Friday, May 26, 2017

True to You by Becky Wade – This Book Is A Real Gem



I’m not usually one to read romance novels, but when I read the description of True to You by Becky Wade, I knew I wanted to read this book.  I’m so glad I stepped outside my comfort zone.  As an adoptee, conducting my own search to find my birthmother, I was intrigued to read this story about an unlikely pair who team up to research and help a find birthmother. 


Nora Bradford is content with her quiet life and surrounding herself with the things she loves, which includes family, reading, history, genealogy and watching British dramas.  John Lawson, couldn’t be any more different.  He’s a true-life hero, having saved people’s lives in his former career as a Navy SEAL.  He’s strong, driven and focused and oh yes, good looking too. 


Will these opposites attract?  Why is John searching for his birth mother after all these years?  Will their efforts in searching through courthouses records, phone books and talking with people turn up anything that will lead them to John’s birthmother?  How will their faith be challenged when they run into roadblocks and situations that are far beyond their control?  Will it drive them to God or away from Him? 


True to You is the first book I’ve read by Becky Wade and I absolutely loved it.  I liked the storyline which included mystery and intrigue.  Becky does a wonderful job in developing characters.  She peels back the layers as the characters grow and change through the story and events.  All the characters were very likeable.  My favorite thing was that characters didn’t make stupid decisions that make you shake your head.  Instead they were reasonable, decent, kind and caring people.  The kind of people you would like to know.


Becky is good at describing places by giving the reader enough detail so they can imagine what it looks like, but she also leaves room for the imagination of the reader to fill in the gaps.  I felt like I could step on to the streets of the charming town of Merryweather and know the people and places. 


As good as all that is, the best part of this book is how Becky shows the characters dealing with difficult news and events.  They talk and reason through a crisis of faith.  I liked how Nora recognized some errors in her thinking, that it was worldly and not necessarily biblically sound.  The characters seem honest and real. 


Reader’s faith in God can be encouraged and strengthened by some of the dialogue, thoughts and prayers these characters go through. 


I highly recommend True to You by Becky Wade.  While this is the first book, I’ve read by Becky, I hope it’s not the last. 


I would like to thank Litfuse and Bethany House Publishers for the opportunity to read True to You.  I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Pure Flix - To Watch or Not to Watch


Recently, I learned that Pure Flix is encouraging people to take advantage of their offer to get the first month service free and share their thoughts about their experience.  

As a Christian, having good programing that is family friendly and in keeping with our faith is important.  We are careful on what we watch, be it on regular TV or NetFlix.  I decided to give Pure Flix a try.  Below are some thoughts on what I experienced.

I appreciated the fact that there is an option available that offers Christian movies, programs and TV shows that are family friendly.  Some of the content is Christian based with a gospel centered message.  An example is Dave Christiano's 7th Street Theater and another is one of my favorite movies The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry. 

There is also a large selection of movies and TV shows that are family friendly, with no profanity or sexual immorality, but they don't have an overt gospel faith based message.  They remind me of movies available at our local Christian book store that have the "Dove Seal of Approval".  After watching a number of them, I've come to realize, it means they are clean, not necessarily Christian.

I was surprised to find that movies from one of my favorite movie makers, the Kendrick Brothers (Facing the Giants, War Room, Courageous, Fly Wheel and Fireproof) are not currently available on Pure Flix. 

In addition to movies and TV shows, there is Christian teaching available on Pure Flix.  I was concerned about some of the pastors and teachers, because I believe their teaching is not biblically sound and doesn't line up with Scripture.  Is that important?  Does it make a difference?  Yes, I believe it does. 

When I raised that concern with Leah Hastings at Pure Flix she shared that Pure Flix works to impact the culture of Christ through their service.  However, they like to be as inclusive as possible with the content options they offer.

Like I do with regular TV and radio, if I know someone's teaching is not sound, I don't listen to or watch them.  I would advise people to be smart, know their Bible and choose wisely what they watch. 

Technology wise, I think Pure Flix has a ways to go.  I'm comparing it to my experience with NetFlix.  When I initially logged in to my account on the computer, I selected a number shows as favorites.  However, when I set up my account on the TV through Roku, the programs I selected as favorites on the computer didn't show up.  I had to start over.

Also, when I tried to add a show as a favorite, example Sue Thomas F.B. Eye, instead of adding the show/series, it added the episode.  To get to the next episode, I'd have to go back and add that.  It wasn't user friendly.  Whereas with NetFlix it adds the whole series, not just an episode, and keeps track of where we are at with a series. 
In summary, there are some pros and cons with Pure Flix.  I like a lot of the content that's available.  If we had children, I would likely go with Pure Flix instead of NetFlix or other options.  I would want to control the content and material they would be exposed to.
Some of the Christian movies and TV shows on Pure Flix are also available on other movie/TV streaming choices.  We probably won't be keeping Pure Flix.  We already have NetFlix and like some of the content they have available and appreciate the ease of operation.
If you have children and are concerned about limiting the content they are exposed to or just want to carefully guard what comes into your home, you may want to consider Pure Flix.  They currently offer new viewers the ability to sign up and get the first month free.  Please see the link below. 


I would like to thank Leah for answering my questions and for telling me a little more about Pure Flix.  I appreciate the opportunity to try their service and perhaps in the future, we'll revisit Pure Flix as an entertainment option.

Monday, May 22, 2017

A Spectacle of Glory by Joni Eareckson Tada – Truth to Strengthen our heart, mind, soul and spirit

It’s been my privilege to read Joni Eareckson Tada’s books and devotionals over the years.  That’s why I was grateful for the opportunity to read her latest devotional, A Spectacle of Glory – God’s Light Shining Through Me Every Day, which she co-authored with Larry Libby.

Joni is a mature Christian and her continued growth and love for the Lord and Scripture comes shining through this devotional, A Spectacle of Glory.  This year, will be 50 years since Joni’s tragic accident that left her as a quadriplegic.  Joni’s life has not been easy and her witness and testimony have a weight of credibility other’s may not have. 

In A Spectacle of Glory, Joni focuses on a Scripture verse or two each day.  She includes stories from her own life where she’s seen God at work.  With openness and transparency, she relates to the reader as she confesses her struggles, which may be similar to our own.  She closes each day with a prayer and aligns her heart and mind on the truth from Scripture. 

Joni always come back to the Bible which is the believer’s plumb line.  She takes the Scriptures and uses them as a mirror to reflect what’s going on in our heart.  Shining the light of God’s Word has a way of driving out the darkness. 

I highly recommend Joni Eareckson Tada new devotional, A Spectacle of Glory, written with Larry Libby.  It’s a great way to start or end your day. 

I would like to thank BookLook and Zondervan for the opportunity to read A Spectacle of Glory.  I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.  

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Becky Wade's 'True to You' $100 Giveaway


Do opposites really attract? John and Nora might just be the perfect match. Find out in True to You, book one in Becky Wade's new series! Genealogist and historical village owner Nora Bradford has decided that burying her nose in her work and her books is far safer than romance in the here and now. Former Navy SEAL and Medal of Honor recipient John Lawson is a modern-day man, usually 100 percent focused on the present. But when he's diagnosed with an inherited condition, he's forced to dig into the secrets of his past and his adoption as an infant, enlisting Nora to help him uncover the identity of his birth mother. Finding the answers they're seeking will test the limits of their identity, their faith, and their devotion to one another.

Celebrate the launch of Becky Wade's new series by entering to win a fabulous prize pack and $100 cash card!


One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of True to You
  • A $100 Visa cash card
  • A prize pack hand-picked by Becky

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on May 30. The winner will be announced May 31 on the Litfuse blog.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Picture a Day - Napping on a Warm Sunny Day


On our recent visit to Fredericksburg and Marble Falls, we stopped and toured President Lyndon Baines Johnson's ranch.  While politically I may be worlds apart from LBJ, this was great tour.  To quote my husband Chris, "You don't have to agree politically to appreciate history."  

The ranch and home were absolutely beautiful.  I was surprised at the home and how down to earth it was.   It wasn't gaudy or ostentatious.  It was a home I would feel comfortable in, it was inviting and quite lovely.  To get to the home you drive through a lot of land and pass by the herds of cattle.  

I fell in love with this precious little fellow as he napped in the shade on a warm sunny day.  Mom was close by.  

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Sandpiper Cove by Irene Hannon – A Story of Grace and Redemption

Sandpiper Cove was the first book I’ve read by author Irene Hannon.  I hope to read other books by this gracious and gifted author.

I loved reading this book.  It was a real treasure with stories of grace and redemption in the lives several characters who live in Hope Harbor.  This book is an example of why I like to read books by Christian authors who write about faith and show it lived out in their characters and everyday life. 

Sandpiper Cove tells the story of Adam Stone, an ex-con who moved to Hope Harbor with the hopes of starting a new life for himself.  He’s quiet and a bit of a loner.  However, crime which he was hoping to get away from, comes to his doorstep, not once, but twice.  Getting to know the police chief, Lexie Graham, was not on his list of things to do.  However, providence was at work in the lives of these two people and their friends, family and co-workers.

I really liked the characters in this book, both the main characters and supporting characters.  It felt like I could walk into Hope Harbor and meet these people and feel welcome.  They were people I would want to know.  I liked the relationships in this book and how it showed people can impact others for good or bad. 

I appreciated that Sandpiper Cove was a safe book, one that did not assault me with vulgarity, profanity, sexual immorality and violence. 

I highly recommend Sandpiper Cove by Irene Hannon.  This book was a pleasure to read.  The only problem I encountered was that it ended.  I look forward to reading more of Irene’s books.

I would like to thank NetGalley and Revell publishers for the opportunity to read Sandpiper Cove.  I was under no obligation to give a favorable review. 


Picture a Day - Conservatory In Black & White

On our recent road trip, Chris and I went to Minnesota to have my mother's ashes laid to rest with her parents.  Something long over...