In this movie, Sandra Bullock plays Leigh Anne Tuohy who finds a boy without a home attending the very same school as her kids. So she does what any mother would and offers him a place to stay for the night. Well you can read between the lines to know it doesn't stop with one night and eventually he becomes part of the family. The most significant line from the movie is when her girlfriends while having lunch together comments that "she is changing his life" to which she replies, "No he's changing mine!"

Many people may not understand that the word family does not just mean those that are born to you, they may be kids you foster or kids you adopt or even friends you take in that are homeless and have no where else to go. Family simply means one thing and that is love.

In God's eyes, it's our duty as His creations to care for one another and to love one another, not just til our kids turn 18, not if they deserve it one day or not, but for as long as we live and breathe. We love until we have breathed our last breath!

Jesus replied, "You do not realized now what I am doing but later you will understand." John 13:7

This scripture spoke such love to me today and personally felt God's voice upon my soul when I came across it tonight. God gave us the example of the perfect family when He became our Father and gave us His only son!

His love is so unconditional we can barely scratch the surface just to feel it, but you know what? When you catch just a glimpse and just breeze past it, its so magnifying you don't ever want it to end.

Now imagine just for one moment, to experience being immersed in that kind of love for a full 24 hours. What would you feel like? Loved beyond loving so much that it's beyond overflowing and you just want to branch out and share it as quickly as possible.

It's like having such an incredible experience at something you can't wait to share it with the very next person you see no matter who they are. It's that contagious!

Now, are you holding on???

Imagine feeling that everyday for the rest of your life for all eternity????

Did I just hear you scream??

I bet you did, because you know what? Being a member of God's family is going to be just like that! One incredible moment after another unlike anything you could ever imagine here in this life.

God's family.... I think we need to make sure it's a big as it can possibly be. We all need to be doing our part to make sure we take as many people with us, because we don't want to keep this for ourselves. This type of love is really meant to be shared, passed along and savored.

Let's make a difference in someone's life today and make sure to include them into our family! Oh and by the one...if you haven't seen the movie, you really need to. A personal favorite and one to add to your permanent libraries!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Lunch In Paris Winners


Oh how I wish I was able to fly all 5 of us to Paris for lunch but that just isn't something I can do at this time. You just never know in the vast future. I did want to let these wonderful ladies know that they are the lucky winner of the book Lunch in Paris. So Congratulations to all the wonderful winners. They are:

Lori at Girly Muse
Andrea at Arise 2 Write
Debbie at Heart Choices
Teresa at Grammy Girlfriend
Debbie at Just Breathe

Please remember to email me with your mailing information and NO P.O. Boxes please. Since these books are coming directly from the publisher it may take 3-4 weeks to receive them. Congratulations once again and I just know you'll love this book!

Remember there is still time to enter the What's In the Bible DVD set which ends on April 2, 2010. The icon is to the upper right of my side bar. Just click to win and enter.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Faith Forever Changed


Growing up my whole life, I lived in dread of coming down with some skin rash my parents couldn't identify or some bump under my skin that I didn't understand how it got there or even what it was.

So as a child growing up you did what any child does when they need an answer to a question, you go ask your parents?

Since most kids look to their fathers as being the supreme expert in knowledge of all things, I took most of my questions directly to him.

His answer was always the same. "Never seen anything like that before, must be cancer."

These were generally the same reply I got most times I went to him for anything, It was always cancer. As a child growing up in the early 70's not too much was known about cancer except that when people got it, they generally died.

So my premise started at a young age that if I had something wrong with my body that I could explain, it must be cancer and I would die.

So I stopped asking what was wrong with me. I avoided the doctors at times I should have been seen for so many things. So many earlier choices could have lead to a much easier childhood into adulthood and into raising my own kids.

However never once did that feeling ever creep into my child's unknown bumps, rashes or illnesses, that fear stayed buried deep inside me.

I was doomed to die of cancer it just hadn't been discovered yet.

So after experiencing unexplained pain in my abdomen for so many years I finally sought out professional help from a qualified doctor, while holding the hand of my hubby for moral support.

Most of the times the answers were always the same, it's nothing, perfectly normal for a woman of your "age", "height", "weight", "time in life", "number of kids" you name it. But no one failed to explain what it was, why I was having it and how to get rid of it.

For 11 years, and more OB GYN's than I can care to count, I was medicated to the point I consider myself a medication connoisseur. I can tell you how pain medications rank in order of what is the most strongest to where doctors are satisfying your need for pain medication and just giving you plain old aspirin labeled as something else.

It wasn't until I went through a complete cycle of 3 OB GYN's in the last 5 months starting on November 19, 2009 and it ended when I discovered hope in March 25, 2010. I met Dr. Allan Akerman from Orange, CA from my sisters referral, that who Dr. Allan has been all this time.

If you google him you will discover he has his own blog and not only that won an award recently for best bedside manners for a doctor. He was the only doctor in 11 years that diagnosed me with not having a "normal" life. After seeing so many and being told there was nothing to be done, I didn't give up. I tried one last doctor and felt divinely led at that point.

He was genuine and really listened. He took all my previous stacks of medical tests and history from me for almost 6 years and said while they are important he wanted to run his own tests and see the results for himself. Within less than 2 months, we had surgery scheduled to remove my uterus to eliminate 11 years of out of control monthly cycles that revolved around me needing to be home for at least 3-4 days each month because things were that out of control.

He also stated that while he was in there, he would do some exploratory work to see what is going on in the inside to cause so much constant pain for these last 5 months to see what the tests couldn't tell. There is the result of my endometriosis build up of 11 years worth and removal of my left ovary as well.

So what does this have to do with faith? During this whole ordeal I kept thinking they would find cancer when they got inside and saw what had been plaguing my life for so many years.

Since this was my first real surgery, I thought I would die and never wake up. So for the last 30 days I prepared everything just in case I never woke up. However in the middle of sleepless nights, God and I got real close. Closer than we had over those many years.

I never entered into an agreement of sorts with God, where you say, Hey God if you just allow me to get through this, you can do whatever you want with the rest of my life, just save me this once, PLEEEASSE!

Nope, but in receiving a book exactly 30 to the date of my surgery by Shelia Walsh called Beautiful Things Happen When a Woman Trusts God and I sat down to read it as I got the news that surgery was scheduled. I read it in a matter of hours and it really felt as if God was speaking to me through the pages of that book.

It's what had been missing in my personal walk with God, trust that He could really work in my life if I just had enough faith! But did I? I thought I did. I mean seriously how could you really know?

I attended church like I should, prayed like I should, read my Bible like I should, believed like I thought I should, and even loved at times like I thought God would want, yet something was still missing.

My faith! It said to me, I believe you can do it if you want to God and I am OK with it if you don't, but whatever you want to do is fine. Yet it wasn't.

I wanted God to heal me. I wanted God to provide the peace that literally surpasses all understanding. I wanted to have faith that would move mountains, but I lacked belief.

I knew God could do it but I doubted His reasons for possibly not wanting to. See faith for me is praying for an umbrella and just because it looks as if there was no sign of rain anywhere, why pack the umbrella?

Yet what faith really means, is that if you pray for rain, carry the umbrella. You have to believe it to be true. God can always change His mind, but the belief must still be there.

So now my belief has changed because between God and I during those weeks before surgery and unbeknownst to anyone, I panicked but I stepped out in faith, no matter how afraid I was that the answer to my prayer may not be the one I wanted. I prayed anyway. That morning when I drove to the hospital, I did not fear. I took captive all those silly little thoughts from the enemy and bound them captive and took them before my Father's feet and handed them over. I told God, these must not be from me, because I know that are not from YOU. You only mean what is good and righteous and true. These thoughts are none of those.

So I beheld in those final hours before surgery the unconditional love of my Father, I was held and rocked in the perfect peace that surpasses all understanding, I was looked down upon in a perfect light and confessed all my sins to my loving Abba Father and submitted my soul, my will, my strength, my love, my spirit and my heart to Him. Whatever His plans would be for me in the next few hours I would soon know but I rested in His assurance that they would be great!

I remember having a vision that night before my surgery as I knew so many of you were sending up prayer upon prayer to our heavenly Father for my needs that day. And it was amazing. I saw myself in a dark place surrounded by rain that was lit up as it ascended from earth to the Heavens and I saw all those prayers. It was like standing in a pouring rain but it was going up instead of down and each of those lighted raindrops were your prayers.

I prayed for rain and took my umbrella.

My faith is forever changed.

What's In The Bible DVD Series Review and Giveaway!



Official Stop On The What's In The Bible Blog Tour

I received the first two DVD's, In The Beginning and Let My People Go, in this series to review complimentary from Tyndale House Publishers. As a lover of Veggie Tales and owning just about every DVD they have produced, I was really looking forward to reviewing them.

They are just as great if not better than Veggie Tales, because your kids and your family learn more about the Bible than ever before, who the authors of the books are, who wrote the Bible, and where all those wonderful Veggie Tales stories really go in the Bible.

These DVD's are part of 13 in the series that will take you through all 66 books of the Bible. The songs are catchy and I've even caught my teenagers singing them. You can learn more by clicking on the link above to catch the What's In the Bible tour yourself and learn even more from the website. You can even learn more about it by clicking on the link below:

http://whatsinthebible.com/

http://www.tyndale.com/x_products/details.php?isbn=9781414336305


The best part of this review is that I get to giveaway a pair of gift certificates for DVD 1 and DVD 2. So one winner will win both DVD's rather than split them up! You can either take the certificates to your local Christian book store and pick them up there for free or you can complete the mailing information on the back of these certificates and have the DVD's mailed directly to you at no additional cost.

Now in order to win this giveaway you must be a follower, and you need to leave me a comment with your favorite Veggie Tale episode and why it's your favorite. I will be selecting the winner on Friday at 5pm. So please enter now and don't miss out on the opportunity!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Kat is Back!


Well kinda of any way. I've been pre-posting a lot of book reviews, CD and DVD's in my blogging absence and while trying to recover. So many of you were thinking I was up and about already back to blogging. Mentally I am but physically not quite there yet.

Steve was super great when I begged asked him to update my blog while he was waiting. I had a chance today to review all your wonderful comments and well wishes and have to say Thank you even though it seems so soft. I want to scream it from the heavens. It's funny when you have those missing hours of your life where you don't know what is going on and then to look back at Steve's blog and see WOW that is where all the time went.

Here's an update:

I went into surgery feeling tired of not sleeping well the night before, not due to anxiety but because I was afraid we'd over sleep or the alarm wasn't set that I'd miss my surgery. So every so often I would wake up and ask poor Steve what time it was. Turns out it was almost every hour on the hour til we had to get up.

I went with absolutely no anxiety or stress that whole morning. No real worries at all. I kept praying that every time I would feel it come, that God would whisk it away.

We got to the hospital at 5am and I was taken in to PreOp at 5:30am. They run through all your paperwork, have you get in your hospital gown, cover your head and feet with these wonderful blue paper things and go to the restroom one final time. I was then given some warm comfy blankets and the remote to the TV if I wanted to view it while I waited. At 7:15am, my doctor arrived and asked how breakfast was, and I responded that my pain meds at 12am were wonderful!

He said he was waiting for my anesthesiologist to arrive and we should be ready in about 10 minutes. I got to meet my OR nurse Bonnie who was super nice. At 7:30am my anesthesiologist arrived and had me sign a consent form and told me I would be given all my drugs in the OR!

So they wheeled me down the hall, I said good bye to Steve and asked him to journal my time, (what a blogger huh?) and they wheeled me just a few doors down into a icy cold blue OR. WOW TV really doesn't do these rooms justice. They are like 5 times the size you see on TV in real life.

Everyone said Hi and told me I needed to get on the OR table. I joked and said this would be my first Olympic Event, the OR table jump, and then said, Now I understand why you get the heated blankets, its super cold in here.

They covered me up and my anesthesiologist said, now come the drugs, and I said just make sure I don't remember anything and feel no pain. I don't remember anything until I woke up in the Recovery Room feeling like I was cut in half and I could hardly talk. I had an oxygen mask over my face and was trying to wake up and speak loud enough for the nurse to hear me say PAIN! It was the only thought I could get out of my head. I was shaking uncontrollably and she said she was going to give me something to make that stop.

I just kept saying Pain, and she said, she wouldn't be able to give me anything else for 10 minutes so I had to be patient. She said they were trying to get me out of the Recovery Area and up to my room so I could feel much better.

Shortly after that, I remember them bringing me into my room (private thanks Jesus) and asking if I could move to the other bed, I told them No, so they moved me onto the regular bed and took away my other sheets and gave me more warm blankets.

At that point my room nurse came in and hooked up my IV and pain meds so I could administer them as I needed every 10 minutes (thanks Jesus). They told me where I was and what to do if I needed anything.

I didn't realize I would receive a catheter to help me in this process and was the first question I asked was when that could go. I was told tomorrow morning. Nice!

At that point my brother came in, and set down some flowers he brought and asked how I was feeling. I told him not well, in a lot of pain, and that I had made it! When he saw my pain meds he joked if he could have some too! I told him, I was going to be selfish and not share.

Steve then joined us at that point where I learned all the details of what I had missed. That the doctor did find that my uterus was movable and therefore should be easy to take out, but later found out that is was really infected and disintegrating on the back side which no one could have seen. Not only that but the left ovary was covered with a cyst and completely encased with endometrial tissue that is bound itself to anything and everything it could including my colon and bladder. It was at this point during surgery that he was asked by the attending doctor and nurses if he was going to open me up for the typical hysterectomy and he said No he wanted to go slow and try it this way first.

It turned out it took much longer but he was able to complete this surgery laproscopicly which meant no stitches and I was just derma bonded with glue in three places on my abdomen. I do have stitches on the inside where I had my uterus removed but other than they he felt I should keep my right ovary since in time when menopause came it would take care of any other issues with the possibility of cysts or tissue on that ovary. It was fine except for a small cyst. (Thanks Jesus again!)

I spent the next 23 hours recovering with some great nurses and a wonderful hospital that catered to all my needs. At 12:30pm I was wheeled out of the hospital and headed home on a drive I knew would really test my ability to endure.

It was the roughness of the roads in the mini-van I had chosen to rent thinking it would offer me a much smoother ride, but it didn't. I was able to recline back because my waist was still bent with my legs having to sit up so high on these seats. They were too high.

Not only that after riding in these types of rough roads and freeways out here,( let me tell you that Obama and our governor are not spending the money on repairing out here in California), for almost 2 hours I felt every bump and rough spot in my stomach like an over inflated water balloon.

On top of that, my bladder was so full from the catheter that I had to go to the bathroom so bad I think my eyes were bulging from my head. I seriously could not get home fast enough. That is where Steve got the brunt of what I was feeling. I mean did he seriously know how much pain I was in, despite tears pouring down my face and sobbing. I could not get out of the van fast enough and could not pull myself out of the van because we were parked on an incline on the driveway so gravity was pulling me to the seat and I wanted OUT!

Once I got to the bathroom and upstairs in bed, and completely loaded up on pain meds, I was much better. I think I even apologized to Steve but honestly he really had no idea how much pain I was in, and he moved even slowly to accommodate my needs to get in bed.

Ah but after 2 full days of being home, I am better in some areas and not so much in others. I still feel like I could rip open my tears in my stomach just by getting in and out of bed. That is still my biggest challenge. Showers take their toll on me too and wear me out. No one likes going to bed with wet hair. So I have to at least dry it.

So now that you have all got my side of things, I need to say thanks! Thanks to all those wonderful prayers that kept me covered in God's protection and comfort because I was never afraid of anything. I am thankful I got my private room, great nurses, pain meds on request, and a short time in the hospital as well as laproscopic surgery even though it really tested my doctor.

I even joked when he came to see me, and he asked if my hubby had told me how difficult this surgery was, my comment to him was, "Didn't you say you like challenges?" The look on his face was priceless because you could see that this was more difficult than anything he ever wanted to experience. I just chalk that up to my prayer with my doctor prior to surgery. Even though he said it would be OK, I asked if we could pray anyway. We did, and God answered. Yes, without a doubt, God does answer each and every prayer!

One last piece of news is my book giveaway winners for book pack one and two are:

Anne Phamilyblog won book pack number 1
Alleluiabelle at Humble As I Go won book pack number 2.

Congratulations to all my wonderful winners and may God receive all the glory from all of this. Praise God to the Highest! Hallelujah!

Looking to Make Money From Home?


In tough economic times, conventional jobs can be hard to find. A home-based business could be the answer for many people. Making Money from Home compares the cost of working outside the home with the benefits of working from home. It provides readers with the tools they need to run a successful home business, such as time management advice, details on the foundations of a solid business, tips on marketing goods and services, legal issues to consider, and information on how to use the Internet effectively and how to create a business plan.

“I haven’t met you, but I suspect I already know two things about you:
1. You need to make extra money from home.
2. You need to make it starting right now.

Trust me, I get it. I’ve been right where you are. Granted, it was a long time ago, but the memory is vivid. I was at my desk in the investment-banking department on the twenty-eighth floor of a Philadelphia high-rise on Black Monday (October 19, 1987), the day of the largest stock-market crash in American History. Not long afterward our entire department was eliminated. That was the end of any illusion I might have had about the stability of the American economy or the reliability of a company paycheck. It was also the beginning of my journey as a home-based businessperson.

Maybe your family has recently learned the same painful lessons. Or maybe you’re being proactive by getting a side business going, just in case. Honestly, it doesn’t matter what prompted you to pick up this book. What matters is that you now have in your hands a step-by-step guide to making money at home in a global economy. And the time to start is now.”

These are the powerful words of the author of Making Money From Home, Donna Partow. She takes you through some great steps on deciding what kind of business should you open, how to get started, using your blog for marketing, and balancing home and family while running a business.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers to review and I must say I love it. It comes at the perfect time when so many of us are asking if there isn’t something more we can do to help our families in this financial crisis.

If you would like more information on this book including where to purchase it, please click on the link below.
http://mediacenter.tyndale.com/1_products/details.asp?isbn=978-1-58997-608-5

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Red Letters Project


If you are a lover of rock music and love the Bible than you will seriously want to take a look at this amazing new project. Its called the Red Letters Project that is a dynamic, one-of-a-kind presentation of the words of Christ features 40 tracks - both sung and narrated word-for-word from the Gospel of Matthew. The Red Letters Project was created by Russ Regan, a committed Christian who envisions this as his legacy project.

At first when I was presented with this opportunity to review CD set compliments of Tyndale House Publishers, I was intrigued by the concept of putting God's word, the actual red letter text from the Bible, from the book of Matthew to rock music.

Since I have teens in my home who love this type of music, I thought why not make it a family project. So when this wonderful 3 CD packaged set arrived this week we decided to listen to it and provide our feedback from teens 11-18. They all loved it and couldn't believe it when I explained what it was.

The CD set comes with the Book of Matthew along with the red letter text and it shows which songs go along with which parts of the text. For example the first song, Fish for People addresses the red letter text word for word from Matthew 3:15 through 5:12. This is also one of my favorite songs.

What a great way to get teens involved with the music but if they learn the words, they are quoting what Jesus said verbatim from the Book of Matthew. I can think of a better way to keep God's word close to your heart.

The music is well produced and offers a variety of types of music to appeal to different levels of rock music. All in all, I think its a very well produced CD set I would love to have my kids and teens listen to. The worst part of this ordeal was deciding on who gets to keep the set of CD's since my daughter and her guy friends were all fighting over who gets what CD. That tells you right there, it appeals to the teen market!

If you would like more information on where you can purchase this CD set please click on the link below for more details.

http://mediacenter.tyndale.com/1_products/details.asp?isbn=978-1-4143-1729-8

Friday, March 26, 2010

A History of Christianity - The First 3000 Years



A History of Christianity – The First Three Thousand Years
DVD 6 Part Documentary from BBC

For those of you that know me, know how much I love history and anything that pertains to it. I was so fortunate to be provided with a complimentary DVD by B & B Media Group to review the first episode of this amazing DVD series. The DVD is titled “The First Christianity”.

A History of Christianity, a six-part series presented by Diarmaid MacCulloch, an Oxford history professor whose books about Cranmer and the Reformation have been acllaimed as masterpieces. A History of Christianity will reveal the true origins of Christianity and delve into what it means to be a Christian. Intelligent, thought-provoking and magisterial in its scope the series will reveal how a small Jewish sect that preached humility became the biggest religion in the world.

In Episode 1 – The First Christianity, Professor MacCulloch goes in search across of Christianity’s forgotten origins. He overturns the familiar story that it all began when the apostle Paul took Christianity from Jerusalem to Rome. Instead, he shows that the true origins of Christianity lie east, and that at one point it was poised to triumph in Asia, maybe even in China. The headquarters of Christianity may well have been in Baghdad not Rome. And if that had happened Western Christianity would have been very different.

In viewing this 60 minute DVD I kept an open mind to the information that Professor MacCulloch details. He takes you from where Paul left off when he carried Jesus’ message to Rome and instead followed the growth of Christianity into the east to see if it did in fact exist. What he found there was pretty amazing. He shows evidence of Christianity in Syria, Baghdad and even China before most of the religious wars had taken place.

One of the most interesting arguments in this DVD from Christians is the explanation of Jesus. Was He God? Was He just a man? Or was He as we, believe both? If so, how can a perfect being like God, create a human to dwell among us and still be part God?

The best explanation I have heard is simply this. Take a glass and call the glass Jesus.
Add water which represent his Divine Godly nature to the glass. Add some oil which is the part of Jesus that is now a human. This explains it. Jesus as both God and Man but still Jesus.

Some like it seen another way in which you take the glass and call it Jesus. Add water which represents his Divine Nature but this time also add wine to it. This represent Jesus as a human. Now mix them together. You can no longer see them as separate but we know that both the water and wine are together, just like the divine nature was combined with the human flesh known as Jesus.

If you are interested in more information about the DVD series or even where to purchase it, please click on the link below:

A History of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years 6 DVD Set presented by Diarmaid MacCulloch
March 2010
www.ambrosevideo.com

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Stage 4 almost complete!

Hi everyone,

This is Kat's husband Steve writing a quick note to let everyone know that Kat is still in surgery and I have not heard anything yet. Once I hear from the doctor on how she is doing and that the surgery is over I will let you know. We prayed with the doctor before they took her in to the OR so she felt much better after that. Surgery started about a half hour late so I am just waiting in the lobby now as I write this to let you all know what the status is.

Please feel free to comment if you would like to send her a letter or a card in the mail and I will get you our address if you comment with your email address. If you would like to put her prayer button on your site please see my blog at godahavefaith.blogspot.com It is located on the right side bar of my blog.

Thank you and God Bless.



GREAT NEWS!!!!!

Just a few minutes after letting you know that she was in surgery, her doctor came out and let me know that the surgery was very successful and that he was able to just do the Hysterectomy via laparoscopically. There was a lot of endometriosis on the left side which was causing all of her pain and the doctor was able to remove without any real problems. So she is in recovery now for the next two hours.

So the surgery was a success and now for the road to recovery or "stage 5" as Kat says. I will edit this post again once I talk to her and find out how she is doing. Thank you God for being such a wonderful God and letting me have her for a while longer!

Thank you and Keep the Faith!


2nd Update after surgery

Okay it is approx 11:45 am and the nurse came out to say that Kat is awake now but in quite a bit of pain so they are keeping her in the recovery area a while longer to watch her and to try to get the pain level down to where she is comfortable. The doctor did say that there would be some pain as it took some time to get all of the endometriosis out and that is was a delicate procedure. Father, please work your wonder as only you can to help heal Kathy's pain while recovering. Your will and loving hand come down and touch her to heal her wounds at her time of need. I am so thankful God that you are with her during this time and may your will be done. In Jesus name, Amen!

Once again I will keep this blog updated so keep checking throughout the day to see how she is doing.

Bless you all

2:15 pm and all is well
Kat has been moved to a hospital room now and is a little more comfortable. She was hooked up to a pain monitor that will give her doses of pain meds if she feels the pain coming back. She just had a small liquid lunch with some jello and water. It looks as if the pain meds are kicking in which is a good thing so she is going in and out of sleep right now and that is what she needs to recover. She has been light hearted and smiling as much as she can even though she is very tired and still in pain.
Her brother stopped by which made her feel good and they talked for while while he visited. Her Dad might stop by if he gets a chance to visit and I hope that he will so they can start to mend their relationship. She is sleeping now as much as she can (of course being in a hospital is not the best place to get rest!) so I am trying to keep quiet while typing this. I feel so good to know that it is over and she can start to recover and not deal with the severe pain she has been in for so many months. I love her so much and it is comforting watching her sleep.
I think this will be the last post for the day, so I will try to update you tomorrow morning on when she was able to go home and really get some well deserved rest. Thank you all again for all of the wonderful gift of commenting and God for my wonderful wife.
Signing off now,
Stage 5 started!
Friday afternoon and Kat is home!
I just wanted to let everyone know that Kat was checked out from the hospital this afternoon at 12:30 pm. So now for the lovely ride home! The Good news, Kat is ready to go home in the rental minivan thinking it would be smoother than our Saturn sedan. I guess the plan was that she would have a more comfortable ride back home. The Bad News, so much for thinking that the minivan would be helpful as the hospital was an hour and a half away from our house. Let's just say that by the time we got home she wasn't very quote "happy". I will keep silent about the rest of what was said lol. Of course I am sure she was in so much pain that there wasn't much she could do except endure the ride. She is asleep in bed now so I am praying that she feels better aftersome sleep.
I have to go get her prescription filled in a bit for her pain. The doctor gave her Percoset? I think that is how it is pronounced. She took some this morning just before 8am and said that it seemed to work well. So please keep praying for her as she is still in a large amount if pain after the lovely trip home. Doctor said to monitor her temp if she does not feel well and if it goes over 101 to call the hospital, we just took her temp earlier and it is 99.5 so we will watch it closely over the next few days. I will come back and post a new post tomorrow to keep you updated. Until then God Bless all of you and may God continue to watch over Kat and may he heal her quickly with his touch.
Amen,

On Guard!


"I teach a Sunday school class called “Defenders” to about one hundred people, from high
schoolers to senior adults, at our home church in Atlanta. We talk about what the Bible teaches (Christian doctrine) and about how to defend it (Christian apologetics). Sometimes people who aren’t in our class don’t understand what we do. One fine Southern lady, upon hearing that I teach Christian apologetics, remarked indignantly, “I’ll never apologize for my faith!”

Apologetics Means a Defense

The reason for her misunderstanding is obvious: “Apologetics” sound like “apologize”. But apologetics is not the art of telling somebody you’re sorry that you’re a Christian! Rather apologetics comes from the Greek word apologia, which means a defense, as in a court of law. Christian apologetics involves making a case for the truth of the Christian faith.

The Bible actually commands us to have such a case ready to give to any unbeliever who wants to know why we believe what we do. Just as the contestants in a fencing match have learned both to parry each attack as well as to go on the offensive themselves, so we must always be “on guard.”"

These are just the beginning words from this amazing book. This book is amazing for me and what it did for finding out ways on how to defend my faith with gentleness and respect. It helped me to answer the following questions:

1. Do you worry that someone will ask you a question about your faith that you can’t answer?
2. Have you tried to learn how to defend your faith but gotten lost in confusing language and theology?
3. Do you struggle with times of spiritual doubt yourself?



I received a complimentary copy of this book, On Guard, Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision by William Lane Craig, to review for B & B Media Group and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for ways to learn about defending their faith.

You can learn more about this book and where to purchase it by clicking on the links below.
On Guard by William Lane Craig
David C Cook/March 1, 2010/ISBN: 978-1-4347-6488-1/288 pages/softcover/$16.99
www.davidccook.com – www.wiliamlanecraig.com
http://www.davidccook.com/catalog/Detail.cfm?sn=106508&source=search

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Off To Surgery!



I wanted to take this time to say good bye to all of you until I get home from my surgery. I have received so many emails and prayers today that have really made my day and made me less anxious. I'm sorry I haven't had to chance to stop by today and read your blogs or leave comments as I'm trying to get everything ready for tomorrow's surgery. Trust me, I promise to be back!

We leave at 3:30am tomorrow morning and my surgery for a hysterectomy is scheduled for 7:15am. I have asked Steve to update my blog as soon as he hears from the doctor so watch for an update from him sometime around 12 noon tomorrow I would guess if not sooner.

He is taking his laptop with him so he has promised to update when he can. I just wanted to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your prayers and warm thoughts during this whole duration and God was gracious in allowing me to talk to Loren from The Magoos News today and I got the opportunity to pray with Lisa Shaw from Sharing Life with Lisa. Thank you ladies it was well worth my day just to get the chance to do this!

Let me tell you both of them had me in tears but happy ones to be assured. I feel nothing but love from my family and friends in the blogging world as well as the ones nearest me. I am looking forward to awaking tomorrow with no pain and to be at home recovering on Friday.

Until I am back up and blogging again, I have preset my blog for some DVD's, CD's and books I have read so you can see some amazing stuff that is coming soon for Easter! I love you all and I place my whole life, my soul, my spirit, my will and my heart in God's hands! Let His will be done in all of this! My trust and focus remain with God!

Lunch In Paris?



Ever wonder what would happen if you mixed Julia Child and the movie, “Under the Tuscan Sun” together? You would have, the book I just finished reading called Lunch In Paris By Elizabeth Bard!

In Paris for a weekend visit, Elizabeth Bard sat down for lunch with a handsome Frenchman – and never went home again.

Was it love at first sight? Or was it the way her knife slid effortlessly through her pave’ au poivre, the steak’s pink juices puddling in the buttery pepper sauce? Lunch in Paris by Elizabeth Bard, is a memoir abut a young American woman caught up in two passionate love affairs – one with her new beau, Gwendal, the other with French cuisine. After packing her bags to begin a new life in the most romantic of cities, Bard is plunged into a world of bustling open-air markets, hipster bistros, and size-two femmes fatales.

She learns how to gut a fish (with a little help from Jane Austen) and soothe pangs of homesickness (with the rise of a chocolate souffle’) and she develops a crush on her local butcher (who bears a striking resemblance to Matt Dillon).



This book is an amazing read for anyone who has longed for the desire to just pick up, leave and move to Paris! Woven wonderfully at the end of each chapter are the most amazing recipes of everything from appetizers to main courses, to “death by chocolate” desserts! What more could woman ask for a cook book and love story all in one!

I received this complimentary amazing book courtesy of Hachette Book Groups to review. If you would love to know more about this book, the author or even where to purchase a copy of this heartwarming book, simply click on the link below.

http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/books_9780316042789.htm

The best part about this is I get to provide 5 of my readers with a copy of this wonderful book. Here are my guidelines for this giveaway.

1. You must be a follower. How else will you learn about these amazing giveaway offers? Leave that as a separate comment for one chance to enter!

2. Leave me a comment telling me about your favorite place to just up and leave and want to live there. This gets you entry number 2!

3. Spread the word and tell others about this giveaway and I will give you extra entry for 3 chances to win.

The giveaway is for US and Canada residents only and NO P.O. Boxes please. I must have a way to reach you so please leave me an email address if you don’t have one linked to your blog. The giveaway will go for one week and will end on March 30th!

Trust me this is the perfect book to read over Spring Break, summer vacation or while you are having your favorite Starbucks beverage and croissant!

The Countdown Begins... and Some Winners Are


I just wanted to let you all know that I passed stage 3 of 5 in my road to surgery and so the hard part remains, the surgery and recovery. I took all my tests yesterday and was there for about 2 1/2 hours.

I had to have 4 vials of blood drawn, a urine test, EKG and Chest XRay completed and sign all my paperwork, so I basically just show up on Thursday morning and I am ready to go. No delays.

I already have my prescription for post op pain meds and making sure that is filled prior to me coming home. So I leave here at 3:30am on Thursday morning to make it to the hospital by 5am for post op stuff. My surgery is set for 7:15am and the doctor told me it should only take about 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours to complete.

Then I sit in recovery for a couple hours before they take me to my room. If things go as planned I will be heading home after a brief overnight stay and should be home by Friday afternoon. I explained I do better recovering at home than by being in a hospital so when he feels comfortable discharging me, I am out of there.

The good thing is that my meds are being administered by hand pump which means I control my pain medication instead of having to wait for a nurse to come around. Steve will be with me and should update my blog when he knows anything. Please continue to your prayers for the following:
  • Rest the night prior to surgery
  • Surgery starts on time
  • Surgery goes smoothly with no complications to prevent it from not being completed laproscopicly
  • I can get to a room to recover quickly
  • I don't get sick from any of the medications
  • I can get a private room.
  • I can leave first thing Friday morning and be pain free with no complications from surgery!
Thank you in advance for all your heartfelt prayers, words of encouragement, support and well wishes. I hope to be talking to you all soon.



Now for the winners of the Heart of My Heart Book Giveaway and the three lucky winners chosen at random by Steve are:

Beth at At His Feet

Ladies, please forward me your mailing addresses and remember No P.O. Boxes or out of the country addresses except for Canada!

There is still a chance to win one of two giveaway book sets and that drawing will end on Saturday March 27th. I will also be launching another great book giveaway later today so watch for this one. It's another don't want to miss! Remember if you don't enter, you can't win!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Here Burns My Candle ~ Book Review


A Mother who cannot face her future.

A daughter who cannot escape her past.

Lady Elisabeth Kerr is a keeper of secrets. A Highlander by birth and a Lowlander by marriage, she honors the auld ways, even as doubts and fears stir deep within her.

Her husband, Lord Donald, has secrets of his own, well hidden from the household, yet whispered among the town gossips.

His mother, the dowager Lady Marjory, hides gold beneath her floor and guilt inside her heart. Though her two abiding passions are maintaining her place in society and coddling her grown sons, Marjory’s many regrets, buried in Greyfriars Churchyard, continue to plague her.

One by one the Kerr family secrets begin to surface, even as bonny Prince Charlie and his rebel army ride into Edinburgh in September 1745, intent on capturing the crown.

A timeless story of love and betrayal, loss and redemption, flickering against the vivid backdrop of 18th century Scotland, Here Burns My Candle by Liz Curtis Higgs, illuminates the dark side of human nature, even as hope, the brightest of tapers lights the way home.

If you love historical fiction, especially from Scotland, you will love this book as you get lost in the language of that time period. I felt as if I was completely transported back in time to witness the events from above and would highly recommend this book.

I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book to review for WaterBrook Multnomah Publishers. If you would like more information on this book and where to purchase a copy, please click on the link below.

http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/catalog.php?isbn=9781400070015

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Broken Life Becomes a Beautiful Life! Part 4


***NOTE: As I was completing the final stage of this Bible study, God spoke to me in the midst of my prayer. I was able to capture it and share it with all of you as the message is not only for you but those who read this blog. It is at the conclusion of this post! I've highlighted His words in Red!***

Today is week 4 of a 12 week Bible Study, I have felt call to lead from Shelia Walsh's book, "Beautiful Things Happen When A Woman Trusts God." I guess I am a living example of this as you have walked this road with me over these last weeks.

We pick up today with, "A Broken Life Becomes a Beautiful Life".

There were many things in Anna's life that were disappointing. She lost her husband at a very early age, and she had no children. Much of what we know about Anna is by implication rather than direct knowledge. That she was allowed to occupy one of the temple apartments speaks volumes about her character. Her world was very much a male dominated one where women were expected to be silent and unobtrusive.

One of the key words that I see in Anna's life is focus. She didn't look back with regret but rather she looked forward with hope. That one thing along could change the way we live. Think of the wasted energy we expend on regret. Obviously, grief plays a very necessary part in our lives, but grief adds to the tragedy when we allow it to define us. When grief defines us we forego the opportunity to truly live again. Although Anna knew heartache and loss, she focused on hope.

When Paul wrote his first letter to the young Timothy he identified himself as, "Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope."(1:1). This is how Anna lived her life, waiting patiently for Christ who is our hope.

It wasn't just her past that harsh, for Anna lived under the cruel reign of Herod the Great. We know, too, that there was a lot of corruption in the priesthood. Just as today, when we struggle with those who disappoint us in government or the pulpit, we have to choose where to focus our attention. Where are you focusing your attention as you wait on God's promise to you?

Find

Anna the prophetess was also there, a daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher. She was by now a very old woman. She had been married seven years and a widow for eighty four. She never left the Temple area, worshiping night and day with her fastings and prayers. At the very time Simeon was praying, she showed up, broke into an anthem of praise to God, and talked about the child to all who were waiting expectantly for the freeing of Jerusalem. - Luke 2:36-38 MSG

Read Isaiah 40:25-31

25 "To whom will you compare me?
Or who is my equal?" says the Holy One.

26 Lift your eyes and look to the heavens:
Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one,
and calls them each by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
not one of them is missing.

27 Why do you say, O Jacob,
and complain, O Israel,
"My way is hidden from the LORD;
my cause is disregarded by my God"?

28 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.

29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.

30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;

31 but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

What is the byproduct of waiting on the Lord? He will provide strength to those that are tired, and more power to those who are weak...if we but trust in the Lord.

Take a closer look at verse 31. In what area of your life do you need strength? What is God saying to you through this passage?

The area I need strength in, is to get through the physical pain that the pills are not providing relief from and not allowing me to rest as I should at night. God is saying to trust in Him, life these concerns up to Him, pray to Him, allow Him to help rather than seek help in a bottle.

What dream has God planted deep inside you? What prevents you from realizing that dream?

The dream I believe God has planted inside for me is to volunteer with hospice patients, to walk with them in those final moments and offer them God's comfort and hope in their final minutes. Right now, it's the physical pain that keeps me confined to my bed and preventing me from getting up.

Read the scripture passage above. How would you have felt if you had been in Anna's situation? I would have felt after 84 years that God had forgotten about me and that my dream of seeing the child in my lifetime wasn't going to happen.

Fill in the blanks in the statement that follows:

This stinks. I expected to be "doing so much more with my life at this point at 46 besides being in bed." I expected to have "been fulfilling God's purpose in being a better wife and mom." All the rules seem to be changing. I "am not doing what I wanted!"

What do you expect God to do about your situation? Please give me strength to endure the pain as long as it lasts and let me know here is where I need to be for now!

Based on what Anna did, what should you do in response to your situation? Draw closer to God more and wait on Him to reveal His purpose for my life in His timing.

Feel

Anna had every reason to feel hopeless and useless. Yet, she believed God's promise that she was valuable to him. How do you know you are valuable to God? How does that make you feel?

Because the Bible promises that God created me to be unique and needed to accomplish His will and glorify His life. My life is never wasted and each day matters to Him. It makes me feel very loved and special!

Anna prayed that the Messiah would come. For what are you praying and what do you expect to happen when that prayer is answered? I am praying for the pain to go away and never return. It showed up unexpectedly and without cause. I would expect that when God removes that pain my faith will receive a huge booster shot. People will also be blessed that have walked that long journey with me to also be restored; that answers to prayer aren't always easy, but they do come. It will also allow me to trust in my Heavenly Father to resolve my fears of being afraid of doctors and hospitals. I know God is always with me. He has endured this journey with me. He has carried me when I have fallen and refused to get up. He will help me reach the other side.

For what are you watching? How do you expect God to overwhelm your life? I am watching for an answer to my prayer. I've been asking God for a sign that this is my path and so far He hasn't failed me yet. To use others to bring me along with the same message of hope. I would really like to see Him do something amazing, no pain following surgery.

Follow:

What is the role of your ongoing relationship with God in regards to your personal and spiritual expectations? My role is understanding that I need to focus on today only and trust Him to handle the details and the rest that follows.

How do you discern God's guidance from your feelings or the advice of others? I do this by spending time really laying it all out there for God, humbly dropping all of my protective walls and exposing everything to Him and asking for His will not mine.

Complete the following statement: Because God said trust...I will be... strengthen and find rest to persevere forward.

Now write a prayer expressing your desire to wait for God's answer to your prayers. Use this prayer as part of your daily time with God and as an expression of your desire to live with God-honoring patience as you wait for him to reveal his plan to you.

Dear Glorious God,

As I was doing this study with you, I felt your presence here. I felt the warmth of you near me. I heard your words so clearly as you spoke...

Dearest Kathleen,

I know this journey has been so difficult for you, physically challenging and emotionally draining. I know how often you've tried to share your feelings with those around you and those who read your words everyday.

I know the difficulties you've faced in trying to smile through your pain and still reach out to those in need. I see you hide it from them but you've never been able to hide it from Me. I see your tears at night and wish so often you'd cry out to Me.

I know you think your prayer is always the same and that it won't help or that you've already tried but I want to hear your voice. I love to hear it. I love to hear you ask Me for help.

Even though this walk has been longer than you'd hoped it would be, I've been using this to reach out not only to you, but those you know what you are going through. People need to know prayer doesn't always answer what you want, when you want it to. Prayer is simply you talking to me like a child would to their Father.

Oh how I would want nothing more than to instantly heal you, but there would be no real lesson to be learned in that. Only a few lives would be changed and some of those would forget sooner than I would like.

I want to thank you for taking this walk with Me. I know you've fallen and wanted to give up, but you became encouraged and let Me help get you through this time.

I know when you see that mountain in front of you...you look at Me with a smile believing it's the last one and our path is almost there, only to find yet another mountain.

Yet, this time its different. The mountains are growing smaller so that they aren't mountains any longer but hills.

Our time for this pain is almost over, and you've endured well. You've taken others with you so you've learned it's OK to lean on others and ask for help.

You've learned much more about faith in prayers from my examples in Joseph and Esther. You've learned answers to prayers don't always come when you would like, but you persevered. You've clung to Me.

You've kept your focus where it should be and you've not forgotten that I AM GOD!

I will pull you through.

I will not leave you.

I will endure, comfort and encourage you!

I am Jehovah Rapha, the Lord Who Heals, let those who have witnessed this time be blessed by what they read and know.

The path is just ahead...

I think it's time to run!

You're steps will be much lighter adn once you get there with Me, I will hold you and tell you just how proud I am!

Well done, Kathleen...your faith has made you well!

By encouraged and encourage others through this testimony!

I know the plans I have for you...Love Your Father ~ God!




Sunday, March 21, 2010

Stage 2 of 5 complete!


Well I am seeing this week in stages until I am home and recovering. God and I have been talking quite a bit more lately and He understands my anxieties completely. He explained that even if I had the complete assurance and understanding of everything from beginning to end, I would still worry. It's human nature because I will not be in control of my life momentarily. Actually if I really think about it, there are so many opportunities when I am not in control of my life and let God take over the driving for awhile.

Take for example while we sleep. We don't worry that we won't wake up in the morning because sometime during the evening we forget to breath or to remind our hearts to beat again. Nope God handles the details. He is really great at that. He is more able to handle that than we would and I am so glad for that.

So while I check out temporarily on Thursday for my surgery, I have God handling the details for me. He will be making sure that everyone is doing what he created them uniquely to do and I will wake up in a few hours and just have to deal with recovery.

Yet even in that, God will handle the details. He will deal with my body healing itself. While my muscles and skin repair itself while my body supplies just what it needs to make it happen. God will handle it all. He always does.

So why the stages?

It helps me to process things being so in control of things all the time. Stage 1 was talking with the administrations office last week and handling all the paperwork so we are good to go with my insurance.

Stage 2, was dropping the kids off with my mom and sister. They are going to keep them during the week while I have tests stage 3, complete on Tuesday and surgery, stage 4, scheduled for early Thursday morning. With great news, I should be heading home on Friday, stage 5, final recovery.

I know this week has been extremely difficult for me pain wise. I have to say this week has been the most painful since this all began in November of last year. I think God is creating an appreciation in my mind so great to have this relieved, I'd be willing to do just about anything to have this taken care of.

I am working on creating a prayer journal that I plan on taking with me, with scriptures God has pointed out to encourage me and give me peace. I am also taking all your awesome prayers that I have printed out and posted in my book to help when the going gets tough. I have also created a great play list for my IPod of some really encouraging, and spiritually uplifting music to help get me there and recovering. If you want to email me something special, I'd be so glad to take it with me.

I even have the privilege of calling some prayer warriors to pray with me the night before. I ask for peace and no stress that day!

With that in mind, I am almost half way there, in regards to the stages. The amazing thing is just how close God and I have become in my intimate meetings in my mind. I just imagine we are meeting together in a park like setting, some place tranquil and beautiful. It's our place, but then again, God created it, he works in the details. He makes it all seem real!

So for now, I leave the details up to God, I place my whole life in His capable hands, I trust Him more than 100% if that's possible, and I go where He tells me to go.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Two Great Giveaways - Don't want to miss these!


"I am in such a great mood, and you've all be super wonderful and supportive so I need to do a much bigger giveaway! Are you ready?" Bella asks.



Instead of hosting a couple of book giveaways here and there, I've been saving up some really great titles and wanted to host either one really super big giveaway or two smaller giveaways. Steve said to do two smaller ones and I can always add a few surprises to them as I come across them because you know how I love to pick up small treats here and there.

Not only that with spring just around the corner and summer break only a couple of months away I thought I would do a book giveaway with three of my favorite titles in each. So I will list them as two separate giveaway posts on the top right of my blog. If you are interested in Number 1, tell me, if you want number 2, tell me that or if you don't care and would be happy with either one, tell me that as well. If your like me and still remain indecisive after all that, list it this way, first pick= then second pick =. I hope I didn't confuse you after all that.



The first giveaway NUMBER 1 has these three titles in it: Mother-Daughter Duet, Living Life in the Zone, a 40 day game plan for men to get more spiritual and in touch with God, and Real World Parenting.



The second giveaway is NUMBER 2 and contains these amazing titles: When God Turned Off the Lights, Why Is God Ignoring Me?, and The Language God Talks on Science and Religion.

You just need to tell me which group would you prefer to win. The contest begins now and will end on Saturday, March 27th after I return from the hospital so I can get them all shipped out to you at the beginning of the week. I am hoping to get these to you before most of you take your spring break.

You can always click on the picture to get a bigger image and if you have any questions regarding any of the books, just email me.

Want more opportunities to win:

1. First comment with your choice gets you one entry in the contest.

2. Follow me, and list that separate gets you choice number two.

3. Link my giveaway on your blog and let me know about it gets you another win.

These are some amazing books and retail in value for each set about $30.00 each. You can use them for reading, pass them along as gifts or simply give them away yourself! This is the best part!



"Well, what are you waiting for? This is simply too good to pass up, tell everyone!" shouts Tosh (well if he could talk, he would be saying that, and yes that is the way he lays on my bed!)

Are You a Real World Parent?


Real World Parents by Mark Matlock helps you be proactive, rather than reactive, while raising Christian kids towards lives of faith in a world filled with contradictions. Rather than trying to raise kids who are “good Christians,” you’ll find the tools to help you live out a faith that allows your children to see what it means to live as a Christian. As a result, your kids will learn about real faith by living it out with you.

In this book, Mark Matlock, will help you explore such issues as:
  • Helping your child make decisions
  • The importance of failure
  • Knowing God’s story for your family
  • Changing the story your family is in.
  • The pursuit of wisdom, and much more.

I found this book to be very insight and a great parenting tool for me. Not only does the book deal with what is happening in our families today, but gives you some great study tools and discussion questions to work with your family on. I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking to see what God’s plans are for you in being “real world parents” today.

I received a complimentary copy of this book to review for B & B Media Group. If you are interested in learning more about the book or where to purchase it, click on the links below.

Real World Parents: Christian Parenting for Families Living in the Real World by Mark Matlock
Zondervan/Youth Specialties March 2010
ISBN: 978-0-3106-6936-4/143 pages/softcover/$12.99
http://www.realworldparents.com

Friday, March 19, 2010

Finally A Life Application Study Bible just for girls 11 and up!


This isn’t a Bible for little girls. It’s a Bible created just for you! The image about shows the Bible in the pink packaging but it really is beautiful when you remove it. When you open it and lay it flat, the front and back cover makes wings for the butterfly while the body of it is on the spine of the book!

This Girls Life Application Study Bible is a New Living Translation and is packed with real stories from tweens and teens just like you.

The notes and features help you sort out answers to questions about belief in God, following Jesus, and loving others.

  • Special presentation page, purple ribbon marker and designer page edges.

  • Memory verses, Amazing Facts, book introductions, timelines, charts, three-dimensional maps, and 16 pages of full-color illustrations about Bible times.
One of these Amazing Facts were "What slave was thrown into prison in a foreign country, only to become second-in-command of that country? Joseph, of course...Genesis 41:1-46"

  • What Now? – Real life situations that point you to Scripture so you can learn how to make good choices in tough times.
An example of What Now? Talks about setbacks. Tamara and Jamie spent weeks working on their English project. Finally, they pulled everything together and made what Tamara thought was a fantastic poster. When Tamara walked into English class on their presentation day, she couldn't believe her eyes! Jamie looked horrified. "My little brother got into my room and 'colored' the poster." Tamara was close to tears. They couldn't turn in a scribbled-up poster! What do you think Tamara should do? Genesis 39:19-23 tells how Joseph handled setbacks.
  • I Survived! – Personal survival stories from older teens about how they made it through the situations that you face right now.

  • At A Glance – The lives of famous women in the Bible – both good and bad – become lessons for you!

  • Is It OK? – A reality check on what the Bible has to say about the questions on your mind.
Is it OK if I want to spend time just chillin? There is nothing wrong with taking time off and relaxing. God took a break himself after creating the world. (see Genesis 2:2). But if there's a job to be done, it's best to finish that first. God honors our hard work, even if no one else does.

I received this complimentary Bible from Tyndale Publishing Group to review and my youngest daughter fell in love with it. The purple, leather Bible cover with a beautiful butterfly stamped into the front and back of it makes it appealing to any girl looking for something more grown up.

The information that is shared on every page is thought provoking and valid for girls 11 and up. Not only did she love it but I loved looking through it with her. The text was easy for her to understand in purple and pink font. What more could any girl want! This comes highly recommended from not only myself but with Kailee’s stamp of approval as well. She couldn’t wait to finish with her homework so she could begin looking through it. As a mom, I couldn't be happier to have her really want to pick up her Bible and read it!

For more information on this Bible and where to purchase a copy of it, please click on the link below.

http://mediacenter.tyndale.com/1_products/details.asp?isbn=978-1-4143-3397-7

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Start Here...Doing Hard Things Right Where You Are


I was ready to go out and conquer hard projects. Big responsibilities. Things far outside my comfort zone. I prayed for God to work through me in big ways. He answered me, but not quite in the ways I expected.

For instance, one night on the way home in a blizzard, my dad and I stopped for a few minutes to pick up some necessities at the store. I waited in the car and surveyed the nearly empty parking lot until my eye caught a lone car with a person scrapping snow. As I looked closer, I saw that it was an elderly lady trying to scrape off her car while leaning on a cane. She wasn’t making much progress because the snow was falling faster than she could wipe it off. I felt instinctively that I had to help her. I ran out with my scraper, and soon a few other people joined me in clearing off her car.

Nothing outwardly significant happened then, but this was the first time I had strongly heard God’s voice and responded to it. As I tuned in, I began to recognize His voice at other times. I sensed I should go talk to the girl who was crying in the bathroom at school – it turns out she was pregnant and needed help. Or that I should offer tips to someone who was trying out for the sports team – it turns out she needed advice on deeper areas of her life that she normally wouldn’t have opened up about.

What I have found out is that in order to do hard things and conquer big challenges, we need to be willing to listen to that little voice the Holy Spirit uses. The more you listen, the clearer it becomes. And in order to do the great things, you must first be a servant.

Those are the words of Elizabeth, 17, from Raymond, Maine who is finding out how teens can do things in their early years to bring glory to God. Often times however, they don’t know where to start or know how to get the results that they need.

This book, Start Here, from Alex & Brett Harris, is a great book for anyone looking to start making a difference in their lives to bring God glory. While the book is written for teens, I can see even adults learning from all kinds of concepts the book teaches, like how to fund raise, ways to get going when you feel stuck and keep going when you get discouraged, how to understand God’s will and glorify Him through your efforts, how to stand up for what you believe and many, many more ideas.

I received a complimentary copy of this book to review from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group and would highly recommend this book. If you would like more information on this book and where to purchase this book please click on the link below.
http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9781601422705&ref=externallink_mlt_starthere_sec_0127_01

This book has inspired my own daughter to begin her own ministry that she has set a goal of making 50 scarves by the end of the year to donate to a third world country. She is still working out the details but if you are interested in helping her meet her goal and can crochet or knit and would love to donate your scarves to help Caitlyn, please email me and I can send you the information on where to send them.

One Down and More to Come


Today closes another wonderful giveaway that I am so blessed to be able to offer you. I love being able to giveaway free stuff to all of you because I love winning free stuff! I am just lucky right now to have some amazing publishers who are willing to provide me with extra copies of some amazing books to share with all of you.

The latest giveaway Heart of my Heart seems to confuse some of you as it's basically an amazing Mother's devotional book for 365 days. Not just a book about teens and eating disorders. That was simply one page from the book so as to not confuse you. I was reading the comments and thought I might be missing something. Just wanted to clear that up.

Mea's update from her mom is that there has been no change in her wearing the patch. It hasn't gotten any worse but it hasn't gotten any better either. The doctor wants her to continue to wear her patch for another two more months but now for 6 hours per day. When her doctor asked Mea if she had any issues with wearing the patch, she said No. She should have been honest with her doctor and told him about her embarrassment issues but she was afraid.

Her mom, my sister, was having a really emotional day and felt she doesn't want Mea to wear the patch any more because of what it is doing to her self esteem. I explained she should wait a day or two and let the emotions calm down before making any permanent decision regarding Mea. I know she'll do the right thing. She always does. She is amazing like that and one of the things I admire and love about her.

She is just being a mom and putting herself in Mea's place. Who wouldn't? So there you have it, no better and no worse and they will see what another two more months will show. Surgery at this stage isn't an option to improve her eyesight. They have to work on making her lazy eye more strong. So let's keep rallying the prayers for her and hope that she will begin to see self confidence doesn't come in the form of an eye patch but based on whats on the inside!

So the two winners of the Language God Talks On Science and Religion book giveaway are...

1. Denise at Free to Be Me
2. Mimi at He & Me + 3

Congratulations Ladies! Please email me with your mailing information and I'll get those right out to you!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Praying for Mea Today!


Just a quick update on Mea since I've noticed it's been quite some time since I have told you anything new about my niece Mea.

She has been wearing her eye patch on her strong eye for 4 hours each day as prescribed by her eye doctor for the last two months. The doctor had hoped that this would force her weaker eye to begin to focus and thus heal the small hole in her eye. It has been really hard for her to do this because she sees herself as different and it really embarrasses her to be seen by anyone. So she hides at home wearing her patch.

Today she meets with her eye doctor to see how this has been working out for her and hopefully for Mea, it means she doesn't have to wear the patch anymore. So please lift her up in prayer for this seemingly small request from her. It's a very big thing in her world. I am also asking God to allow this time of wearing the patch to have done some good things in her weaker eye and thus the healing is really beginning.

I am hoping to update you all later today with some great news and more blessings and praise for our Heavenly Father. If you haven't grabbed Mea's prayer button, please do so, its on the right hand side of my blog. You can also click on it to read Mea's story from the beginning.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Heart of My Heart Giveaway and Review


“Do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink” ~ Colossians 2:16

This verse is helpful in knowing where God stands on issues about food and drink. Teaching children from an early age that the body is the temple of the Lord is imperative. This matters from a standpoint of sexuality, when they will endure pressure to go too far. This matters when they have to decide whether or not to accept the beer at the party, and possibly drive home. This matters when young girls are overwhelmed by the pressure to be thin and take drastic, unhealthy measures to wither away.

When we allow public opinion to be the judge of what we eat and drink, then we have made an idol out of our peers. Idolatry is not God’s favorite. It isn’t even so much about an issue of rebelling against parents as it is about blatantly ignoring God, and no one throughout the entire Bible ever fared well by doing this. When we harm our temples, we hurt Him. Remember when Jesus got so angry at the people who were treating the temple like a marketplace and He started yelling and flipping tables upside down? Enough said.

We have to talk to our kids, keep the conversation continuous and open, and pray with them through the tough spots. And if it becomes too much to bear, we have to be prepared to help them find respite in a safer spot someplace else.

This is just one beautiful example of one of the 365 devotions that lie within this book Heart of My Heart ~ 365 Reflections on the Magnitude and Meaning of Motherhood by Kristin Armstrong. It is a 5 by 7, hardcover book that would be the perfect gift for any mom. These are beautifully laid out by each date and make it simple enough to reflect on God’s word each day.

I received a complimentary copy of this book to review by Faith Words, a division of Hachette Book Groups. I highly recommend this book to any mother and what a perfect gift for a birthday, anniversary or even Mother’s Day!

For more information about this book and where to receive your copy, please click on the link below.
“Do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink” ~ Colossians 2:16

This verse is helpful in knowing where God stands on issues about food and drink. Teaching children from an early age that the body is the temple of the Lord is imperative. This matters from a standpoint of sexuality, when they will endure pressure to go too far. This matters when they have to decide whether or not to accept the beer at the party, and possibly drive home. This matters when young girls are overwhelmed by the pressure to be thin and take drastic, unhealthy measures to wither away.

When we allow public opinion to be the judge of what we eat and drink, then we have made an idol out of our peers. Idolatry is not God’s favorite. It isn’t even so much about an issue of rebelling against parents as it is about blatantly ignoring God, and no one throughout the entire Bible ever fared well by doing this. When we harm our temples, we hurt Him. Remember when Jesus got so angry at the people who were treating the temple like a marketplace and He started yelling and flipping tables upside down? Enough said.

We have to talk to our kids, keep the conversation continuous and open, and pray with them through the tough spots. And if it becomes too much to bear, we have to be prepared to help them find respite in a safer spot someplace else.

This is just one beautiful example of one of the 365 devotions that lie within this book Heart of My Heart ~ 365 Reflections on the Magnitude and Meaning of Motherhood. It is a 5 by 7, hardcover book that would be the perfect gift for any mom. These are beautifully laid out by each date and make it simple enough to reflect on God’s word each day.

I received a complimentary copy of this book to review by Faith Words, a division of Hachette Book Groups. I highly recommend this book to any mother and what a perfect gift for a birthday, anniversary or even Mother’s Day!

For more information about this book and where to receive your copy, please click on the link below.
http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/books_9780446561693.htm

For this book giveaway, I am going to be giving away 3 copies of this book to some amazing winners that live in the US and Canada only. No P.O. Boxes.

To enter, you must:

1. Be a follower of my blog.
2. Leave me a comment and tell me why you would like to win a copy of this book!

I will be choosing the winners on Wednesday, March 24th just prior to my surgery, to bless and thank you my amazing family of readers!


For this book giveaway, I am going to be giving away 3 copies of this book to some amazing winners that live in the US and Canada only. No P.O. Boxes.

To enter, you must:

1. Be a follower of my blog.
2. Leave me a comment and tell me why you would like to win a copy of this book!

I will be choosing the winners on Wednesday, March 24th just prior to my surgery, to bless and thank you my amazing family of readers!