Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Book Review: His Little Princess

His Little Princess
Treasured Letter from Your King
Sheri Rose Shepherd

I really loves this book, but I have to be honest...my girls didn't really enjoy it as much as I did. It's very colorful and attractive, but it was missing something. I love the whole idea of putting letters together from God to His little princess. Such a treasure of truths to give to my girls. I this this is perfect for the ages of 4 or 5 and wonderful to use for them as a devotional time. For the younger age there isn't really anything to keep their attention like pictures...it was mainly just words and very colorful pages.

My oldest picked up the book for a little bit, but she didn't really make the connection of the letters. I think it would have been more helpful if there would have been pictures to help the girls connect what was being said.

Honestly I think this book is best held on by mom and used for devotional times with your daughters.

Book Review: The Future Door

The Future Door
No Place Like Homes
Volume 2
Jason Lethcoe

I think I would have enjoyed this book a little bit more if I had read the first. I think you are missing some key elements about relationship between characters. I do want to point out that I pretty much already knew this getting a book that was volume two.

Book Description

A mystery is afoot at 221 Baker Street, but will Griffin Sharpe be able to figure out the clues before the future catches up with the past?
When Sherlock Holmes moves out of Baker Street, a new tenant moves in—a mysterious woman named Elizabeth who has long been a fan of Holmes. When she discovers that Griffin and his uncle are also detectives, she becomes very friendly. So when Elizabeth goes missing along with a special invention, Griffin sets out to rescue her. But finding Elizabeth will take them on a race against the clock that bends time itself!
Being a HUGE Holmes fan I picked this because I thought I would really love the whole connection with Sherlock Holmes. Come to find out really I just kept comparing it to Holmes and how it really wasn't the same or as good. I also kept forgetting that this was a book geared at children.
I think that having the Holmes connection kind of worked against the writer. Any parent who is a Holmes fan is not going to like the book as much and any kid who loves mystery stories is not going to know who Holmes is.

The story is full of adventure, time travel and good verses evil. I felt it lacked a bit in content and understanding the relationship between characters but this could be helped out with reading the first book.

I think it's probably a good book for 10-12 year olds, but I suggest that parents get it for themselves thinking they will enjoy the story because they once as a child loved Sherlock Holmes.

So in all it was a good book, but not great and not terrible.

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  

Monday, December 19, 2011

I Feel the urge...

I blame this on a friend of mine who on Facebook tempted me with "Lets get dreads together and go on the road! We can crochet by day and do worship gatherings by night!" Wow...she hit something deep inside of me. Something that I have let be covered with other things and I thought that really that passion of traveling and doing something "crazy" (crazy by the worlds standards) had really died.

She woke it up. Those of you who know me well know that if I was given this opportunity I would do it in a heartbeat. I have always wanted my girls to be raised with the understanding that if God has called us or asked us to do something we should be obedient. An example in our lives is that we just got rid of our TV. Well ok the TV is still in the house, we just don't have any shows to watch and waste our time. When one of our girls asked us why we did it I said "God has been wanting us to. It just took us awhile be be obedient. It will give us more time to spend with Him." A part of me wonders if this is God's way of slowly getting us back to where He wants us. Slowly getting me to a place were if I was asked to lead worship I wouldn't even have to think about it. So....

Maybe some day shortly you will see me with my friend. Both with dreads and crochet scarves leading worship at night.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Son of a Preacher Man...

Ok...so I am not the son of a preacher man, but my husband is. Also my mom was the daughter of a preacher man. Some people often wonder where I get my adventurous spirit from. I love to travel. I love living in foreign lands. If we were given the opportunity to move overseas...even with 5 little girls we would jump on it and go! So where did this sense of adventure come from? Some may think it's because I was a small town girl who just wanted to get away. Me...I think it's in my genes...I think it came from my grandparents.

I have never known my grandparents. Both of them passed away before I was born, but for some reason I always felt a close connection to them. When I was about 12 or so I was looking through my mom's cedar chest. Cracking open that long chest and smelling the cedar always felt me with such warm feelings. It was full of history and family memories. Old dolls, jewelry, and a small coin purse my mom took to prom. It was just full of so many wonderful things and I loved asking my mom questions about all the stuff. This time I think I had pulled out few papers that had been in there. Among them was my grandfathers obituary, and that was when I had learned that he had died years before I was born...on my birthday. I don't know why it effected me but I do remember tears coming to my eyes. The connection I felt with him seemed to be even stronger. It was like God was trying to tell me something about this man.

I remember when I was in the 4th grade I was suppose to write about the oldest person I knew. I chose my grandma who died before my parents got married, before I was a thought in their minds...before I took my first breath. I don't know why I chose her, but I did. I didn't know her...so in a way I really didn't follow the directions. If I remember right I believe I wrote about how wonderful it would be to have known her. I had envisioned myself standing next to her baking cookies with her in her kitchen. I longed so much for a relationship with her that in away I made one up. I didn't know that my paper I wrote would be posted up with ones from the rest of the class in a window for everyone walking on Main Street to read. :)

For a very sort time in my life I wanted to be a doctor. I had this amazing science teacher in middle school who really put a love for science in my life. I still love science, but God did something different in my life. He put a love to sharing His word and sharing about his Son Jesus who came to save us. I went to a Billy Graham crusade and that was it...I wanted to be an Evangelist. I wanted to travel around America and share with people about Jesus. Little did I know where this passion would lead me...all the way to Asia!

But shortly after really wanting to do this my mom told me that before her dad and mom were married he was a traveling preacher. I also came to find out that my grandma was a traveling singer and that this is how they eventually met. It's in my blood...that passion to share Jesus and not have boundaries that keep me tied down. But knowing that everyone needs to hear, and where ever God leads me...weather it be this small town or on the other side of the sea...Sharing Jesus is the most important.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Happy Holidays!

I actually don't mind this term. Happy Holidays, because really it just kind of wraps everyone all into one little saying. The thing I do have a problem with is people getting annoyed when others day "Merry Christmas!"

Merry Christmas just brings just joy into my heart. It gives me such a light feeling and happiness and thankfulness. This afternoon after picking up the girls from school and helping a friend and her kids get home I just kept saying this over and over again in my head.

I was at my mom's group today and I had such a wonderful time. It was such a blessing being able to have coffee, snacks and just talk with these wonderful women who God has brought into my life. Then everyone started talking about there worries about their family get togethers. Sigh...As I heard them talking I couldn't help but think about my own family. How some people don't get along with others and at times if we are all in the same place you can just feel the tension. This was the same thing everyone else was talking about too. That it always feels like there is an elephant in the room.

I had a talk with my daughter the other night. I was practicing a song called "Where's the Line for Jesus?" and she was asking me about it. I was teaching her the words and then she asked me..."How does Jesus feel about everyone being so focused on other things on His birthday?" I gave her the "How would it make you feel?" and she come to the conclusion that she wouldn't be very happy and it would make her feel like no one cared about her. She is a pretty smart girl! 

One of the happiest times of the year and we can barely get along with each other. We fight over who is right and what is the right way to do Christmas. We spend so much time trying to prove we are right and make a stance that we forget...it's really all about Jesus' birthday. A day that if it had never happened we would be lost without hope still trying to appease God on our own. But thankfully The Father sent His Son to take our place. I am taking a stand...and I am going to focus on Jesus' birthday! 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sing to the Tree

Oh The Emotionalist is such a sweet little girl. I would have snapped a picture of her, but we all had to sing to the tree with her tonight...I am sure she would have been upset if I would have run off to get the Camera.

A few nights ago we watched "A Charlie Brown Christmas". Oh it was such a wonderful night of pizza, family and little cartoon kids quoting scripture! But the thing that impressed my little girl the most was when they sang to the Christmas tree. She has been begging and begging for us to sing to the tree! She really wanted to do it right too. We had to hold hands and she wanted us to go all the way around the tree. This probably would have been possible since we have enough people in our family, but our tree is in a corner so we just couldn't make that happen.

The Emotionalist had it down too. She stood and sang just like the cartoons did.

If you watch this till the end of it you will see what I mean. She really payed attention to these guys and I am not joking she had it down! She looked so uncomfortable, but she had to stand and sing like that the whole time! I love the things my kids do! So fun!

I think every Christmas this will be something we do! I had such a great time!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Not My Best

Today was not my best day. You know those days when you are just sick and tired of everything and finally something just makes you snap. Yep...I had that day today. And I even hate that my frustration about something boiled over to someone who didn't really deserve it. I wish I could have found a better way to express myself. But it was one of those times when my emotions got the best of me. Really I am just sick of seeing people treat this lovely lady so poorly. There is so much more that goes into it but she deserves so much better.

I always remember the little children's saying..."Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." I use to say that over and over again in my head, but the honest truth is...sometimes words hurt more. The words you say to people you can never take back. You can apologize for your words, but they can hang there with that person for a very long time. Having felt the hurt of words has tried to make me more aware of what I say to others. But there are always those times when I forget. I wish other people would think about the words they say to others before they say it. Your words have power in other peoples life. And yes you can say that those words only have power if the person you say it to gives you that power. But really don't we all have that power or choose to take that power. And some people are just stronger than others and other people just wear their emotions right on top of their skin. Why can't we just be aware of the power we have and think before we say something or do something.

"GET OVER IT!" This is a saying I have heard a lot in my life. People like to say to me and they also like to say it to other people. You know I just wish the people who say that to me or anyone else would take their own advice. It doesn't just go one way...why can't they just get over it too? Why am I the only one who has to get over it. Yes you offended me with what you said and I took your advice I got over it. And so did other people. Well if I say something that offended you and that you didn't like, but hey it was my opinion and it's how I feel why can't they just get over it. 

I know in away I am being bold in writing this. But a lot of this is the truth. Why can't we just all get along? Why can't we agree to disagree? Why can't we just realize that instead of fighting each other we should be trying to get past our differences? Sigh...I just wish people could have more respect for others.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Is There Something Wrong With Us?

Some might think this blog title has something to do with the fact that we took on 2 extra kids this weekend. Actually it doesn't. Yes taking on 2 extra kids when you already have 5 is not the smartest thing to do. And to all of you who don't have many children the saying "What's one more kid..." doesn't always work. The 2 we have right now are not bad. They do add to our craziness, but overall it's been a blast.

So I have often talked about how there is something wrong with the church. I don't care what church you go to I feel that most of the churches just have lost something. I read the following story from Philip Yancey's "What's so amazing about grace?" the visual edition. If you have never seen the visual edition I highly recommend it.

"A prostitute came to me in wretched straits, homeless, sick, unable to buy food for her two-year-old daughter. Through sobs and tears, she told me she had been renting out her daughter- two years old!- to men interested in kinky sex. She made more renting out her daughter for an hour than she could earn on her own in a night. She had to do it, she said, to support her own drug habit. I could hardly bear hearing her sordid story. For one thing, it made me legally liable - I'm required to report cases of child abuse. I had no idea what to say to this woman. At last I asked if she had ever thought of going to a church for help. I will never forget the look of pure, naive shock that crossed her face. 
'CHURCH!' she cried. 'Why would I ever go there? I was already feeling terrible about myself. They'd just make me feel worse.'"
What struck me about my friends story is that women much like this prostitute fled toward Jesus, not away from him. The worse a person felt about herself, the more likely she saw Jesus as a refuge. Has the church lost that gift? Evidently the down-and-out, who flocked to Jesus when he lived on earth, no longer feel welcome among his followers. What has happened?

Philip Yancey has a great question...What has happened? I wish that was an easier question to answers. I mean in a way it is easy. We have gone from being a family who ate together and meet together daily...to a club you need to become a member of. We have gone from a family who encouraged one another daily...to a meeting where we sometimes talk to one another weekly. We went from taking the Word of God seriously...to hardly picking it up and reading it for ourselves.

But yet in a way sometimes it's a hard question to answer. My husband came up to me the other day and said this. "If we think something is wrong with the church and we feel that really we (as in people) are the church...does that mean that something is wrong with us?" And what a thought provoking question. Is there something wrong with me? How is my wrong view of God effecting how the church is viewed? How is my wrong view of God effecting other's views? Really it just makes me what to dig into the Bible even more to find out. I hope it's something you want to do too!