Friday, June 07, 2019

Book Review - God's Promises for Graduates NIV 2019


God's Promises for Graduates: Class of 2019 is compiled by Jack Countryman and published by Thomas Nelson.

I needed a book for my graduating daughter. I looked at many graduation specials and couldn't decide on the purchase. Then I found this handy little book of promises. The text is in the NIV, which makes it easy for her to read and understand. This little black book is filled with God's promises straight out of the Bible - literally filled. They are topically divided so it is easy for my daughter to find something that will uplift her and remind her of what God has promised His people - when she needs it the most.

The Scriptures quoted are those that are relevant, with topics such as respect, character, and integrity. I wish I had been given such a thing when I graduated. I could really have used the encouragement.

I hope my daughter keeps this book close so she has it handy when she needs it.

*I received a copy of God's Promises for Graduates: Class of 2019 in exchange for my honest opinion. My thoughts are my own.*


Monday, May 20, 2019

Book Review: From Monk to Money Manager by Doug Lynam


From Monk to Money Manager is written by Doug Lynam and is published by W Publishing Group.

So, with a title as intriguing as From Monk to Money Manger, who wouldn't pick up the book just to see what it's all about? What I found out, after reading from cover to cover, is that Doug Lynam was a kid from a rich family who went off to college to struggle financially. His rich parents were ignorant of young Doug's needs. Doug Lynam later went off to join a monastery in an attempt to avoid the money and greed that grabs the souls of so many people. However, the monastery went bankrupt in spite of good intentions and Lynam learned the hard way that money matters matter.

Sometime after Lynam left the life of the monks, he learned enough about money and investments to help others and make enough money in the process to "become a little bit wealthy".

I found this book to be interesting and the advice, for the most part, to be very helpful. I didn't always agree with everything in the book, but that's ok. I did immediately notice that this isn't a money management book only for Christians. Many people from different walks of life can glean a whole lot from it.

The book is well-written and presents itself to be a good source of information for those wanting to learn more about handling their own finances.

*I received a copy of From Monk to Money Manager by Doug Lynam in exchange for my honest opinion. My thoughts are my own.*

Friday, April 19, 2019

Book Review: The Theft of America's Soul by Phil Robertson


The Theft of America's Soul is written by Phil Robertson,with Seth Haines, and is published by Nelson Books.

Our family is a tad bit Northern Redneck. We have never been to Louisiana but we have watched Duck Dynasty, and we have purchased Duck Commander duck calls. We are conservative Christians who love the outdoors and all the "stuff" that goes with it. Do we like Phil Robertson? Pretty much.

The Theft of America's Soul is a heart-felt book that takes a look at the lies that Satan has told America - lies like "God is dead" and "Laws can be ignored or changed if they are inconvenient". Robertson lists ten lies and gives the truth in response to each one. Then he dedicates the final chapter of the book to "The Truth of Truths".

Phil Robertson doesn't mince any words and his writing style is pretty much the same as his speaking style. He tells it like it is. He also doesn't waste any time when it comes to evangelizing. He's preaching what he believes to be the Gospel truth - the truth of Jesus. I like that.

After having read this book, I have to agree with Robertson that we have been fed a lot of lies. These lies come from Satan himself because, after all, as Robertson points out - he is the father of all lies. The problem is that so many people in America have come to believe these lies, and our country is suffering for it.

I recommend The Theft of America's Soul to anyone who likes to hear the truth, whether it hurts or not. If you are a hater of all things Robertson, you might have a problem with this book. If you have not given your life to Christ, you also might have a problem with this book. A lot of it is taken from the Bible. How do you argue with God? Whether you have a problem with it or not, maybe you could glean something by giving it a chance.

*I have received a copy of The Theft of America's Soul in exchange for my honest opinion. My thoughts are my own.*

Monday, March 04, 2019

Book Review: A Morning and Evening Prayerbook by Jeanie and David Gushee


A Morning and Evening Prayerbook is written by Jeanie and David Gushee and is published by W Publishing Group (Thomas Nelson).

I will admit that I love gift books, or at least books that would make good gifts. This book is both and more. A Morning and Evening Prayerbook is laid out in calendar form, making it easy to decide which prayers to read each day, if you want to follow a schedule. Each day is comprised with a morning prayer and an evening prayer, so you could technically use it twice a day. I don't do that, however. I have been reading and praying both prayers each day in the morning after my Bible reading. The prayers are not in chronological order, as far as dates written. What's lovely about them is that some of the prayers are many centuries old while others are fairly modern.

What I'm learning from the prayers is depth in prayer. Some of the old saints were masters at it. And I'm finding that most of the prayers, if not all, are written pretty much in the form Jesus said to use when He gave us the Lord's Prayer.

I have not read and prayed every single prayer in this book. I am ready for the entries dated March 5. I am a disciplined and scheduled person and that is why reading the Bible in a year by following a set schedule works for me. Reading and praying on a schedule works for me too.

I think that anyone can use this book as a tool, but maybe people would just like to read it for its poetic beauty. Either way, it's a nice hardcover gift book to keep around.

*In exchange for my honest opinion, I received a copy of A Morning and Evening Prayerbook for review. My opinions are my own.*

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Update on Sauerkraut


My doctor suggested that I eat homemade, raw sauerkraut often. Since I was unable to find one that didn't contain preservatives yet was affordable, I decided to make my own

So, it's been a while since my homemade, spicy sauerkraut became ready for me to eat. As of today, I am still the only one eating it and have been doing so every day for about a week. Which brings me to an interesting side thought: Why do some people think that if something is homemade, it can't be good?

This recipe is a little spicy and reminds me of a mild kimchi, but it is nowhere near being something that a person like me, with acid reflux, can't have. I have to tell you - just a couple of tablespoonfuls each day on top of my salad has really been wonderful. Probiotic goodness! 

I am storing this in my refrigerator where it will continue to ferment slowly until I have used it all up. When this batch runs out, I will try a plain version without the spices, just for kicks.






Thursday, January 24, 2019

Sauerkraut

In my quest for better health, I have discovered home fermented sauerkraut. Previously, I had purchased all of our sauerkraut needs, which weren't really needs. Already prepared kraut from the store is almost always canned, and you don't want that because the bacteria gets killed in the heating process, though you can find some fresher versions in the refrigerated meat case. If you buy that fresh version in the store, check it carefully. I have not found one yet that does not contain preservatives, which sort of defeats the whole purpose of eating sauerkraut.

My doctor suggested that I eat more fermented foods for my never-ending digestive issues: fresh yogurt, sauerkraut, fresh fermented pickles (not in vinegar), kimchi, etc.

I have made my own yogurt in my dehydrator as well as larger amounts in my slow coooker. Great, but in order for the sugars (lactose, which bothers me) to completely "burn out", the yogurt must be fermented for 24 hours or longer. The longer it ferments, the tangier it becomes. I can't find dairy yogurt in the stores that is fermented longer than a standard 12 hours.

I have never tried kimchi, but I have made my own fermented pickles. I am not a huge fan, but I am going to try some different flavors and see what happens. I am a pickle fan for sure, but usually the standard canned in a vinegar brine kind. 

Now, as for the sauerkraut, I had only tried making it once in my crock. That didn't work out for me. The kraut was moldy and buggy and spoiled.

This Christmas, my husband bought me the fermentation kit below. The jar is a wide mouth quart mason jar. The kit includes a bag of celtic sea salt and a packet of spices. I decided to try making a jar of sauerkraut using the recipe (included) for a golden kraut (uses the spice packet). 


To make the sauerkraut, I took a small head of green cabbage and put it through my food processor (grating blade attached). I was in a hurry that day. Then, I put the grated cabbage in a large bowl and sprinkled in a tablespoon of the sea salt (important - must use non-iodized salt). I didn't have a mallet at the time, so I didn't pound it, opting to rub and rub the cabbage with the salt. It's kind of like kneading bread; just keep working in the salt. Before long, I had a good amount of liquid and I just let it sit for a bit (about 1/2 hour). Then I put in the spice mix and worked it a little more before putting it all in the mason jar. It all fit! I did not grate up the outer leaf and I placed that on top of the cabbage in the jar. Pushing down with that leaf, I found that I had plenty of liquid in the jar as is and didn't need to top it off with a salt water brine.

I put the plunger on and pushed down, squeezing everything down, and then placed a wide mouth ring on the jar. Then, I put the bubble cap on top and put the whole jar in a bowl (to catch any spillover during the fermentation process). I put a bit of water in the "moat" at the top of the jar and put the whole thing in my basement, where it is cool but not cold and out of direct sunlight.


Today, after five days, I am seeing bubbles as the cabbage ferments. I will leave this to ferment for another five days before taking off the top leaf and capping off with a regular lid, then placing it in the refrigerator. It is ready to eat after 10 days from the time it is begun. My sauerkraut is yellow because of the turmeric. I can't wait to try it, as it smells wonderful already!


Has anyone tried fermenting other vegetables? I would love to hear your success stories.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

How Do I Get all of These Great Books?


I review some books for BookLook Bloggers and then post my reviews on this blog. In exchange for those reviews, I receive either a physical copy or an electronic copy of the books in advance. I can't honestly review a piece if I have never seen it. That said, I always read all or most of the books before reviewing them. I also give my honest opinion.

The publishers represented by this review site are Thomas Nelson, Zondervan, and Westbow Press. Yes, they publish Christian content. I chose them because of that.

Another review site I have used in the past and am just now using again is NetGalley. They are not exclusively Christian, but they often have Christian content available for review. With NetGalley, physical copies are not available, but copies for Amazon Kindle are. One thing to remember with NetGalley is just that - the reviewer is reading a "galley", or final draft before publishing. Galleys are sent to the writers for review before publication. Authors can submit changes or give the go-ahead for publication. If a reviewer is reading one of these galleys and finds a mistake, no big deal; just keep reading and accept the errors (if any). If the writer is reading one and finds a mistake, big deal; it gets changed.

I do not review a lot of books simply because I am a freelance writer who writes my own materials. I really don't have time to read and review a ton of other authors' books, though I do admit to having an addiction to reading. I think great writers are first and foremost great readers.

Now, if you are someone who would like to receive free books in exchange for writing HONEST book reviews, below are some options that might work for you. Most of them require that you post your reviews on a blog, consumer retail website, or some other place, so keep that in mind. If you need to set up a personal blog, do that first.

1. BookLookBloggers.com
2. NetGalley.com
3. BookBrowse.com
4. MoodyPress
5. Book Hub

There are others, so if you are serious about book reviews, do an internet search for more.

Book Review - The Gift That I Can Give by Kathie Lee Gifford


The Gift That I Can Give is written by Kathie Lee Gifford and is illustrated by Julia Seal. It is published by Thomas Nelson.

First off, I just want to say, "Wow!" for such a wonderful children's book. The Gift That I Can Give is a picture book - not a lot of words but gorgeous pictures. The "story" is told in rhyme with illustrations that move the message along. What is the message? We all have a gift(s) that God gives us in order to use for His glory. In this book, the little girl is asking what her gift is, how will she know what that gift is.

The message is a beautiful one and not one based upon a "me" society. It is one of a giver's society. We all have gifts to use for the Kingdom. Those gifts are almost always to be used for others. The Gift That I Can Give illustrates that message very well for young children. I found it to be well-written and beautifully illustrated - a book that I would want to keep for my future grandchildren.

*I received a copy of The Gift That I Can Give in exchange for my honest opinion. My thoughts are my own.*