Wednesday, November 23, 2011

"The Voice, New Testament"

Recently, I had the chance to review "The Voice, New Testament", a step into the story of scripture. Upon looking at the book it is hard to tell what the difference between this bible and all of the rest would really be, but difference there is. This bible is written in story form, almost as if you were reading a play. It announces who the speaker is and then what they are speaking. There are also special sections throughout which delve deeper into what is going on during that particular section and even defines some situations and words for the reader.

I have to honestly say that I have enjoyed reading from this bible, it is easy to read and to follow. There have been a few times just lately, when I found myself stumped by the scripture lessons for the week and ran to this bible for some inspiration and found just that. It places familar verses in a new light, and it is easier to draw a mental picture of what was taking place when you can see who is speaking the words you are reading.

I would for sure recommend this to anyone who is wanting to the read the bible, but finding the more traditional versions hard to read. It also would be good for younger readers who might have trouble reading for more wordy translations.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Thursday, October 20, 2011

"Heaven is for Real, for kids" by Colton Burpo

As an adult I have read "Heaven is for Real" and thought it was amazing, so I jumped at the chance to read the kid version to my 4 year old. This is the story of Colton who while undergoing surgery travels to Heaven and meets all kind of people including Jesus, God, the Holy Spirit and many others. Colton tells his children readers what he saw and what he felt. The pictures that accompanied those descriptions were amazing and really helped to tell the story.

I think this book was very well thought out it can be read to a smaller child, and to an older child as well. To bridge this gap there are Bible verses to accompany the story, which reinforce what Colton is telling the reader. In fact, I thought of taking it to some individuals I know who are reaching the end of their life, because I think everyone could benefit from this refreshing story!

The end of the book also had some question and answers, which I thought would be very helpful. I read this book to my son just before bed, but I can imagine that when he gets up in the morning he will have some questions, I think these couple of pages could be a really great asset for any parent. I would recommend this book to all people, not just children, but it is a great way to teach our children about heaven and about our Lord. Awesome book!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

"Where Has Oprah Taken Us?", by Stephen Mansfield

"Where Has Oprah Taken Us?" a book by Stephen Mansfield takes the reader through Oprah's sometimes tumultous life and sometimes glorified life. As we travel through her life we begin to understand where she came from and how she traveled away from her faith during her lifetime. The author introduces the reader to the kind of "faith" Oprah has brought in front of her audience over the years, and even gives the reader an in depth evaluation of each of her spiritual guides.

The book was a fast read, especially during the story of her life and how she came to fall away from the church into this "new age religion" she now extols to the country. I have to tell you that I watched the Oprah show from time to time, and I was completely in the dark about her faith, which the author states many people are unaware of. It became pretty clearly that while she portrays herself as a Christian she is by no stretch of the imagination a Christian. I was shocked to find out that she mostly follows the practices of Hinduism, but that really she kind of molds all different kinds of faith together into whatever suites her at the time.

I found this book quite enlightening, and engaging. A must read for anyone who is both a Christian and a fan of Oprah. From this book I would say being both could be a danergous thing! Though the author is obviously writing from a somewhat biased opinion, that of a Christian, he does a great job of keeping his opinions to himself while he writes, unless it is in a special section, where he then makes his very personal comments. Comments that I very much enjoyed considering. Overall, I would recommend this book, it is an eye opening experience.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Monday, October 3, 2011

The Stuff little Towns are made of!

Its been some exciting times around these parts, well for some it might seem ordinary,but for those soaking up time with their children exciting is what these times have been! So without further ado MY children! First up Colton enjoying a photo op inside the Mercy Air Ambulance! He is usually so shy, so I was pretty proud he let one of the pilots hoist him up there so he could look around and so I could snap this memorable picture. This was during our annual firemen's feed, they give firetruck rides and we eat lots of hamburgers and hot dogs!

Next up my boys doing what they do best these days! Play tractors! They love to play farm, and currently have some corn from the fields that they load and unload into every wagon and trailer they can get their grubby little hands on!

This was taken on the first day of school for Colton. He started 4 year old preschool which means he goes half of a day every single day of the week. You might notice that he is in the same outfit in every picture?!? Apparently, its my favorite shirt! This shot was taken as Carson and I were getting ready to walk him down the lane to catch the school bus for the first time! That's right our little one rides the bus every morning to school and afterwards rides it to the babysitter. He is getting so big!

This is the traditional "I have my bag on and I ready for my first day of school shot!"

There is so much more that we have been up to....we finally finished siding our house, and it does look amazing. We are adjusting to me working two jobs and sometimes having to put in some long hours and crazy hours for that matter, as well as getting used to mom doing HOMEWORK and going to school! CRAZY! We are managing and were looking forward to the pumpkin patch in a couple of weeks, halloween and even for school field trips. October might be busy but we're ready!


Sunday, August 28, 2011

"One Call Away" by Brenda Warner

I just finished the most amazing book! I have to tell everyone that I have not read a book this good since I read the "Twilight" series, because I seriously could not put it down. I read it in three days!

This book is the story of Brenda Warner's life, and if you thought from news coverage of her husband that you know who she is you are wrong. There are more layers and stories in this woman's life than I would have ever thought possible! I found myself crying many times throughout the story, and laughing along with her as well.

Her amazing faith and growth in that faith should be lesson to all of us, and a lesson that being a strong woman does not solve problems that you still need God and you can still make mistakes! This book will touch any mother's heart, but I think fans of Kurt Warner's or those who were not fans need to read it as well. It was an eye opening look inside the marines as well as the NFL! What made this book touch my heart even more was the fact that they are both from Iowa, and I have been to many of the places she talked about in this book, but even if you have never been to Iowa, Brenda is able to write in a way that it almost seems you are watching her life pass before you.

All in all one of the best books I have ever read, and I will recommend it to everyone I know!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Women of Faith memories!

Can I just say God is good!! I feel so blessed to be able to represent Book Sneeze at the Women of Faith Conference. It was a blast, and I would not have been able to go had it not been for the generosity of Book Sneeze and Women of Faith.

Now on to my experience....we had 7th row seats! 7th row people I could actually see the speakers and performers without looking at a big tv shot of them! To get some perspective this first picture is from my 7th row seat! looking back at the audience! Its blurry, but I couldn't seem to make 1000 people sit still all at the same time.

The performer I was most looking forward to was Amy Grant! Big fan! She was amazing, very down to earth and told some amazing stories including one about her mother's death that was very powerful!
Now here is some more perspective from my seat to the stage! And it was a beautiful stage!
Did I mention that I not only one ticket but I won two! That's right I got to take along with me my good friend and fellow pastor Kim! We made another blogger take our picture infront of the stage and as you can see we have 4 minutes till break is over.
Here are all of the Book Sneeze bloggers posing for a picture. A lovely bunch of women!
Now to tell you about the conference! I had a blast the worship songs were amazing and got us all up and dancing! Mandisa (you might know her from a little show called American Idol) was awesome...there were many goose bumps during her performance. Then there were these dramas performed by a young women and they were even better than amazing....I have never cried so hard in public in my life. I thought maybe I was just an emotional wreck, but then when it ended you could see everyone reaching for their kleenexs!

Then there were the speakers! The speakers were inspirational! Patsy Clairmont gave listeners the courage to get out and do. Andy Anderson spoke with such enthusiasm and energy about so many things, but he told us to practice talking with a smile on our face, and read books even if you don't like to, it will make you better person.

Then Lisa talked about how lots of us have a burning desire to have a grownup friend, but we just don't know how to do it! I can tell you I cried during her talk as well, I am there folks, so if anyone wants to be my friend I need one! Oh and just cause Lisa told me so you better be imperfect, we don't want any perfect friends!

We also heard that we are enough for God and he is enough for us! Amen! Oh and from Marilyn Meberg that its ok to desire more as long as we can control our desires, because once we get to heaven we will have everything we need!

I feel like there was so much more, but this post is already long, but I can tell you that if you have been wondering if Women of Faith is worth it, it TOTALLY IS!!! I can't wait to go again.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Women of Faith - Here I Come!

I am very excited to announce that I will be attending the Women of Faith Conference in Omaha one week from today! And I am even happier to announce that I will be attending free thanks to Book Sneeze! You can find links to both Women of Faith and Book Sneeze over there are the right! Go ahead and check them out - they are both awesome! Here is a little preview of what I will get to experience next week!

Not only do I get to attend, but I also get to bring a friend! We are both excited to get away and to live 2 days enjoying how great God is! I will post again when I return, hopefully with some pictures of us enjoying ourselves! God is great!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Our Holiday Weekend Begins

We had a quiet 4th of July weekend spent mostly at home, but with a few ventures along the way. Sat. night we ventured in to town to visit my husband's "night job" boss, also a family friend, and decided a treat was in order for once we got home. So we stopped at the gas station and picked up for Klondike bars, one for each of us! The picture below sums it up pretty good, as this was Carson's first time eating an ice cream bar! He loved it and I'm pretty sure was done before any of the rest of us were!

The pictures are bit out of order, but at any rate on Friday we decided since it was finally HOT we would blow up the new pool Carson got for his first birthday. And even though the water was freezing cold coming out of the garden the boys played for quite awhile....Colton didn't want to come out at all!

Sunday night Carson and I finished up with the mowing while Dad and Colton decided to burn the sticks and limbs that had fallen over the last week or so during a wind storm. We have a place at the top of our hill where we burn stuff like that, and so after we were done Carson and I decided to check out the flames as well. Then we journeyed down through our pasture to see if we could spot any fish in our creek. And you could see them, and our dog actually tried to swim and catch one, which my sons thought was absolutely hilarious! The picture below is of Carson waiting "patiently" for someone to get him out of the wagon, so he can see the action too!

This last picture is of my boys and our doy walking down to the creek! What a wonderful slow paced and family filled weekend we had. Lots of time to be outside, which our boys LOVE!

Happy Tuesday!


Monday, June 27, 2011

Summer Days

Alrighty so this summer....major bummer in the weather front. There haven't even been enough hot days yet to blow up the pool, and it's almost July! However, we did get the sandbox out last week or so, and were able to snap a few pictures of the boys. Here is Carson executing some killer skillz while entering the sandbox.
Here is my bright sun shiny big boy, stopping to pose for a picture...

But just a minute before this is how he looked! Crazy cute picture of him yelling at the dog to not take his ball from him (even though he was kicking it in her direction!). Don't you love how kids can be angry one second and perfectly delightful the next...if only I could swing my moods that fast...well don't ask my husband he would probably say they do swing that fast just not in the most positive direction!

And last but not least a picture of what we call affectionately our "Chunkers" or "Carse" depending on our mood! He is growing up so fast, walking, running and trying to eat everything he sees. Our motto with this little man is "As long as we're eating we're happy!"

While we have gotten outside quite a bit this summer to play, and work, there are some exciting changes coming to our household in the next week. As of July 1, 2011, I will be officially the Pastor of two of the local Methodist churches. I will cut back at my legal assisting job to three days a week and spend two days a week (and of course Sundays) as a Pastor. While I am very excited and ready to begin this new journey (there is always a downside!), I have been studying my butt see at the end of July I leave for a week of licensing school, which means I have about 40 hours of homework to complete before then...PLUS....I have to start attending Course of Study (which is master level classes) this fall and all of that homework is due on August 1st! So while I am busy and excited....I just keep thinking, "I just have to make it through July!" Which is kind of wishing away the summer, but hopefully its worth it!

There you have it our little life in the fast lane!


Monday, May 23, 2011

My big news

The world (aka my life) seems to have been crazy lately! Since I have last posted which in blog time is forever! Carson has had two horrible ear infections making that a total of 6 in the last year. The dr. says no tubes until the fall at least, so we are trying a chiropractor. We are crossing our fingers that it works some miracles in our little miracle, and so far he has slept through the night ever since his first that is a big milestone!

Colton gave us quite a scare last week as he woke up in the middle of the night screaming in pain and proceeding to vomit all over his father. We got him into the dr. who checked his urine, which was fine, checked his white cell count, which came back normal and finally sent us home with some suppositories (yeah! we were both thrilled). Dr. thinks its some kind of virus and he was just full of gas. Well thankfully we seemed to have passed over that milestone and are on the mend and enjoying our last day of 3 year old preschool! Where has the time gone!

But the real news is mine and has nothing to do with being sick or with drs. The weekend of Easter I "got the call" as we like to refer to it. I have been appointed as a local licensed pastor of two small churches in my area. I was pleased to accept my new appointment and so far the churches seemed to be excited to have me. (I don't officially start until July 1). The question looming in the air was where did this leave me with my current job, you know the one I have had for oh 3 whole months! I knew that the church appointment was only 20 hours a week and while we could "afford" for me to only work that much, Nathan really wanted me to stay full-time.

So to make a long story short I will soon be working three days a week at the law firm and one day during the week at the churches. The fourth day during the week will be spent either at home working on stuff, in the office at the church or making visits. So it will be nice to have a little breathing room in my schedule, well and of course I will be working Sunday mornings, doing two church services each week.

The even scarier part for me is the looming homework and schooling that I am facing. The last week in July I will be at licensing school to get my license to be a pastor. This involves over 40 hours of homework before I leave for school. I am currently waiting on my books to arrive to get started, though I only have one class' assignments so far.

Then I will also be starting Course of Study which is sort of like getting my Master's in Divinity but during 4 weekends a year for like forever (ok really 9 years, but that sounds like forever). Did I mention that starts in September and all of my homework is due August 1st, which means I will have to have all of that done before I leave for licensing school as well!

So in essence please say a few prayers that I can manage my way through all of the homework, while working full-time and taking care of two often crazy boys! And say a few prayers for my husband as he attempts to hold down the fort for a week this summer and for a few weeks for the next few years!

And what is a blog post without a picture....Here are me and the boys on Easter morning after hunting eggs.

You might notice Carson only has one shoe on....he hates shoes.... hates socks even more....but alas he did start walking again after his first chiropractic appointment (coincidence?!? we'll never know for sure!)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Birthday Boy

It's hard to believe that my little man is already going to be one tomorrow! We started the week in style by throwing my MIL a surprise 50th birthday party, which she thought was for my son. They share their birthday you know! So in honor of both of their milestone birthdays we celebrated with a nice dinner, lots of friends and of course cake and presents. But as I would imagine is with most 1st birthday parties the cake is way more interesting than the presents! Here is a picture of the lovely cake my SIL brought to the party for Carson. And here is the after picture! I am sorry to whoever had to wash those table linens!
This would be the during! Colton looking on with amusement and of course egging him on a bit!
This picture is during the time when they opened presents! You can see the adorable "1" t-shirt that I bought for him, thanks to Luna B Tees! There should be more pictures to come of that shirt as I hope to get the boys' picture taken in their birthday shirts shortly!
All in all a wonderful night full of laughter! Good thing we enjoyed it because Colton was up puking at 4 am the next morning and Carson started at 6:30am! It was a long Sunday, but we have now come through it and we're ready for our next birthday adventure this weekend with my side of the family! We are going to try out the water park in a near by town!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

"Under the Overpass"

I recently read the book "Under the Overpass" by Mike Yanoski, which was given to me free of charge by "Blogging For Books", but please be aware all opinions are completely mine! This book details the journey of two men as they leave their lives of privilege and decide to jump into the world of being homeless. They spend 5 months traveling around the country from Denver to D.C. to California. They take with them only a guitar with which to panhandle with, and a $3 sleeping bag purchased from a thrift store before they leave on their journey.

I found this book to be a very good read, and captured my attention from their very beginning. I found Mike's insights often to include questions that were inside my head that I was wondering how he felt about things, and he really was able to open the eyes of the reader. One of the questions he answered in this book was should we give money to the homeless, and while I will not give away his answer I found it to be very thought provoking and is certainly a question I deal with as a Christian. I would recommend this book to anyone who would like to understand th ins and outs of the homeless world, or who have no idea what is about and are just curious. Though the book is over 200 pages it felt like it was only 70, it was a quick read and holds your attention till the very end!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Book Review, "Seeds of Turmoil"

I recently finished the book "Seeds of Turmoil, The biblical roots of the inevitable crisis in the Middle East" by Bryant Wright, which I would highly recommend for reading to anyone. Wright takes you through the book of Genesis telling the stories and relating how these stories have brought about the turmoil in the Middle East. As the book continues he relates to the readers from the perspectives of Muslims, Jews and Christians alike, while acknowledging that his opinions are somewhat biased as he is a Christian.
As a student of the Bible and having just finished a 12 week Bible study on the book of Gensis I found this book to be both enlightening and entertaining. While I am not usually one to read a book about history I found that I enjoyed and learned a lot from this book. I was pleased that Wright included somewhat of a disclaimer when he got to the end of his book and was trying to explain things from a Jewish point of view, letting the reader know that he certainly wasn't Jewish so perhaps he was a bit biased, but assured readers of his love for Jewish peoples and encouraged all Christian readers to love all peoples as well. I found that the book was a quick read, perhaps because of my recent study of this particular part of the Bible and the interest I already had, but I think most people will find that learning about why there is conflict in the Middle East is something very interesting as well as something we all should understand as the times we live in are a testiment to such drama. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves history and anyone who wants to understand more about what is going on over in the Middle East.

I received this book free from the publisher through the book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255