Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Izzy's Popstar Plan by Alex Marestaing

I'm so torn over this book.  As far as the devotions go, it's wonderful.  This book is geared for girls 9-12 years old.  I have granddaughters that age--which is why I asked to review the book for BookSneeze.  But as far as the story line goes, it makes me afraid to share the book with them.  The book reads like a blog and is the story of Izzy Baxter, a 14-year-old girl on her way to stardom in the Pop Star Challenge (a contest like American Idol).  That's the reason I'm divided on what kind of review to give.  I hate promoting the whole stardom idea---even though Izzy does learn that it's more important to serve God than to be famous.  Izzy learns some tough lessons through the death of her mom, the betrayal of her friends, the disappearance of her friend, Ms. Adelina and some hard choices she had to make.  I also didn't like the fact that Izzy has a love interest at such a young age.  The book did have an original ending--encouraging the reader to go online to view Izzy's website which includes videos.

I guess it's the world our 9-12 year olds live in.  They're surrounded by Hannah Montana, Justin Bieber and other young stars.  I appreciate that the author at least used the story line to direct these young girls to God.  The devotions were right on target.  I'm just undecided whether my granddaughters will get to read the book.  I don't want to encourage the whole Pop Star attitude.

Thank you to BookSneeze  for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Does anyone else find emails like this one I received from Amazon creepy??

Dear Customer,
Customers who have shown an interest in camcorders might like to know that for a limited time we're offering a free accessory with the purchase of a qualifying Flip MinoHD video camera from

What they don't know...I wasn't looking at this flip camera at all.  It's not the one I was checking out.  But still......I hate being tracked!!  It's just plain creepy!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Rob Bell

There is much ado about Rob Bell right now and the book he's written.  Zach showed me his videos months ago and I thought he was intriguing and engaging.  And when Zach was also the first to tell me about the new book and sent me some of his quotes, I really didn't even get what Rob was saying.  I felt like he was talking in circles.

I think the whole Rob Bell episode should be a lesson for us.  DO NOT BE DECEIVED.  How do we avoid deception?  By knowing the Truth.  I'm sure you've all heard that when they are training bank tellers how to tell a real dollar bill from a counterfeit, they don't teach them what a counterfeit looks like.  They make them examine a real dollar bill over and over.  And then they slip in a counterfeit.  It becomes obvious right away because they've been trained to know what a real dollar bill looks like.

We need to know the Truth--the Word of God.  Don't accept what men teach you.  Read it over and over for yourself.  Quit with the excuses.  Take responsibility for where you are.  Get a version of the Bible you do understand and start reading, start marking, start memorizing, take notes.  And then get another version of the Bible and do the same.  If you have questions, look at Greek & Hebrew dictionaries and commentaries.  Ask someone you trust.

But most importantly, let the Holy Spirit teach you.  John 14:26 (Amplified) says this:  "But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you."  If you're a believer, you have the best teacher in the world living inside of you.  He wants to teach you!  So as you sit to read your Bible, ask the Holy Spirit to teach you as you read.  It's made all the difference in the world in my life.  

We've been told there are going to be false teachers in the world.  Learn to know the Truth and you won't be drawn away by the counterfeit.   And don't have itching ears

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

This Day

As I meditated on my last post last night, I realized what a slap in the face it is to God when I try to figure out my future.  Instead of enjoying the gift of today, I'm analyzing and jumping ahead of God to see what's in front of me.

Have you ever given a gift to one of your children and then they didn't like it?  What a disappointment!   Or imagine me, as a child, getting a doll for my birthday (on December 16) and not being able to enjoy it for wondering if I was going to get the doll bed on Christmas.

I've been like that...not about the doll....but with my adult life.  I haven't enjoyed what's right in front of me for wanting to know what's ahead of me.

But I'm making a concerted effort to change all that.  I woke up this morning thanking God for the gift of this day.  I'm going to enjoy it and embrace it.  I'm not going to bug Him all day long asking Him about what's ahead of me.  I know Him well enough to know that He's already got it all worked out.  I don't need to worry.  And even if the enemy throws something really rotten into my day, God's already promised to work it out for my benefit.

Thank you for my new glasses today, God!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Where I am...where I want to be...

Where I am:
Wanting to know what tomorrow looks like. 

Where I want to be:
I want to trust God for all of my tomorrows.  I want to rest knowing He has it all in control.  I want to believe.  I want to quit trying to figure things out.  I want to quit assuming I know where God is leading and running ahead of Him.  And like Moses, I want to say, "If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here."  I long to live in His presence, hear His voice, and follow. 

It sounds so easy.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


THANKS, Sandi Smith!!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Mail

I came home from work today and found this on my porch:

Even though my arms were full, I could read the return address on the label from the ground.  It said, "Pampered Chef."  My mind started whirling!  Had I ordered something from Pampered Chef?  I meant to.  Ember had a Pampered Chef party and I'd even asked her for a catalog so I could order something.  But I never got around to it.  I'm sure the catalog is still in my stack of stuff somewhere.  Had I gone online and put something in a basket on Pampered Chef website and forgotten---and accidentally ordered it?  I couldn't think of a thing!  So I came inside, put my load down, and opened the package.

Inside the package, I found the item above.  It took me a minute, but then I busted out laughing!!!!  A JAR OPENER!  Because of my recent blog, someone sent me a jar opener!  I intend to put this jar opener to good use!!  Bless you, my benevolent friend!  I just want you to know that I forgot to put something else on that list that you need as you grow older....

A dependable car.  Preferably a Hyundai Hybrid which will save me loads of money!!  ;)

Seriously...thank you.  I'd love to know who you are!

Sunday, March 13, 2011


I'm sure you've been as riveted as I've been to all of the reports coming from Japan.  The reports have been heartbreaking.  This afternoon, I decided to look on YouTube and see if any Christians in Japan are speaking about what is going on.  I found this video by David & Tomo Robison.  I don't know them at all--and they're not actually in Japan right now, but Tomo grew up there.  This is their video to raise support to go there this summer and remain full-time.  The information they share in this video gave me a very good picture of what is going on in Japan spiritually and broke my heart even more for the thousands who lost their lives---without Christ.  You can also read an update on their website about what they've heard from friends and family who are in Japan after the earthquake and tsunami.  Please pray for the Christians in Japan--that they will rise up with renewed courage to share the gospel.  And pray that God sends workers into this field who need more than physical help at this time.

I'm sure you've also heard that within 24 hours, there was no food available in the grocery stores or convenience stores.  There was also very little gasoline left.  People are standing in lines for hours for food and water and waiting in long lines for gasoline. 

Father, please take care of not only the physical and emotional needs of the people of Japan, but please send workers into this field to share the Truth of the gospel with them.  In this hour, when people are searching and their hearts are open, send Your kids in to help.  Give people dreams and visions of Jesus as they wait.  In Jesus' name, Amen.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Birth Pains

Have you ever had a baby and experienced childbirth?  I can tell you about four separate experiences myself.  The pains start out mild and quite far apart.  Over time, they get closer together and more intense.  Right before the baby is born, you can't differentiate one contraction from another.  And I can promise you (from having 3 without pain medication)....the pain is intense!

Jesus told his disciples (Matthew 24) about the warning signs when they asked what the end of the age and his coming would look like .  And he likened it to the pains of childbirth. 

Years ago, I was watching a report on El Nino (a weather pattern) and they showed a graph which looked just like a monitor graph of contractions in childbirth.  I was stunned!  I made Andy come look at it.  I imagined that's what was actually going on in the spiritual realm---those contractions were being monitored---contractions of the pains before Jesus returns.

Well, it appears the contractions are getting closer together.  I honestly don't believe it's going to be long before Jesus returns.  And I'm excited!!

May I suggest something?  This isn't to be an alarmist or cause fear.  I think it's just plain smart.  I suggest everyone store food and water which would last you and your family for at least a couple of weeks.  I'd also suggest an emergency preparation kit.  You can make one yourself.  You can find a list on the Red Cross website.   God has told us there will be natural disasters before Jesus returns.  I think it's only smart to be prepared.   If you were to ask the people of Japan, where an earthquake and tsunami have just occurred, or the people in the midwest of the U.S., who are experiencing floods, if they wish they'd been a little more prepared, I can assure you they would say "YES!"  If God warned us, we should take notice!

 “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns."  Matt. 24:45-46

Please be praying for the people in Japan, the midwest--and everywhere there's been a catastrophe.  I can't imagine the devastation.  And pray for those who will go and share the gospel---the fields are white unto harvest!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


I promised to give you signposts along this road as I get help prepare you for what's coming.  I'm now 55 years old and this is the year that it actually hurts my hands to open a jar.  I know...can you believe it?  Those quirky little rubber thingamabobs United Way gave out last year are now coming in handy.  A few more signposts include age spots, melting skin, and....well, there I go again!  What is that word I'm looking for??  (These senior moments are happening a little more often, too.)
But I have a lot to look forward to.  Some dear friends, aged 92 and 80, came to see me this week.  They told me they are as happy as larks!  They can't remember why they're upset, hurt, or angry.  So every morning they wake up, it's a new day filled with happiness.  Won't that be fun?

Monday, March 7, 2011


Relationships.  Other than the Word of God, there's nothing more important on this earth.  They're also eternal.  They're worth fighting for, protecting, developing, and enjoying.  It takes time to develop them...but it's time well-spent.
When a relationship is fractured, it saddens the soul.  In fact, it can affect your health or mental stability. 
It seems Satan is trying his hardest to fracture relationships now.  Divide and destroy.
Guard your unity.  Protect your relationships.  FIGHT for them!  If you love someone, it doesn't matter who's right...or who's wrong.  All you want is the relationship.  You'll be willing to humble yourself and seek restoration, reconciliation, redemption...and relationship.

Please protect our relationships.  Make us alert and aware of our enemy who is roaming around seeking someone to devour.  Quicken our spirits to take up our shields of faith and our weapon to defend those relationships.  Pour out Your Spirit on us.  Fill us with love...Your love.  Help us to extend the same grace to others that You extend to us.  Let Your goodness and mercy overtake us all.  Help us, Daddy.  Please help us!  In Jesus' name, Amen.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Rebellion

Moses has been on my mind lately.  Maybe because I just finished teaching about him in children's church.  I love that story!  It tells so many stories within that one story.  You can glean things such as salvation (Moses in the basket), the impetuosity of youth (Moses killing an Egyptian), hearing God (the burning bush), obedience (going to Pharoah), the miraculous (parting of the Red Sea), God's provision (the manna and the quail).  But you also see basic human nature.  I'd say "at it's finest," but maybe it's really "at it's worst."
You know the story.  God led the Israelites out of Egypt (where they'd been slaves) and led them to a land He'd promised them.  From then on, it was called The Promised Land.  God told them it was a land flowing with milk and honey---and it was theirs.  He even promised to give them their enemies--He'd drive them out of the land.  They'd seen God's mighty hand in bringing them to the border of the Promised Land.  He'd performed miracle after miracle on their behalf.  And then He told Moses to send 12 spies into the land who would bring back a report.  God wanted each tribe represented in this spying effort.  So Moses chose 12 leaders whom he trusted to go into the land and to bring back a report of what was in the land--the fruit, the people, the cities.  You can read the whole story here.
Well, the spies came back.  It took two men to carry one cluster of grapes between them!  The land was lush, beautiful and provisional.  But...there were giants in the land.  That's all ten of those spies could concentrate on---their fear.   Caleb stood up and got everyone's attention and told them, "Let us go up at once and possess it; we are well able to conquer it."  But the 10 disagreed.  And their fear spread.  It spread to the point that the people cried out with a loud voice and wept all that night.  Then they began grumbling.  And then they began accusing their leaders.
I think it's beneficial to back up just a minute and remember who had told them they were to go into the land.  God did.  And God gave Moses the plan---choose 12 men to go in and spy out the land.  I believe God had in mind that those 12 men were to come back and give the same report Caleb did give---the land is good, the men are big, but God is bigger---and we can take it! 
You know the rest of the story.  A great rebellion took place.  Not aimed against the leadership---but against God.  The people refused to leave where they were.  They said, "Would that we had died in Egypt! Or that we had died in this wilderness!"  So God said, "Ok."  And that's what He gave them.  Death in the wilderness.  He knew the rebellion was against Him.  Listen to what He told Moses:  "And the Lord said to Moses, How long will this people provoke (spurn, despise) Me? And how long will it be before they believe Me [trusting in, relying on, clinging to Me], for all the signs which I have performed among them?"
As I've thought on this story, I've come to realize God never calls us to an easy place.  There's always risk involved.  It wouldn't be called trust if there wasn't risk involved!  Jesus was our example--and he was quite the risk-taker.  He didn't train his disciples to stay in their comfort zone, did he?  His message has always been to GO. 
I haven't always been obedient.  I've often been rebellious.  There's always a choice involved, isn't there?  Am I going to submit to God and obey...or rebel?
I want to be like Caleb and say, "Let us go up at once and possess it; we are well able to conquer it."

Friday, March 4, 2011


Grandbabies and more grandbabies!  It's an exciting time in our lives.  I got a phone call this morning about Grandbaby #9.  Amy called to tell me that they could have their referral in 4 months.  That means Baby Hadassah will have been chosen for them and they'll have a photo of her.  The process is so amazing---and all about God!  The line-up, the choosing, the timing--all of it.  Kind of like a natural birth.  Ha!  Anyway, you can read all about it  here

Tomorrow, we're heading to Lubbock so Pops can meet Mr. Dax.  Of course, my meeting him was very short-lived since he was put under oxygen almost immediately after birth.  So I can't wait to get my hands on him.  Expect more pictures.

My bigger grandbabies are very busy.  Caitlin (who will be 12 in over 1 week!!  Yikes!!) & Alexis are in Louisiana with their other grandparents.  I think they're getting to see their other cousin. Caitlin was born first and then 2.5 years later, we started a process of having 5 grandkids in 3 years!!  So we have little stairsteps.  And now we could possibly have 2 more in 1 year.  We can hope!

Isaac and Josiah (who live in Florida) recently sent me letters.  They amaze me.  Isaac even included a joke in his:  "What did the stamp say to the envelope?...I'm stuck on you!"   Amy told me a cute story about Miss Olivia (who was supposed to be going to sleep) introducing her babies to one another.

And today, I got a picture from some Little House on the Prairie kids, Ryan & Addie:

I had a pretty good idea being a grandmother would be fun---I just had no idea how much fun!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Dax is HOME!

Dax got home about noon today!  We're so glad.  Zach kept telling me the last couple of days that he really wasn't sure Dax had red hair---the lights were turned down low in NICU and he'd decided it was either brown or going to be a blonde with some red highlights.  I told him he HAD to be redheaded because I'd already told all my friends.  Either that, or we were just going to have to dye his hair.  Once they got home, Zach texted this, " home, his hair looks really red!"  Whew!!  We won't have to do a dye job, Dax!  Glad you guys are home and that everyone is doing well.