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Showing posts from 2013

The Little Giant of Aberdeen County by Tiffany Baker

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In Aberdeen County there are quite a few secrets. Some secrets lie beyond the grave. Other secrets have never been forgiven. Not only are there unlocked stories in Aberdeen County, there are also people who are very creative. If not creative with there hands, their bodies are sculptured in a way which will never be forgotten.

For example, there is Truly. Truly is very, very big. She is solidly built like nothing is meant to go wasted in her life. There is Amelia who is mostly silently. When a few words leave her lips, it's not hard to believe the words were sculptured with care. Then, there is Robert Morgan who uses his hands to heal the sick. He is a doctor.  There is Marcus who creates gardens with his hands. There is Serena Jane who creates a life, Bobbie. Then, there is Bobbie, her son, who recreates his mother by touching the blue silk dress his mother wore or wearing girl's clothes in secret. There is also Tabitha. Some, in her day, might have thought of her as a witch.…

Christ In Christmas

I looked for Christ in Christmas.
Then, I found Him.

In the answer of a prayer
and the center of a gem.

In  the newborn  baby's cry.
and the mother's softest sigh.

In the little boy's laugh    
and in the church choir's carol near by.

Christ walked all around me
sharing love, hope, peace and good will.

Hallelujah I sing and look at the candle on the sill.





Black Nightingale by Julia Buss

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Black Nightingale by Julia Buss is an inspiring Historical novel about Mary Seacole. During the Crimean War, Mary Seacole was a very compassionate nurse who served on the British side. Britain, France and Russia were involved in this war. The British and French fought against Russia.

Mary Seacole never took sides. If a soldier was injured, near death, she helped that soldier. Whether he was British, French or Russian didn't matter to her. She only saw the pain, the ugly wounds or the Scurvy the soldier was suffering with at the time. Not only does the Historical novel portray a fantastic picture of a great woman it also shows the horrors of war. I don't think my mind comprehended what men saw during that time of war. Julia Buss describes in great detail the men who lost limbs, dead bodies piled up unburied, a doctor who didn't wash his hands, mud and blood mixed together, etc.


Throughout the novel, one of Mary Seacole's patients is named over and over again…

Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward

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At the end of this fine memoir, many very famous authors wrote about the wonder of this memoir. Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward is about a period of tragedy in Mississippi especially in the Black community. This community because of poverty and racism is causing the death of the young Black male. Jesmyn Ward is to be applauded for making her way through and over many obstacles as she strived to become an author. Her way was far from easy. She cried many tears for friends, cousins and her brother who unfortunately found a block in their path to success. It's important to realize these boy-men wanted success too. They didn't choose to settle for hustling drugs or not finding jobs. I blame it on the values and the place where they were born, and they had no choice in that matter. Throughout the memoir the author gives sad statistics for her birth state, Mississippi. While also including the statistics for the Black male who lives there. Once I had read the memoir and read the stati…

Christmas Poem Challenge

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by Harry
 Photo: http://www.sodahead.com
This is a very simple challenge for you all. All you have to do is write a poem for Christmas. Serious,  humour or any other type, enjoy writing. See the poets who have posted below. Good luck to you all.





Christmas lights shine bright while reindeer fly in the night.
My gifts are wrapped tight. The angels on the tree in flight.
On Bethlehem's stars they light. Baby Jesus' smiles with all His might.
His swaddling clothes not too tight. The Wise men bow with delight.
Their precious gifts are such a sight. The sheep baas thanks on the right.

Claire of the Sea Light by Edwidge Danticat

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Just like sea light shows the ocean in different shades, the novel Claire of the Sea Light by Edwidge Danticat shows Claire in many blended shades while growing up. From Claire's very beginning she is passed along to someone else. It seems like Claire's life will call for her to always stay on the move. First, Claire's mother dies immediately after she gives birth to Claire. Then, Nozias, the fisherman and father, of Claire decides he doesn't have the skill to grow a girl successfully. He asks and wants to pass Claire off to the fabric store owner, Gaelle. Is it any wonder that the day will come when Claire will choose to run away from her life? At least, this time the going and coming is all in her hands. She's the captain of her ship this time.

There are so many tragedies surrounding Claire. Her mother's death, the death of the fabric store owner's little baby. Just living by the sea in Haiti is a foreshadowing of the lives that must be lost. The sea co…

Merry Ex-Mass by Victoria Christopher Murray

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Then we both reached for Kendall and Asia. We formed a circle of four, holding hands, and without me having to say a word, the ladies bowed their heads. And there in front of the altar, we raised our petitions to God. We prayed our silent prayers."

No Ordinary Noel by Pat G'orge Walker

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This is another fun novel by Pat G'orge Walker. In No Ordinary Noel, the church is having trouble with the bank. The church is low on funds. It's during this Christmas season when Freddie Noel wins the lottery big time. Freddie Noel is willing and now able to help the church get out of its money ditch. However, there is a problem. Rev. Tom hates lotteries and anything to do with gambling whether for a good cause or not. Will Rev. Tom in the midst of so much debt desert his values, or will he remain steadfast about not accepting any lottery money from Freddie Noel?

Along with money troubles, there is a bit of courtship going on in the church. Will Sister Betty marry Freddie Noel? That's the question in my mind. I like both characters. I think they would have a happy marriage. When I turned the last page, I knew my answer would have to come in the next book. I am so anxious to read and find out the answer. So far, she's turned down Freddie's ring handed…

Brida by Paulo Coelho

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Although not familiar with a Wicca or a Magus, I became comfortably accepting of their presence in Brida's journey. Brida is a witch. She comes to the Wicca and the Magus to widen her circle of wisdom and knowledge. Her growth path became exciting and stimulated my imagination. Paulo Coelho easily strengthens those without understanding not to fear but to take up a blue cloak of bravery and to dance in your aura.
I especially enjoyed his call to nature. I know with more surety that the sky, flowers, meadows are God's free gift to me. All I have to do is drink it in. Shame can not keep us from experiencing it. Mistakes can not keep us from experiencing it because shame, mistakes are all a part of the goblet we must drink from without hesitation to enjoy the dance of life.Nothing is bad in life. All is good that comes to us.
I loved the part where Brida dances naked. She's totally free and unashamed welcoming love into her life. In Brida. L…

The TULIP EATERS BY Antioinette van Heugten

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Majestic and Marvelous is this Historical novel, The TULIP EATERS by Antoinette van Heugten.  The setting of the novel is Texas and Amsterdam, Holland. Also, I could include Germany. There is a scripture quote I once read, "seeing through a glass darkly." This is the way I would describe life as Nora de Jong sees it. At one point in the novel, with anger and frustration she screams, 'my whole life has been nothing but lies.' Those words rang in my ears because I felt so close to her as a character. In my heart I cried for her. The only way I can describe Nora's life is to write that she is an example of a living, walking jigsaw puzzle with plenty of trauma and tragedy along her trail.

I have heard it said that it's important to tell what is learned from a novel. In this one I discovered the importance of our ancestral roots for ourselves and our children and future generations. It is so sad to have to scramble searching for truths like Nora did in her life. …

The Christmas Quilt by Vannetta Clark

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The families and friends are so special in The Christmas Quilt by Vannetta Clark. The majority of the trials center around Adam and his wife, Leah. Leah is expecting twins. I had to think what a special gift to arrive in time for Christmas. Leah's pregnancy is not an easy one. Although she would rather have her babies at home, brought into the world by Behlinda, the midwife, who would be helped by Annie this is not what happens. Leah has to make a transition to the Englisch hospital. She does it with not too much trouble.

I liked Leah and Adam.Their world is turned topsy turvy, Yet, they maintain the Fruits of the spirit and their dignity. Neither Leah nor Adam have ever spent time in an Englisch Hospital. Once they arrive in the hospital every day there seems to be something that makes them grateful for the sudden change to the Mercy Hospital in Pennsylvania. For example, there is Doctor Kamal with the big hands who has a wonderful bedside manner. When he touches Leah's stom…

The Light in the Kitchen Window by Margaret Britton Vaughn

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The Light in the Kitchen Window by Margaret Britton Vaughn is a poetry book that warmed my heart from the first poem to the last poem. The poems are about memories of the relatives we've loved, about the toys we played with as children, about holidays and famous people too. I was surprised to read two poems about racism. The author has the ability to show human flaws without causing deep anxiety to the spirit. I look forward to reading more of her poetry books or any books she has written.
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/40332.Margaret_Britton_Vaughn

Mississippi  Snow

The snow came once
In my childhood
In Mississippi.
We threw snowballs,
Made snowmen,
Ate snow ice cream.
For one day,
We forgot segregation,
Time was frozen.
The the snow
melted.


Getting a Way with Murder by Ralph McInerny

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"Roger Dowling preferred to relate the events to purgatory. The Divine Comedy was among his three favorite books and Downs was indeed right in thinking of the glutinous events that had dragged him deeper and deeper into trouble in Dantesque terms. Gustave Dore illustrations came and went in the priest's mind, but it was Janski, not Downs, he could imagine up to his neck in ice in the lowest regions of the inferno."
The Divine Comedy / http://religion.wikia.com/wiki/The_Divine_Comedy


http://dore.artpassions.net/
http://www.artbible.info/art/biography/gustave-dore

Kindle Fire Giveaway

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What's In A Name 6?

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I think picking, doing and finishing your yearly challenge is becoming a tradition. I really enjoyed finishing it last year, 2012. I am so happy this one is finished for 2013. Looking forward to signing up for the 2014 Book challenge. It's been fun. Thanks for giving your time and putting up with my silly mistakes.http://www.bethfishreads.com/2012/11/whats-in-name-6-sign-up.html

The Dragon Who Couldn't Breathe Fire by Yonit Werber

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This is a wonderful, exciting book for children. As an adult I enjoyed reading it myself. I still can use the pick up, feel good moral in my life. This little dragon had a lot of brothers. His brothers could breathe fire without even trying. It amazed their small brother. He tried and tried but no fire came from him. After trying different methods, he gives up trying. Thank goodness for wise owls. One owl told him to go talk to his mother. She would tell him how to handle his problem. Little dragon goes to his mother. She's very encouraging. She says,"when it's time,  the magic will come." I think those words are beautiful and honest. Nothing happens before it's time. Along with the story, there are great illustrations. This book is a must for any child you love.http://www.amazon.com/YONIT-WERBER/e/B00AGUW3FY

On The 7th Day by T.D. Jakes

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David and Kari are leading the good life along with their little girl, Mikayla. However, unexpectedly life changes for the worse. All of a sudden these loving parents find themselves looking for their little girl. Mikayla is stolen out of their house. Perhaps, a better word is kidnapped. No ransom is ever asked for, but all the same Mikayla can not be found. David and Kari are heartbroken. They hope and pray that Mikayla will be found alive and well.

T.D. Jakes brings these characters to life. They are definitely three dimensional. I felt as though Mikayla was a child in my neighborhood whom I had waved at or given cookies and milk. Even though Mikayla is not given a voice until deep into the story she still seems real. We see and know her by what the parents say about her.

Mikayla's disappearance is the high drama in the novel. However, when one thing goes wrong in life suddenly something else and something else go wrong until our whole house falls down around us. In the midst o…

Return To Me by Lynn Austin (Bethany House)

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It is a joyous time for the Israelites. After seventy years, they are free. They were enslaved by the Babylonians. Solomon's temple was destroyed. All the gold and other riches were stolen from the temple by the Babylonians. King Cyrus of the Persians degrees they can return to Babylon. They also have his permission to rebuild the temple. However, after returning to Jerusalem, the Jewish people decide it's more important to build their houses. Then, later they can rebuild Solomon's Temple. Only Zechariah and a few others in the tribe feel it is far more important to rebuild God's Temple first before doing other activities. One theme of Return To Me by Lynn Austin is how much do I really love God and how do I prioritze that love in my life. Also, do I realize that loving God first will lead to Him fighting my battles and making me successful?

To help the Jewish people learn these lessons God made the Samaritans the neighbors of the Jewish people. These are people who o…

Return To Me by Lynn Austin

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"We need to do what the Holy One said! Our fathers didn't listen to the prophets, but we need to listen to Haggai!"

Return To Me by Lynn Austin

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"Zechariah...could no longer keep still. '"Ask the Lord for rain in the springtime; It is the Lord who makes the storm clouds. He gives showers of rain to men, and plants of the field for everyone."

Return To Me by Lynn Austin

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""The (Judean hills) look nearly as desolate as the wilderness by the Dead Sea. Have any of you ever seen the Judean wilderness?"

Who Asked You by Terry McMillan

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"I have prayed over it and have have come to realize that God can't fix all of our problems, that He can't heal all of our wounds, that He can't tell us what to do or which way to go. It's up to us to pay attention, to slow down long enough to notice the signs, the hints God gives us to look, to change our direction if we ever hope to be astonished. I'm already feeling lighter, even joyous, because I finally own my life."

Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain (St. Martin's Press ARC)

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This novel takes place in North Carolina during the sixties. Then, it skips forward to the Twenty first century. The novel is amazingly honest about decisions made for poor people and people who suffer with an illness like Epilepsy or people with  a low high IQ. During the sixties in the South, no one had any thought about special education or other programs to help these people become more responsible for themselves. Sadly, the answer for these women and their children was a Eugenics Program. Eugenics is thought of as a humane way to stop women from having more babies. Really, it's very inhumane. Jane, the Social Worker, is the only one who questions the decisions made by social workers and nurses. For example, Mary Ella who thinks slowly, is sterilized after she births Baby William. However, Mary Ella is told by the authority figures that her appendix burst. She is told this is the reason for the  black stitches on her stomach. It takes a courageous Jane, a new Social Worker, t…

40 DAYS OF GRACE by RICH MILLER

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Grace is defined as undeserved merit or love. At least, that is the way I would have defined it before reading Rich Miller's book titled 40 DAYS OF GRACE. Grace is a much deeper subject than I ever knew. It is boundless. I especially liked the chapter about guilt. At the end of the chapter about guilt and the other chapters in the book there are 4 units: A thought to chew on, A truth to remember, A question to mull over and Talking it over with God. Really, I am listening to the devil when thoughts of guilt are swimming through my mind. I can only conquer the devil by feeding my mind with God's love. Remembering I am most definitely His child. His plans for me are not for evil but for good. Neither is there condemnation found in Him.

I really looked forward to the units at the end of the chapters. They gave me time to examine myself with a gleaming spiritual flashlight. It gave me a chance to release my thoughts of anger and shame to God. This is a wonderfully simple but ric…

Return To Me by Lynn Austin

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'"Iddo reached through the open tent flap behind him and picked up the ram's horn that the priest had given him to use for practice. As he ran his fingers down the shofar's long, gentle curve, another buried memory suddenly came to him."'

Please Don't Remove MarGreat's Glasses! by Josh Baker

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I liked the striped cover of this novel. It reminds me of wallpaper in a plain but safe home. Wallpaper is fragile. It can tear. Just like at different times our lives become torn. I didn't feel enthusiastic about the title of the novel until I began to read the book. MarGreat is a cartoon sketched by Timothy.

 The main character in Please Don't Remove MarGreat's Glasses! by Josh Baker is Timothy. However, without the other characters in the novel including MarGreat he would have never moved forward. Just like real life other people enter into a person's life and make it not an arc but a circle. Along the way chances are given to lead lost people to a Savior. In Please Don't Remove MarGreat's Glasses! Jude is one person who has made saving people from trouble his life's goal. Josh Baker never evangelizes or preaches. In some way he gets the message across that we can't walk alone without people or a Savior.

The novel is a coming of age story. It's…

Return To Me by Lynn Austin

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'"Will you help me practice my Torah portion, Saba? I want to read it perfectly on the day of my bar mitzvah. I want you to be proud of me."'

Return To Me by Lynn Austin A Novel

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' '"The Almighty One's hand is in this," the elder replied. "He promised that one day the Babylonian empire would fall, and last night it happened."'

The Gospel of John Bible Study Challenge

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Devotional
Favorite verse
Prayer

 John 1:1-51


John 1:3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

From the time I could understand language my parents taught me that there was a Creator of the universe. My father called Him The Great Architect. He often said "without Him I couldn't twinkle my little finger." Some ideas my parents taught me I have questioned. I have never questioned or doubted the fact that a marvelous being created everything and everyone around me. For me that Creator is known by the name Jesus.

Prayer

Father God, today I thank you for all that you have created. You've given us so much on this earth to freely enjoy. Help me to open my eyes daily and see the magnificent around me whether it's a baby, a child, an elder adult or a tree, the ocean or just a puddle. Help me to remember to thank you for what you have given me including my mind, my hands, my feet, my whole body. Thank you. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
ht…

Pieces of The Heart by Bonnie Calhoun

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Scranton Pennsylvania is a place full of interesting characters living their lives like other Americans in the 1940's. However, life is tougher for the African Americans. Jim Crow is not just two names which fit well together. Jim Crow sets one man against another man. Daily making the man aware he is unequal and not privy to the freedoms of society.

Pieces of The Heart is about families, friendships, romances and just plain everyday life. Life is certainly not easy for Cordelia, Bernard, Charles, Anna, Emmanuel and his wife nor for Gertie. It's hard work in a factory where a woman might face harassment. It's striving to have faith when God's face and voice seem faraway or not real. It's going to war as a whole man and coming back lost to oneself and to all the people who ever loved you. It's about forgiveness.Stepping into forgiveness doesn't happen at the same time for the people involved. I might forgive a person knowing it's hurting me more than it…

Pieces of The Heart by Bonnie Calhoun

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"And like a diary, the quilt displayed the journey she had endured since Grammy started it when Cordelia was thirteen."

Pieces of The Heart by Bonnie Calhoun

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history.com/topics/d-day
"But the excitement today eclipsed everything. Today the Allies had invaded Normandy. Even as she walked in Scranton, soldiers fought for a fifty-mile stretch of French beaches called Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword. This could be a turning point in the war. bernard would come home." (web)

Amazing Grace / Different Renditions

Amazing Grace is one hymn almost every person knows how to hum, sing or have heard in a small church or huge cathedral. The song seems to travel around the world and back. It's well loved. Who wrote it? I want to know the answer. Then, if it's not silly, I want to play different renditions here on my blog. I can seem to pick a favorite. :)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazing_Grace






The Sand Dollar: A STORY OF UNDYING LOVE by Sebastian Cole

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The Sand Dollar: A Story of Undying Love by Sebastian Cole is thought provoking. I will continue to think about this novel for many days to come. I never thought there were so many ways to think about romantic love.  What is love? What is  false love? Noah and Robin are the main characters. There is always something or someone who presents an obstacle to their fast growing attraction for one another.Finding out whether there love is true and can last a life time takes a long time.
So often family members can present a problem for those who want to love one another forever. Noah is Jewish. Robin is not Jewish. This was not a problem for Noah or Robin. They just loved one another without a thought about the what ifs of loving someone who grew up with different traditions. However, Mariam, the mother, goes absolutely nuts when she learns that Robin is not Jewish. I was glad that Noah had the kind of love which remains steadfast through thick and thin. Robin was the one who taught him th…

The Perfect Marriage by KIMBERLA ROBY LAWSON

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In the beginning Denise and Derrick and there one daughter, Mackenzie do have the perfect life. Imperfections only are in their pasts, their childhoods. Neither Denise nor Derrick came from perfect home environments. It's easy to see what has gone wrong in Derrick's life. His parents are deeply involved with drug addiction and still fighting and clawing there way out of the horrible jungle of drug abuse. Still, it seems the drugs are winning in his parents' life. Whereas Denise's parents seem perfect. Perhaps their problems are more sinister than the problems of Derrick's family because everything seems perfect between Wilma and her husband. These past ghosts wind their way through the lives of Denise and Derrick and finally,  touch the life of their daughter, Mackenzie.

The Perfect Marriage by Kimberla Roby Lawson is about occurring and reoccurring drug addiction between two married people. Denise and Derrick are leading the good life: fine home, upsc…

The Baby Bequest by LYN COTE

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Ellen is an unmarried schoolteacher. She moves from Galena, Wisconsin to Pepin, Wisconsin. In Pepin she will teach in a one room schoolroom. Little does she know how many controversial experiences will become a part of her daily life. Lyn cote in  The baby Bequestwrites an inspiring novel about life in the 1870's on the frontier.

I especially liked learning about the life for the immigrants who came from the old country hoping to never return there. Kurt, Gunther and Johann are the main immigrants in the novel.Kurt is the father of one boy and an uncle to the other boy. Kurt carries a horrible secret from Germany to America. It is a deep hurt which leaves him filled with guilt and shame. It almost interferes with a love relationship.

Those of us who have been called by ugly names will feel the emotional pain of Kurt every time some one calls him Dutch or just belittles him because he is a foreigner. Ellen's brother and sister don't miss a chance to let him know he is bene…