If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16


Monday, December 27, 2010

Under The Overpass by Mike Yankoski

Under the Overpass by Mike Yankoski
About this book:  Ever Wonder What it Would Be Like to Live Homeless?

Mike Yankoski did more than just wonder. By his own choice, Mike's life went from upper-middle class plush to scum-of-the-earth repulsive overnight. With only a backpack, a sleeping bag and a guitar, Mike and his traveling companion, Sam, set out to experience life on the streets in six different cities—from Washington D.C. to San Diego— and they put themselves to the test.
For more than five months the pair experienced firsthand the extreme pains of hunger, the constant uncertainty and danger of living on the streets, exhaustion, depression, and social rejection—and all of this by their own choice. They wanted to find out if their faith was real, if they could actually be the Christians they said they were apart from the comforts they’d always known…to discover first hand what it means to be homeless in America.
Mike and Sam's story is gritty, challenging, and utterly captivating. What you encounter in these pages will radically alter how you see your world—and may even change your life.

This updated and expanded edition contains added stories, an interview with the author, a “five years after” bonus chapter, and a new foreword from Francis Chan

About the Author:  Mike Yankoski and his wife, Danae, are graduate students at Regent College, Vancouver, Canada.  Mike serves on the board of directors for World Vision U.S., and is a frequent speaker on a Christ-centered response to our world's great needs.

My Thoughts:  This is a very interesting book.  The stories the author told about his time on the streets were very good, but I have to say, reading this book made me rather uncomfortable.   It really made me stop and think about how I relate to the homeless and mentally disabled people.  I realized while reading that I don't really like the way that I interact with these people.  When they described how they were treated by various church people, I recognized myself in some of those church people.  I don't think I'll ever look at the homeless in the same way again and I hope the next time I encounter someone in this situation, that I'll be a kinder and more caring person.  I believe this was the purpose behind writing this book, to encourage us to be more like Christ.  I strongly recommend reading this book, especially if you want to be convicted to change the way you act and think and become more like Jesus Christ.

FTC disclaimer: This book was provided for review by Blogging for Books.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Waterbrook Press 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.” 

Just 1 More Follower Needed to Reach My Goal.

My unofficial goal for 2010 was to reach 100 followers. I currently have 99 and I have 4 days to get one more. So if anyone out there is looking for someone to follow, I sure would like to have one more.

(edit) It says I have 100 now, but if anyone else wants to join in, please do...the more the merrier!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas


For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.  Luke 2:11

Friday, December 24, 2010

A Visit from St. Nicholas

'Twas the Night Before Christmas
(A Visit from St. Nicholas)

by Clement Clarke Moore

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a Good-Night!"

public domain

Merry Christmas from Me and Mine to You and Yours!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Mary Did You Know

I love this song because it makes me wonder what it must have been like to have raised the Son of God. Can you imagine kissing the very face of God.  What a wonder to hold Him and touch His hand and soothe away His pain.  Can you even imagine what it would have been like to look into His eyes.  What love they must have had!  I can't wait until someday I get to see Him face to face.  I hope you enjoy listening to this song and doing some imagining yourself.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Click the Hodgepodge Button above to join in with all the Wednesday Hodgepodge Fun.

1. Share your Christmas Eve traditions.
We've always gone to my dad and mom's house for Christmas Eve and will be doing that again this year.  We have sandwiches and desserts and make the kids wait until after we've eaten before they can open gifts.  My younger sister always takes her time eating so they have to wait longer before they can open them.  It kills them and cracks all of us up.  Then we open gifts and just have a good time.

2. What was the best book you read in 2010? (we're not going to include The Bible here)
A Path Less Traveled by Cathy Bryant.  See my review here.

3. Do you have pets and if so do you allow them on the furniture?
Yes, we have a dog and yes she is allowed on the furniture.

4. What event from 2010 are you most thankful for?
My oldest daughter graduating High School and my youngest daughter graduating Jr. High.

5. What did you do in 2010 that you'd never done before.
Took my oldest to college.

6. Brussel sprouts...friend or foe?

7. Who would you nominate for man/woman of the year?
My husband, because he puts up with all 3 of us girls with such patience!  Actually 4 girls because even the dog is a girl! ha!

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Remember if we can trust God with our eternity, we can certainly trust Him with our today!  That seems to be a recurring theme in my life right now! (By the way, this thought did not originate with me.  I read it somewhere else recently and it has really struck a chord with me)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Please Christmas Don't Be Late

Saw this on YouTube and just had to share it. Brings back some memories. Hope you enjoy it.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Your Presence - TSMSS

I hope you enjoy this song by the Ruppie Sisters and you can click here to join up with Then Sings My Soul Saturday.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

From the Beach to the Snow! & SkyWatch Friday

Click here to join in the fun of SkyWatch!

Imagine Tuesday and Wednesday we were looking at this beautiful sight...

The beach and beautiful sky on Tuesday

Just before the sun showed itself Wednesday morning!

The sun just peaking out it's head Wednesday morning.

And now, today (Thursday) this is where we are!

Thursday evening Lily playing in the snow.

This picture gives you a little better idea of just how much snow we have.  I'd say that's about 4-5 inches of snow on that tree stump in our back yard.

Oh my home state...I love you, but I sure do miss you, Atlantic Ocean!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Click here to join in the Wednesday Hodgepodge fun.  Here are the questions for this week's Hodgepodge....some are Christmas related and some are not because really, how many Christmas memes can one blogger answer? See you tomorrow with the link...

1. What does it mean to have the 'holiday spirit'?
To me the holiday spirit is loving Jesus and loving and being with my family.  

2. What sits atop your tree (s)? Why?
An angel.  Because I like it.

3. When was the last time you gave yourself a pat on the back?
I'm not sure.  I'm not very good at doing that.  I'm rather hard on myself.

4. Which of your senses is most sensitive this time of year?
My sight because I love looking at all the lights and decorations, my hearing because I love all the Christmas music, my smell because I love all the Christmas candle smells and my taste, because of all the wonderful Christmas goodies.

5. What do you have too much of in your kitchen?
Junk - I have too much junk in my kitchen drawers.

6. What do you do for meals on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day? Big meal? Breakfast tradition? Open the cookie tins and have at it?
Christmas Eve is at my mom's and Christmas Day is at his mom's.  So I just bring some stuff to add to their wonderful food.

7. What is the best thing about winter?
When it becomes spring.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
I've had a blast this week at the ocean!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Giveaway at Fresh Oil Today

Jackie at Fresh Oil Today is giving away 2 stockings full of goodies. Be sure to go check her out and leave a comment to have an opportunity to win. Wait a minute, on second thought, don't comment so then I'll have a better chance of winning. ;-) No really, go ahead and comment. I promise, I won't be mad if you win.

Monday, December 13, 2010

My First Build-A-Bear

For years I've taken my girls to Build-A-Bear and watched them make bears or other animals.  I always wanted to do it too, but thought I was too old and I shouldn't spend the money.  Well I decided this time, I would make one.  Kerri and I went to Build-A-Bear this morning and each made a bear.

Meet our new bears!  
The one on the left is Kerri's and she named it Bree and mine is Caramel!

Yep, this is my first Build-A-Bear, but I have a feeling it won't be my last.  I guess it's official, I'm now in my second childhood! 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Go visit Joyce at From This Side of the Pond to play along.

1. Have you ever been on a real sleigh ride? How about the warm weather version - a carriage ride?
I have not been on a real sleigh ride, but I have taken a carriage ride in Williamsburg, VA.

2. What's your policy on 'chain mail'...you know, the emails you receive that are often some sort of poem/blessing/good wish that ask you to send it on to 10 or 12 friends? Do you delete without opening, read and trash, read and trash and then worry you won't be blessed/lucky/protected? Do you delete the sender from your contacts or just go ahead and send the love onward?
I don't have a policy, but I don't do chain mail. If the poem or story is good, I'll forward it, but take off all the stuff about sending to so many people, good luck stuff, etc.

3. Who is your favorite character in any of the Christmas movies and why?
Betty Haynes (Rosemary Clooney) from White Christmas. Because she's pretty and she can sing and I just love that movie.

4. Share a favorite quote.
"When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything you gave me". Erma Bombeck

5. What's your favorite holiday scent?
Vanilla or Apple Cinnamon

6. Does the Christmas season stress you out? In what way?
Some days yes and some days no. I love it when all the obligations are completed and I can just sit and relax and enjoy the decorations, my family and Christmas music and movies.

7. What's the best thing about your life right now?
My husband who keeps on loving me no matter what.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

What if the Wisemen were Wise women?

My husband used this in a sermon in 2008 and I posted it on 12/15/2008 & I still get hits on this in search engines, so thought I'd share it again as a random thought. Hope you enjoy it.

Ever wonder what it would’ve been like if the wise men had been women? When they arrived at the manger, you can bet they would have:
1.asked for directions;
2.arrived on time;
3.helped deliver the baby;
4.cleaned the stable;
5.brought practical gifts; and
6.made a casserole!

And a couple of our ladies added another one.
7. They would have made reservations ahead of time!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Booked for the Holidays 2010

If you like to read, go check out Mocha with Linda.  She's doing a holiday book giveaway.  Lots of books to give away over there.  Below is a copy of her rules.  Click the link above to get to Mocha with Linda and play along.


Each day--today through Tuesday, 12/14--I will be giving away a set of two books. The books are only a "set" because I am combining them for this giveaway; one of the daily books will be a "regular" book (there's one non-book giveaway) while the other will be a Christmas-themed book. One day will have a double giveaway, as I have two copies of the book being featured. With the exception of a couple of books which I purchased and read for my own enjoyment, all have been reviewed on my blog during the past year or so and I will link to the review posts.

To enter, just leave a comment on the giveaway post for that day. Double your chances by posting the BFTH button on your sidebar or posting about this giveaway and leaving me a second comment saying you did so. (If you do not have a blog, receive a second entry by posting on FB or emailing a friend and leaving me a comment.) And a third entry is possible by following this blog and leaving another comment telling me you are a follower. (You can either be an existing follower or a new follower.) Just remember, if you enter all 10 days, you need to leave separate comments for each of your entries each day. I'll use the Random Integer Generator, so each comment will receive one entry, and you can have up to three comments on each post.

All entries must be received by 8:00 pm CST Wednesday, December 15. Results will be posted on my blog that night and winners will have 24 hours to email me with their address to claim their books. If not claimed within 24 hours, a new winner will be chosen. My goal is to mail all books on Friday, Dec. 17. Books will be mailed either First Class or Media Mail, whichever is cheaper. Mocha with Linda is not responsible for lost or damaged books.

Ten separate winners will be announced; duplicate wins will only be allowed if less than ten people participate. (If less than ten participate, I may quit doing this! LOL)

Each of the books being given away are either brand-new or gently read and in "as new" condition. Books which I reviewed have been provided by the publishers.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Away in a Manger - TSMSS

Click here to join in with Then Sings My Soul Saturdays.  This is one of my all time favorite Christmas songs.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Click here to join in the fun.

1. What is the most interesting thing you've done in the last year?
Watching my oldest graduate high school and go on to college.  It's been fun watching her grow up.

2. What is your most meaningful family heirloom?
 Some furniture my dad made.

3. What food festival would you most like to attend?
 Greek Food Festival

4. Snow...do you love it or is it considered a four letter word where you live?
I love it if I can stay inside and just look at it, but if I have to get out, I don't much care for it.

5. Can you ski? Do you ski? Are you any good?
Never tried and most likely never will.

6. What quality in your spouse or best friend are you most thankful for?
His love and patience.

7. Describe the coziest spot in your home.
My bedroom.  It's nothing fancy, but it's our space and I love it.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
 God I trust you with all my heart and soul and with my family too!