Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012



 Thanksgiving weekend we drove to Chance's parents place, ate great food, and grabbed my camera for the action outside.



 This is my darling husband.




 Checking on the outcome on the targets.
 This is Ethan (a family friend) who hung out with us for the weekend.



 Grandpa had to come out to see what all was going on.


 I made these pictures bigger so you can see what is going on while shooting trap. See that orange dot flying in the air in the middle of the picture?



 See!?

 Alright, now look all the way over to the left of the picture. Do you see all of those orange pieces flying?! That is the clay target after it's shot in the air.





I spent a good part of the time outside watching everyone and snapping pictures. It was fun to watch because everyone really gets into the competition. Good Thanksgiving memories!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Monday, November 26, 2012

City on a Hill-gods of Power

This fifth week in our study we looked into the life of Chuck Colson, who once advised President Nixon. I had never heard of Chuck Colson before (sadly) but after hearing him talk on the video I discovered what an incredible impact he had.
Starting out, he came from limited means and wanted to prove himself and make something of his life. He had strong ethics and working hard was how he was raised. He did a good days work for a good days pay. Colson believed in God but didn't know Him or have a relationship with Him. In the video he stated how he would look at the stars or any other creation and know that man could not have done this it had to be God.

Colson began to work his way up and ended up working closely with President Nixon. Colson was known as Nixon's "hatchet man" because he did all of the dirty work, such as laying people off and whatnot. During this time Colson had so much power and control and became completely full of pride that he didn't see much else in his life. With all of this power he said that he still felt empty, like he was missing something.

Then his life changed when the Watergate Scandal blew up.  During this time he ended up asking questions from a friend about God and what made his friend so different. This changed Colson's life and he accepted Christ. After that he addmitted guilty to something he did while he had so much power and he was put in prison. Colson started a huge prison ministry after his life changed and continued to share God throughout his life. He died this year, yet his ministry and story continue to change people.

So the main thing we discussed is pride. Kyle Idleman talked about the Sign of gods of Power
  • Being defensive
  • Stubborn (not being able to say I'm sorry or I was wrong)
  • Ungrateful (everything is unfair)
  • Discontent (who has the bigger better house)
We have all struggled with these four things, mine probably being discontent, always wanting more than I need. Pride can be a very touchy issue, so these are good things to think about.

God gives grace to the humble.

God uses broken experiences for His glory.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Oliver Twist-Audio Book Review






Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens is a classic. I have seen the movie and read parts of the book. This beautifully done Radio Theatre audio book did not disappoint. I have multiple other Radio Theatre classics but aside from Anne of Green Gables, Oliver Twist is my favorite. This collection comes with 5 CDs and the DVD that shows what went on behind the scenes in the making of this drama. The packaging surprised me, the case is really nice and has a slip cover.
I love the characters and the voices match my imagination perfectly, even after seeing the movie, this drama brings out the details in young Oliver's life. I love this story and while I was listening I really appreciated the dramatized parts but also the reading of the book as Charles Dickens. Dickens was such a precise and detail writer with this classic and it just makes this collection all the better.

I highly reccomend this audio book, it will not disappoint!

Check out this link for more information from Focus on the Family.




"I received this audio book for free from Tyndale Publishers for this review. This is my honest opinion of the audio book"










Wednesday, November 21, 2012

City on a Hill-gods of Money

Kyle Idleman started week four with the gods of money and one man's life. This man started out slow and started to make tons of money with a new company venture. His job and new found wealth took him away from his family and money became all he focused on. Money in itself is not good or bad, but when it becomes something that you think about constantly it becomes an idol.

There is a common question of "how much is that person worth?" "How do I compare to others?"

The wealthy man stated that he had,"a little Jesus and a lot of money", which is what a lot of us try to do. Make God smaller than He is and pretend to take over control.

Is worship and serving the same thing? It is easy to worship one god and serve another. You can go to church and say all the right things and worship but who or what are you serving?

You can't serve God and money or God and something else. Do you trust in God? What have you put your trust in? 

This was a difficult week for me as money is in almost every aspect to our lives, that is simply the truth. This is one of my worries and I feel like I need to be in control, especially when it comes to money. These questions I have to ask myself repeatedly.



Monday, November 19, 2012

Sheri Rose Shepherd: Fighting to Forgive and Forget the Former Things

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Article 12


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Sheri Rose Shepherd


Fighting to Forgive and Forget the Former Things

By Sheri Rose Shepherd
Bestselling Author and Bible Life Coach

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How do we forget the former things? Is there some magic prayer that wipes out our memories so we won’t feel the pain of our past? I wish I could say that this is the way to find a new foundation for your life. Yet God teaches us through Isaiah 43 that our past does not determine our future. He wants us to embrace the new beginning He offers us and to stop living in yesterday. However, to let go of our past, we will have to leave it where it belongs . . . at the Cross.

I was powerfully reminded of this again through Alice, whom I met recently at a retreat. I had been talking about rebuilding relationships, and when I finished, I walked over to the door to say good-bye to each of the ladies. I loved hearing how God spoke to them throughout the weekend, and Alice gave me renewed hope. She was seventy years old and had been married over fifty years.

I was captivated by the joy that lit up her face. She radiated from the inside out, and her smile made me feel at home. I thought Alice must have lived a wonderful life to glow with God's glory the way she did. I had to ask her what her secret was. Her response reflected a woman who was beautifully broken.

She said, "When I lost the husband I loved to my best friend, I lost everything that was dear to me, including my children. However, I discovered how much my Lord truly loves me because of that loss, and I have never been the same because of His love."

My eyes welled with tears as she shared with me the story of how her husband had served her divorce papers on their fortieth wedding anniversary. Devastated and overwhelmed by grief, she set the papers aside without signing them. She fought to understand why God did not protect her marriage after all she had sacrificed to remain faithful, even in the hard and unhappy years.

Despite their challenges, she said she loved this man and never dreamed she would be alone in her older years. Though they lived apart for seven years, something inside her soul continued to keep her from signing those divorce papers. Late one night, though, she finally decided to move on and let go of the man she loved. With sad resolve, she signed the papers. Once she had done so, she felt free for the first time in many years.

Until the doorbell rang. It was 2 a.m., and she was a little fearful of who might be at her door in the middle of the night. When she opened the door, she was shocked to see her husband, Bill, on his knees with tears in his eyes and torn-up divorce papers in his hand.

He looked into her eyes and asked her for something he did not deserve: “a chance to finish my life with you.” Bill told her he had just awakened from a dream he believed God had given him, showing how his actions were crumbling the foundation of the faith of his children and grandchildren―all for the sake of his own pleasure. When he woke up, he could not wait until morning. He had to run to his wife.

He knew he owed her a sincere apology, but he wanted so much more. He wanted a second chance, and he was willing to do whatever it took to rebuild what he had broken in her heart. She stood there silently until she heard the Lord whisper to her, "Today, Alice, is the day I am giving you a choice between life and death for your family. I am asking you to trust Me with this broken man and choose life, so that your legacy of faith can live on in your children through your obedience to Me."

She asked for a few days to pray; Bill told her to take whatever time she needed to decide.

Alice said she fought through the biggest internal battle she had ever experienced as she reflected on the past seven years away from this man. After all, she had finally healed from his betrayal and feared she might reopen the wound that had taken so long to heal. She wrestled through every emotion—from feeling ripped off, being rejected, and now receiving an offer to be rescued.

Alice knew her choice would write the rest of her life story and her husband’s story. After many tears and much prayer for the strength to forgive her husband, Alice surrendered to God's will and gave up her rights to take revenge. God blessed the hard choice Alice had made to forget the former things and finish her life with her husband in spite of all he had done. And they finished strong!

Yes, Bill was wrong, and yes, he was unfaithful and caused much damage to many lives, including his own. There is no excuse for his actions, and Alice had every right to make him suffer for what he had done. However, her extremely hard decision to forget the former things will leave a legacy of love that will live on long after they are gone.

For more teaching videos from Sheri Rose, go to www.biblelifecoaching.com.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Every Perfect Gift Book Review




Every Perfect Gift by Dorothy Love is a historical novel set in 1886 Tennessee. Sophie Caldwell returns to the town she grew up in while living in an orphanage. Sophie is quite the writer and after working for a newspaper in Texas she decides to start one in Hickory Ridge in order to prove to herself and others that she is a capable woman. While reporting on a the new Blue Smoke resort in town she meets Ethan Heyward who she can't seem to get out of her mind. Sophie and Ethan both have clouded past that they have no desire to discuss or think about but seem to follow them everywhere they go. Will they learn to settle with the past before moving on with their future?

I discovered that Every Perfect Gift is the third and final book to the Hickory Ridge novels and that they are Dorothy Love's debut novels. I haven't read the first two books so I'm sure some of the characters in the book I didn't know as much as I could. You can definitely read this book alone from the first two books though. The cover is absolutely beautiful and one of the best I think I have ever seen, especially for a winter novel. I loved the concept of Sophie starting her own newspaper and following her around while she reported on stories. I enjoyed the characters and main plot to the story, although it is extremely predictable. The story is a little slow going but still an enjoyable read. I will be looking into the other two books to add to my reading list.

Check out Dorothy's Website.


"I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson Publishing through their Booksneeze program. This is my honest opinion of the book."



Monday, November 12, 2012

Week Three-gods of love





We were made for God. Christ is the only One who can complete us. 
When giving yourself to others or loving something or someone else more than anything-this becomes an idol.You are giving yourself and your gifts to idols.
God is fighting for our hearts as we turn to idols instead of Him. 
How does Christ see you?

Week Three in our Bible study was about the gods of love and focused on one woman's story. This woman's struggle revolved around passion for boys and other girls in her younger years, she was struggling with her identity. She became so broken and said she, "need a God to save my life" as the other "gods" were not fulfilling her emptiness and confusion. She has become a new person through Christ even since struggling  after becoming a believer. Her words to others: "You are not unforgivable". Christ loves you no matter what your past or the struggles you will face in the future. 

We were left with a question that I really had to think about for awhile. 
How has God fought for your heart?


There is a video that was a part of the study this week and others at city on a hill.
You can also watch the entire first episode at this link.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Against the Tide Book Review





Against the Tide by  Elizabeth Camden is a suspenseful historical fiction novel set in the late 1800s. I love the cover of this book and I have read The Rose of Winslow Street by Camden and was excited to read her new story!

Against the Tide has great unexpected characters and clever dialogue that creates humor throughout the chapters. The prologue to this book left me surprised and completely confused as the book progressed. The story starts in Boston as Lydia Pallas works for as a translator for the U.S. Navy and unexpectedly is forced to work with a man who is a complete mystery. Alexander Banebridge, who is a leading character, left me uncertain at first and I wasn't sure what his plan was within the story. I like a book that keeps me guessing, even if only the first few chapters. Of course these characters grow closer as they work together and feelings for each other start to appear. Trouble is, someone wants Alexander a dead man and he wouldn't the person he cared for get hurt. The plot revolves around the opium trade, how addicted the drug can be, and how it effected people without them even knowing it. This part of the story is eye opening, as one of the main characters is addicted without realizing it. I love the look into history with the opium trade and how relevant it is to life these days.

The book started out a little slow but there are many details to the story that this is necessary in order to understand what is going on. The romance between the couple seems to start a little too suddenly but after finishing the book it makes sense why it is written like this. I thought Lydia to be a tad dramatic at times but if I was in her situation I probably would be too. I love how Alexander has a passion for the Lord even with his rough exterior. This book is excellent and I definitely recommend this as a great read.

Five Stars!


Head over to the author's website to read an excerpt.


"I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers for this review"



Saturday, November 3, 2012

Sheri Shepherd: Receiving God's Love

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Article 7
Receiving God's Love

By Sheri Rose Shepherd
Bestselling Author and Bible Life Coach

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Think how powerful it would be if we spoke the truth about how God feels about us at least as often as we silently said negative things about ourselves or replayed in our minds all the hurtful things that have been said about us. The truth is, we are not what others say about us, and if the men we love speak hurtful words to us that make us feel unworthy, we don’t need to repeat them any longer. Instead we can learn to rest in God's unchanging love for us.

Even if no one has ever said anything kind to you, your Prince Jesus longs for you to breathe in the tender love, compassion, and kindness He feels for you. If you're ready to have Jesus, the lover of your soul, become reality to you, I invite you to do the following . . .

Breathe In His Love . . .

For the Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life. (Job 33:4)

You know that feeling of exhilaration that sticks with you after you've spent time with a guy you know you're falling in love with? As you part, you take a deep breath and feel waves of delight washing over you. Or you know the joy that wells up inside when your man unexpectedly says something so sweet that you feel treasured? You replay those words over and over in your mind because doing so gives you a lift.

Breathe His truth in; allow the words of your true prince Jesus to echo in your heart and soul.

After you consider God's words to you—"I have loved you with an everlasting love" (Jeremiah 31:3)—whisper toward heaven, "I love You, Lord."

Sing about His Love . . .

Each day the LORD pours his unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing his songs, praying to God who gives me life. (Psalm 42:8)

When I was learning to let myself receive God's love, I would actually sing love songs to Him. Though they had been written for a woman to sing to a man here on earth, I began to understand that if I would crave God's love first, He would meet my needs. Only then would I be able to give and receive love.

Today I love worship songs that sing of God's love for us. I blare them throughout my house in the mornings so Satan will not be able to whisper lies to me any longer. Consider doing the same.

Write Love Letters to Him in a Journal . . .

Connect your heart to heaven by writing love letters to your Lord. It is amazing what happens to your heart as you begin to express your love in writing to the only One who will never walk away from or reject you. Hang on to this treasure of truth: how you feel about yourself will never change God's love for you.

Let Us Pray . . .

Dear God,
I confess I do not feel worthy of your love. It is hard for me to believe that You even love me. Help me, Lord, to look to You for my worth. Forgive me for not allowing myself to receive Your love. Forgive me for looking to others to make me feel like I have value when You are the only one who can validate me and love me the way I long to be loved. From this day forward, I choose to let You love me so I can love others. In Jesus' name. Amen.

I will sing to the LORD as long as I live.
I will praise my God to my last breath!
May all my thoughts be pleasing to him,
for I rejoice in the LORD. (Psalm 104:33-34)


For more teaching from the Your Heart's Desire book and Bible study, visit www.biblelifecoaching.com.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Sheri Shepherd: Feeling Unworthy of Love




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Article 6
Feeling Unworthy of Love
May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. (Ephesians 3:19)

By Sheri Rose Shepherd
Bestselling Author and Bible Life Coach

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There is a battle within most women's hearts to believe they are worthy of love. If we believe the lie that we do not deserve love and are hiding behind feelings of unworthiness, even the most loving man in the world will not be able to break down the wall around our hearts.

Can you imagine if every night when you went to tuck your children into bed they refused to let you hug them or express your love because they did not feel they deserved it? As a parent, you would embrace them every time you could to prove to them they were indeed worthy of your love. If they refused to receive it because of how they felt, it would break your heart.

I believe that is how our heavenly Father feels when we refuse to let Him love us. But there's so much more at stake when we feel unworthy of love. When we are locked up inside, we cannot become the women we want to be in our men's and children's lives. If we do not love ourselves and do not let God lavish His love on us, it will hinder us and hurt others.

There are many reasons we may fight feelings of unworthiness. Some of us had fathers who never expressed how much they loved us, and others had mothers who did not feel they deserved love and did not know how to show love, so we began to see our worth through their eyes and not through God's. We may have been abused verbally, emotionally, or physically. Maybe our first love made us feel we were worthless. Some of us had all the love in the world from our families, but we felt rejected by our peers.

The list of things we women believe when it comes to love is endless. But the truth is, how we feel will never change how loved we are by the Lord. And nothing that we have done or that has been done to us can keep God from loving us. The question is, will we open our hearts and let His love in? I believe if God wrote us a love letter, it might read like this . . .

My Beloved Daughter,
I love you with an unconditional, everlasting love so you can be free to love. My precious daughter, don't allow those who have hurt you to keep you from experiencing the joy of loving others. I know giving a piece of your heart away involves risk, but I am here to heal your heart when someone hurts you. I want you to choose wisely whom you allow in your heart, and I also want you to give those you love the freedom to fail. Remember that no one else can love you as perfectly and completely as I do. Don't look for a perfect love in people, or you will always find disappointment and heartache. If you allow your soul to settle into Mine and become one with Me, you will never doubt that I am forever and always devoted to you.
Your Prince Jesus, who can't stop loving you

May you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. (Ephesians 3:18)

For more teaching from the Your Heart's Desire book and Bible study, visit www.biblelifecoaching.com.


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