Wednesday, November 20, 2019

THEY CALL ME MOM by MICHELLE MEDLOCK ADAMS and BETHANY JETT

I remember when I found out I was pregnant with my first child. It was exciting and terrifying at the same time. I now had the honor of bringing a child into the world who would depend on me for everything. When I saw this devotional, I couldn’t wait to see what encouraging words were in the book. It has been almost twenty years since I had my last child but I will always be a mom and still stumble through saying the right words to them.

I loved at the beginning of the book when this was said, “God calls us chosen, empowered, treasured, and more than enough.” Oh how I needed to read those words. God has given us the tools we need to be a mom. This book is chocked full of examples of motherhood and helps you see the bigger picture. Each chapter is a different topic that gives us hope, fills us with truth and assures us through His Word that He is right there helping you be all you can be.

I enjoyed the chapter on “They call me calm in the chaos.” It talks about raising boys which I have three . It hasn’t been easy and they sure have been challenging at times. In all the chaos I treasure each hug, kiss, picture,  and words they have given me over the years. There is nothing like having sons who adore and protect their mom. I have always told my sons that they should treat their “wives as they have treated their mom.” With those words I knew they would honor and respect their mate and keep them safe. What we strive for is to “teach them to honor women as Jesus did.”

The book is well written with scriptures and personal stories that make us smile while pouring God’s Word into our soul. Each chapter has little nuggets at the end that helps you dig deeper in the Word and reinforces what the chapter is about. I loved reading the book and it has a permanent place on my bookshelf. It is there to remind me that God gave me three amazing sons and I am honored to be their mom.

I received a copy of this book from Kregel Publishing. The review is my own opinion.

#APromisetoKeep and #Cover Reveal

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Glimpses of God in Winter FB Banner

About the Book

Book: Glimpses of God, A Winter Devotional for Women
Author: Shirley Crowder & Harried Michael
Genre: Non-fiction, Christian devotional
Release Date: November 6, 2019
Glimpses of God in WinterAs Christ-followers we also experience spiritual seasons. These seasons do not come in order like seasons in nature, which come regularly without fail. Each spiritual season we experience is defined by certain features also. In spiritual winter we think of the coldness of our relationship with God; in spring, new growth; in summer, warmth and heat; in fall, shedding the old and preparing for difficult days ahead.
This book is focused on winter—both calendar and spiritual. During our spiritual winters, when it feels as though God is far away or we feel stuck or dormant, we must rest in the truth of God’s sovereign mercy, grace, love, and care for His children. It is the first in the Glimpses of God” series.

Click here to get your copy.

About the Authors

Shirley CrowderShirley is passionate about disciple-making, which is conducted in and through a myriad of ministry opportunities that include biblical counseling, teaching Bible studies, and writing. She is Biblical counselor commissioned by, and serving on the national Advisory Team for, The Addiction Connection. She is co-host of “Think on These Things,” a Birmingham AL radio/TV program for women; and a freelance writer.
Harriet MichelsHarriet is a wife and mother to four grown children and grandmother to two precious grandchildren. She has authored a growing number of books, including “Prayer: It’s Not About You”, a finalist in the 2011 “Women of Faith” manuscript contest. She is also a freelance writer with numerous published pieces, including more than a hundred devotions in various magazines.

More from Shirley and Harriet

From Africa to America, Life Long Friends
March 14, many years ago …
In the heart of the African jungle in the Niger River delta of eastern Nigeria, the first cry of a newborn baby echoes from a small jungle hospital. The baby is a girl, Harriet Clarice, the third child of medical missionaries, Alice and Keith Edwards.
Harriet and her family stayed in this remote part of Nigeria for a year until the other family returned from furlough. At that time, they went for another year to Oyo, Nigeria to language school and then on to Ogbomoso in central Nigeria, where they stayed the next ten years. Keith practiced medicine at the hospital in Ogbomoso, and Alice worked with him as a nurse.

October 24 of the same year Harriet was born …
Deep in the Yoruba country of southwestern Nigeria, some 260 miles away from Joinkrama, piercing through the tropical night sounds, the first cry of another newborn baby cries out at a guesthouse in Ogbomoso. This baby is also a girl, Shirley Jeanne, the fourth child of missionaries Jeannie and Ray Crowder.
In 1962 the Crowders moved to Ogbomoso. Ray served as administrator of the 96-bed hospital, and Jeannie taught kindergarten and ministered to the Nigerian women with home visits and Bible studies. Harriet’s parents worked at the Ogbomoso hospital with Ray.

Lifelong friends
Harriet ended up living just up the dirt road from Shirley. They played together nearly every day and formed a friendship that remained, even after years and distance separated them.
Harriet and Shirley, and the others in this unique group of individuals, who shared a common childhood in Nigeria in our beloved tropical homeland half a world away from where most of us live now, grew up calling each other’s parents aunt and uncle. Even as adults, we still feel a kinship as though we are family—cousins perhaps.
Some years ago, at a mission reunion, Shirley handed Harriet a book to which she had contributed. That was the first time Harriet knew she was a writer. Shirley had discovered a few years earlier that Harriet was a writer, too.
Several years ago, Shirley suggested that they prayerfully consider writing a devotional book together. Through that experience, they learned that they work well together. Their similar understanding and views on scripture is a good foundation for the different strengths each of us bring when it comes to writing.
Since that first book, we have worked and continue to work together on other projects. Glimpses of God: a winter devotional for women is the first of a 4-book devotional series. Through our devotionals we want people to see Glimpses of God all around them. Creator God made the world and the seasons throughout the year. By using the seasons in nature, we help readers see correlations to the spiritual seasons Christ-followers experience and to get “Glimpses of God” in and through everything that happens.
So, we guess it could be said that we are once again “playing” with our childhood friend in spite of several decades having passed since they played together happily beneath the shade of mango trees.


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This is a well organized and encouraging devotional. The first  entry really had me thinking. As the holidays draw near so does the end of the year. It is a time of reflection and a hope for a fresh start as the new year begins. I love how the authors seem to flow so well together and each chapter builds on the next. The book includes bible reading, prayers and an overview of what was read. I found the book to be easy to read and filled with examples that could be applied to your own life.

I feel as if I took a journey with the authors through their lives and appreciated the transparency into their past.  One of the chapters talks about what happens after the holidays are over. We run around preparing dinner, decorating and buying gifts and suddenly its all over. It kinda reminds me of what women experience after having a baby. All the excitement is over and now a new chapter begins.  The chapter reminds us to " be transformed by the renewing of our mind" Romans 12:2.  I loved this encouraging chapter that reminds us  we are not alone and God is still with us. Sometimes we need to take a deep breath and just allow God to speak to us.

I like how the book focuses on a particular season and takes us through each day with wisdom and insight.  It was interesting to see hymns in the book and I thought it added a calmness over me. I love hymns and always find myself feeling peaceful as they are sung. The book has a lot to offer and I would encourage each of you to keep this close by so you can get a boost of encouragement daily. 

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.

Blog Stops

The Power of Words, November 10
Artistic Nobody, November 11 (Author Interview)
Jacquelyn Lynn, November 11
Sara Jane Jacobs, November 13
CarpeDiem, November 17
Texas Book-aholic, November 19
janicesbookreviews, November 20
A Reader’s Brain, November 21

Giveaway

To celebrate their tour, Harriet and Shirley are giving away the grand prize package of a copy of the book and a $25 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Monday, November 18, 2019

HOLIDAY ROAST MORTEM by TONYA KAPPES

One of the things I like most about cozy mysteries is very simple. The stories make me feel warm and cozy as a I settle down to an adventure in small town America. The author is very gifted in her description of the setting in this book. I want to move there and visit every shop. You can feel the friendliness in the town and spend all day visiting with shop keepers.

I absolutely love being  back with Roxy and the gang. She is one smart woman who never gives up . Her knack for finding out the truth is filled with laughter and bumps in the road. Have you ever been in a restaurant and overheard a couple fighting? It can be very uncomfortable as you try to eat your meal with hopes that the couple will leave soon. Roxy and Patrick are at the wrong place at the wrong time when they witness a verbal fight between a couple.

I like how the author sets up the scene as a murder is about to take place. I feel bad for Roxy as once again she finds herself in the middle of a police investigation.  Added to her stress is her ex-husband who shows up to represent a client who happens to be on the opposite side of Roxy’s new client. Patrick sure has some will power as he contains himself seeing Roxy and ex-husband Kirk talking. I think of Kirk as a snake in the grass and I’m not changing my mind.

Secrets, twists and suspects run rampant in this holiday cozy. It takes some detective work from Roxy to sort out lies and misunderstandings. One of the highlights of the story is the ever feisty Aunt Maxi. She is such a fun character and doesn't mind telling people what she thinks. Her spats with Roxy are funny because they are both stubborn. I can't forget to mention how dreamy Patrick is. He is such a catch and takes care of Roxy with such devotion. This was a very enjoyable read and one that will keep you entertained as you join the town of Honey Springs where mystery and excitement await you.

I received a copy of this book from the author. the review is my own opinion.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Love's Allegiance FB Banner

About the Book

Book: Love’s Allegiance
Author: Linda Shenton Matchett
Genre:  Historical Romance
Release Date: August 15, 2019
Love's Allegiance ebook jpg coverWith most U.S. boys fighting for Uncle Sam in far off countries, Rochelle Addams has given up hope for a wedding in her future. Then she receives an intriguing offer from a distant relative to consider a marriage of convenience.
Conscientious objector Irwin Terrell is looking forward to his assignment at Shady Hills Mental hospital to minister to the less fortunate in lieu of bearing arms. At the arrival of the potential bride his father has selected for him, Irwin’s well-ordered life is turned upside down. And after being left at the altar two years ago, he has no interest in risking romance again.
Despite his best efforts to remain aloof to Rochelle, Irwin is drawn to the enigmatic and beautiful young woman, but will time run out before his wounded heart can find room for her?
Inspired by the biblical love story of Rebekkah and Isaac, Love’s Allegiance explores the struggles and sacrifices of those whose beliefs were at odds with a world at war.


About the Author

Linda Matchett Head ShotLinda Shenton Matchett is an author, speaker, and history geek. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, she was born a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry and has lived in historic places all her life. Linda is a member of ACFW, RWA, and Sisters in Crime. She is a volunteer docent and archivist for the Wright Museum of WWII and a trustee for her local public library.

More from Linda

Love’s Allegiance is the fourth book in the Wartime Brides series that retells biblical stories by setting them during World War II. Each story was challenging to write in some way, and this novella was no different.
While brainstorming ways to twist Rebekkah’s and Isaacs’s love story, I happened to take a phone call from my younger brother who is a pastor. I mentioned my quandary that I wasn’t sure which aspect of the home front to address with their story, and he suggested the topic of conscientious objectors (COs).
After we hung up, I realized I knew very little about COs and that I wasn’t sure how I felt about them. Were they cowards, as many people assumed? Were they right? Wrong? Were their convictions biblically based?
I began my research by reading first person account articles and watched oral history interviews with men who served in the Civilian Public Service, a government organization created to use COs who refused military service as medics and other non-combatant roles. More than 12,000 conscientious objectors chose not to take up arms during the war, and I knew I had to tell their side of the story.


Review.jpg


What I liked most about this book was the faith element throughout the story. It is evident that Rochelle is faith minded and has a sweet disposition. She loves everything around her and enjoys the little things like a flower that is starting to bloom or the garden which provides food . I thought she was so well written that I would like to be her friend.  Will she find happiness working at the mental hospital? That is a hard place to work I would think. I loved her determination to see the good in everything. 

Irwin is a hard person to like at times. He is a bit taken back with Rochelle and her decision to work at the hospital he also will be at.  His father has decided who Irwin should marry and this makes for a wonderful journey to finding faith and learning to  trust. He begins to see Rochelle as a 'God fearing woman" and wants to get to know her better. His hesitation in building a relationship will make him face his past.

The story is set during World War II and the author does a great job of letting readers get a feel for how hard it was during this time period. I remember when I was younger that gas was in short supply. People would line up for miles just to get their vehicles filled in hopes it would last them awhile. During WWII people had to endure rationing on another more intense level. Staple items were scarce so having sugar or bread was a luxury for many.  I liked how the author showed two people from different backgrounds come together and begin to accept each other. 

The author takes us back in time and describes the setting in a way that you feel a part of. The characters are well written and come to life as the story unfolds. I liked how Irwin stood up and decided he couldn't in good conscience serve in the war. His stance didn't set well with some but I liked how he wasn't swayed from his beliefs. It is a nice story that flows with ease and gives us a glance into how opposites attract.

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.

Blog Stops

Batya’s Bits, November 9
Betti Mace, November 11
Rebecca Tews, November 11
Genesis 5020, November 12
mpbooks, November 13
As He Leads is Joy, November 13
Back Porch Reads, November 15
Texas Book-aholic, November 17
For Him and My Family, November 17
janicesbookreviews, November 19
Inspired by fiction, November 19
A Reader’s Brain, November 20

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Linda is giving away all four books in the Wartime Brides series and a $10 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

About the Book

Book: Are You in the Game or in the Way?
Author: Ross Holtz
Genre: RELIGION / Christian Ministry / Pastoral Resources
Release Date: March 10, 2017
Front Cover
Are You in the Game or in the Way?
A men’s ministry reality check: What is standing in the way of a vital men’s ministry in your church? 
The guy who should be at the forefront is often in the way of the program getting off the ground. 
·         Are you, as pastor, the main obstacle to the growth of a vital men’s ministry? 
·         Are you the guy who wants to start a men’s ministry in your church but don’t know how? 
·         Is fear or a sense of inadequacy keeping you from starting such a ministry? 
Pastor Ross Holtz tells his personal story of how he became a catalyst for growth, instead of an impediment will inspire pastors and men’s ministry leaders. 
What works, what doesn’t, and what is required in forming a vital men’s ministry. Practical and honest teaching filled with relevant and tested examples from recognizing the problem to finding the fix.  
Pastor Ross Holtz is a man who has earned the right to speak on ministering to and through men . . . One man’s journey from being a sceptic to a fully-engaged pastor who sees the power of a clear ministry to and through men . . . Pastor Ross bares his heart, and is, at times, brutally honest in a way that will resonate.  
—Chuck Stecker, president, A Chosen Generation


About the Author

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Geoffrey Ross Holtz, DD, is founding and senior pastor of The Summit (ECFA) in Enumclaw. He was awarded “Pastor of the Year” in 2014 by the National Coalition of Ministries for Men. Ross and his wife, Athena, the founder and publisher of Redemption Press, have a blended family of eight adult children and seventeen grandchildren and enjoy time spent sailing.  

More from Ross

I’ve been asked to tell something about myself or tell a personal story. I’m not adverse to talking about myself, but I’d rather tell you a very personal story.
There was a show on television, maybe still is I guess, called Overhaulin’. The plot of the show was that each week they would sneak a person’s car away from them, with family help, and overhaul it to make it really cool. It was every car-guy’s dream; to have someone restore a vehicle for you, that was special to you. And to restore it at their expense; Wow, doesn’t get cooler than that.
I never was on that show, but I have a story that I want to tell you. It was late summer in 2014. I had just remarried after having lost my wife of 49 years awhile before. The church that I pastor was having a car show as a community outreach on this particular Sunday. The day had started out rather weird. Several people seemed to be inordinately interested in my movements and where I was going to be as we set up the show.
“Oh, Ross, you need to go into the church, someone is looking for you.” Or, “Hey Ross, would you run get this for us across town?” Yeah, weird things. But I obliged and made myself scarce for the time leading up to the church service before the car show officially started.
So, we do the obligatory service; it ends, and my new wife and I start walking through the grassy field looking at the custom and restored vehicles that had come to the show. I, as is my style, was meandering along the cars talking to people I knew and folks with their fancy cars. Athena, my wife, seemed to be hurrying me along which was not like her at all. And, which was like me, I was just strolling along enjoying the cars.
Then, down the row a few cars, I spot the open hood of a 1961 Chev pickup. That year had a very distinct hood which was used only one year. “Oh, look at that. I had a truck like that years ago. Wow, and look at that, it’s yellow. Isn’t that gorgeous.” Funny, I failed to see the horde of people and cameras set up in front of that vehicle, all looking towards me.
Anyway, I hurriedly moved towards it and recognized it as a limited addition of that year’s Chevy truck. I said, “Hey look at that. It’s the same model that I had. That’s not your normal ’61.” I wondered if someone had restored my old truck.
I must give a bit of back story on my old truck. It had been purchased new in Los Gatos, California by my dad. He had needed someone to drive it home so he pulled my out of school to do that. I was 14. My father was not a stickler for legal technicalities. So I was the first to drive his new truck. It was new, but it was ugly. It was painted an ugly shade of puce. I mean it was really an awful color. My mother called it “Rosebud” because it reminded her of some kind of flower.
In 1975 my dad gave me the truck because he had no further use for it. So I drove it until about 1988 when it was totally worn out. So I sold Rosebud to a friend named Randy who had plans to restore it eventually. I sold it with the understanding that if he should he ever sell it, I’d get first right of refusal.
Fast forward Twenty-five years. A bunch of guys were sitting around a campfire talking and Randy announces that he’s moving to another state and getting rid of everything he owns.
“What about my truck? Are you taking it with you?” “Oh,” he said, “I gave that truck away a while back.” Those who were there said I looked disappointed, or something. I don’t remember feeling that, but it was said.
Now, back to the story. I was looking at this beautiful truck, wondering if it was the same truck, when I saw Randy on the other side of it. “Randy, you son of a gun, you restored my truck.” He said, “It’s your truck.” “Yes, I can see that. You’ve done a beautiful job with her. But why didn’t you tell me?” He said once more with strong emphasis, “It is your truck.” “Are we playing games?” I wondered out loud. And, to make it more cruel, someone had entered the truck in the show under my name. That wasn’t nice.
I was not very situationally aware at that moment. I didn’t see all the cameras and people that were focused on me. People were laughing and cheering. I didn’t notice. I was focused on the pickup that had been my dad’s. It took them four or five time to finally get across to me that this beautiful bright yellow, completely restored truck was a gift from the men of the church to me. Randy had given it to the men’s ministry of The Summit with the request that they make it new for me as a gift for nearly 30 years of ministry to the church. Dozens of men had spent 18 months completely disassembling and rebuilding it from the ground up. It now had a fresh corvette motor, disc brakes, power steering, and a custom paint job. I had been Overhauled. Not by Chip Fouse, but by a group of men, and boys, who cared enough for me to invest months of blood sweat and tears. Not to mention the thousands of dollars it took. I wept. I still weep when I think about it.
One final part of the story that needs telling. I remarried after Cathy died, as her instructions (another story). I guess I didn’t wait long enough for some people, or something. People, about 100 people, abandoned me and left the church. They might not call it abandonment, but I do. I asked some of the more prominent people, “Is there a sin issue here?” “No,” They said, “We just don’t think it’s good for the church for you to remarry.” As you might imagine, it was an extremely painful time for this 67-year-old guy. I had found another person to finish off my life with, which I didn’t think possible, and some people considered it wrong for me to do. They didn’t consider my feelings, and needs, only thinking of  theirs. Or so it seemed.
But all the while this tragedy was taking place, a whole bunch of good and committed friends, were investing their time and efforts, in secret, to rebuild my dad’s old Chevy truck. All the time I was in such pain, these good men were giving up evenings and weekends to do this wonderful thing for me. Isn’t that like God? Sometimes while we are in the dregs of misery, He is working, unseen, to bless us, to encourage us, and to show His love for us.



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One thing I can say about the author is he doesn't mix words. He is very transparent and shares his thoughts very openly. After reading the book I realized just how insecure he was in some areas. He didn't like the thought of a ministry starting up unless he was at the forefront of it. It was hard to let go of control and allow men to start a group that would be beneficial to the church. 

What I did discover as I dug deeper into the book was God working on the author to allow his flock to grow and spread their wings. Pastors are to disciple not hinder  growth.  I thought it was a bold statement he made when he said, " Church people sometimes go out of their way to be nice; they lie, but they are nice."  It sure isn't something I would want my pastor to be thinking .  It is true that if a pastor attends a group meeting, more people are likely to attend. It is like giving your blessing to the ministry which helps others to feel secure in knowing that it is backed up by the pastor.

Men's ministry has always seemed to be a hard group to start in churches. Many are busy or not comfortable to share their thoughts and open up to each other. I did appreciate that the author said he was not a disciple making pastor. To me that is the root of the problem for many pastors. They are afraid of letting go of of their control. God wants us to disciple others so they can walk in their calling. I remember someone saying in a conference, " You can only go as far as your leader will take you." If they hinder your growth, then they have set you up to fail. It is important to remember that pastors don't know everything and are continually learning just like us. 

The book focuses on men's ministry and why it is sometimes hard to start one. A church I attended started a men's ministry but soon faded away. It was clear to many that the leadership of the church didn't support it, so men didn't attend. Any ministry in a church needs to have the backing of the leadership in order to have a chance to succeed. The book would be a good tool for churches. There are a few things I didn't agree with, but it is my own convictions that I have about words or interactions the author had with other men in a setting I didn't care for. 

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.

Blog Stops

Vicky Sluiter, November 12
Artistic Nobody, November 13 (Author Interview)
Just the Write Escape, November 14
A Baker’s Perspective, November 16 (Author Interview)
Texas Book-aholic, November 17
janicesbookreviews, November 18
Christian Bookshelf Reviews, November 19 (Author Interview)
A Reader’s Brain, November 20
Inklings and notions, November 21
My Devotional Thoughts, November 22 (Author Interview)
Simple Harvest Reads, November 23 (Guest Review from James Barela)
Lukewarm Tea, November 24 (Author Interview)

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Ross if giving away a $50 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of his book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.