Monday, May 28, 2012

{Cowgirls and Angels}

If you love horses you will love this new family-friendly movie called Cowgirls and Angels. I thought it was a delightful movie that was both funny and entertaining. There was a serious nature to it that made me teary-eyed a few times. For any people who like a happy ending to a movie...this one is it!

Ida is searching for her long lost father. She is young and ambitious and willing to learn anything. When the rodeo comes into town she is there. She's not there looking for her father (who used to work at the rodeo). She is there stealing from others. Her mother never taught her any different. That's when she meets Terence Parker, the owner of The Sweethearts of the Rodeo. They are cowgirls who are trick riders. Ida immediately takes to him and all the girls of the Sweethearts.

Knowing her mother would never allow her to travel with the Sweethearts, Ida forges her mother's signature on the release form. When Terence finds this out he goes to her mother and asks permission himself. Ida is then able to travel with the girls to all of the state fairs they are going to. I really enjoyed the trick riding and the lessons she received. I have never been a horse person, but it was a great story.

Ida learns big lessons about life and relationships. She learns to love her mother and not be afraid of going after your dreams. The end of the movie is really sweet. I recommend this movie to people of all ages.

Check it out for yourself!

God Bless,


*This movie was given to me to screen for my personal review. All opinions expressed here are solely my own.*

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

{As One Devil To Another}

"A fiendish correspondence in the tradition of C. S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters." Richard Platt has brilliantly written a book from the perspective of demons.  The two "devils" are Slashreap (the senior devil) and his protege Scardagger. Scardagger has just graduated top of his class from Temptation University. Slashreap is assigned to him because he excelled in all of his courses such as "casting of doubt", "inflammation of vanity", "erosion of values", "destruction of conscience", "dissolution of goodwill", "inculcation of egocentricity", and "formation of spiritual pride". Have you ever felt any of these qualities in your own life? I know I have and this book gave me a different perspective about these subjects. I already knew there were "other forces" in the spiritual realm that influenced how we feel and what we think. As One Devil To Another actually gave me chills a few times.

The book is a series of letters written back and forth between Slashreap and Scardagger. As we know, this book is fiction. But please prayerfully consider reading it as the concept is real. There are real "spiritual" dangers out there. Scardagger has been chosen to win a soul away from Heaven. The woman chosen is a postgraduate in the English department of a great university. The come up with different ways to get to her soul. Should they allow her the move up the "corporate" ladder but not have other things in life or should they not give her advances in her career?

The story is gripping and kept me reading. It definitely shows that how powerful prayer is in a Christian's life. The book allowed me to realize the purpose of suffering and that is to be closer to God and rely on Him. I have recently gone through a terrible loss and suffered terrible for it. I have been battling depression and anger. I read my Bible but reading this book in the way it is written really put my suffering into perspective. I would recommend this book to any mature Christian. It is not for the faint of heart. I prayed a lot while reading As One Devil To Another for the purpose of cleansing my mind from thinking about all the bad things in the world. I truly believe that this will become a classic just as The Screwtape Letters.



*This book was given to me in exchange for my personal review. All opinions expressed here are solely my own.*

Monday, May 21, 2012

{Praying with the Grain}

Pablo Martinez is both a medical doctor and a psychiatrist. He has taught the Bible in Europe as well as North and South America. He currently has a private practice in Barcelona. He has studied the human mind and different personalities to write his newest book Praying with the Grain. It is about how your personality affects the way you pray. That is exactly what attracted me to this book. My personality type is about equal for introvert and extrovert. I am shy around new people, but tend to open up (more than I probably should) around family and friends.

Dr. Martinez goes into great detail about each personality type as well as the temperament of each. I appreciated the way he wrote this book. It was written for the everyday person to be able to read and understand. Basically, it wouldn't take a genius to read it and comprehend what he is trying to say. I found out a lot about my own prayer life. I find it hard to pray in large groups because I have introvert tendencies in crowds. But, in intimate settings (like at home with my husband and children) I can open up and speak freely.

I also learned that my principal psychological function is feeling. There are four of them: thought, feeling, sensation, and intuition. I tend to pray with feeling. Whatever I am feeling at the time of prayer is exactly what I pray. If I am hurt, I pray for healing. If I am angry, I pray for peace. If I am happy, I thank God for all that I have. Dr. Martinez suggests that we pray with all four. He also suggests that if we have a tendency to be depressed we have a prayer partner. Depressed people don't like to be alone (for the most part). Having someone there to pray with helps alleviate some of the anxious feelings of loneliness.

In this book, Dr. Martinez will help you understand your personality type and guide you through the best way to pray that will allow you to understand your own spiritual path. I really enjoyed reading Praying with the Grain and it has helped me to better understand the reason I pray the way that I do. Here is a list of the chapters:
1. Different Prayers for Different People
2. Overcoming Difficulties
3. The Therapeutic Value of Prayer
4. Prayer: Psychological Illusion?
5. Are All Prayers Alike?

Be sure to check this book out. You will gain so much knowledge about prayer and how our personalities impact the way we pray and what we pray for. It was very easy to understand as well.



*I was given this book in exchange for my personal review. All opinions expressed here are solely my own.*

Monday, May 14, 2012

{He Chose The Nails}

Max Lucado is a best-selling novelist and Pastor of Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, TX. He has written many books and his newest one is wonderful. He Chose The Nails is an easy read that you won't be able to put down.

"Linger on the Hill of Calvary. 
Rub a Finger on the Timber and Press the Nail 
Into Your Hand.
Taste the Tinge of Cheap Wine and Feel
the Scrape of a Thorn on Your Brow.
Touch the Velvet Dirt, Moist
with the Blood of God.
Allow the Tools of Torture to Tell Their Story.
Listen as They Tell You What God
Did to Win Your Heart."
-Quote from the back of the book

Isn't that an incredible quote. When I read that I got chills down my spine. Have you ever wondered why Jesus chose to go to the cross? Have you ever wondered what it was like for Him? This is the perfect book for answering those questions and more. It's a very emotional and eye-opening book. What Jesus really did for us on the cross was extraordinary. In this book, Lucado takes us through some of the significant symbols of the cross such as the crown of thorns, the sign on the cross, the burial clothes, etc. 

Here is a small list of some of the chapters:
1. You Did This For Me?
2. I Loved You Enough To Become One Of You
3. I Will Not Abandon You
4. I Invite You Into My Presence
5. I Have Redeemed You, And I Will Keep You
6. I Have Won The Victory
7. What Will You Leave At The Cross?

Surprisingly enough, this was not a dark book. It speaks of the love that Jesus has for us. His love was enough to cover all of our sins on the cross. He alone chose to go to the cross and suffer and die to save us. I have a hard time imagining that kind of love. I mean, I love my husband. I love my children. I would die for them. But to die for strangers who have murdered, raped, stolen, abused, etc. I just can't fathom it. What a sacrifice. What grace He has given us. Forgiveness is a wonderful, powerful thing. Amazing love. That's all I can say. 

Read this book and find out for yourself what the cross really meant to mankind. You will not be disappointed. 



*I was given this book in exchange for my personal review. All opinions expressed here are solely my own.*

Thursday, May 3, 2012

{Finding Our Way Home}

Finding Our Way Home was my first book by Charlene Ann Baumbich and I was not disappointed. Her style of writing is easy and flows very nicely. This book was charming and sweet. I could, however, predict the ending just by the title and reading the first bit of the book. It's not a bad thing for me though because I always read the last chapter of a book before I read the rest. I know, a silly thing to do. But, if the book ends bad then I can prepare myself for the tragedy.

Sasha Davis is a studied ballerina. She loves what she does and thrives as a dancer. After a tragic, career-ending injury and the death of her mother she is left feeling useless. She decides that returning to Minnesota (from Boston where her dance company is located) would help her to heal. Sasha is very limited in what she can and cannot do. She hires a live-in assistant to help her get her mother's affairs in order after her death. Evelyn Burt is the complete opposite of Sasha being "big-boned", from a small town, and very outgoing.

As Evelyn and Sasha get to know each other more and more they become close friends. They lean on each other for support. In this book grace is extended between two people who otherwise have nothing in common. They need each other to get through this time in each of their lives. Evelyn is young and engaged. She sees opportunity in every situation. As you can imagine (spoiler alert) they both find their way home. They find their way to comfort and happiness. This is a feel-good story about friendship and grace.

I really enjoyed this book and hope you get the chance to read it as well. It is very sweet and ends well (another spoiler).



*This book was given to me in exchange for my personal review. All opinions expressed here are solely my own.*

{The Forgiven Duke}

England, Ireland, Iceland, and Spain. These are the countries that Jamie Carie includes in her historical fiction book The Forgiven Duke. The Forgiven Duke is the second book in a series of 3. You can read my review on the first book, The Guardian Duke, HERE. In my opinion, this book was better than the first one but you do have to read the first one in order to get the background for this book.

Alexandria Featherstone is still searching for her parents who went missing a year ago. She was told by the Prince Regent of England that her appointed guardian would be the Duke of St. Easton, Gabriel. Alex has been on the hunt for her parents for months feeling in her heart that they are still alive. She is such a lively and kind young woman that she befriends everyone she meets. The Duke cannot seem to catch up to her because of many different circumstances. Alex ends up engaged to Lord John Lemon of Dublin, Ireland. She thinks she is in love. This is where this story begins.

I just love the historical factors that come into play in these books. The descriptions of each country and place that Alex and Gabriel visit sound so beautiful. In The Forgiven Duke, most of the story takes place in Iceland. What an intriguing country. Alex travels the island in search of clues to her parents whereabouts with her fiance Lord Lemon. During this time she discovers her true feelings for the Duke. She becomes confused about what to do in this situation. She decides to confess her feelings to Lord Lemon and he does not take the news well .She tells him she cannot marry him and that she is very sorry. He becomes very angry and hostile.

Meanwhile, the Duke has been captured by the Spanish who are only one of many countries in search of the manuscript that Alex's parents were looking for before they went missing. The manuscript contains plans for a machine that could change the way countries fight in wars. The Duke talks the King of Spain into allowing him to go and get Alex to bring back to the King. The Duke, of course, has different plans to escape and take Alex back to England to keep her safe.

I don't want to give away too much of the story, but I REALLY liked this book. I couldn't put it down once I got into it. I wanted to know whether the Duke and Alex revealed their true feelings for one another. This was a very well written book and kept me on my toes. If you read the first book, you will definitely want to read this one.



*This book was given to me in exchange for my personal review. All opinions expressed here are solely my own.*