Monday, July 20, 2015

Book Review: The Printer and the Preacher by Randy Petersen


The Printer and the Preacher is written by Randy Petersen and is published by Thomas Nelson.

I wanted to read The Printer and the Preacher because I just have a love of history and a love of God. Combine both and it should be a good read. I am happy to say that, although this book started out slow, it gained momentum with each chapter and I was hooked. I was simply amazed to learn how much both Benjamin Franklin and George Whitefield had in common. The probability that they were good friends was icing on the cake.

I read reviews that some have left concerning this book and their dislike of it. Most of those reviewers felt there isn't enough meat in its pages. I tend to disagree. I think the author makes a good argument for his case - that the two men were friends that stood the test of time. They were certainly both influential in the shaping of our nation and they both spoke not only of each other in their writings, but to each other through written correspondence. One thing that I found sad is that though Whitefield had an influence over Franklin, he did not sway him to a personal saving faith in Christ.

The writing style of Randy Petersen is good and is really much like my own; perhaps that is why I enjoyed the book. I find it logical and thorough. I certainly enjoyed it.

*I received a copy of The Printer and the Preacher in exchange for my honest opinion.*

Menu Plan Monday - July 20

Short and sweet this week.

Monday

Grilled Pork Chops
Homemade Bread with Apple Butter
Baked Potatoes
Fresh Peas
Fruit

Tuesday

Taco Salads
Homemade Salsa with Chips

Wednesday

Beef and Noodles
Salads
Mashed Potatoes
Green Beans

Thursday

Marinated Grilled Chicken
Baked Potatoes
Salads

Friday

Pizza and Pop

Saturday

Burgers on the Grill
Chips & Dip
Potato Salad

Sunday

On Your Own

Monday, July 13, 2015

Menu Plan Monday - July 13



I've been busy in the garden - it's starting to produce! How's yours coming along?

Monday

Sicilian Supper
Green Beans
Fresh Salad Greens
Carrot/Banana Cake (gluten-free, made with almond flour)

Tuesday

BLTs
Salads

Wednesday

Spanish Rice
Salads

Thursday

Steaks on grill
Baked Potatoes
Fresh Stir-fried Snap Peas

Friday

Pizza & Pop

Saturday

Fettuccine Alfredo
Soft Garlic Bread
Salads

Sunday

On Your Own

Monday, July 06, 2015

Menu Plan Monday - July 6


I hope those of you in the United States had a great time celebrating our country's birthday this weekend. I watched fireworks while sitting in my driveway. The bar across the road purchases the big stuff and puts on quite a show. This year did not disappoint us. Here are a few highlights:





Now it's time to get back to routine. Our meal plans are as follows:

Monday

Chunky Cream of Tomato Soup
Meatloaf
Mashed Potatoes
Blueberry Pie

Tuesday

(use gluten-free flour)
Wild Rice
Cauliflower

Wednesday

Beef Burritos
Chips & Salsa

Thursday

Roast Beef
Carrots & Potatoes

Friday

Pizza & Pop

Saturday

Burgers on the grill
Chips & Dip
Warm Potato Salad
Fresh Fruit

Sunday

On Your Own

Monday, June 22, 2015

Book Review - Beyond Championships: A Playbook for Winning at Life Teen Edition by Coach Dru Joyce II


Beyond Championships, Teen Edition, is written by Coach Dru Joyce II (with Chris Morrow) and is published by Zondervan.

I have lots of books for my teenage daughter, but not so much for my son. This is a playbook of sorts for young people written by a famous basketball coach who "has been there and done that." Coach Dru Joyce has been a mentor to promising young athletes - even to LeBron James. LeBron James met Joyce at a vulnerable time in his life and, with Joyce's influence, went on to become a household name.

The center of the book has some pictures of Coach Dru Joyce and his family, along with some of the players and others who were influential in his life. The end of each chapter has questions for the teen reader to ask himself and then answer.

I enjoyed reading through this "playbook for winning at life" and feel that it is a great tool for my son to use in his daily devotional time. I especially liked the chapter titled "Discipline Determines your Destiny" because I absolutely believe that is true.

I recommend this book to others with teenagers who might or might not be interested in sports. It's a great read and a thought provoking.

*I received Beyond Championships, Teen Edition, in exchange for my honest opinion.*

Book Review - Firefly Summer by Kathleen Y'Barbo


Firefly Summer is written by Kathleen Y'Barbo and is published by Redbud Press.

In this romance, Sessa Chambers is a Christian mom who has experienced the pain of a wayward son. Not only has that been her heartbreak, but later experiencing his death as a result of his sins has torn her in two. She finds some healing when her son's girlfriend shows up and leaves a baby - Sessa's granddaughter - for her to raise. As time marches on, Sessa is once again confronted with the heartbreak of her son's death and rejection of Christ - and her own inability and failure to keep him from choosing the wrong path.

The man who killed Ross in self-defense is Trey Brown, a doctor and cowboy. When he shows up and asks Sessa to forgive him - and she reacts by asking Dr. Brown to forgive her for raising such a child as Ross - things begin to warm up.

This is a bittersweet story filled with romance, forgiveness, and mostly faith. Both Dr. Brown and Sessa Chambers model for us humanity as well as the divine forgiveness that God offers each of us through Jesus Christ. The characters in Firefly Summer are likable and real. I could relate to them, though I have not experienced jail time or the death of a child. But I have experienced feelings of failure when it comes to my children. They have not always done everything I would want them to do, but I know that I can't always take responsibility for their actions. They have to come to terms with the Lord through the Holy Spirit - it's ultimately His job to bring them to the realization that they have to rely on Him completely and trust Him for their salvation. And that's what I share with Sessa Chambers.

I have enjoyed reading this story and look forward to more from Kathleen Y'Barbo.

*I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion.*

Menu Plan Monday - June 22


So the weatherman says that we might get some tornadoes here in Michigan today. Judging from the temperatures that have not been all that warm the last several days, I doubt they will hit us. I will be praying that tornadoes do not develop at all in Michigan. We have enough problems that we don't need to add any more.

Speaking of problems, I am having a horrible time finding time and energy to make up menu plans these days. Last week, I neglected to make one. Big mistake. It took me more time to think up what to make and then actually do it than it does when I make up a plan in advance. Lesson learned.

Monday

Lasagna
Peas
Salads
Garlic Toast

Tuesday

Baked Swiss Hamburger Steak (using GF bread)
Mashed Potatoes & Gravy
Carrots

Wednesday

Goulash
Peas
Salads

Thursday

Fried Rice
Applesauce

Friday

Pizza & Pop

Saturday

Burgers & Hot Dogs over a campfire
Baked Beans
Chips & Dip
Fresh Fruit

Sunday

On Your Own

Monday, June 08, 2015

Menu Plan Monday - June 8

http://orgjunkie.com


June 8 already - where is the time going? I am wondering when the warmer temperatures are going to come to northern Michigan to stay. As it stands, it gets past 70 and then drops back into the 50's. This is the pattern off and on. I am ready for some 80's, but I seem to be the only one - sigh.

Here is a meal plan that I hope "warms" everyone's tummies.

Monday

BLTs
Tossed Salads
Left-over Gluten-free Birthday Cake

Tuesday

Baked Pork Chops
Vegetable Lover's Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Wednesday

Mini Beef Burgers & Leafy Green Salad
Oven-roasted Spicy Potatoes
Smoothies

Thursday

Fried Chicken
Mashed Potatoes
Black Bean, Corn Red Pepper Salad w/Chile Lime Dressing

Friday

Pizza & Pop

Saturday

Chicken Tortilla Salad
Soft Tacos
Chips & Salsa

Sunday

On Your Own

Monday, June 01, 2015

Book Review" If He Had Not Come by Nan F. Weeks & David Nicholson


If He Had Not Come is written by Nan F. Weeks and is retold by David Nicholson and illustrated by Charles Jaskiewicz. It is published by Westbow Press.

In this cute picture book, written in 1938 and set in the 30's, the author poses the question: What if Jesus had never come? Would Christmas, or any other day, be the same? As a little boy wanders about town at Christmas, he finds that NOTHING is the same. When he wonders what's going on, he finds signs that say, "If I had not come".  Interestingly, the world is not good without Jesus. There are no hospitals or other facilities to care for people. Why? Because there are no Christians. Without the Church, there is nothing to show that people care about each other enough to make a difference.

In the end, the boy finds that it is all a dream and that Christmas has meaning because Jesus DID come. Such joy!

This story is something that should make us all, young or old, stop to think about. The world, though it is imperfect and corrupt, is a better place that it would be had Jesus never come to redeem us. Because of sin, we had no hope. Because of Jesus, hope abounds and is REAL.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I think it is a good story to read with every young child.

*I received a copy of If He Had Not Come in exchange for my honest review.*

Menu Plan Monday - June 1

http://orgjunkie.com


Our menu for this week is:

Monday

Grilled Sausage Patties
California Blend Veggies
Mashed Potatoes

Tuesday

Vinegar Marinated Chicken Breasts
Asparagus
Rice Pilaf
Salads

Wednesday

Pork Chops
Mashed Potatoes
Lentil Salad with Maple-Balsamic Vinaigrette

Thursday

Scalloped Potatoes with Ham
Green Beans
Salads

Friday

Pizza & Pop

Saturday

Burgers
Fruit
Green Salads
Chips & Dip

Sunday

On Your Own

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Book Review: An Uncertain Choice by Jody Hedlund

An Uncertain Choice is written by Jody Hedlund and published by Zondervan.

This is another YA book in Zondervan's increasing collection of titles in that genre. I, for one, am thrilled to see Christian young adult fiction coming into more popularity because there is so much out there that is NOT good for anyone to read. I don't think I need to tell you what the current trend in secular YA publishing has been for a long while. 

While I applaud Zondervan (and other Christian publishers) for publishing more YA titles, I have to admit that this particular story was a bit slow going for me. I had a difficult time getting into the story. Written in the first person, it begins with Lady Rosemarie being appalled at an elderly man's punishment at the hands of the lawman. When a knight in shining armor comes to help the man, Lady Rosemarie is curiously drawn to knights, and this one in particular.

Lady Rosemarie's parents made a vow when she was born that she would become a nun on her eighteenth birthday. That day is quickly approaching. Then, something happens to change that vow.

While I think the storyline is an interesting one, again I'll say that I had a difficult time getting into it. A few chapters later, however, I found that my interest began to grow and I was able to finish the book with a true passion for the story and its characters. I let my teenage daughter read the book too for her opinion. She liked it more than I did.

Historically speaking, it is interesting to learn something of medieval times. I like to imagine the dresses and other "props" of the times. I think this might make a good movie. As for the author, Jody Hedlund, I hope she continues to write young adult novels for the Christian market.

*I received An Uncertain Choice in exchange for my honest opinion. My opinion is my own.*