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Sunday, July 5, 2020

Enjoy the Little Things ~ Repost

This is a post I wrote about two years ago, that I thought could use a revision and a repost. (Thanks Brooklyne for the idea of a repost!) ;)

Sometimes, especially as we grow up, (or get older), we get busy, and we lose track of all the little blessings God sends us in our lives. I've noticed in my own life, I sometimes lose track of what matters most. Like when your brother draws you the most adorable picture, your sister leaves a note on your nightstand, a favorite flower in bloom- whatever is special to you. We sometimes seem to overlook or ignore these special moments.

God gives us blessings, and often times they are what we call "little blessings." Don't loose these moments. You'll never get them back. Instead of worrying and stressing, focus on the good things. The special things, the meaningful things, the things that you look back on as being some of the most special and best moments of your life. We don't want to look back and realize we wasted so many precious moments. 

Don't let life pass you by. Sometimes when life gets overwhelming, we just push ourselves to get through the day, week, month, even year. Enjoy the moment! Even if life is hard right now, enjoy the little things, because when you look back, you'll wish you did. Focus on what matters most. Jesus, family, close friends, a favorite animal or plant- cherish them all. Cherish the little moments- the little things.

Take a moment to thank Jesus for your many blessings. :)

source: Pinterest

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Beyond the Smoke by Terry Burns ~ Book Review


Synopsis 


When Bryan Wheeler's parents are killed by Comanche raiders, he wonders how he will survive without them. With a few supplies, two guns, and his mother's Bible, he sets out to create a new life for himself in the western wilderness. During his travels he meets new friends, including an eccentric trader, a Texas ranger, and an orphan girl. But enemies lurk in the West, too, forcing Bryan to make difficult choices to survive. 


Review


This was not the typical, trendy western romance novel; which I really appreciated! It was full of quirky moments, and narrow escapes. The plot line was unique, and just when you would think that things were coming to an end, a new twist would throw you for a loop. ;) The story line was fascinating! I especially enjoyed Professor Harold Donovan. He went to Harvard University, but had a "wandering foot" as he called it, and he spent his time making herbal concoctions that helped people with various ailments. He had a huge vocabulary, compared to Bryan, whose vocabulary was small. Bryan was the main character. I liked his personality and how he stood up for what was right, even if it was difficult. 

If you're looking for a unique western-themed read, this book is a great option! 

Friday, May 29, 2020

Shavuot ~ Pentecost


Today's post is about Shavuot- or, as it is often called, Pentecost. Most people know about the Pentecost after Jesus ascended into heaven, and the Holy Spirit came. However, have you heard of the first Pentecost? (Or in biblical Hebrew, Shavuot.) Shavuot is a feast ordained by God that occurs 7 weeks after Passover (see Lev. 23:15). Shavuot is when God gave the Israelites His Word on Mount Sinai; over three thousand years ago. Shavuot is a celebration to reawaken and strengthen our personal relationships with God by rededicating ourselves to study and observe God's Word. God revealed Himself to Moses and the Israelites on Mount Sinai. His people heard His voice when He gave them the Ten Commandments, and they promised to obey the commands (Exodus 24:7). The Torah includes the first five books of the Bible. Now, today, we rededicate ourselves to studying and observing the whole Bible.

Passover freed God's people from physical bondage, however, when the Torah was given on Shavuot, it freed us from our spiritual bondage. Also, historically, on Shavuot, the one main thing the Israelites did was the presentation of a wave offering to the Lord- two loaves of bread with leaven. By doing this, the Israelites were showing that they trusted God for their food and for the harvest. 

Many years later, after Jesus died and rose again, He sent the Holy Spirit- on the day of Shavuot (Pentecost). On the day of Pentecost, all the believers were in an upper room. While they were sitting in the upper room, "divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each of them." (Acts 2:3). They were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, or languages. Jesus fulfilled Shavuot by sending the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-4). An important thing to keep in mind is that the apostles spoke in tongues (languages) people that were there knew. The Bible also says that when publicly speaking in tongues there needs to be an interpreter. Jeremiah 31:33 says: "For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people." This verse was fulfilled on Pentecost, when Jesus sent the Holy Spirit. Hebrews 8:10 and 10:16 state the same thing. God has written His Law and His Word on our hearts. Yeshua fulfilled Shavuot. 

I encourage you to read the passages mentioned and dig more into it yourself. It is so incredible! Happy Shavuot!

Friday, May 15, 2020

The Torch Keepers by Hosanna Emily ~ Book Review


Synopsis


The King's blue flame quivers as a new fire arises, and Kadira must hold fast to his torch. It's destiny; she's a torch keeper.

A fiery revolution sweeps across the kingdom of Erkeos, and each person must choose a side. Kadira, a girl set apart to serve the King, finds her city engulfed in the Liberation's emerald flames. Her blue eyes mark her as the enemy, and she flees from death. It stalks her anyway. When she meets Rekem, the Liberation warrior sent to kill her, she rebels against the King's ways. Two armies collide; indecision isn't an option. As hearts and lives hang in the balance, Kadira and Rekem could bring destruction or liberation to the entire kingdom. 

Reveiw


The Torch Keepers is an amazing book! I've been looking forward to reading it ever since I discovered Hosanna's blog, which was well over a year ago. :)

Kadira, the main character, struggled to understand the King, struggled to understand that he had a purpose for her life. Her story was a story of sadness and rebellion, but also of redemption. 

Father and Gamma, who were like a father and a grandma to Kadira, were both so sweet. I also really liked Emyir; I loved her passion for the King. She was probably my favorite character. Rekem was a hard character to like. I was hoping his story would end differently. Like many people do, he was searching for meaning in life.

This book is about on-going battles between two sides- the Liberation, which is run by the Prince, (who seems to represent Satan), and those on the King's side (who represents Jesus).

This book has spiritual lessons sprinkled throughout, which I really appreciated. One of my favorite parallels between our lives and what was portrayed in the novel was the torch keeping. People are set apart to be torch keepers for the King- they keep the King's bright blue fire burning in each town. We are also supposed to keep our torches burning in our hearts. Another interesting thing, the Liberation (the evil side) take the King's fire and turn it into green fire- which in the book represents evil in a way. The Liberation took what was good (the blue fire) and twisted it into evil (green fire). The Torch Keepers is a book I think many people need to read. 

Overall, I recommend this book for readers 14+. Nothing is described in great detail, but there are deaths, wounds, and the Liberation does horrible things. I would definitely recommend this book!



Have you read The Torch Keepers? What were your thoughts? :)

Friday, April 24, 2020

Dawnlight by Kacy Barnett-Gramckow ~ Book Review


Synopsis


Inspired by the mysterious events of Matthew 27:52-53: "...and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people  who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus' resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people."

Amid first-century Jerusalem's political and religious unrest, Elisheba loses her husband, Joseph. Though she is mourning, Elisheba must fight to protect herself and her young son from the schemes and deceptions of others who wish to control her fortune and her future. While Elisheba defies her enemies, her husband's closest friends must decide what they believe--and risk death. When another tragedy strikes, an impossible miracle shakes their lives--and their world is forever changed...at Dawnlight. 

Review


This book was so good, and so well written.  
I loved how the author points out that Jesus was called Rabbi Yeshua. Rabbi means teacher, and Yeshua is the Hebrew name for Jesus. Benjamin, Eran, Stephanos, Andronikos, Kore, Joseph, Elisheba- they were all wonderful characters! There was a wide array of characters; even more than I mentioned above.

Dawnlight is about Jesus' death and resurrection. There is way more in the book than just His death and resurrection, but those are two of the main things. The way the author portrayed Jesus was absolutely amazing! His passion and love for everyone, came out so well in this book. So many Biblical stories about Jesus' life are in this book. It pointed out what Jesus thought about women and children. In first-century Jerusalem, women and children were not valued very much at all. Jesus valued the women and the children. He loved them and valued them as much as He loved and valued the men. 

Dawnlight immerses you in the Jewish culture- it helps you see Jesus' life and death in a whole new way. This book is fiction, so don't take everything in it for fact. However, it definitely gives you an idea of what life might have been like in first-century Jerusalem.

Favorite quotes: "He grinned at Benjamin from beneath His prayer shawl." and, "...the Rabbi Yeshua, Master Iesous, lives."