This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every moring: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion saith my soul: therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. Lamentations 3: 21-26

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Friday Fill-Ins

I haven't done Friday Fill-Ins for ages! These looked fun.

1. He was a HOME!!!

2. Sitting on the patio at night with my husband is what I look forward to most this time of year.

3. My best friend is the guy I married.

4. I do not like housekeeping to be honest with you.

5. Appearances can be very scary.

6. The last person I gave a hug to was my sons because my husband went to bed before all of us.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to spending time with my guys, tomorrow my plans include driving Roo to dance and clearing my craft area and Sunday, I want to sit on the patio with my husband (he's been gone a week & I'm glad to have him home if you couldn't guess!

Sweetness Most Undeserved

Bad, bad blogger that I am, I've fallen behind on thanking a couple people for their generous words.

Always kind and gentle, Squelly at Dreamers Day shared the True Heart Award with me eons ago.

The award says, "Those who receive this award are of the sweetest nature. They are kind, friendly, funny, loving, eager to share their love for Jesus with others, and brave in their efforts to reflect Him to this darkened world. They are the kind of folks you're blessed to know, even if it's only in the bloggy-sphere." If only I could aspire to half of those kind words...

Then dear Renee at A Path of Joy shared the Circle of Friends award with me.

The rules say:

* To pick up the Circle of Friends Blog Award cut and paste the award logo and use it on your own blog.
* Nominate 5 other bloggers you feel have become part of your circle of friends.
* Link to your nominees within your blog post. Include these instructions on how to pick up the award in your blog post.
* Link back to the person who gave you the award in your blog post, to show your appreciation.
* Comment on their blogs to let them know they've received the award.

I'm just going to say a huge and heartfelt "Thank You!" to Renee and Squelly and tell you all that everyone who stops by and shares with me is in my circle of friends and you all have such wonderful, true hearts!! I really have grown so much from this community of women who reach across the miles and the internet.

Have a joyful day!!

Julie

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Notes From the Sofa

Part-way into Week 6 of school.

It's interesting to watch out my kitchen window in the morning as I wait for my tea to steep. The neighbor children are all waiting for the school buses in shorts and sandals. A couple more months and they will be bundled up. At least I hope they will be!!

I'm ever so grateful that the boys have not had to leave the house for school. This year has been particularly good and enjoyable, although still totally "real." Trust me we have our share of, "Mooooooooooooooommmmmmmmmm!!! He's looking at me! He's humming/tipping his chair/tapping his pencil/breathing/piercing his nose with the paper clip--just kidding about the last one. Well...sort of. Let's just say I was kidding.

Ahhh--hemmmm...As I said, we are on Week 6 and I think pretty much up to speed, although a few of my high ideals have met with the reality of the clock and I've not figured out how to squeeze more hours into the day. In fact, today, during a moment of total insanity, I agreed to let Roo participate in the ballet school's youth company for (thankfully just) one piece. Because we have nothing else to do. Choke, sputter, cough. What was I thinking??

We've gotten a good Bible study going on the names of God. Both boys are enjoying that and I am so pleased. The basics are all falling into place. Each has chosen things that interest them and seem pretty happy with their choices.

A year has made a world of difference for Boo in ability to focus for longer stretches. Although he's still pretty...ahhhhh...creative. However, to his defense, he was NOT the one with the paper clip. Just sayin'...


I realized today, as I was helping Roo with Latin--his choice, not mine, although I'm happy to provide, that I need track down a copy of Famous Men of Rome. A little late, but it will all work out. Going to check out my local homeschool bookstore first, but there are several places to find it online. I'm sure there are going to be more bits and pieces that turn up. We'll just worry about those in their time.

We've managed to get piano in everyday, too. Piano has been important to all of us but was something that fell apart toward April and hopefully we will regroup. The boys were excited for their new books, although I'm still waiting on Amazon and my pitiful postal service to deliver two more books we ordered.

Found this looking for the word "sofa." Definitely NOT my sofa, but there are days this would fit my reality.

Click on the photo to see the design company this is from.


Not sure about you, but I think I smell autumn in the air, even through the near 90 degree heat and humidity.

Time is flying by!

Julie

Monday, August 24, 2009

A Different Kind of Wild--Blog Book Tour

God's timing is perfect and this book--A Different Kind of Wild: Is Your Faith Too Tame? by Debbie Alsdorf was just what I needed to read right now. You know those little sticky tabs you can use to highlight a good part in a book? My copy of this is covered in stickies!

Debbie Alsdorf is not afraid to show the gritty realities of humanity and share the struggles to walk away from a listless life to a life that is untamed and, yes, wild for GOD.

"Many of us have learned to live like we are dead. Here's a news flash: dead girls aren't wild; they're lifeless, useless, and buried in self. But women who are alive in Christ and actively living up in the truth of GOD's Word are passionate, free, unconventional, and courageous." p. 23.

WOW. What do you say to that? How do you respond? The gauntlet was thrown just daring me to stay rooted in a stale state of selfishness.

Ms. Alsdorf address wild living in the forms of not conforming to culture, not waiting to be perfect, forgiveness, refusing to worry, making the decision to love and so many other areas.

No sweet sounding, but unattainable dreams in this book; Alsdorf offers real choices we all can make, if only we are brave enough to be seen as different. As WILD.

This would be a fabulous book for anyone as a personal devotional, but I am sure it would be a wonderful study for a women's group, offering a chance to grow together and upwards in relationship with GOD.

A Different Kind of Wild: Is Your Faith Too Tame by Debbie Alsdorf from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, is available now for purchase in stores and online. Many thanks to Baker Publishing for allowing me to review this blessing of a book.



From the publisher:
Time to Leave Tame Faith Behind

Get ready to experience the adventurous spiritual life God has for you

When Debbie Alsdorf speaks to Christian women, she has a message for them: “Go wild.” And she means it—but she’s talking about a different kind of wild living than the image we’re most familiar with.

“This new wild is about taking our lives back,” she says. “It’s about becoming women who dare to live differently—wild in surrender, wild in devotion, wild in service, and wild in following what God calls us to.”

She encourages women to embrace the adventure God has for them, and watch their faith flourish like never before. She looks at how women can be risk-takers for Christ, stand firm in crises, confront fear with truth, dare to live by a different standard and find courage to follow a new life path.

Alsdorf explains this call to becoming wild: “’Wild’ stands for ‘women in lifelong development.’” While this might sound intimidating and out-of-reach to some women, she points out that it is a process. “The key is understanding that it’s a lifelong development. There are no overnight spiritual success stories. We are on a journey with God: Each day the pages of life are turned, and line by line our story unfolds. It is a process.”

With passion and deep, Scriptural insights, Alsdorf—an exciting conference speaker, women’s ministry leader and Bible teacher—helps women live transformed lives with untamed faith and courageous obedience to God’s leading. Reflection questions are included, making this book an ideal resource for personal study or small-group use.

Debbie Alsdorf is the author of Deeper. As the founder of Design4Living Ministries, she seeks to encourage women to Live Up! in the truth of God’s Word. Since 1997, she has been the director of women’s ministries at Cornerstone Fellowship, where she and her team lead a vibrant women’s ministry. Debbie is a biblical lay counselor and a member of the Association of Christian Counselors. She lives in Northern California.

"Wow! This book is a must read for everyone who desires to live life wildly different. Instead of being led by our emotions and ever changing circumstances, Debbie shows how to live a life of confident faith in God’s truth. Her honest reflections, practical advice, and God inspired insights show us a radically different way to live. I’m encouraging every woman at our church to get a copy."
— Rachel Johnston, pastor of women's ministry, Bayside Church, Granite Bay,California

"A Different Kind of Wild is Debbie Alsdorf's best work yet … and it's no doubt the result of its message being lived and proved out in her own life. Now that's the kind of book I want to read; as well as the only kind of book I'll recommend."
— Julie Barnhill, author of One Tough Mother

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Pup Cakes!


The perfect birthday "cake" for a nine year old dog lover.


Not quite as well done as the examples in the book.


But good enough to make my youngest smile and garner a few kudos from my husband.


Review at my Joyful Days Reviews & Recipes site.

Blog Book Tour--The Knight

Doctor Patrick Bowers, FBI agent and geoprofiler is facing off with yet another serial killer. This killer is unlike any other he's seen before. One of the victims? A murderer on the FBI's Most Wanted List, a man stalking Agent Bowers and his stepdaughter Tessa. Why? Has a serial killer saved Patrick Bowers?

The victims are killed in pairs. The death scenes are nearly works of art--almost poetic...almost? What or who has inspired these brutal homicides? How many more people are on the grizzly list? Just as important might be who else is on the list?

And this latest killer is not Bowers' only concern. A convicted cannibal Bowers helped put away thirteen years ago is being considered for release. How much of the truth will Patrick be willing to share in the name of justice. Agent Bowers wrestles with himself to see where the line is between himself and the criminals he tracks down.

Author Steven James weaves the twisted and sinister tale magnificently. This master storyteller's web is deathly and disturbing. It is hard to comprehend how he can look repeatedly into the minds of ruthless killers and share their manipulative methods.

As in The Pawn and The Rook, Mr. James style is rapid fire and unrelenting, leading the reader on a frantic chase with Bowers where time has already run out for so many victims. How many more people will succumb to the terror of this madman?

Mr. James subtly injects a strong Christian message into his writing. I was deeply touched by the pro-life theme he included in this novel. But a serious note of caution: The Knight is graphic and not for the faint of heart. Be prepared to lose a little sleep if reading into the wee hours.

The Knight is available August 2009 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. Many thanks to Baker Publishing for providing this chilling read.


From the publisher, reviews for The Knight and Steven James:

Killer is on the Loose with an Ancient Manuscript as His Guide

New thriller from critically acclaimed novelist takes readers on a shocking rollercoaster ride to stop this violent killer before it’s too late.

Steven James is one of the nation’s most innovative storytellers—with a Master of Arts in Storytelling degree to prove it. For the past decade, he has been crafting compelling and evocative stories that pull readers into the thick of his brilliant, mind-bending plots, and his latest creative endeavor is no different: The Knight, the third installment in his bestselling series of thrillers, is full of the chilling twists and adrenaline-laced action that readers have come to expect from James.

The Knight picks up in The Bowers Files series, starring FBI criminologist Patrick Bowers, who is assigned to tracking the country’s most dangerous killers. But when he is called to his most disturbing crime scene yet, Bowers begins to realize that this criminal mastermind has actually been tracking him.

To get to the bottom of this cold-blooded case, Bowers uses his cutting-edge investigative techniques to decipher the evidence and Your browser may not support display of this image. discovers that the murderer has been using an ancient manuscript as a blueprint for his crimes. This sends Bowers on a race against time to stop the killer before he takes his next victim in another grisly crime.

But even as he is working to crack the clues of this bloody trail, Bowers finds himself stumped by another matter: An old murder case haunts him, causing him to question himself and wonder which is more important—truth or justice. The answer might set a killer free or change Bowers into a criminal himself.

Keeping readers guessing until the very end, James has earned rave reviews from the likes of Publishers Weekly, which called his thrillers “a wild ride with a shocking conclusion.” The Knight offers readers more of the same, as the satisfying follow-up to his previous bestselling psychological thrillers in The Bowers Files series, The Pawn and The Rook.



Praise from real-life investigators

"Steven James's ability to use modern, up-to-date investigative
techniques to solve his criminal mysteries places him
at the forefront of current mystery writers."
— E. Cleon Glaze, retired FBI agent, Alaska

"Steven James combines 21st-century high-tech law enforcement
techniques with 18th-century Sherlockian deduction
to craft an exciting, suspense-filled story."
— Dr. Kim Rossmo,
Center for Geospatial Intelligence and Investigation, Texas State University