Monthly Archives: May 2013

Wonderful Books-Free & Discounted Today

Ok, there are so many today, I’m going to be lazy and give away one of my secrets. Go to Vessel Project and click on the Daily Deals for May 31, 2013.  There are so many good books listed  it would take me forever to post and I want to take a nap! 🙂

Mindy Starns Clark, Lori Wick, B. J. Hoff, Lori Copeland, Linore Rose Burkard, and several I’ve not heard of before.  So you can just look at the list and decide for yourself.  The Vessel Project does a great job of listing the books.

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Ahoy, Come Aboard for a Great Adventure with Sam Cooper

4230547_jumboCaptain Jack’s Treasure (A Sam Cooper Adventure #1) by Max Elliot Anderson

Three boys, best friends, Summertime, the ocean, treasure hunting, and Captain Jack!  Ahoy, matey’s!  You are in for a treat reading this second adventure with Sam Cooper and his friends Tony and Tyler.

They live in Harper’s Inlet, FL and Tony’s dad own’s a marina.  They are out of school for the summer and Sam’s dad surprises him with a metal detector.  Now Sam is obsessed with finding buried treasure.  So he gets his friends involved and they set looking for adventure.  After a long time digging, all they came up with was an empty metal drum.  But then at the marina they meet up with an old “crusty” sailor, named Captain Jack.  He’s just bought and old dilapidated boat and ask the boys if they want to work for him this summer in fixing the boat up.  Of course they jump on that offer and off they go on a grand adventure on finding out Captain Jack’s secret and Sam’s getting more and more obsessed with finding treasure. Captain Jack always offers the boys a wonderful “tale” after each work day and the boys just eat it up, just like the pizza Captain Jack gives them

Sam’s dad explains to him that earthly treasure are only temporary and true treasure is things that last.  Sam finds out the hard way what his dad was trying to teach him.

The morals in this story are wonderful and the excitement is good enough for any young boy, maybe 4th grade through middle school even.  Even I, an old grandma, enjoyed the story.

You don’t have to read the stories in sequence but I would recommend it.  This story refers to the boys harrowing adventure in the first book that I’m going to have to read now!  And I’m sure Book 3 will be just as good.  This book will be donated to the Media Center and I’ll be buying the other two soon.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from bookfun.org in return for my honest opinion and did not receive any compensation for a favorable review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Here’s a trailer about the book:

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Family Movie Time on Hallmark Tonight

I just got a notice from One Million Moms about the family friendly movie tonight on the Hallmark Channel.  It comes on at 8pm ET/PT and 7pm CT.  The title is “Space Warriors”.  It’s sponsored by Walmart and Proctor & Gamble and I’ve seen several of their family friendly movies and they have been good.  Now, this is not a Christian movie, but just a clean, family movie. So if you are unsure, just DVR it and watch it yourself before you let your kids watch it.  The trailer looks good, so I’m going to DVR it and watch it.  Here is the trailer: (following the trailer you’ll see the description from One Million Moms.

It is family movie time again! On Friday, May 31, at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT and 7:00 CT, the premiere of “Space Warriors” is set to air exclusively on Hallmark Channel. This touching film was funded by Walmart and Proctor & Gamble, who previously produced action-packed and family-friendly programs like “Secret of the Mountains,” “The Jensen Project” and many other clean films that families all across the country have enjoyed watching together at home.

Academy Award winner Mira Sorvino and four-time Emmy Award nominee Danny Glover join Dermot Mulroney, Josh Lucas and Thomas Horn in a film about the infinite adventure and possibility of the world outside our own.

Jimmy Hawkins (Thomas Horn) has lived and breathed astrophysics his entire life and possesses an encyclopedic knowledge of the field. So, when the opportunity to compete and win a seat on a soon-to-be launched space shuttle arises, he secretly applies despite the reservations of his mother (Mira Sorvino), and father, retired NASA astronaut Capt. Andy Hawkins (Dermot Mulroney). When Jimmy secures the final spot to attend the special space camp at the Space & Rocket Center, which is run by former astronaut Col. Roy Manley (Josh Lucas), he joins an elite team of teens called The Warriors, who must test their skills against a strong but devious opposition, The Titans.

Just as the competition is coming to an end, with The Warriors feeling defeated, there is an urgent crisis aboard the International Space Station. High-ranking NASA official, Commander Phillips (Danny Glover), has run out of options and it is up to these kids to solve the problem and save the lives of the astronauts and cosmonauts some 200 miles from Earth. Using their skills and abilities to work together as a team, The Warriors hatch a brilliant plan that just might save the day.

Family, friendship, loyalty, integrity, honesty and an admirable work ethic are the themes that resound throughout the film. There are two primary lessons learned in the movie; cheaters never win and lying is never okay. During the film, characters caught lying and cheating to get what they want have to deal with the consequences of their actions. The repercussions for their bad decisions are clearly shown. This film teaches that poor choices affect those around you including loved ones, while in helping others you also help yourself. It also includes a focus on teamwork.

This original film is perfect for a memorable family time, as it does not offend faith, include profanity or deliver graphic violence or s*xual content. It is suitable for children of any age. (* used to bypass internet filters.)

The national commercials will be family-friendly, as well. (While local ads are usually safe, that depends on individual stations.) This film has been previewed and has received the One Million Moms stamp of approval.

P&G and Walmart continue coming through for families by filling a void on TV for quality entertainment. So mark your calendars; you don’t want to miss this one!

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Singing in the rain

Here is a “Friday Funny” I found on inspireddaybyday.wordpress.com.
I’m still laughing about the story of…well, read it for yourself, you’ll laugh too!

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“Come With Me! I Mean…Go Back!”

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“With her two daughters-in-law she set out from the place where she had been living, and they took the road that would lead them back to Judah.  But on the way, Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go back to your mother’s homes.” (Ruth 1:7-8 NLT)

In Ruth 1:19-20, which we examined in last week’s devotional, Naomi declares herself to be bitter.  Naomi’s bitterniess comes from her grief, and this grief is leading to what we call depression in modern times.

In Chapter 1 of Ruth, we learn that Naomi has lost her husband and her sons.  Naturally, Naomi is grieving.  Then she hears that the famine is over in Canaan.  So she decides (vs. 7) to go back home together with her two daughters-in-law.  On the way there, she changes her mind.

She changes her mind?  Why?  I can imagine how disturbing this must have been for Ruth and Orpah.  Traveling requires preparation both mental and physical. Both women had come to terms with Naomi’s decision and they were willing to accompany Naomi to Canaan.  They had packed their bags, said their goodbyes, and prepared themselves for the unknown.  Now in the middle of nowhere, Naomi changes her mind?  How odd is that!

Well, maybe it is not as odd as it seems.  Depressed people suffer from an inability to make decisions.  They are lonely and in need of companionship, but they push people away.  Naomi knows she is not herself.  She realizes she is poor company for herself and others.  She is depressed and bitter.  Perhaps, she does not want to subject her daughters-in-law to the bitterness she feels.  Instead, she decides to get through it alone.

Have you ever been there?  Have you ever had a friend who suffered from depression?  All of us are mildly depressed from time to time, but it passes.  One of the indicators of depression in my own life is when I stop calling or writing to my mother.  I want to share my successes with her, but not my troubles. However, my mother knows me too well.  If I neglect to write or call, her mother’s heart knows her baby is hurting.  She will then call me and her first words are: “Is anything wrong?  I haven’t heard from you in a while.”  This of course opens the floodgates, and once I share my burdens, I feel lighter.

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Verse 14 tells us “…Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law goodbye, but Ruth clung to her.”  What a blessing for Naomi to have Ruth!  When our depressed friends or family members try to push us away we have a choice.  We can leave or cling to them, remaining steadfast till they get through their depression.  When we are the ones suffering from depression, we may experience contradictory feelings. We may want to be left alone, and at the same time long to be supported.  In truth, we are never alone.  God is with us.   He was with Naomi. She just had not realized it yet.

Dearest Heavenly Father,

Sometimes we do not know whether we are coming or going.  You have the power to give us direction.  Forgive us for not turning to you for help, and thank you for placing friends and family members in our lives whom we can count on to remain faithful and steadfast through our times of trouble.  Thank you for your Son, Jesus, who bore our sins and made our burden easier to carry.  We commit to be faithful and steadfast when others in our lives need us to be strong for them, because we know our strength comes from you.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

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New Arrivals in the Media Center – May 2013

We have been blessed this month with 10 books.  Some new and some used.  The most special of the books are the Emma Rae Creations series that was donated by the author, Sandra Bricker…and they were autographed too!  How awesome! Thank you, Sandra for you generosity.  We already have people reading this series and loving it! And also Colleen Coble donated her new series with Robin Caroll, Rock Harbor Search and Rescue, Book 1, and autographed it also!  These authors are so wonderful!  Thank you Colleen and Robin!

The book titles that are underlined have book reviews on our blog.  Just click on the title and you will be directed to the review.

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Free and Discounted E-Books – May 30, 2013

I think I’ve found some pretty good ones today. Even though only one is free…seems like there are not as many new free books as there used to be.  But some of these special prices are good, so if you are into buying your e-books, these prices are good!  So check them out by clicking on the “reader” and you’ll be directed to the site to read the description and reviews and then download.  Just make sure the price is what you expect.  Prices change quickly.

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Three Free E-Books Today – May 29, 2013

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I found 3 today, not sure how good they will be, I’ll let you read the reviews and judge for yourself.

  • FREE on Kindle:  Lilly (Song of the River #1) by Aaron McCarver and Diane T. Ashley
  • FREE on Kindle:  Broken Identity by Ashley Williams
  • FREE on Kindle:  How to Organize Your Life (At Home) by Higher Read, Publisher (I thought I’d throw this one in for the fun of it!)

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Jimmy by Robert Whitlow is Now a Movie!

For those of us who are Robert Whitlow fans (and for future Robert Whitlow fans), Carmen has just found out that his book, Jimmy, has been made into a movie.  The trailer looks great.  If you haven’t read the book, I would encourage you to read it first…books are always better than movies, much more detail.

I’m hoping to see this movie soon and if it’s as good as I think it will be, then I’ll buy it for our Media Center.  If anyone sees this movie, please come back here and let me know how you liked it, ok?

Here’s a link to Family Fiction website with the description of the movie and the movie trailer.

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Free E-Books – May 28, 2013

  • FREE (through 5-29-13) on Kindle:  Pride, Prejudice, and Cheese Grits (Austen Takes the South) by Mary Jane Hathaway.  This book sounds delightful.  The reviews are good, some of the reviews mentioned editing and formatting problems, but Amazon says that those problems have been fixed for this edition.  I can’t find any info on the author, so I’m just going by the reviews – a clean romance with some Christian undertones.  So if there are scriptural problems, then just delete.  But I’m hoping it’s just a good, clean, cute romance.

Description from Amazon:

Shelby Roswell is a history professor on the fast track to tenure until her new book is crushed in a review by the famous historian, Ransom Fielding. She struggles to regain her momentum only to discover that Fielding has taken a visiting professorship at her college. The place that was once a refuge from the poverty of her past is now a battlefield of Civil War proportions.
Ransom is still struggling with his role in his wife’s accidental death six years ago and was hoping a year at Shelby’s small college would be a respite from the reminders back home. He never bargained for falling in love with the one woman who would give anything to make him leave. Together Shelby and Ransom learn that home is never very far away, and when you least expect it, love arrives.
With a cast of Civil War re-enactors, an evil wedding planner, antebellum mansions, and several mysterious diaries, ‘Pride, Prejudice and Cheese Grits’ will take you on a touching and hilarious ride through a modern South you haven’t seen before.
NOW WITH RECIPES

A Pride and Prejudice variation, this book is the first in the ‘Austen Takes the South’ series by Mary Jane Hathaway.

Look for ‘Emma, Mr. Knightley, and Chili-Slaw Dogs’ in May 2013

About the Author:
Mary Jane Hathaway is the pen name of an award-nominated writer who spends the majority of her literary energy on subjects un-related to Jane Austen. A homeschooling mother of six young children who rarely wear shoes, she’s madly in love with a man who has never read Pride and Prejudice. She holds degrees in Religious Studies and Theoretical Linguistics, and has a Jane Austen quote on the back of her van. She can be reached on facebook at her regular author page of Virginia Carmichael (which is another pen name, because she’s just that cool).

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We Honor Those Who Have Died For Our Freedom and For Those Who Are Fighting For Our Freedom Now

Memorial Day is a day to honor all the brave men and women who have died serving our country.  The freedom we have is because of these brave soldiers. We need to honor those in service to our nation now, the ones who are serving here and abroad.  Those who have been injured while protecting our freedom. Our prayers and thanks to all the men and women who have served in the past, in the present and in the future.  And let’s never forget their families, they are in need of our prayers and thanks also.

So today, call a family member of someone who has lost a loved one in the fight to protect us and thank them and let them know how much we love them.  Call or write a member of our armed services now and tell them how much you appreciate them.  Let their families know how much you appreciate their sacrifice too.

Here is a video about one soldier and his experience and how he gives God the praise for saving his life.  Listen to him and his wife tell their story and then go visit this site to read about Samaritan’s Purse Operation Heal Our Patriots.

Thank you and may God bless you and your families!

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A Variety Today for Free & Discounted E-Books

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Five books today, I’ve read books by Sandra D. Bricker, Patricia H. Rushford, and Christy Barritt and I have enjoyed them and I’m looking forward to reading these books.  Two authors are new to me – Joy DeKok and Erwin Lutzer (but his book has a forward by Franklin Graham).  I hope you find some good reading in one or more of these books.  Just double check the price before downloading!

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One Known Author and Two New Ones to Try

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It’s Saturday and a good day to try a couple of authors I haven’t heard of before.  You just never know when you’ll find that “next great author”.  Just remember to hold their words against the ultimate authority of God’s Word.  And always double check the price to make sure you are getting what you expect.

  • FREE on Kindle:  How the Bible Came to Be by J. Daniel Hayes and J. Scott Duvall
  • FREE on Kindle:  Six Miles From Nashville by Elaine Littau
  • $2.99 on Kindle:  Thorns in Eden and The Everlasting Mountains by Rita Gerlach (This is two books in one, so that makes this a really great deal.) I’ve read one of her books and enjoyed it, so I’m looking forward to reading more by her.

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One of Our Summer Fun Reading List Books is Free-Now!

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Book 1 in the Fairlawn Series, Doesn’t She Look Natural by Angela Hunt is now FREE on Kindle.  It’s one of our 25 picks for Summer reads (click HERE to read the list)…so the time is perfect. I don’t know how long it will be free so get it now.

  • FREE on Kindle:  Doesn’t She Look Natural (The Fairlawn Series #1) by Angela Hunt

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Rock Harbor Search and Rescue – Free Book Download – Ends May 31, 2013

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I just received an email from Thomas Nelson & Zondervan about Colleen Coble & Robin Caroll‘s new series for middle-school kids.  I’ve read the book and it’s great!  I read the Rock Harbor series that Colleen Coble wrote for adults and I really enjoyed reading this first book in this series because it’s all about the kids of the main characters in the adult series.  I loved it, I’m sure you and/or your middle school age kids will love it to. You can read my review by clicking HERE.

Here is the link for the free book download.  I hope this works, since it was an email to me and I’m in unchartered territory now, but I’m going to give this a try. Let me know if it works for you!

http://nelsonfree.com/searchandrescue

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R.C. Sproul’s Crucial Questions eBooks Free!

I just found out about this from The Vessel Project blog and wanted to share it.  These books look like they cover a wide range of questions you may have or would like to read up on the answers so you’ll know how to answer someone else when they ask!  Click HERE to be directed to the site with all the info to get these free books.

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Sweet Woman on the Road from Bitter to Better

Friday Gleanings by Carmen

“So the two women went on until they came to Bethlehem.  When they arrived in Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them, and the women exclaimed, “Can this be Naomi?” “Don’t call me Naomi,” she told them.  “Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter.  I went away full, but the LORD has brought me back empty.  Why call me Naomi?  The LORD has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.” (Ruth 1: 19-21 NIV)

I have always enjoyed reading the Book of Ruth.  In my younger days, this love story captivated my imagination.  Recently, I realized that my focus while reading this book has always been on Ruth.  Yesterday when I began to read it, I noticed Naomi as if for the first time.

Naomi was tested in her lifetime, as many of us have been.  She lived through a famine, a sojourn in Moab, an adjustment to a new culture, homesickness, and finally the death of her husband and sons.  As a beautiful, young, married woman, she had to leave Bethlehem for Moab because of the economy.  Can you relate?  It is evident that Naomi was well-known, a person of prominence and beloved by her community.  Her return caused quite a stir in Bethlehem.  Her arrival brought the housewives out to welcome their friend home.  On seeing Naomi the women say: “Can this be Naomi?”

The implication is that Naomi has changed.  At first, I thought they might be referring to the effects of time on Naomi. The change, however, has little to do with her age, and more to do with her attitude.  Naomi left Bethlehem as a loving wife, protected, and cherished by her husband, eager to escape the famine that threatened their livelihood.  She was the proud mother of not one, but two sons. Her name meant “pleasant”, which might very well have described her disposition.  Life was sweet, in spite of the famine.

In this passage, we see Naomi returning to Bethlehem.  Age has taken its toll on her.  The beautiful young woman, who left Bethlehem with her head held high and her eyes set on the future returns stoop-shouldered, discouraged, and nursing a broken heart.  “Can this be Naomi?”  Not only do the women ask this question, but Naomi must have asked herself this question many times.  Faced with the loss of her husband and sons, Naomi has lost her identity.  So she responds:  “Don’t call me Naomi.  Call me Mara.”  Mara means “bitter”, and admittedly, Naomi is bitter about her losses.

There are many things that can make a person bitter:  the death of a loved one, financial ruin, injustice, a wayward child, an unfaithful husband, or an illness. During those times it may seem that God has abandoned us.  We may fail to find meaning in the midst of adversity.  It is important, however, to deal with that bitterness, to dig it out before it takes root.

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In verses 20-21, Naomi takes the first step in going from bitter to better.  She admits to God and to the world that she has a problem.  Throughout the Bible we meet people who have serious issues with God’s plans.  Jonah was upset when God did not destroy Nineveh, David was distraught when Uzzah and Ahio were killed for mishandling the transport of the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, and Job cried out to God in his affliction.

The good news is that we have a God who is big enough to deal with our confusion, disappointment and even anger.  As long as we remain in a relationship with Him, he can and will heal our bitterness.

Dearest Heavenly Father,

We know that You are in control.  We know you have a plan.  But sometimes, Lord, bitterness worms its way into our lives, and blinds us to the many blessings we have already received.  Forgive us when we question your good purposes.  Today, we turn every difficult situation over to you, the losses, the offenses and the hurt, knowing that your healing hands can restore our joy.

In the name of Jesus,

Amen

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Mark Your Calendar for June 1st – Interview with Ann Gabhart and Book Giveaway

June 1st marks our first month with our new monthly feature “Featured Author & Book Giveaway”.  We have a wonderful interview with author, Ann Gabhart, and we have an autographed book to give away.  You don’t want to miss this, so mark your calendar and come back to our blog or just go ahead and sign up to follow us and you’ll automatically be sent an email each time we make a post.

We have some great authors lined up for the next several months and you don’t want to miss out on any of them.

June – Ann Gabhart

July – Colleen Coble

August – Jennifer Erin Valent

September – Denise Weimer

October – Hannah Alexander

November – Ann Gabhart (again!)

December – Max Elliot Anderson

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$1.99 Packs a Punch in This Book – Predator by Terri Blackstock

This isn’t free, but it is so worth $1.99.  Suspense at it’s best, Terri Blackstock weaves a story right out of our world of emails, Facebook, and online predators.  I know this is fiction, but there is a lot of good info in this book that all of us need to learn and teach our kids too.

  • $1.99 on Kindle:  Predator by Terri Blackstock (We have this book in our Media Center and everyone that’s read it has really liked it and has made them think twice about what they post online.)

Watch the trailer:

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Bunn, Whitlow, Kingsbury, Strobel….Some Great Deals on E-Books Today

Seem’s like I’m finding more discounted e-books lately than I am free one, but these are some great ones and well worth the money.  Just make sure the price is what you expect before downloading, pricing changes quickly.

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