Climbing into Eternity Celebrate Lit Book Tour & Giveaway

My Thoughts

The first time she went to Hell and years later she went to Heaven.  Obviously she returned to her human body both times.

I am unsure how to review this book.  My beliefs and what I have been taught are that when you are unsaved and die, that is the end.  You have no chance of redemption after that and cannot go to Heaven.  The author tells a very different story.  

The God-glorifying and inspirational parts of the book are wonderful.  The author has listed many things that are worthy of repeating.  She stresses that we should always praise and thank God despite what our circumstances might be.   God wants to heal us of all the addictions we suffer from and will help us receive freedom when we truly ask for His help.  She reminds us of God’s everlasting love, patience, and kindness.

This book is a perplexing one for me.  I found so much good in it, but I had so many questions on it.  Honestly I am not equipped to answer them.  Maybe only Jesus is.  If you want to read this book I would suggest you do it prayerfully.  A few things did not seem right to me in my soul, but this was not my experience.  I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit but these are my own, honest words.

About the Book

Book: Climbing into Eternity

Author: Michele Pulford

Genre: Non-Fiction

Release Date: April 2018

“I died twice and came back to tell about it.”

Michele flirted with death for six years, trying to numb her pain following a sexual pervert’s attack. Attempting to protect herself, she allowed hatred of men to control her, and used mind control to manipulate others. Suffering with acute anorexia nervosa, she was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital at age twenty-three.

She woke up in hell, a place of eternal damnation, horror, torment, and fire. Rescued by the Savior whose soft, gentle voice she had rejected, Michele was given a new chance at life and turned wholeheartedly to the Lord.

When her body was completely paralyzed from an anaphylactic allergy attack as a young mother, she found life leaving her body once again. “This time,” she says, “I was ushered into the splendorous glory of Heaven—a place of almost indescribable light and love.”

Sent back to tell her story, Michele Pulford warns others of the horrors of the kingdom of darkness, and tells them of the glory of true abundant life in God’s kingdom of light.

This personal love story, as well as a story about death and eternal life, is both a warning and a promise, and ultimately an unforgettable account of the love of God that would not let a young woman go.

 

Click here to get your copy.

 

 

About the Author

Michele Pulford trained and worked as a fashion designer and textile lecturer from 1982 to 2009. After attending evening Bible school, she was further trained at MES Aksie, an evangelical missions ministry, before doing missionary outreach and relationship building among the locals in the Maghadighadi Pans of Botswana from 1990 to 1996. A marketplace intercessor and teacher on prayer, she makes her home with her husband Charles in South Africa. Their family consists of a son Cyle-jay, his wife Natasha, and grandson, Asher Ethan; and a daughter Brontii-ann.

 

More from Michele

After a sexual pervert’s attack at ten years of age, I invited evil into my life. I became an embittered, hateful teenager consumed by acute anorexia with murderous hate towards men. This led me into an abusive marriage of two years which ended with a failed murder attempt. Due to my failure I landed up DOA at my local hospital from premeditated suicide. On dying, I was taken to the evil and fiery demon invested accusing, tormenting pit of hell. It was here where the miraculous Light and Life of Jesus ripped through and rescued me.

I began my new life with my best friend, the Holy Spirit. Miraculously I married my high school sweetheart. The miraculous continued when after being declared completely barren, God’s love and grace stepped in resulting with me giving birth to a son and a daughter. Our family joy was shadowed by my soul-destroying bulimic addiction which God’s grace eventually set me free from. The life-death challenges did not end there. I found myself in an intense battle with witchdoctors as well with the dangers of onset anaphylactic attacks. It was one of these attacks that found me dying once again, with my husband and doctor watching. This time I was taken to the gates of heaven and glory. This is my story of life and death, heaven and hell, blessing and cursing.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, January 23

janicesbookreviews, January 24

Simple Harvest Reads, January 25 (Author Interview)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 26

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 27

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 28

A Baker’s Perspective, January 29 (Author Interview)

Spoken from the Heart, January 30

Inklings and notions, January 31

My Devotional Thoughts, February 1 (Author Interview)

Artistic Nobody, February 2 (Guest Review from Kelsey Barela)

For Him and My Family, February 3

For the Love of Literature, February 4 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, February 5

Giveaway

To celebrate her the grand prize of a $50 Amazon Gift Card and ‘signed’ copy of Climbing Into Eternity, My Descent In Hell and Flight To Heaven!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/f52d/climbing-into-eternity-celebration-tour-giveaway

When Your Voice Became Mine Book Tour and Giveaway

My Thoughts

When Your Voice Became Mine by author Celeste N. Bowers is a beautiful book written to help those who have suffered loss. Above all else, this is a God-glorifying book.  It is inspiring, full of hope, trust, and love for our Lord.

I was moved to tears while reading this poignant book.  The format is so nice and extremely personal.  Everything has been well thought and planned.  The book is written in letter form to Christina, the author’s daughter. There are five “Packages” that feature a part of Christina’s life.  She was able to uplift and minister to others throughout her short life.  Her one young life touched many people.

The author has included some pictures which make this book even more emotional.  The messages of trusting in God, Heaven, faith, and love are strong.  Every reader will find this book lingers long after it has been read.  There is much to ponder.

This would make a nice selection for a reading group, especially for a grief therapy group.  I would recommend this to anyone.  It was definitely written with love.  I rate it a 5 out of 5 stars.  A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit but this is my honest opinion.

 

About the Book

Book: When Your Voice Became Mine

Author: Celeste N. Bowers

Genre: Non-Fiction

Release Date: November 2019

For all those who have lost hope and purpose, and for all those who hurt deep inside from loss, author Celeste Bowers wishes she could spare you from pain, just as she hoped she could shield her own ten-year-old daughter, Christina, from the storms.

Although she can’t protect you from life’s tragedies, Celeste can tell you this—and she is proof of this—no matter how hard you fall or how much you ache, God will lift you up with new purpose. He will carry you out of the weeping waves and safely to shore.

Celeste has been sending “packages” to heaven since her daughter passed away on May 29, 2005. What she never fathomed were the gifts sent back to deeply define her.

In a moment, Christina’s voice became hers. In that same moment, she knew “there is a mailbox in heaven.”

 

Click here for your copy.

 

About the Author

Celeste Bowers has been blessed with gifts of writing, teaching, coaching, making people laugh, and being a mom. These gifts held crucial roles when her daughter, Christina, was diagnosed with cancer. Every gift Celeste received from God is tied together in her words. Packages bundled in love and filled with life lessons are sent to heaven in her first book, If There’s a Mailbox in Heaven. Christina’s testimony and Celeste’s newfound purpose are now joined together in When Your Voice Became Mine.

 

More from Celeste

Time is such a fragile commodity. When someone we love passes away,

we want the whole world to stop moving and acknowledge what truly

matters at that moment—but we also want time to fly so we don’t have

to endure another day without our loved ones. What helped me move

gently through time was nothing that came about by my own means. Instead, I have trusted God wholeheartedly to navigate my path.

Time does not exist in heaven. Since heaven is our real home, I

will not allow time to consume me here on earth; instead, I choose

to use my precious time wisely. I have been sending “packages” to heaven—letters that I write

to my ten-year-old daughter Christina—since she passed away on May 29, 2005. Each one is tied with my hopes, wishes, and newfound purpose. What I never

fathomed were the gifts from above that would be sent back to me.

In a moment, Christina’s voice became mine. In that same moment,

I knew there is a mailbox in heaven.

Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 10

Where Crisis & Christ Collide, January 11

Artistic Nobody, January 12 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, January 13

Book Love, January 14 (Guest Review from Lucy Reynolds)

Through the Fire Blogs, January 15 (Author Interview)

For the Love of Literature, January 16

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 17

Texas Book-aholic, January 18

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 19

A Baker’s Perspective, January 20 (Author Interview)

Inklings and notions, January 21

janicesbookreviews, January 22

Tell Tale Book Reviews, January 23 (Author Interview)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Celeste is giving away the grand prize package  of a signed copy of each of her books, along with 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.

https://promosimple.com/ps/f469/when-your-voice-became-mine-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

The Baby-Catcher Gate Book Review

My Thoughts:

The Baby-Catcher Gate by Wendy Jo Cerna was an absolute beautifully written Christian novel.  The author has a lovely style of writing.  It is engaging and drew me in immediately not wanting to let me go.  Within the first few pages I was caught up in the story.
Author Cerna’s vivid descriptive writing took me to the time and place of her story.  I felt like I was back in 1980 again.  The conversations were authentic and flowed easily.  Using two points of view she switches between them seamlessly.  Her style is easy and pleasant to read.  There were even recipes at the back of the book as an added treat.
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All of the characters are well defined.  I felt like I knew each one well and had some new friends.  The main character, Pearl, was a typical twelve year old girl growing up in 1980s.  Yet she was anything but typical it seems.  It was easy to become invested in Pearl’s story.  I connected with her mother, Lizzie, also, and enjoyed Fritz.  The characters have unique characteristics and quirks.  There are so many that stood out as likable.
Pearl’s mother and grandmother were both “baby catchers,” but Pearl does not want to be one.  Her spirit is too gentle.  She will assist her mother at times but unlike her sister, Susan, Pearl isn’t cut out for this type of work.  I thought the book was going to be about midwifery but it was about so much more.  Baby catching was just a small portion of the book.
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This is the tale of Pearl, who ends up in the hospital and Heaven.  In Heaven Pearl receives a gift and a task.  Then she returns to earth to help people.  Pearl shares her unique experience with family and friends.  Reading this brought tears to my eyes and a warmth to my heart.
This story is filled with twists and turns to make it a page turning gem.  A few parts drag a bit but overall it moves along at a nice pace.  The surprises keep it interesting.  I enjoyed the author’s idea of Heaven, God, and what eternal life will be.  Gregory, the angel, was spot on for what an angel might be.
There are many life lessons and spiritual messages in this book.  The foremost is life after death in Heaven.  The author has stated in her notes that she prayed for and received God’s guidance when writing this unique book about the baby-catcher’s gate in Heaven.  It is definitely a God glorifying tale.
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Family, forgiveness, bullying, death, relationships, miscarriage, violence, and gossiping are all subjects approached in the captivating offering from author Cerna.  It is an exceptionally well planned and well written book.  I loved it.  There was a phase she used that I had never heard:  “we are in a thin place” meaning someone was between life and death there.  It suited the story well.
I would highly recommend this book to mature readers because of some of the adult situations.  It would have been nice if it had discussion questions.  A book club would still be able to enjoy and examine this thought provoking offering from author Cerna easily.  I rated it a 5 out of 5 stars.  I won a copy of this book from Good Reads but was under no obligation to write a review.  These are my honest words.
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About the Book:

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On a stormy summer night in 1982, twelve-year-old Pearl must accompany her midwife mother on a call to client in labor. Pressed into service as a birthing assistant, Pearl is called upon to swaddle the newborn boy and hold him in her arms. As she gazes into his face, she is drawn into what her mother likes to call a thin place – a place where the distance between heaven and earth becomes so small you can see into one from the other.

In this thin place, Pearl travels to The Baby-Catcher Gate. What she experiences there transforms her and she becomes a catalyst of change for her hometown in the north woods of Minnesota. Folks will never be the same.

The Baby-Catcher Gate is a story about the beautiful consequences of peeking into heaven. Follow Pearl’s adventure and catch a glimpse for yourself.

About the Author

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Born and raised in a family of educators in Minnesota, Wendy Jo traveled to the University of Washington in Seattle to complete her bachelor’s degree in Theater Arts. In 1986, she married her college sweetheart. They settled in Bellevue, WA to run their contracting business and raise their three children. In 2009, she received a master’s degree in Psychology which she has used to educate and counsel hurting people in a variety of settings. In writing her first novel, she has found a way to combine her love of the arts and education with her passion for healing the brokenhearted.

Family, Food, and Aunt Kathleen’s Red Velvet Cake

img_2348Food and family have a way of going together.  When added together they equal fun for my clan.  Holidays, birthdays, new babies we have yet to see, or visits from our beloved out of town members are all valid reasons to have one.  Actually no reason other than we haven’t seen each other in a while is necessary.

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Everyone brings a favorite or specialty dish.  Sometimes even more than one thing is carried in while folks try to guess what it is.  Followed by yums and ooohs, the side or dessert is carried to the kitchen or designated area.  The hosts normally provide the meat, breads, and drinks (coffee, iced tea and lemonade) while the rest of us fill in the other places.  It is so much fun and food!  Our family is blessed.

We always begin by counting off in a circle holding hands.  After grace is said by Dad before he says “amen” we go around the circle again squeezing the person’s hand to our right.  When it gets back to Dad, he says “and all God’s children said…”  That’s when everyone joins in together with a big hearty Amen!  After that the little kids jump and clap like something spectacular has happened.  Actually it has.

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Our family has managed to still lovingly get together long after my grandparents went to Heaven.  They built a strong Christian foundation for their family.  My cousins are as close as siblings.  I know I can count on them for anything and vice versa.  Their children are like nieces and nephews to me and are dearly loved.  I pray for each one of them daily.

 

I am writing this nostalgic post today because I miss my Aunt Kathleen.  She was my Mother’s older sister.  At birthday gatherings and Christmas, Aunt Kathleen she would bring her famous Red Velvet cake to our family gatherings.  It was legendary.  The recipe is below, but as I wrote in my cookbook, “this is often made but never duplicated.”  No one could make it quite like she did.  Today I could use a piece of that cake and a cup of tea with her.  We talked often, and I could use her ear today.  I know she’s waiting in Heaven so we can catch up there later.

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I hope you treasure your family as much as I do mine.  Cherish the days you have with them.  Make memories that will be happy stories to tell your children.  Thank God for the family He has given you.  Each person was especially placed there for you.

Aunt Kathleen’s Red Velvet Cake

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Ingredients: ½ c. shortening
1 ½ c. sugar
2 eggs
2 oz. red food coloring
1 T. cocoa
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. buttermilk
1 tsp. salt
2 ¼ c. flour
1 T. vinegar
1 tsp. soda

Directions: For Cake: Cream shortening, sugar, and eggs. In a separate bowl, make a paste with food coloring and cocoa. Put into creamed mixture. Add salt, flour, buttermilk and vanilla alternately. Do not beat hard. Just blend. Lastly, add in soda with vinegar mixed in.
Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes in two 8 inch pans. Let cool and then split each layer into 2, making 4 layers in all.
For Icing:
¼ c. flour , ¼ tsp. salt, 1 c. milk, 1 c. Crisco, 1 c. sugar, 1tsp. vanilla
In the top of a double boiler, combine flour and salt. Blend a little milk into it before adding remaining milk. Cook over double boiler until thick, stirring constantly. Cool well.
Cream Crisco and sugar until fluffy. Add cooled flour mixture. Mix well. Add vanilla. Spread evenly between layer, on sides, and top of cake. May add coconut if desired.

He Lives!

He is risen! He is risen indeed! Hallelujah! Today is Easter, Resurrection Sunday.   Lent has been finished. Have you prepared your body, mind, and spirit for worshipping our risen Savior? We have talked about why He came, what He did, what He expects of us, and learned many things these past forty days, but the most important thing about Lent is have we prepared ourselves for Easter and worship? Are you ready?  Me, too!

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Churches have all types of Easter services some started on Friday night and go through tonight. One of the most popular is the Sunrise Service. Did you go today?  It is a special time to worship and usually done outdoors.  If not today have you ever worshipped at dawn on Easter watching the sun come up and imaging Jesus Christ rising from the dead? It doesn’t matter when or where we worship, just that we do.

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On Easter morning the women went about their normal routine of checking the tomb for Jesus.  What they found today was quite different.  An angel sat on the huge stone that had been rolled away.

(Matt. 28:5-6)

The Bible says Mary, mother of James, Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Salome gathered at the tomb and saw that the large stone had been rolled away from the entrance. An angel was there and said “Don’t be afraid! I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as He said would happen.” (Mt. 28:5-6, NLT).

When they looked inside the tomb it was indeed empty. The angel asked them “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; He has risen! Remember how He told you that He would be turned over to sinful men, be crucified, and rise again on the third day!” – Luke 24:6-7

The shroud covering Christ’s body was neatly folded and placed where His body had been.  That is significant because during those times a folded napkin at a table meant the person would return.  He was not finished.  He was returning.  Jesus took the time to send that message to His followers. “I am returning.”   He was not finished yet.

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Jesus had accomplished what was foretold by the prophets. God’s Son was beaten, accused, crucified, placed in a tomb, and He arose on the third day. He had done what He said He would. He conquered sin and death. Our sin debts had been stamped “paid in full” because of our Savior. He gave everything for our salvation, but what have we given in return? Do I give Him my love and devotion? My obedience? Have I submitted my will to His?

Take time this Easter to really worship and think about the great sacrifice Jesus made for you. He didn’t just die on the cross for the disciples and Bible people. We are included in the covenant, too. He died for Cheri, Janice, Joyce, Tom, Donna, Den, Vanessa, Jason, and even me. Yes, He died for us, but He arose. He paid the price so that we may reign in Heaven as heirs of the true King. He died so that we might live. Life after death is real. It is our gift for the taking.  Rejoice! He is alive. Worship Him. He will return as promised. Let’s rejoice, worship, and stay ready.

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Holy Tuesday, Jesus Teaches in Parables

Tuesday the disciples walked back by the fig tree from yesterday that Jesus cursed. It was now withered and dead. Jesus used that to teach them about faith, true faith. A person or nation that does not produce fruit for God (do His work) will wither and die all the way down to its roots. The tree had leaves so by first sight it looked like it was producing. A closer look revealed no fruit. Then Jesus cursed it so it withered and died.

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Are you producing fruit? Are you leading people to God? Helping them find salvation? Does the light of Jesus shine through you? Are you loving, kind, selfless, good, joyful, and have the fruits of the spirit? Don’t wither away. Grow tall and produce fruit. Increase in your faith. Flourish in your love for Jesus. You will be amazed at the things that will happen when you believe and have faith!

“Seeing a fig tree by the road, He went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then He said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered.” Mt. 21:19

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“Jesus replied, ‘Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” Mt. 21:21-22

They returned to the Temple and the religious leaders were upset at Jesus for establishing himself as a spiritual authority.  He had a large following now. Jesus evaded the traps the leaders set for Him with their questions.  He scolded them in Matt. 23 and compared them to tombs – beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people.

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Jesus took His disciples to the Mount of Olives and told them parables about end times and His return.  Those who wait for the Master’s coming—the wise and faithful servant (Matthew 24:45-51), the five wise virgins (Matthew 25:1-13), and the good servant who uses his resources wisely (Matthew 25:14-30) are a few of the ones.

Do you remember any of these parables from Sunday School or Vacation Bible School?  The point is to have faith and be ready for Jesus.  He is coming back just like He promised.  When?  Well, that is not for us to know.  We are just supposed to be ready at a moment’s notice.

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Can You Imagine the First Palm Sunday?

Today is Palm Sunday.   This celebrates the day Jesus triumphantly enters the city of Jerusalem.  It marks one week before Easter. Here in Southern Indiana Palm Sunday can be a beautiful day or it can be snowing.  It is very unpredictable.  What isn’t unpredictable and remains unchanged is the Palm Sunday message.  “Hosanna!  Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the king of Israel!” John 12:12-13.

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Scripture tells us that Jesus rode into the city on a young donkey. The streets were lined with people who threw clothes and palms or small branches, in front of him as a sign of homage and respect. This was what people did for kings. They were treating Jesus like royalty. Using palm branches symbolized peace and victory. Jesus was coming in peace, triumphantly. The crowd of people shouted “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.”

Can you imagine what it was like to be in that crowd? Jesus had come to save the lost, to secure their eternal life and salvation. He was the Messiah, long awaited.  Hearts must have been beating wildly at the anticipation of seeing Him. Thought we’re surely running all over wondering what to do – stand, bow, wave, kneel.  Did tears fill many eyes?  My eyes get glassy thinking about it.

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How amazing it must have been to see Jesus.  He was the one that raised the dead back to life and healed the sick. He was the teacher everyone spoke of so highly. Jesus changed lives. Jesus was God’s Son. What would we have done in that crowd?  Can you imagine?

It makes me think of Heaven and what I will do when I see Jesus. Like the Mercy Me song:

I can only imagine what it will be like
When I walk, by Your side
I can only imagine what my eyes will see
When Your face is before me
I can only imagine, I can only imagine
Surrounded by Your glory
What will my heart feel
Will I dance for you Jesus
Or in awe of You be still
Will I stand in Your presence
Or to my knees will I fall
Will I sing hallelujah
Will I be able to speak at all
I can only imagine, I can only imagine
I can only imagine when that day comes
When I find myself standing in the Son
I can only imagine when all I would do is forever
Forever worship You
I can only imagine, I can only imagine

What will you do when you see Jesus? Can you imagine seeing Him face to face?

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Reforesting Faith by Matthew Sleeth

“Reforesting Faith, What trees teach us about the nature of God and His love for us, is a most interesting book on faith, walking with God, and trees of the Bible.  Author Matthew Sleeth has written a 224 page Christian Living book divided into three parts.

The first part is “Laying the Groundwork”.  It has three chapters followed by “Seeds of Faith” which has six.  The last section is “Fruit of the Tree” with four chapters.  The book finishes with an Epilogue, “Why I wrote this book”, and notes.  I was disappointed there were no study or discussion questions .

This is a refreshing look at book nature, trees, and God’s love.  It was the first selection from author Sleeth that I have read and I really enjoyed his style.  He has an easy way of making his point as if in a conversation.  The words moved steadily and effortlessly without a hitch across the pages.

Scripture was not sprinkled but given in a heavy handed dose throughout this God glorifying gem.  The author had done research on every chapter and it shows.  This book is well planned, well organized, and well written.

It gave me things to ponder.  Did I realize all of these references were in the Bible which I have read numerous times?  Well, no.  I missed a lot.  I thought of so many people I wanted to share this book with while savoring the nuggets of information it taught.

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Both men and women will enjoy this wonderful book.  Nature enthusiasts especially will appreciate it.  I highly recommend it.  It gets a 5 out of 5 rating from me for the writing, because I have never read anything like it, and it is a book that will help strengthen one’s Walk with God.

An advance reader copy (ARC) was provided by the publisher but I was under no obligation to write a review.  This is my honest opinion.

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About the Book

The Bible talks about trees more than any living creation other than people. Perhaps you’ve missed the forest…and the trees.

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In this groundbreaking walk through Scripture, former physician and carpenter Dr. Matthew Sleeth makes the convincing case why trees are essential to every Christian’s understanding of God.

Yet we’ve mostly missed how God has chosen to tell His story–and ours–through the lens of trees. There’s a tree on the first page of Genesis and the last page of Revelation. The Bible refers to itself as a Tree of Life (Proverbs 3:18).
Every major Biblical character has a tree associated with them. Jesus himself says he is the true vine (John 15:1). A tree was used to kill Jesus–and a tree is the only thing the Messiah ever harmed.

This is no accident. When we subtract trees from Scripture, we miss lessons of faith necessary for our growth.

This is the rare book that connects those who love the Creator with creation, and those who love creation with the Creator. It offers inspirational yet practical ways to express our love for God–and our neighbors–by planting spiritual trees and physical trees in the world.

Join Dr. Sleeth as he navigates the Bible’s trail of trees to explore the wonders of life, death, and rebirth. You’ll be amazed at how science is just beginning to catch up to the truths described in Scripture thousands of years ago. Once you discover the hidden language of trees, your walk through the woods–and through Scripture–will never be the same.

About the Author

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MATTHEW SLEETH, MD, a former emergency room physician and chief of the hospital medical staff, resigned from his position to teach, preach, and write about the biblical call to be good stewards of the earth. A highly sought-after speaker, Dr. Sleeth has spoken at more than 1,000 churches, campuses, and events, including serving as the monthly guest preacher at The Washington National Cathedral for a year. Recognized by Newsweek as one of the nation’s most influential evangelical leaders, Dr. Sleeth is a graduate of George Washington University School of Medicine and has two postdoctoral fellowships. He is the executive director of Blessed Earth and author of Serving God, Saving the Planet; 24/6; the introduction to The Green Bible, as well as numerous creation care books and articles. Dr. Sleeth lives in Lexington, KY, with Nancy, his wife of nearly 40 years.

 

St. Patrick’s Day Musings and Recipe

Well, top of the mornin’ to ya and Happy St. Patty’s Day! ‘‘Tis the day everyone claims to be at least a wee bit Irish,  What about you?  Are you really of Irish decent or just Irish today?

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A sea of green will be flowing everywhere today because most everyone wears green clothes, Irish or not, on this day. It is the day many foods turn green on purpose.  Even the river in Chicago turns green.  This is also the one day of the year that we all put a “Mc” or “O” in front of our surname and become Irish. Yes, it’s St. Patrick’s Day!

St. Patrick was a soul saver. IMG_1716A soldier for the Lord.  That is what we are really celebrating.  He used a three leaf clover to teach people about the trinity.  St. Patrick turned thousands of hearts, minds, and souls to the one true God.  Now, doesn’t that sound like cause to celebrate!  I think so, too.

It isn’t about having things green and being Irish. No fictional little leprechauns with rainbows and pots of gold were there.  This is about celebrating the vast number of Druids, pagans that were saved and became Christians.

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Irish are supposed to be lucky among a lot of other things. You’ve heard of the “luck of the Irish,” right? Hmm, I am not sure about that. Well, I guess you could say the ones that met St. Patrick were lucky, or could you? Was it luck that drew them to St. Patrick or something else?  Perhaps the Holy Spirit.

Do you believe in luck? Do you think there is gold at the end of the rainbow? Personally, I don’t really believe much in luck or leprechauns. Maybe if I keep losing when playing a game I say I have bad luck, but outside of that I don’t put belief in luck. My faith and trust are in Jesus. He is the one that guides and directs me just like He did St. Patrick.

When I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, He was the Way or rainbow to my riches. I followed Him. My gold happens to be where Jesus prepared a place for me at the end of my earthly life – in Heaven. IMG_3600That is where my heart is, too. In Heaven the Bible says there will be beautiful streets of gold.

My saved loved ones will be there. There will be no more sickness, no more death, no more tears. My Savior, Jesus, is there. Our Almighty God, my Maker, is there. Talk about hitting the jackpot or pot of gold! That is everything I could ever want. Wow, no riches can compare to that. None. So what about you? Where is your pot of gold?

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matt. 6:19-21.

Traditional Irish St. Patrick’s Day Dish

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Irish Colcannon, an Irish Treasured Dish

1 lb. potatoes peeled white or unpeeled red potatoes
½ lb. bacon (cut into small 1-inch squares)
1 T. Kosher salt
6 cups thinly sliced cabbage (approximately a head)
6 T. butter (four for the cabbage and two for the potatoes)
½ cup whipping cream (or milk)
Fresh parsley chopped finely-a few sprigs will do
A large onion, chopped
5 or 6 scallions or a clump (handful) of chives
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Wash potatoes and peel if you’re using thick skinned.
Cut the potatoes in quarters and place in a large pot of boiling water.
Add the Kosher salt. Boil for approximately 25 minutes.
Stick one of the potatoes with a fork to see if they’re cooked. They should be tender and easy to penetrate with the prongs.

Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat.
When they’re finished cooking, add 4 T. butter.
Add the cabbage and onions.
Sauté the cabbage mixture until almost done, with the onions translucent and cabbage a bit crispy. Some people prefer to cook the mixture until everything is soft. It just depends on whether you like a bit of crunch or not. It takes about 10 to 15 minutes.

Drain the potatoes and add the butter and cream or milk, mashing it to silky smoothness—unless you left the skins on, then almost silky smoothness.

Add the onion, cabbage mixture and salt and pepper to taste.
Serve hot. Enjoy this Irish classic dish.

 

 

 

If I Won the Lottery, I Would . . .

Many people buy lottery tickets.  Are you one of them?  It is easy to get caught up in the excitement and frenzy when its numbers get high.  My friends and I play what my hubby calls the “What if” game.  What if we won the lottery?  What would we each do?

To begin with we would first need to buy a ticket.  Just like their add says, you can’t win if you don’t play.  As much fun as winning would be I don’t think donating my money would make me happy.   So for our game, I need to pretend I would buy a ticket.

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We all decided a lot of the money would be put to good use.  We would help family and friends in need.  I see you nodding.  You would do the same.   Charities and churches would get donations, too.  We weren’t all selfless.  We would keep some for ourselves.

Some wanted to travel the world and others wanted nice homes.  One friend wanted a mountain home, beach home, and another near family.  We all wanted different things but decided we wanted the luxury of not working and having enough money to do whatever we wanted.  Notice I said whatever we wanted and not what we needed.

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What would winning the lottery do to our spiritual life?  Would we continue to attend church each weekend or would we be too busy traveling?  If things were always going our way, would we talk to our Heavenly Father as much as we do now?  Our daily prayer time might not be as important if we had most all of the things we thought we wanted.  Would we still want more?  With all of our extra time where would God fit in?

Money used correctly does help a lot of people.  Wanting and obsessing over money tears  marriages and families apart.  It can destroy a person.  Scripture tells us in Timothy 6:10 “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

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It is cliche but true.  Money cannot buy everything.  Think about all the true blessings in your life.  They are priceless.  You didn’t purchase them and they most likely cannot be replaced with money.

Be aware of what you have that cannot be bought.  Take inventory of your own personal lottery winnings.  Are you kind?  Would people say you have integrity and morals?  Do people trust you?  Are you loved?   You, my friend have won!

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Other life lottery blessings would be a loving, supporting family.  Friends that are always there for you and a circle of prayer warriors to intercede on your behalf are irreplaceable.  Money cannot buy any of these.

I agree the “What if I won the Lottery” game is fun, but is it really something Abba wants for our life?  We are His children and parents know from experience it is not always good to allow children to receive everything they want.  For instance what happens when kids have too much candy, too little sleep, or play unattended?

Our Heavenly Father knows what is best for us and what would happen if we won the lottery.  What do you think would happen?  Would we still be the same people and be as close to Him?  If not, I say keep the money and just give me Jesus.

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