Monday, November 30, 2015

Every Girl Gets Confused by Janice Thompson

Every Girl Gets Confused

by Janice Thompson



How can she choose between the love she thought she lost and the love she stumbled upon in the aftermath?

 Katie Fisher and Brady James may be a match made in heaven, but that doesn't seem to guarantee them a happily ever after accompanied by angelic choirs. Katie's almost-fiancĂ© Casey is back in Fairfield, ready to rekindle their relationship. And there's nothing Katie's parents want more than for their small-town girl to leave Dallas and come home for good.

 But can she really leave Brady behind? And will she ever be able to wear that gorgeous wedding dress she won?

 "Every Girl Gets Confused is romantic comedy at its best. A sweet romance. A wonderful band of supporting family and friends. And enough humor to keep me smiling on each page. I highly recommend it!"--Cara Putman, award-winning author of Shadowed by Grace and Where Treetops Glisten

 "A delightful mix of romance, inspiration, and humor, woven together with Thompson's trademark Texas storytelling and a happily-ever-after ending that will make you want to swoon."--Judy Christie, author of Wreath, A Girl in the Wreath Willis series

 "Janice Thompson tosses her readers into a humorous whirl of romantic possibilities with characters I swear I've met in small-town Texas. Fun!"--Julianna Deering, author of the Drew Farthering Mystery series

Janice Thompson is a seasoned romance author and screenwriter. An expert at pulling the humor from the situations we get ourselves into, Thompson offers an inside look at the wedding business, drawing on her own experiences as a wedding planner. She is the author of the hugely popular Weddings by Bella series, the Backstage Pass series, and the Weddings by Design series, as well as

  

Here's my review of this enjoyable read:
 
First, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Janice Thompson and her publisher for sending me a copy of "Every Girl Gets Confused" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity. I really appreciate the time, effort and expense it takes to make a reviewer copy available to me.
 
“Every Girl Gets Confused” by Janice Thompson is another wonderful read from a very gifted and witty storyteller!  Katie Fisher, the small town girl who won the Loretta Lynn wedding dress in the last novel (Every Bride Needs A Groom), is our leading lady stuck in a love triangle with professional basketball player, Brady James and her ex-boyfriend, Casey.  Katie must decide who she really loves in this book loaded with romance and real-world decision-making.
 
Personally, I thought the decision Katie had to make was a no-brainer even before I opened the book.  But I’m glad I read this story.  Janice Thompson’s writing always makes me laugh and think and gives my imagination some vivid images to consider.  This is an enjoyable book that I’m proud to add to my collection.

My Identity in Christ #5 - I am helped by God


Now that my Bible Study group has finished Priscilla Shirer’s Armor of God study, I need to keep moving in the right direction and I’m not ready to pick up another Bible study because I haven’t applied all I want to apply to my life from this study, yet.  Also, my prayer request lately has been that I would live like I believe God’s promises and how much He loves me.  So, I am beginning a series of blog posts taken from the list Priscilla included in her 6th week of Bible study regarding our identity and inheritance in Christ.  I pray these reflections will open your eyes to how much God loves you.  Read them as if you wrote them.  Meditate on them.  God bless you.

I am helped by God - My Identity in Christ

God wants to give me His help.  Sometimes He gives without my asking.  Many times, I have to ask.  I think this is because He wants me to know that He hears my prayers and responds.  He is a loving Father Who wants to give good gifts to His children.  Hebrews 4:16 tells me to “…approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”  I can approach God with confidence.  I am His daughter, a princess of heaven, and I belong in His throne room.  This doesn’t mean I should approach Him with anything less than a respectful attitude.  If you find yourself being a bit too cavalier with your approach, read the paragraph below and get a picture of that throne you’re approaching.

Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne (Ps 97:2).  God is seated on His throne and the train of His robe fills the temple (Isa 6:1).  His throne is high and exalted, holy and glorious (Isa 63:15).  God’s throne is over the heads of the cherubim according to Ezekiel (1:26, 10:1).  Daniel describes seeing the Ancient of Days taking His seat on His flaming throne with snow white clothes and hair white as wool (7:9).  Zechariah mentions the Lord being clothed in majesty as he sits and rules on His throne (6:13).  Matthew 5:34 says heaven is God’s throne.  Revelation 1:4 says the seven spirits are before His throne.  Revelation 4 says a rainbow encircles the throne; 24 other thrones surround God’s throne and 24 elders are seated on them, they fall down in worship and lay their crowns before the throne; flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder come from the throne; the seven blazing lamps before the throne are the seven spirits of God; there is what looks like a sea of glass before the throne and around the throne are four creatures covered with eyes giving glory, honor and thanks to Him on the throne.  Revelation 5:11 says thousands upon thousands of angels encircle the throne, elders and living creatures.  Revelation 5:13 says that every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on and in the sea praises Him saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, forever and ever!”  Revelation 7:11 says the angels standing around the throne fall on their faces and worship God.

“An Endless Christmas” by Cynthia Ruchti

An Endless Christmas
by Cynthia Ruchti    
Holiday Novella
Worthy Publishing 


Litfuse, Worthy Publishing, and Cynthia Ruchti are pleased to bring you Christmas a little early this year.
Christmas takes a very different turn when the guests of honor break up instead of announcing their engagement. Trapped with his family, they learn that love
looks different than either imagined.
Both in their eighties, Dodie and Wilson Binder celebrate every Christmas as if it were their last. This year, their grandson Micah is planning to ask his girlfriend, Katie, to marry him so they can celebrate with the whole family. But things go very wrong when she says, "no." Now they are stuck. Too many people, too much snow, and too little room should be a recipe for disaster. But sometimes too much is just enough. Especially when it's Christmas.
 
 

 Meet the Author
Cynthia Ruchti tells stories "hemmed in hope." She's the award-winning author of sixteen books and a frequent speaker for women's ministry events. She serves as the Professional Relations Liaison for American Christian Fiction Writers, where she helps retailers, libraries, and book clubs connect with the authors and books they love. She lives with her husband in Central Wisconsin.

Visit our blog Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook 
  Here's my review of this perfect Holiday read:

First, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Cynthia Ruchti and her publisher for sending me a copy of "An Endless Christmas" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity. I really appreciate the time, effort and expense it takes to make a reviewer copy available to me.

“An Endless Christmas” by Cynthia Ruchti is a sweet Christmas novella.  Katie is spending Christmas with her boyfriend’s huge family at his Grandparents’ home.  The awkwardness Katie feels is only complicated when Micah proposes and she says, “no”.  Feeling unworthy of him and a need to escape his family who is still willing to embrace her despite her refusal, Katie ends up learning the true meanings of Christmas, love and family.

I laughed.  I cried.  I gasped.  I cheered.  And I did all of this out loud, by myself, as I read this wonderful book!  I thoroughly enjoyed this story, the characters, the homey setting and the sentiments on display in this touching novella.  I am inspired to live like it’s Christmas every day.  What a perfect holiday read!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Homiletics: Revelation 1


Contents (not sentence, direct verbiage from Scripture):  Where?                                                                Who?

1
1a
Revelation from JC, G gave Him to show servants what must soon take place
2
1b-2
He sending angel to John who testifies everything saw: word of G, testimony of JC
3
3
Blest=who reads aloud this prophecy & those who hear/take to heart bec time=near
4
4
Jn to 7 chrchs o’Asia: grace/peace to u frm who is/was/is to come& 7 Spirits b4 throne
5
5a
& JC, faithful witness, 1st born frm dead, ruler of kings of earth;
6
5b-6
to who luvs/freed us frm sins by his blood/made us kingdom & priests to serve G
7
7
Look he coming w/clouds, every eye see him, all ppls mourn bec of him
8
8
I Alpha/Omega says G, who is/was/is to come, Almighty
9
9
I Jn, your bro/companion in suffering on Patmos bec of word of G, testimony of J
10
10-11
Lord’s Day, in S, voice like trmpt: write/send to 7 chrchs: Eph/Smy/Per/Thy/Sar/ Phi/Lao
11
12-13
Saw 7 gold lampstands, son of man in robe to feet, golden sash around chest
12
14-15
Hair white lk wool/snow, eyes lk fire, feet lk bronze in furnace, voice lk rushing waters
13
16
In rt hd, 7 stars, coming out of mouth sharp dbl-edged sword, face lk sun shining
14
17
When I saw, fell at feet as tho dead; placed hand on me: don’t be afraid, I the First & Last
15
18
Living One, I was dead, now am alive forever, hold keys death/Hades
16
19
Write what you’ve seen, what is now/take place later
17
20
Mystery of 7 stars: 7 stars=angels of 7 churches, 7 lampstands=7 churches

 

Divisions (run-on sentence OK, direct verbiage from Scripture):

1
1-9
The Revelation from Jesus to John on the Island of Patmos
Principle:
Jesus wants to reveal Himself to His people.
There are blessings for those who encounter Christ in His Word.
Jesus is coming back for us with the clouds.
Jesus’ people will share in His suffering.
2
10-20
John writes to seven churches beginning with a vision of Jesus
Principle:
Jesus desires His people to see Him.
Jesus doesn’t want us to be afraid.

 

Subject Sentence (10-word sentence with proper structure):

Jesus’ revelation to John on Patmos begins with a vision.

 

Aim (Christian and Non-Christian):

TCMATK Jesus is revealed in His Word and wants His people to receive His instruction.

 

Application:

1
Why do we have the Revelation of Jesus Christ?
How might you be blessed to read aloud or hear the words of this prophecy?
How does Jesus describe Himself in 1:4-5, 8?  Which description is most meaningful to you?  Why?
In what way are you a kingdom and a priest serving God the Father?
How have you been persecuted for the name of Jesus Christ?
How might you prepare other Christians to endure persecution?
2
How does being “in the Spirit” affect your encounters with God?
Describe Jesus as John saw Him at the revelation.  What strikes you most deeply about His appearance?
What is your reaction when you encounter Christ?
How does Jesus describe Himself in 1:17-18?
How do these descriptions deepen your love and devotion to Him?
What does it mean to you that the Bible constantly reminds us not to be afraid?

 

Monday, November 23, 2015

My Identity in Christ #4 - I have access to God's Wisdom


Now that my Bible Study group has finished Priscilla Shirer’s Armor of God study, I need to keep moving in the right direction and I’m not ready to pick up another Bible study because I haven’t applied all I want to apply to my life from this study, yet.  Also, my prayer request lately has been that I would live like I believe God’s promises and how much He loves me.  So, I am beginning a series of blog posts taken from the list Priscilla included in her 6th week of Bible study regarding our identity and inheritance in Christ.  I pray these reflections will open your eyes to how much God loves you.  Read them as if you wrote them.  Meditate on them.  God bless you.

I have access to God’s Wisdom - My Identity in Christ

James 1:5 tells me I have access to God’s wisdom.  If I lack wisdom, I should ask and God will give it generously.  “If” I lack wisdom?  Oh, boy, do I lack wisdom!  Sometimes, it’s about a decision I must make.  Sometimes, it’s about a difficult conversation I must have.  Sometimes, it’s all about my attitude and my behavior.  That’s what it was about today.  When I saw that today’s meditation was about access to God’s wisdom, I almost fell to my knees in a tearful heap.  It feels like I’m under attack from all sides: work, home, ministry.  You name it, I’m currently at a loss about how to deal with it.  I’ve been praying for God to glorify Himself with my behavior and my words.  I’ve been praying this on and off for YEARS!  Never before do I remember praying for wisdom in this instance.  Sure, I’ve prayed for wisdom, but not from such a desperate place.

According to Torrey’s New Topical Textbook at the Blue Letter Bible website, wisdom is one of God’s attributes (1 Sam 2:3, Job 9:4).  God’s wisdom is perfect (Job 36:4, 37:16), mighty (Job 36:5), universal (Job 28:24, Dan 2:22, Acts 15:18), infinite (Ps 147:5, Rom 11:33), unsearchable (Isa 40:28, Rom 11:33), wonderful (Ps 139:6), beyond human comprehension (Ps 139:6), incomparable (Isa 44:7, Jer 10:7), underived (Job 21:22, Isa 40:14).  Today’s meditation has reminded me of my life verse, Jeremiah 33:3 – Call to me and I will answer you and teach you great and unsearchable things you do not know.  So, I’m spending today calling to God for wisdom and He has revealed several wonderful things to me:  He has chosen me to lead and leaders face opposition; I need to pray for a genuine love of those people who oppose me; I need to pray for a tough skin and a tender heart; I need to seek Christ’s glory and kingdom advancement, not my own comfort; I need to remember that Christ takes attacks against his people personally.  God’s wisdom is such a great gift!

“The Five Times I Met Myself” by James L. Rubart

The Five Times I Met Myself
by James L. Rubart   
Contemporary Fiction
Thomas Nelson 


Litfuse, Thomas Nelson, and James L. Rubart are thrilled to offer James's new book, The Five Times I Met Myself, for review. Fans of It's a Wonderful Life and Andy Andrews' stories will love The Five Times I Met Myself.
What if you met your twenty-three-year-old self in a dream? What would you say?
Brock Matthews' once promising life is unraveling. His coffee company. His marriage.
So when he discovers his vivid dreams---where he encounters his younger self---might let him change his past mistakes, he jumps at the chance. The results are astonishing, but also disturbing.
Because getting what Brock wants most in the world will force him to give up the one thing he doesn't know how to let go . . . and his greatest fear is that it's already too late.

Advance Praise
A powerfully redemptive story with twists and turns that had me glued to every page. With a compelling message for anyone who longs to relive their past, The Five Times I Met Myself is another James L. Rubart masterpiece.
---Susan May Warren, bestselling author of the Christiansen Family series
If you think fiction can't change your life and challenge you to be a better person, you need to read The Five Times I Met Myself.
---Andy Andrews, New York Times bestselling author of How Do You Kill 11 Million People, The Noticer & The Traveler's Gift
 
 

 Meet the Author
James L. Rubart is a professional marketer and speaker. He is the author of the best-seller Rooms and award-winning Soul's Gate, the book that precedes Memory's Door in the Well Spring series. Rubart and his wife have two sons and live in the Pacific Northwest.

Visit our blog Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter 
 
 
 
 
 
Here's my review of this encouraging novel:
 
First, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to James L. Rubart and his publisher for sending me a copy of "The Five Times I Met Myself" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity. I really appreciate the time, effort and expense it takes to make a reviewer copy available to me.
 
Initially, “The Five Times I Met Myself” by James L. Rubart reminded me of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” except that it began in May.  This unique novel also reminds me a bit of the Biblical Job because it is about a man (Brock Matthews) with lots of troubles: the family business is going belly-up as is his relationship with his brother/business partner, his marriage is failing, he has regrets over other failed relationships, so his life is coming apart.
 
“The Five Times I Met Myself” is a heartwarming novel that showcases the value of forgiveness and “letting go and letting God”.  Told in dreamland flashbacks, this beautifully crafted story will have you contemplating the status of your own relationships and how you can improve them.  The reader will also be led to contemplate which battles are worth fighting and what is truly important in life.  What a wonderfully thought-provoking book!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Homiletics: Genesis 11:1-9


Contents (not sentence, direct verbiage from Scripture):  Where?                                                                Who?

1
1
Now whole world  had 1 lang/common speech
2
2
As ppl moved east, found plain in Shinar/settled there
3
3a
They said: “come let’s make bricks & bake them thoroughly”
4
3b
used brick instead of stone, tar for mortar
5
4
 “let’s build city w/twr to heavens, make name 4 selves or be scattered over earth”
6
5
L came down to see city/tower ppl bldg
7
6
L: if as 1 ppl spkg same lang they begun do this, nothing they plan be imposs for them
8
7
Let’s go  down, confuse lang so they not understd ea other
9
8
So L scattered them over all earth & they stopped bldg city
10
9a
That’s why called Babel bec L confused lang of whole world
11
9b
From there L scattered them over whole earth

 

Divisions (run-on sentence OK, direct verbiage from Scripture):

1
11:1-2
The whole world had one language, moved eastward, found a plain in Shinar and settled there.
Principle:
When we disobey God, we get into trouble.
Settling gives us time to think thoughts we should never entertain.
2
11:3-4
They said let’s make bricks, build city and tower and make a name for ourselves or we’ll be scattered.
Principle:
Seeking to make a name for yourself is disobedient to God’s Word.
3
11:5-9
The Lord confused their language and scattered them over the earth.
Principle:
God’s plan will not be thwarted.
We can obey or we can be forced into compliance.

 

Subject Sentence (10-word sentence with proper structure):

At Babel, God confused the language and scattered the people.

 

Aim (Christian and Non-Christian):

TCMATK God’s instructions are sovereign and willing obedience is less painful than forced compliance.

 

Application:

1
What are the benefits of common speech?
What are the drawbacks of common speech?
What would have been the benefit of continuing to move eastward rather than settling in Shinar?
How has a common language and the presence of others gotten you into trouble?
2
What are you building?  Is it for your kingdom or God’s?
Are you working to build God’s reputation or yours?
Are you looking to make God famous or yourself?
What are the benefits of being scattered?
What are the drawbacks of being scattered?
3
Why did the Lord decide to confuse the language of the people?
What is the Lord instructing you to do?
How will you be obedient to that instruction?