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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Book Review: Cycles of Salvation

Ulrich Utiger the author believes that all history of salvation as transmitted by the Bible reveals its through cyclical recurrences. It's almost as if a single author is responsible for penning all of its books. These cycles generally have four phases: initial peace, sin, judgment, and a return to peace. The history of the Jewish people exemplifies this. Awareness of these patterns helps us understand the past, present and future of salvation. It may seem that science and faith cannot agree but
if we can understand this cyclical concept it can explain mysteries
and discrepancies.

For instance, Creationism and Evolution seem to be at odds. Utiger delves into explaining a more in-depth understanding of the creation accounts, including the interpretation of the meaning of the Hebrew language in which is was written. This deeper understanding closes the gap on contradictions
Utiger goes into painstaking detail and has a firm understanding of science, physics as well as knowledge of the scriptures. He presents a logical argument. This book would probably be best suited more to scholastic types, especially those with a passion for science. It might be a bit of an intellectual stretch for the average lay person who may feel as though they are reaching on tip toe for something on the top shelf. But if you like an intellectual challenge, this is a good choice.

Well written, and well argued. I give this five out of five stars.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

CrossReads Book Blast: One Night With a Rock Star by Chana Keefer, $50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

By: Chana Keefer

About the Book

It's Anne of Green Gables Meets Rattle & Hum. Worlds collide. When Esther was a young teen with frizzy hair and too-skinny legs, Sky’s music soothed her through awkwardness and pain. Now she’s a college journalism student and fledgling print model. One chance meeting rocks their worlds. Will Esther's deep roots in family and faith keep her feet on the ground when a tornado named Sky blows her world apart? This coming-of-age tale will delight young adult, new adult & adult audiences alike with homespun humor, dazzling celebrity, and a heart-wrenching tale that transports the reader from the wide open spaces of Texas, to the castle-dotted Scottish highlands. Explores themes of spirituality, relationship with God versus religion, and how one can have it all yet still search for meaning and purpose in life. One Night With a Rock Star is a rich, satisfying journey filled with multi-dimensional, lovable characters, sigh-worthy romance and a tale that will carve itself onto your soul.
(Then Scroll Below to Enter the $50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway)
Chana Keefer[/ez_one_fourth] [ez_three_fourth_last] Chana Keefer This whole writer's journey caught me completely by surprise and, to this day, I'm a bit stunned by the ride. Blame it all on prayer. In 2004 I committed to pray every day, right out of the sack, for at least an hour. A year later I woke in the morning from a very cool dream. As the week went on, the dream wouldn't let go. It expanded in my brain until I HAD to start writing or just... explode. That story? One Night With a Rock Star. It's the novel that transformed me into a passionate storyteller. Two years later, in the middle of prayer, I asked a question and God answered. I yelped in shock but also had to admit the answer made so many of my faith elephants-in-the-room make sense. For the next month, every morning began with more mind-blowing insights. When I showed the 250 pages of notes to my hubby and an author friend, they both said, "This needs to be a novel." The journey of writing THE FALL was much more than writing a novel. It was a pilgrimage that crushed, shaped and changed me; the way I think, the way I pray, the way I love, even the way I view current events. BTW, I'm a mom of four, married to the best man alive, have a background in broadcast journalism and, many moons ago, worked as a model and actress. I love old barns, old movies, hot chocolate chip cookies and someday I'd like to sail around the world. Guess I'd better learn to sail first. [/ez_three_fourth_last]
Follow Chana Keefer Website | Facebook | Twitter

Enter to Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

Enter below to enter a $50 Amazon gift card, sponsored by author Chana Keefer!
This book blast is hosted by Crossreads. We would like to send out a special THANK YOU to all of the CrossReads book blast bloggers!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Jayna Morrow-Aspromonte

Welcome to author Jayna Morrow-Aspromonte who shares a devotional with us today. Be sure check information about Jayna at the end of the devo and the blurb about her new book, Garrett.

Life is an Adventure!

 "Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me." Psalm 139:10
My husband and I have traveled a lot in the short time we've known each other. He's from New Mexico, so we traveled the famous Route 66 to see his family. On our honeymoon, we cruised to Cozumel. And at the beginning of June, we canoed in the mountains of Arkansas. The water was clear all the way to the bottom, and fish swam by every now and then. Snakes, too. Yikes! From my perspective in the canoe, the mountains seemed so large and the sky so big. I'd never been down the Kings river in a canoe, so I had no idea what to expect. My husband and I had to work together to steer. We jokingly called the process "couple's therapy." Communication is important.
It's the same with faith. Life is full of the unexpected and we never known which direction we'll head in next. We must trust that God is in control and will lead us according to his will, which is all a part of His greater plan.
Pray every day for guidance and let God be your GPS. He is the ultimate tour guide, there to lead us by the hand every step of the way. You can bet He will take us along the scenic route, so we have to make sure to stop and view all the natural beauty that God created just for us.


Jayna Morrow is newly published with Prism Book Group. Her first book, GARRETT, launched the Sweet Home series, with four more installments in the works. She is a member of ETWA (East Texas Writers Association) in Longview and enjoys giving workshops for writers. She is currently employed by Marshall ISD as a 4th grade reading teacher.

What happens when you're living the dream and things suddenly change? Micara Lee's charming existence starts slipping away as land developers threaten the town she loves.

What happens when your dream doesn't align with God's plan for your life? Garrett Hearth finds out when an injury ends his athletic career. Disenchantment and wavering faith keep him from the life he desires. Micara's beautiful spirit touches Garrett's heart... but can she help restore his faith and convince him to live the life God has planned for him?

Their happiness and the legacy of Sweet Home, Texas hang in the balance.

 $2.99 Ebook/8.99 Print


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Developing a Heart for the Less Fortunate, Compassion for the Elderly

There was a time when I didn't "see" elderly people. What I mean is, I was young, and because I was young, I was prejudiced against the aged. I didn't connect with them. I thought they were old and I really didn't give them much value.  They were invisible.

As the saying goes, "What goes around, comes around."  Now that I am over 50 (I won't tell you how much over 50 I am), old age is staring me in the face. I hate it and I am fighting it tooth and nail, but age is winning.

Because I am dealing with my own aging, and I have also dealt with my mom's-- having moved her into an assisted living residence a little over a year ago--I have suddenly become sensitive to how older people are treated. I made an extra effort on Sunday to pay momr a visit with my husband and take her out for a picnic lunch. When I pulled up to the facility where she lives, she and several other residents were sitting in rockers out front, waiting, I suppose for something exciting to happen.

She wasn't expecting me. It does not good to call ahead because she can't remember if we make plans. The look of delight on her face when she saw me and Jeff was priceless. We made her day.

I have been on the receiving end of being ignored or undervalued by younger people who never think that I might be bothered by their insensitivity.  I see my own body changing, despite a champion effort to stay in shape. It ain't easy.

I think it often takes facing the very thing we don't respect to make us respectful of it.  My own aging has made me more tender toward my mother (with whom I have always struggled to have a good relationship.) 

Helen volunteers at the church office where I work. She comes  once a month to help stuff our newsletter. The previous secretary didn't use her, claiming Helen's talking annoyed her. I don't really need her either and have realized that she can be quite chatty. I could do it myself, but Helen is retired and a widow. She moved to the area following her husband's death to be near her son and their family, but her son recently transferred out of the area so now she is very alone. She fills her time volunteering at other organizations. I am sure some of this is to off set loneliness.

 She is still very sharp and I know that being valued matters, so I continue to use her. The last time she helped I told her, "You know, I only get to see you once a month.  It's too bad you don't stop by more often."  Her face brightened and she said, "Well, maybe I can come by when I'm in the neighborhood."  Not too long after she dropped by the office and brought me some tomatoes she had purchased at a local fruit stand. I told her how much I appreciated it.

More than anything, people want to feel that they matter. If I want to be valued and cared about when I am old (not too far off now) shouldn't I make an extra effort to show older people that they count for something. Even the smallest things can brighten their day.


If you want to learn more about being valued and treasured, be sure to read Teena's book, The Treasure Seeker: Finding Love and Value in the Arms of Your Loving Heavenly Father.