About Me

My Photo
Mysteries, polka dots, California Rolls, TJ Maxx, cozy blankets, rainy days and getting the first spoonful of peanut butter out of the jar make me smile. Spiders, rude people, cold fingers and toes, baby leashes, people that don't wrap their packages before going to the Post Office, poison ivy and Math (pretty much all of it) make me want to scream. My perfect day would be spent with my wonderful husband and sweet girls- watching movies in our jammies! Of course, having the movie theater to ourselves would be great, too. Please pass the popcorn and M&M's.:) I am saved by the grace of God. He is my constant companion and hears my every prayer. What a blessing! I'd love to hear from you! Lori at toosillysisters@cox.net

Friday, August 28, 2015

Glory Days- Living Your Promised Land Now!


My Thoughts:

Glory Days is an antidote for the worried, burdened, battered and broken-hearted. It's for those of us who are running on empty and are longing for help. God is the cure and Max Lucado delivers the  message through this incredible book.  I can't tell you how many times I put it down and said out loud, "This book is wonderful!" Need reassurance, guidance? It's all right here within the pages of this easy to read and entertaining book. Using the book of Joshua, Max Lucado illustrates God's vision for your life. He wants you to leave fear and worry behind, demolish unhealthy mindsets, and rebound from your mistakes and put your past in the past. He wants you to live your Promised Land Life now!

This book is a warm hug, a comfort, a good night's sleep. It's for anyone dealing with their own personal crisis, their own "Jericho". Something you perceive as too great for you to handle. I'm currently dealing with mine and it's terrifying. I had no idea when I signed up for this review that I'd be blessed so incredibly by Max Lucida's message. I won't go into details about my situation but I will tell you that this book spoke to my heart and gave me peace. God has already won the battle- I'm forever His! What is plaguing you? Addiction, illness, sin, your past, worry, lack of faith? God is by your side and your best days are ahead. Trust in Him. Call on Him. "It's just a matter of time before your Jericho comes down."


About the book: 
Glory Days
 (Thomas Nelson, September 2015)

The wilderness. Maybe you know it well.

The Israelites sure did. After all, they spent forty years wandering the desert. Victories were scarce. Progress was slow. They were free from Pharaoh but not free from fear. Saved but stuck.

Sounds a lot like midlife misery. Caught in a rut. Stalled out. Running on empty. Are you mired in the same?

You can name the day you became a Christian and escaped Egypt. But you can't remember the last time you defeated a temptation or experienced an answered prayer. You're fighting the same battles you fought the day you came to Christ. You're out of Egypt, but Egypt's not out of you.

Isn't the Christian life supposed to be better than this?

Jesus offers abundant joy. Yet you live with oppressive grief. The epistles speak of grace. You shoulder guilt. You are more than a conqueror yet are commonly conquered by temptation or weaknesses.

But there's good news. With God's help you can close the gap between the person you are and the person you want to be. Like Joshua and the Israelites, you can move from a wilderness existence into a promised inheritance.

This is God's vision for your life. You, at full throttle. You, as you were intended. You, as victor over the Jerichos and giants. You, minus the stumbles, hurts, and hate.

You and your Promised Land life.

Purchase a copy: 
http://bit.ly/1DH3Tku
About the author:
More than 120 million readers have found comfort in the writings of Max Lucado. He ministers at the Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas, where he lives with his wife, Denalyn, and a sweet but misbehaving mutt, Andy.

Find Max online: 
websiteFacebookTwitter





*I was given this awesome book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest opinion. No other compensation was received.*

Friday, August 21, 2015

Her Brother's Keeper- Beth Wiseman Made Me Fall in Love Again!


My Thoughts:

I don't know how Beth Wiseman does it, but I hope she never stops. Every time I read one of her books it becomes my new favorite and Her Brother's Keeper is no exception. The book begins with an unsolved mystery. What were the circumstances surrounding Charlotte Dolinsky's brother's death? After being separated as children and living several traumatic years in foster care, Ethan seemed to have found peace in an Amish community. Charlotte, desperate to discover what happened to him, goes "undercover" as Mary, a "distant relative" of Ethan's fiancee. The plot thickens as secrets are shared, a diary is uncovered and a picture demands an explanation.

Her Brother's Keeper has everything I love in a book. Humor runs through it (the "favorite color" incident was hilarious!), there's a delightful touch of romance (yes, milking goats can be romantic!), God is ever present and the story has such heart! (FYI: Physical/emotional abuse does make a few dark appearances but it's part of character development as well as the storyline.) I was incredibly touched by the love that the King family showed Charlotte, fully inviting her into their lives. Beautiful! The characters were all wonderfully developed and the story flowed so well that I never wanted to put it down. Her Brother's Keeper is a keeper so be sure your friends return it after they fall in love, too.:)

Book Description

Charlotte came to Amish country to find answers. What she never expected to find was peace.
Charlotte Dolinsky is not above playing dress-up and telling a few lies to find out what happened to her only brother. In fact, that is exactly what she’s come to Lancaster County to do. Now, calling herself Mary and slipping on a kapp, Charlotte will lie her way into the confidence of anyone who knows why Ethan had to die. Unless she gets found out first.
But when Charlotte befriends a quiet Amish man named Isaac Miller, she begins to rethink her motives. And with a little help from a friend back home, Charlotte might find out that love comes packaged in ways she couldn’t have foreseen.
Isaac’s been caring for his cancer-stricken father and sympathizing with his frustrated mother for three difficult years. And that means he hasn’t been dating. He believes Hannah King is the woman for him, but Hannah is still grieving the loss of her fiancé, and Isaac has all he can handle on the farm. When Hannah’s family plays host to a woman named Mary, their new cousin shakes things up for all of them.
As Charlotte digs deeper into the mystery of Ethan’s death, she finds more than she’d bargained for in the community he once called home. But will she ever learn the truth? And what will the community—and her new family—do if they learn the truth about her?
About the Author
Award-winning, bestselling author Beth Wiseman is best known for her Amish novels, but she has also written several successful contemporary novels, set primarily in her beloved Texas, including Need You Now and The House that Love Built. Both have received glowing reviews. Beth's The Promise is inspired by a true story. Website: www.bethwiseman.com Twitter: @bethwiseman Facebook: Fans-of-Beth-Wiseman
*BookLook Bloggers gave me this incredible book in exchange for my honest opinion. No other compensation was received.*

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Among the Fair Magnolias- Four Southern Love Stories review


My Thoughts:

As summer comes to a close, I have just the book for you to savor. Among the Fair Magnolias is charmingly filled with four historical Southern Love Stories. Each one is unique and swoon worthy! The authors are Tamera Alexander, Shelley Gray, Dorothy Love and Elizabeth Musser.  My personal favorites were To Mend a Dream (Tamera Alexander) and A Heart so True (Dorothy Love). To Mend a Dream takes place a few years after the Civil War as an independent young lady (Savannah Darby) struggles to take care of her siblings and find a hidden treasure from her past. History and a mystery! Savannah is charming and genteel- a true Southern lady. Tamara Alexander masterfully weaves the past and the present in this petite romance. Delightful! A Heart so True really had my pulse pounding! Abigail has her future planned out for her out of obligation although her heart is set on another. Out of love for her mother she's willing to do what is required to help her father's political career. Cousin Charles, her intended, is not all that he seems, though, and Abigail soon discovers that not only is her heart broken but she's also in terrible danger. A real page turner!

In the most turbulent decade of our nation’s history, four Southern women—destinies forged by birth, hearts steeled by war—face near impossible choices on their journeys in life . . . and in love.
To Mend a Dream by Tamera Alexander
Savannah Darby would do almost anything to revisit her family home. So when new owner, Aidan Bedford, a Boston attorney and former Union soldier, seeks to redecorate the house for his fiancée, Savannah jumps at the opportunity. But the clock is ticking. Can she find the box her father supposedly hid there during the war before her assignment is completed? And before she sees yet another battle lost on the home front. This time, one of the heart.
An Outlaw’s Heart by Shelley Gray
When Russell Stark returns to Fort Worth, he’s determined to begin a new life. But when he arrives at his mother’s homestead, he discovers she’s very ill, and the woman he loved is still as beautiful and sweet as he remembered. With time running out, Russell must come to terms with both his future and his past.
A Heart So True by Dorothy Love
Abigail knows all too well what is expected of her: to marry her distant cousin Charles and take her place in society. But her heart belongs to another. A terrible incident forces Abby to choose between love and duty.
Love Beyond Limits by Elizabeth Musser
Emily has a secret: She’s in love with one of the freedmen on her family’s plantation. Meanwhile, another man declares his love for her. Emily realizes some things are not as they seem and secrets must be kept in order to keep those she loves safe.
Alexander, Gray, Love, Musser

{MORE ABOUT ALEXANDER, GRAY, LOVE, MUSSER }

Tamera Alexander is the best-selling author of numerous books including “A Lasting Impression” and “The Inheritance.” Tamera is a two-time Christy Award winner, two-time RITA winner, and a recipient of the prestigious Library Journal Award.
A native of west Tennessee, Dorothy Love makes her home in the Texas hill country with her husband and their golden retriever. An award-winning author of numerous young adult novels, Dorothy made her adult debut with the Hickory Ridge novels.
Shelley Gray is the author of The Heart of a Hero series. Her Amish novel (written as Shelley Shepard Gray), “The Protector,” recently made the New York Times best seller list. 
Elizabeth Musser, a native of Atlanta, Georgia now living in France, is a novelist who writes what she calls ‘entertainment with a soul.’ For over 25 years, Elizabeth and her husband, Paul, have been involved in mission work with International Teams.
Find out more about Alexander, Gray, Love, Musser at http://www.thomasnelson.com/among-the-fair-magnolias.



Four best-selling novelists bring tales of four Southern women who face near impossible choices on their journeys in life and in love during the most turbulent decade of our nation’s history in Among the Fair MagnoliasDon’t miss this collection of stories from Tamera Alexander, Shelley Gray, Dorothy Love, and Elizabeth Musser.
Join the authors in celebrating the release of Among the Fair Magnolias by entering to win their Southern Hearts Kindle Fire Giveaway and RSVPing to their August 13th author chat party!
magnolias-400
One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HD 6
  • One copy of Among the Fair Magnolias
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on 8/13. The winner will be announced at the Among the Fair Magnolias Facebook party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Tamera, Dorothy, Shelley, and Elizabeth, as well as for a chance to win some great prizes!
magnolias-enterbanner

RSVP TODAY AND SPREAD THE WORD—TELL YOUR FRIENDS ABOUT THE GIVEAWAY VIA FACEBOOK, TWITTER, OR PINTEREST AND INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. HOPE TO SEE YOU ON THE 13TH!

###

*I was given a copy of this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest opinion. No other compensation was received.*



Sunday, August 9, 2015

Apologetics Study Bible for Students- Guidance to Help Articulate Your Faith AND Giveaway!!!


And the randomly selected winner is.... Chana!!!!! Congratulations, Chana!!

My Thoughts:

The Apologetics Study Bible for Students is absolutely wonderful. I can't say enough about it- but I'm certainly going to try. Let me begin by telling you that I'm on a quest to read it thoroughly from front to back. The engaging features scattered throughout are so interesting and informative that I want to read them all- twice! While perusing the pages, my daughters and I felt guided, strengthened and more confident in the articulation of our faith. Oh, and don't let "for students" mislead you. It's not just for teens! We're all students when it comes to learning about the word of God. Can I get an Amen? 

The purpose of the Apologetics Study Bible for Students is "to put a tool in your hands that will help you find answers to some of the toughest questions about God, science, ethics, world religions, and Christian living." And it does just that. Take a peek below...

A Few Features of The Apologetics Study Bible for Students HCSB:
Book Introductions for each of the sixty-six books of the Bible. I really enjoyed this section as it provided so much information! It includes a synopsis, author's name, date written, and a timeline of what was happening in the world. Fascinating!
Study Notes provide evidence of the reliability and truthfulness of Scripture.
120 Articles written by today's leading Christian thinkers dealing with life's ultimate questions. Ex. What does the Bible say about cloning? How do we know God is real? What does the Bible say about Same-Sex marriage?
60 Twisted Scriptures address ways that various religious movements distort Scripture to support doctrine contrary to historic Christian teaching.
I also enjoyed...

- 50 Bone and Dirt sections which feature important archaeological finds relating to both Old and New Testaments to build confidence on the reliability of Scripture.
- 25 Tactics portions equip readers to withstand opposition to Christianity by outlining tactics and strategies for handling frequently heard anti-Christian arguments. One of my favorite parts of this Bible. "Remember, the point of apologetics is not to win an argument but to win a person to Christ."
- 20 Personal Stories showing how God has powerfully worked in people's lives. So encouraging!

Propellor/FlyBy Promotions have generously offered to give away a copy of the *Apologetics Study Bible for Students* to one of my readers!!! You will be SO blessed to get your hands on a copy! Leave a comment on this post to be entered. Giveaway ends August 16th at midnight. Good luck!

Official Website:  www.apologeticsbible.com

Resource Site (Access to Videos): http://www.apologeticsbible.com/partners/

Give Your Student the Gift of Confidence

The gift of confident faith…it’s available to all of us.  But as general editor, Sean McDowell notes in his introduction to the Apologetics Study Bible for Students, there are sometimes hard questions that need answers in order for us to have a Confident Faith.  That is why B&H Publishing Group partnered with Sean and a host of talented contributors to create The Apologetics Study Bible for Students.  To encourage readers who have real questions by offering straight answers in hope that they will develop a stronger, more confident faith.
This Summer we are celebrating the gift of Confident Faith with 16 brand new, but energetic and brief videos featuring Sean McDowell, free resources like Bible studies and articles as well as wonderful specials on apps and Bibles.  New resources every week–and a full 16 weeks of resources when it is all done.  The videos and resources are ideal for youth leaders to share with their students and kick off 16 weeks of thought-provoking, confident faith building discussions.  This week’s resource is below–and if you are discovering us a little late, you can catch up in our archive.
We are even offering a Confident Faith Sweepstakes to give away Bibles, free mini libraries of our best apologetics resource and even a trip for two to the National Conference on Christian Apologetics (NCCA) where some of the world’s leading thinkers will offer insights and teaching.   We invite you to join us in tackling the tough questions…and if you know of a friend who might be encouraged by these resources, invite them as well.
ENTER FOR A CHANCE TO WIN: CONFIDENT FAITH SWEEPSTAKES!!! You could win a free Bible, a mini Apologetic Library or even a FREE trip for two to hear some of the world's best thinkers in Christian apologetics at NCCA. Enter now!  app.promo.eprize.com/confidentfaith/


*I was given a copy of this amazing Bible from Propellor/FlyBy Promotions in exchange for my honest opinion. No other compensation was received.*

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Patterns of Evidence: Exodus Review and Giveaway



And the winner is.... Amy! Congratulations, Amy!!!!


My Thoughts:

Patterns of Evidence Exodus provides a visually stunning documentary of the quest to prove the Exodus in the Bible really happened. Many archaeological scholars scoff at such at the notion, but Tim Mahoney took 12 years of his life to seek the truth. Through in-depth investigation and discussion with experts, there appears to be quite a bit of evidence if you know where and at what time in history to explore. It's speculated that the Exodus may have happened at a later date than scholars believe, which is why proving it has been difficult. I was thrilled to see the (likely) tomb of Joseph! Ancient books with Israelite slave names inscribed and walls written with the world "Isreal" were amazing. The movie is exciting and absolutely beautiful to watch!

*Would you like a copy of the movie to enjoy?* Flyby is generously giving a copy of Patterns of Evidence Exodus to one of my readers!!! Leave a comment below to be entered. Giveaway is eligible for anyone living in the U.S. or Canada! Ends 8/10/15

About Patterns of Evidence Exodus:
For more than 50 years, the vast majority of the world's most prominent archaeologists and historians have proclaimed that there is no hard evidence to support the Exodus story found in the Bible.  In fact, they say that the archaeological record is completely opposed to the Bible's account.  This view of extreme skepticism has spread from academia to the world.  The case against the Exodus appears to be so strong that even some religious leaders are labeling this ancient account as historical fiction.  Filmmaker Timothy Mahoney begins with the questions, "Is the Bible just a myth, or did the archaeologists get it wrong?"  He decides to tackle this issue wit a deliberate scientific approach.   After examining the details in the biblical text, he journeys across the globe to search for patterns of evidence firsthand.  The result is the most in-depth archaeological investigation into the Exodus from Egypt ever captured on film.   This scientific documentary's goal is to communicate the TRUTH of the Bible and help equip believers with defending their faith and the Bible.  

The DVD features stunning animations and a cast including narrator, Kevin Sorbo (God's Not Dead, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys), interviews with leading archaeologists including Israel Finkelstein, Kent Weeks, and David Rohl, and guest appearances by Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu and Shimon Peres.

Releases on DVD August 4, 2015 
Run Time:  119 minutes
Special Features:  Cast Profiles & 17 Extra Interviews
      Behind the Music
      From Film to Book
      Additional Books and Resources
      Host a Patterns of Evidence Movie Event
      Trailers 
Genre:  Documentary 
Rating:  NR

SOCIAL • C O R N E R  

Twitter:  @PattofEvidence


Official Website:  http://patternsofevidence.com


Official Website to Purchase:  http://shop.patternsofevidence.com

Blog featuring interviews with director Tim Mahoney and an article by Anne Graham Lotz:  http://patternsofevidence.tumblr.com

*I was given a copy of this movie by FlyBy in exchange for my honest opinion. No other compensation was received.*

Monday, July 27, 2015

Centralia- Heart-pounding thriller!


My Thoughts:

Centralia, by Mike Dell Osso, is a heart-pounding thriller about a man, Peter Ryan, who awakens one morning unable to find his wife and daughter. He's alone in the house. After a phone call to a friend Peter discovers they've been killed in an accident- or have they? A hidden note left by his young daughter leads him to believe otherwise. To add to the confusion, armed men invade his home and all the while memories that don't make sense are attacking his mind. And you thought Monday mornings were bad! 

The premise of Centralia is quite intriguing. Peter Ryan is a combination of Liam Niasom in Taken and Harrison Ford in The Fugitive. Clever, capable and obviously trained in defense. Where does this knowledge and ability come from? That remains to be discovered. The story is both a quest to find Peter Ryan's wife and daughter (Are they still alive?) as well as a manhunt to track down Peter Ryan- but who wants to find him and why?? 

Centralia is an exciting story that hooked me from the first page. I love a good mystery and the pieces of the puzzle that make up this adventure don't fall into place easily. Mike Del Osso slowly teases us along while maintaining a fast paced ride. Dream sequences and obscure memories were a bit excessive but all in all a thrilling adrenalin rush!


Peter Ryan wakes up on a typical morning only to find his house empty, his wife and daughter nowhere to be found. His world is shattered after a phone call to a friend confirms the impossible: his wife and daughter died in a car accident he does not remember. Haunted by faint memories and flashes of details, Peter becomes convinced that something isn’t right and begins to question reality. When he discovers a note in his daughter’s handwriting, strange memories begin to surface that cause him to second-guess nearly everything he once believed. Suddenly armed men show up at Peter’s home, turning the mysterious puzzle of his past into a dangerous game of cat and mouse. On the run and unsure whom to trust, Peter has to discover what’s real and what isn’t . . . before he loses everything. - See more at: http://www.tyndale.com/Centralia/9781414390420#.VbZZlFyxoso

*I was given this book from Tyndale in exchange for my honest opinion. No other compensation was received.*

Monday, July 13, 2015

Passport to Purity- A Wonderful Weekend to Remember!

P2P- Passport to Purity is a guiding light for parents. A fantastic tool that can be used with your preteen son or daughter (9-12 is the perfect age) on a fun weekend getaway. (It may also be done at home over 4-5 weeks.) I was beyond thrilled when given the opportunity to enjoy this program with my 12 year old daughter. Everything is laid out for you in the parent's guide- a checklist, activities, questions and more. The CD's do all the talking and all I needed to do was plan our getaway and be ready for when/if my daughter wanted to chat. It's entertaining, engaging, humorous at times and every lesson gets straight to the truth. 

(Below are the activity bags with materials we used for our lessons. They were a lot of fun and the message was illustrated through puzzles, play dough, balloons and more.)


My daughter and I love to shop so I knew a weekend girls' shopping excursion would be perfect for us. I booked a hotel room and we headed out of town! As we drove, we listened to the first CD and  the scheduled activity (a challenge!) was attempted during lunch. My daughter was a bit hesitant at the beginning of our trip (thought it was going to be a lot of boring lectures), but as soon as I pulled out the puzzles she was intrigued. Game on!


Between sessions we shopped, talked, and laughed. The evening plans were dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. I had just as much fun as she did- and we both learned a lot from the Passport to Purity Program. "Running with the Herd"is a term that is repeated frequently in the sessions. Basically, the herd is "your children's friends" and good or bad they have a HUGE influence over them. You can allow your child's friends to dictate the choices they make (peer pressure) OR you, as the parent, can guide your child in their choices. Most of us have regrets from our teen years but history doesn't need to repeat itself. Not at all.


Dennis and Barbara Rainey have entertaining stories and great lessons in this program. Not only that, they have years of experience with teens. They know what they're talking about, which is fabulous, because I need to be guided through the teen years! If you feel that you need a helping hand in this area, too, I highly recommend doing this program with your preteen. Ot even your teen! It's an enjoyable time that neither of you will ever forget. 


I told my daughter many times that weekend how much she meant to me and how special she was. She probably got sick a little sick of hearing it! P2P recommends giving your child a gift on the evening of your special dinner. (It's not necessary but a sweet ending to your weekend.) My husband and I gave our daughter a lovely ring so that could always remember how much she means to us.


Passport to Purity is something every parent should enjoy with their child. It's easy to use and entertaining, and will give you a plan for the future. Will your children's friends guide them or will you? Be the light in their life as well as their cheerleader, greatest fan and protector. It will effect the rest of their lives in the most wonderful way!


*Right now they are offering 25% off the getaway kit when you use the promo code PASSPORT on their website.  This promo code is good through 8/31/15.*


About the getaway kit:
(1) Tour Guide for the parent, (1) Travel Journal for the preteen including 25 follow-up devotions, and (8) CDs containing 5 sessions, scripture memory songs and downloadable MP3s:  Session 1: Beginning the Journey - Challenges, Traps, and Choices; Session 2: Running With The Herd - Friendships and Peer Pressure; Session 3: Ready For An Upgrade? - Changes in Him, Changes in Her; Session 4: Destination: Lé Pure - Setting Boundaries; Session 5: Crossing The Date Line - Seeing Dating Differently


Your child begins the journey into adolescence in a world of sexting, bullying, online stalking and moral defiance.  Innocence is under attack, and you cannot win the battle with a single awkward talk or a strict set of rules.  The primary defense for your child is a strong relationship with you and with God.  FamilyLife developed Passport2Purity (P2P) to assist you in building heart-to-heart communication with your preteen while laying a foundation of purity that will prepare him or her for the turbulent years ahead.  Through the shared listening experience, object lessons and guided conversations of a P2P weekend getaway, you can set your son or daughter on a journey of moral integrity - and strengthen the bond between you.  It is designed to be used by a mother and daughter or a father and son when the child is a preteen.  It is suggested that the materials be completed over a weekend away from home, as the child may be more open to discussing the topics away from his or her normal environment.  If this isn't possible, the material can be completed over a period of four or five weeks.



Twitter: @FamilyLifeToday @DennisRainey @BarbaraRainey 



*I was given the Passport to Purity program from FlyBy Promotions in exchange for my honest opinion. No other compensation was received.*