Monday, January 25, 2016

Book Review for "A Worthy Heart" by Susan Anne Mason

A Worthy Heart is the second book in the Courage to Dream Series by Susan Anne Mason. Maggie Montgomery, a Cork, Ireland native, takes a steamship to New York City with the hopes that she never returns home. After staying in the Big Apple for a few days, she meets the dashingly handsome farm hand Adam O'Leary. Soon, she discovers that Adam is actually her sister-in-laws brother, fresh from prison. Suddenly, she is caught in a game of forbidden love, and unsure what to do. All she knows is that she loves Adam.

This book, unfortunately, was a little too mushy for my taste. The author frequently used words like "enchanting","mesmerizing", "lovely", etc. I appreciate that there are more Christian authors writing romance novels in substitute to secular market ones, but sometimes, they are just kind of..... mushy.  Also, a couple of kissing s scenes are rather racy.

The idea for the book was great,and as far as I could tell, the time line was about right too. I really wanted to like this book, but I hard a time trying to do it.

I was sent this book in exchange for my hones opinion by Bethany House Publishers.

Book Review for “Priceless Weddings for Under $5,000” by Kathleen Kennedy

Although I’m not planning to get married any time soon, what girl alive doesn’t think or dream about her wedding day?  Also, I’m the practical type, which I come by honestly, and the thought spending a huge amount of money for one day doesn’t make sense to me either.  So when I got the chance to review “Priceless Weddings for Under $5,000” by Kathleen Kennedy, I knew this book was an opportunity I didn’t want to miss.

Mind you, you are not going to have a traditionally extravagant affair by following the suggestions in this book.  I really appreciated that the author encourages the bride and groom to decide on what is really important to them first before making any arrangements.  Also, there are lots of really great ideas to make the day special without breaking the bank, from store-bought hors d’oeuvres, how to research and order your dream cake, free/cheap decorations, invitation ideas, a few recipes and menus, just to name a few.

The only thing that was missing from this book were pictures. 

This is a great book for not only weddings, but for those that might be having a vow renewal or just throwing a big, fun party.  Thanks to Blogging for Books for letting me have and review this book just for my honest opinion.

Monday, January 11, 2016

When God Leaves You Alone

Have you ever felt that God has left you? Have you ever felt that God would never let this happen to you unless He was gone? Have you ever prayed and had it seem like nothing happened? God hasn't left you.

Last night, I was thinking about Adam and Eve. (I do this kind of stuff when I'm just about to fall asleep; I think a lot.) Do you remember when God kicked Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden for sinning? If not, let me freshen your memory:

Genesis 3: 23-24
 23 So the Lord God banished them from the Garden of Eden, and he sent Adam out to cultivate the ground from which he had been made. 24 After sending them out, the Lord God stationed mighty cherubim to the east of the Garden of Eden. And he placed a flaming sword that flashed back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.

I was thinking about this, and I realized that it said nothing of God putting them in a spiritual time-out. God didn't forsake them, even though they messed up. How amazing is that!

I see the story this way: Two kids decide that they want to eat this potentially poisonous fruit, even though Dad forbade them from eating it. A snake comes slithering down the branch to the girl and tempts her, seduces her, cajoles her, until finally she eats a piece of the fruit. Yummy! She hands a piece of it to her brother who-- mmm!-- thinks it's so good, too. In an instant, they realize what they did, and also begin to realize that they would have to pay for their disobedience. The rose colored glasses have been thrown off, and they see the truth in every possible way.

After a while, Daddy comes in, and He looks around for his children. They are hiding from Him, and He calls for them. They say, "We are hiding because we are ashamed." The Father knows what they did, but pretends to be surprised. The children blame each other, but the Father knows what happened. Daddy doesn't want to punish His children, but He told them what would happen if they ate the fruit, and He needs to keep His word. The Father banishes His beloved children from the paradise He made for them. He made them mere mortals, and stripped away all the special things He gave them. He placed a guard at the east of paradise to keep anymore beloveds from coming in. But He stays with His children. He does not stay in paradise alone. He does not make His children suffer without His presence. The special bond between them has been broken forever, but He still loves them more than anyone else ever will.

Let me repeat, this is the way I see the story, not biblical fact. However, I don't think that the Father would forsake His children in the wild with no experience, and no presence of Him. God never leaves us, even when we can't feel him. God loves us, and sees us as His children. A heavenly Father would never forsake His children; not matter how they've sinned.

Even if you feel desperately alone, forsaken, and unloved, God is always there and He will never leave you. He is your Father, who is perfect, loyal, and everlasting.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Hi, I'm Dolly

Hello! My name is Dolly. I blog for fun. I eat 'cause it's yummy. I drink coffee because I can. Welcome to me.

I am a homeschooled high schooler, lover of Jesus, and my family is my rock. I am a glass-is-half-full kind of person with a touch of OCD. I like classic clothes, classic music, classic movies, and classic fun. I find Star Trek to be amazing . I am willing to spew my opinions to anyone willing to listen. You just entered the no spin zone.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Post Christmas Depression

I'm quite sure that I'm not the only who is fairly depressed by the time January 7 rolls around. Christmas and New Years is over, everyone has taken down their lights and Christmas decorations, and the next holiday to look forward to is composed of waxy chocolates and over (over) priced flowers. Bing Crosby has stopped crooning "Silent Night" and Nat King Cole's "Christmas Song" has been silenced. The whole world seems dark and cold, and everyone is trying to get back to routine. And work off the all-too-many Christmas cookies.

I come to dread this time of year, because it seems like you're gonna be stuck in it forever. Have you ever felt this way?

What I've come to realize this year, is that the New Year is a fresh start. Change is scary, and sometimes, I think that we'd like things to stay the same for a while. Maybe that's why we get depressed at this time of the year. Continuity is comforting and predictable, but sometimes, even if we don't want it, we need change.

Christmas is a magical, joyous, and wonderful time of the year. Maybe in stead of mourning its departure, we should spend that extra energy on thanking God for Jesus and his birth.

Step to Take to Get Over Post- Christmas Depression:

1. Rearrange
First, you may want to try rearranging your room or house. Create a new environment to have new thoughts and ideas. The great thing is, this doesn't cost you a penny!

2. Reinvent
 Try doing something that you've never done before! Are you artistic? Try out a new form of art that you've never gotten the chance to do. Is their something you've always wanted to learn? Take a class on it!

3. Reconnect
Reconnect with someone you haven't talked to in a long time. Chances are, they will be happy to hear from you, and it might even be a chance to rekindle a friendship that you lost.

Giving yourself new opportunities and things to do will help keep your mind off being depressed. Happy New Year! 

Book Review: Billy Joel by Fred Schruers

Billy Joel: The Definitive Biography by Fred Schruers truly lives up to its title. As a big fan of Billy Joel's work, I was excited to read about him. This book did not disappoint. I found this book interesting, real, and even a bit raw.

Billy Joel is a famous singer whose work was made popular in the late 1970's. Even though his music may be considered "old", it still resonates with listeners from every generation it's heard by. His music is creative, poetic, and honest.

Shruers goes into detail about Joel's family line, what his childhood was like, his first loves and first heartbreaks, the entrance into show business, rise-ups and down-falls, faith, friends, politics, and, most importantly, his music.

I found the pictures in the book interesting, as well. They were in full color, and I found that a picture truly does say a thousand words.

This book is a must- read for Billy Joel fans. It is clear, concise, and compelling. Five stars!

I was sent this book in exchange for my honest opinion by Blogging for Books.