Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Book review: THE SCROLL

Hi, everyone! I was glad to be able to read this book, THE SCROLL, to review!

You can read chapter one by downloading it here; the book is a Biblical archeology novel, and is based on Dr. David Chambers and an elite team who are brought in by a secret group to do specific, secretive, very special digs in and around Jerusalem.

Biblical archeology was a field I contemplated going into when I started college; the main thing that deterred me was the dig conditions - I hate sweating! :D I'm still very interested in the field, so when I got the chance to own and read this book, I jumped at it.

I'm not going to give away any of the plot to you (although you can find an excerpt here!); it's a VERY fast read, and the authors have really developed their characters and setting incredibly well. The intrigue keeps drawing the story forward; the archeological finds are the stuff of Biblical dreams, and the interpersonal dramas swirl around and draw you in deeper.

Here is a link to author Alton L. Gansky's website! And if you click here, you can learn more about Grant R. Jeffrey.

I really enjoyed this book. Although set slightly in the future, everything in the book is easy to believe could happen today. There was only one spot where the information the authors needed to get out to the reader came across as an unlikely dump to characters who would already know the information. (As a side note, I don't recall finding any typos in the book, which is highly refreshing!) If you enjoy a bit of a mystery, history, technology, relationships, and insight into Israel, you won't want to miss this book!

In the interest of full disclosure, I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. I got it as an ebook, and it worked beautifully on my Kindle Fire!

Be blessed, dear friends! I'm going to be doing lots of reading this trip! :D

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Getting ready to GO!

It's almost time! We're taking a LONG vacation, going to Oregon for six weeks. But it's been a long six or seven weeks past already....

I got sick for the first time right after Thanksgiving, and I just can't seem to kick this lung/throat combo all the way out. Kenn, as you can see, has also been having a hard time with it. With his asthma, we try not to keep passing it back and forth because of how difficult it is for him. He's still coughing, but I think he's feeling better. He kept his good spirit throughout, for the most part - look at the sparkle in his eyes! He's enjoying my reaction to his new hat. LOL!

Preparation this week has meant getting lesson plans done - and trying to figure out who, exactly, is going to substitute for me! It's been kind of stressful, but I think it's going to be OK. And you know what? I'm still going to get on that plane Saturday! LOL

Please pray for us, for healing, for rest, for traveling mercies, for divine appointments - that whatever He's got for us on this trip, that we'll keep our eyes open for His hand!

I'm planning on blogging from the beach a bit. I can't wait to see MY ocean again, to rest to the rhythm of His heart. :D

Be blessed, dear ones! Know you're in my thoughts and prayers! I appreciate you, so much!

Friday, January 13, 2012

A Recipe for You!

Hello, my friends! I'm procrastinating what I should be doing - getting lesson plans together for my sub for while we're on vacation - and posting this recipe. :D It's one of Kenn's absolute favorites, and I want to make sure I can locate it while we're on the beach, so I can make it for him. :) Isn't that a great way to show him some love? (I've already decreed that we'll be eating clam strips at our favorite restaurant for Valentine's Day! :D)

It's a Taste of Home recipe, but I can't find it again online so I can link you. I did change a little of the direction, so now it's OK to call it my own, according to recipe law. Did you know that?

Anyway. :D I hope you try it - let me know what you think!

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

1/2 cup butter, softened 1 cup sugar
2 eggs 1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup sugar 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon* 1/2 cup chopped pecans

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, sour cream, and vanilla. Combine the dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture and beat until combined.

Pour half the batter into a greased 13x9 pan. **

In a small bowl, combine topping ingredients; sprinkle half of the topping over batter. Add the remaining batter and topping. Bake at 325 degrees for 40 minutes. Cool completely.

* I always at LEAST double the cinnamon. It's really good for you, and we love cinnamon around here!

** When I make this at home, I make it in 2 8" square pans, and double the topping mixture. I usually end up with SOME topping mixture left, but it freezes well! That way, I have a cake for now, and a cake to wrap and freeze for future sweet tooth consumption or company!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Happy New Year!

Hello, dear friends. I hope 2012 finds you trusting even more in His goodness and grace!

I know that many of us are going through trials - whether it be our own or a loved one's health, financial problems, or a prodigal's being away from you and the Lord. But that doesn't give us an excuse to not have a grateful heart!

Here's how I Thessalonians 5:16-18 puts it:

Be happy [in your faith] and rejoice and be glad-hearted continually (always);

Be unceasing in prayer [praying perseveringly];

Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will].

This, then, is my challenge for the new year: no matter what happens, no matter what trials may come my way, I will continue to have a heart of gratitude, knowing that I'm His and that He has nothing but good planned for me.

Will you join me in this challenge? :) I'd love to hear from you! I am hoping to do a better job of writing this year; I want to continue to share what God's challenging me with, teaching me, and how He's continue to revealing Himself to me.

Let me know how to pray for you! Kenn and I are leaving on the 21st for five weeks in Oregon; I'm planning on writing some while I'm there!

Be blessed, dear one. Know He loves you more than you could ever imagine. Rest in that!