Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Wordless Wednesday, October 18 {with link up}







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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Bringing Maggie Home, by Kim Vogel Sawyer {a book review}

About the book

Decades of loss, an unsolved mystery, and a rift spanning three generations

Hazel DeFord is a woman haunted by her past. While berry picking in a blackberry thicket in 1943, ten-year old Hazel momentarily turns her back on her three-year old sister Maggie and the young girl disappears.

Almost seventy years later, the mystery remains unsolved and the secret guilt Hazel carries has alienated her from her daughter Diane, who can’t understand her mother’s overprotectiveness and near paranoia. While Diane resents her mother’s inexplicable eccentricities, her daughter Meghan—a cold case agent—cherishes her grandmother’s lavish attention and affection.

When a traffic accident forces Meghan to take a six-week leave-of-absence to recover, all three generations of DeFord women find themselves unexpectedly under the same roof. Meghan knows she will have to act as a mediator between the two headstrong and contentious women. But when they uncover Hazel’s painful secret, will Meghan also be able to use her investigative prowess to solve the family mystery and help both women recover all that’s been lost?

What I thought about the book

This is an interesting story, shared by three generations of women. I found it challenging sometimes, since it switches viewpoints among the three women. Still, it is a captivating story.

About the author

Kim Vogel Sawyer is a highly acclaimed, best-selling author with more than one million books in print, in several different languages. Her titles have earned numerous accolades including the ACFW Carol Award, the Inspirational Readers Choice Award, and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. Kim lives in central Kansas with her retired military husband Don, where she continues to write gentle stories of hope and redemption. She enjoys spending time with her three daughters and grandchildren.

Learn more and purchase a copy.
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Disclosure: I received a free review copy of this book from Litfuse Publicity in order to give you my honest opinion.


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Sunday, October 15, 2017

Gathering the Threads, by Cindy Woodsmall {a book review}

About the book

Finally back in the Old Order Amish world she loves, will Ariana’s new perspectives draw her family closer together—or completely rip them apart?

After months away in the Englisch world, Ariana Brenneman is overjoyed to be in the Old Order Amish home where she was raised. Yet her excitement is mixed with an unexpected apprehension as she reconciles all she’s learned from her biological parents with the uncompromising teachings of her Plain community. Although her childhood friend, ex-Amish Quill Schlabach, hopes to help her navigate her new role amongst her people, Ariana’s Daed doesn’t understand why his sweet daughter is suddenly questioning his authority. What will happen if she sows seeds of unrest and rebellion in the entire family?

Meanwhile, Skylar Nash has finally found her place among the large Brenneman family, but Ariana’s arrival threatens to unravel Skylar’s new identity—and her sobriety. Both Ariana and Skylar must discover the true cords that bind a family and community together and grasp tight the One who holds their authentic identities close to His heart.

Gathering the Threads is the third and final novel in The Amish of Summer Grove series.

What I thought about the book

Gathering the Threads is book three of a trilogy, and does build on the previous books. Fortunately there are synopses of each of the other two books, which gives the background of Gathering the Threads. It's a compelling story, one I didn't want to put down. The complexities of family are uniquely portrayed, and spiritual growth illustrated. I will definitely be looking for more books by Cindy.

About the author

Cindy Woodsmall is the "New York Times" and CBA best-selling author of nineteen works of fiction and non-fiction with more than a million copies sold. Her connection with the Amish community has been featured in national media outlets such as ABC’s "Nightline," the "Wall Street Journal," and a National Geographic documentary on Amish life. Cindy and her husband reside near the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains.

Learn more, read an excerpt, and purchase a copy.
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Disclosure: I received a free review copy of this book from Litfuse Publicity in order to give you my honest opinion.


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Saturday, October 14, 2017

Blending the Law and Gospel {a devotional}

Do we then make void the law of God through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law. Romans 3:31.

We hear so many who are deceived by the enemy constantly claiming, “I am saved”; but ... they show such contempt of God’s rule of righteousness that we know that they ... know nothing of saving grace. The heart is not in harmony with the law of God, but is at enmity with that law. Thus was the great rebel in heaven. Will the Lord take men and women to heaven who have no respect for the law of His universe? ...

What is to bring the sinner to the knowledge of his sins unless he knows what sin is? The only definition of sin in the Word of God is given us in 1 John 3:4. “Sin is the transgression of the law.” The sinner must be made to feel that he is a transgressor. Christ dying upon the cross of Calvary is drawing his attention. Why did Christ die? Because it was the only means for man to be saved.... He took upon Himself our sins that He might impute His righteousness to all who believe in Him.... The goodness and the love of God lead the sinner to repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. The awakened sinner ... is pointed to the law he has transgressed. It calls to him to repent, yet there is no saving quality in law to pardon the transgression of law, and his case seems hopeless. But the law draws him to Christ. However deep are his sins of transgression, the blood of Jesus Christ can cleanse him from all sin....

The law and the gospel go hand in hand. The one is the complement of the other. The law without faith in the gospel of Christ cannot save the transgressor of law. The gospel without the law is inefficient and powerless. The law and the gospel are a perfect whole. The Lord Jesus laid the foundation of the building, and He lays “the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it.” Zechariah 4:7. He is the author and finisher of our faith, the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. The two blended—the gospel of Christ and the law of God—produce the love and faith unfeigned. ~Our High Calling
, by E.G. White


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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Brinkman Adventures {Homeschool Review Crew}

We greatly enjoy audio dramas in our homeschool; it's easy to listen to one while we're preparing a meal, eating, cleaning up the kitchen, or whatever. We were happy with the opportunity to receive the download mp3 version of The Brinkman Adventures Season 4 from Brinkman Adventures.
Brinkman Adventures
The Brinkman Adventures are audio dramas which tell true, modern missionary stories as experienced by the fictional Brinkman family. Season 4 will take you to places such as Cambodia, Russia, and the Middle East.

The episodes included in season 4 are:
37 A Paradise Lost
38 Remember Nhu
39 Aisha’s Fear
40 Heart Song
41 The Crashed Kitchen
42 Crisis In The Congo
43 The Mysterious Palm Feller
44 War of the Raccoons
45 The Five Guys
46 Toughest Man
47 Cambodian Quest
48 What Brings Us Together

My youngest and I really enjoyed listening to these. I found the incident where they were being chased by a hippopotamus to be especially suspenseful.

Little Bit especially enjoyed episode 45, The Five Guys, because of how those five men found Jesus. One had a dream in which he was instructed to find a blue Bible. Another man was told to find Jesus, then one day someone handed him a Bible. The other three men had similar stories of how they each received copies of the Bible and came to know Jesus.

We both enjoyed the interview of the real family behind the stories at the end of episode 46. It was fun to learn a little about each member of the family, and whose voices of the Brinkmans each plays.

One story that threads its way through several episodes is one of the Brinkman girls has a suitor, and how her father handles the situation. That story hits close to home, since my daughter has recently gotten engaged.

If you go to the Brinkman Adventures website, you will find stories and true information behind the stories in each episode. Just click on the Real Stories tab. You will want to listen to the episode first, though, before reading the additional information.

A couple years ago, we reviewed season 3 of The Brinkman Adventures. We haven't had the opportunity to listen to seasons 1 or 2, yet. Season 5 was released in December, 2016, and season 6 is scheduled to be released next month! Even though my children are grown or nearly grown, I think we all still enjoy audio productions.

To read more reviews by the Homeschool Review Crew, click the banner below.

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Brinkman Adventures Season 4

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