Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

Litfuse Publicity: I Have Seen God by Klaus-Dieter John

About the Book:

I Have Seen God: The Miraculous Story of the Diospi Suyana Hospital in Peru (Monarch Books, October 2014)

The miraculous founding of a top class hospital for some of the world’s poorest people

Klaus-Dieter and Martina John—both brilliant, talented, and highly qualified doctors—turned their backs on lucrative careers to follow their dream to open a first-rate medical facility for the Indians of the Peruvian Andes, some of the world’s poorest people. The Peruvian Andes natives suffer appallingly from the diseases of poverty and, although they make up approximately 40 percent of Peru’s population, are ignored by the authorities.

Having studied at the universities of Harvard, Yale, and Johannesburg during his training as a surgeon, Dr. Klaus-Dieter John together with his wife, Dr. Martina John, a pediatrician, developed a concept for a modern hospital in the Peruvian Highlands.

Turning down other offers, including a professorship, they set themselves the task of raising the millions of dollars needed. God opened the hearts and consciences of individuals and companies to create not just a health center, but a fully equipped hospital. Their story and vision has captured attention around the world and today they have the backing of 180 corporations and 50,000 private supporters.

The hospital’s name, Diospi Suyana, means “we trust in God” in Quechua, the native language of the people it serves. It is a testament to their experience that with God the impossible can happen. The incredible conviction and profound faith of the Johns will refresh your heart and stir your spirit.

Purchase your copy at Amazon.

About the Author:

Klaus-Dieter John studied at the universities of Harvard, Yale, and Johannesburg during his training as a surgeon. He and his wife Dr. Martina John, a pediatrician, have dedicated their lives to the establishment of the hospital in Peru.

You can learn more about Klaus-Dieter John on his website.

My Opinion:

I enjoy stories written about missionaries especially when they are written by the missionaries and Klaus-Dieter John’s story was fascinating from beginning to end.  I enjoyed his honesty when he begins to grapple with his faith, is God really there?, his honest account and then how God begins to respond to his prayers even in his state of questioning is a real faith builder.  The story of Diospi Suyana begins even before my parents thought of me or even gave thought to marriage, but it’s true, long before Klaus-Dieter knew what he’d be doing, God knew and that is what makes John’s story, His story.  When people think of missionaries, they think of those who go to educate foreign peoples in reading, writing and of course the Gospel like in China or Russia or the Amazon most don’t equate doctor’s with extensive training, a wife, and three children who are building a hospital to be the usual run of the mill missionaries.

Mr. John’s family faced many hardships – through naysayers of their faith and their dream of serving the people in Peru with their own hospital.  Satan trying to throw a wrench in the spokes by mean customs officials or governmental workers, but in the end the Lord always comes through.  What I appreciated about his story is that there were no claims of ‘visions’ or God audibly speaking to him, not that those things are wrong but I do believe evil spirits can lead missionaries astray by these things, but Mr. John makes none of these claims.  He simply steps out in faith.  Faith.  Some days that is all he has to go on – when all they had were $58 US dollars and there was still building to do, equipment to get – faith.  A quick read about the life of a missionary family who put their faith in God and He shows them what their faith can do – it can literally move mountains.

If you’d like to see what other bloggers thought about this book, please visit the Litfuse Landing Page.

(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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Kregel Tour: Look Inside The Time of Jesus (A lift-the-flap discovery book)

About the Book:

Keep enquiring young minds busy with these detailed depictions of Bible history, and a glimpse behind the scenes with flaps to lift on every page. Brief text explains the setting, and references events and stories from Jesus’ life. The book covers the first Christmas, illustrations of a synagogue and carpenter’s workshop in Nazareth, fishing in Capernaum, farming and shepherding in the hills of Galilee, homes of the wealthy and everyday people, the temple in Jerusalem, the way of the cross and the first Easter.

You can purchase your own copy at Kregel.

My Opinion:

This is a very educational book that is not only pleasing to auditory learners but also to those who learning through touch and doing – with each flap the child lifts another new fascinating fact is learned.  The vibrant colors and illustrations are pleasing to the eye and keep the reader’s attention.  As far as I can tell everything is Biblically sound, although I must admit I had only been told there was only 1 angel in the Jesus’ empty tomb so I had to go look that up and sure enough there were two angels. The book is hard cover and looks beautiful on the shelf or in a book basket (I need a few book baskets!) and will put up with some rough and tumble wear from young children, although the flaps will not put up with a lot of rough housing, it will be a teaching moment to children in how to be gentle with their books.

Beginning at the birth of Christ, their home in Nazareth, Lake Galilee, all the way up to the Easter story of  Christ’s Resurrection children will delight in learning more about their Savior and grow with Him as they age.  There are 16 pages and the book measures 8.75 inches by 10.55 inches which makes it a manageable size for most children.  I would think this would make a wonderful Christmas gift for a child or grandchild in your life or even a birthday or anytime present – if you want to make the Bible come alive and show a child a glimpse of Jesus’ life in their age appropriate way, this is a great way to do that.

(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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Litfuse Publicity: Destiny Defied (The Destiny Series – book one) by J.A. Marx

About the Book:

A dramatic shipwreck emancipates Riki Hammad, but the island where she finds refuge is compromised. Unless she finds a power truly great enough to defeat her dark past, she will choose death over returning to captivity. Lord Vétis, high priest of a cultic underground, will stop at nothing to reclaim their chosen one. Using black magic, he manipulates Riki and her four self-assigned bodyguards, triggering a battle that consumes the entire island. The underground will never allow Riki to live out her dreams of a normal life . . . something she has never known.

You can purchase your own copy on Amazon.

About the Author:

J.A. loves writing embattled spirit novels — adventure and suspense with supernatural undertones. On the side, she dabbles in non-fiction articles and e-zine editing. J.A. owes many thanks Jerry Jenkins and the Christian Writer’s Guild for their support and education.

You can find out more about J.A. by visiting her website, Facebook and on Twitter.

My Opinion:

I tend to enjoy books in the fantasy genre so when Destiny Defied came up to be reviewed I wanted to see how the book stacked up against other fantasy and spiritual warfare as well as reading a new-to-me author.  I wasn’t so sure at the beginning what I was going to think, I thought it was a bit slow and somewhat cumbersome – it was hard keeping the four young men straight as they would shorten their names and then when Riki comes along she gives them nick names and I had to keep thinking, “okay, which one is this nick name?”.  After I got all the young men straightened out, including their nick names, which I guess overall weren’t as important I was thinking the book was a good, fast read – especially once the young men found out who Dr. Caedis was.

There was plenty of intrigue and for those who are worried if you won’t be able to tell the bad from the good, and the good from the bad – J.A. Marx has done a wonderful job of keeping the two separate even when Sabio becomes tempted to believe the Lord Vetis and his ‘dark’ magic.  With the three other young men who are his close friends, Sabio begins to realize that all his science and his falling into league with Vetis isn’t really the right thing to do – however I’m not going to give away all the spoilers in the book, because I’d like you to enjoy it as much as I did.  Although I do have some ‘warnings’ Riki and her mother as well as other women were enslaved on her step-father’s cruise ship for wealthy men to be used and sold, AKA human trafficking so that is a bit of sensitive material, also rape is mentioned a few times.

Overall, this was a good book, although I wouldn’t let my 12 year old read unless I was up for discussing the human trafficking issue – she knows some but not all so in preferring to protect her innocence a bit longer, I’d wait before handing her this book.  I think she’d enjoy it though and maybe if she were in a public school setting things would be different as she’d be exposed to more things than she is now.  I do believe there is a good purpose in reading these types of books, especially in regards to the spiritual warfare that so many Christians today want to believe doesn’t exist, when it does and we need to fight the good fight!

If you’d like to see what other bloggers thought of this book, please visit the Litfuse Landing Page.

Welcome to the series launch of J.A. Marx‘s Destiny series. Book one, Destiny Defied, is a chilling tale of freedom from oppression and the Light that overcomes the dark.

J.A. is celebrating the launch of her series with a Kindle giveaway and a Facebook author chat party on December 2. 


One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A Kindle Fire
  • Destiny Defied by J.A. Marx.

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on 12/2. Winner will be announced at the Destiny Defied Facebook author chat party on December 2nd. RSVP for a chance to connect with J.A. Marx, to chat about the book, as well as to win some great prizes!



RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK, TWITTER or PINTEREST and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 2nd!

(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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Worthy Publishing Review: The Miracle of the Kurds by Stephen Mansfield

About the Book:

They are the largest people group in the world without a homeland of their own. Despised and persecuted the world over, they even call themselves “the people without a friend.” Sadaam Hussein tried to wipe them from the face of the earth, killing several hundred thousand of them in the attempt. Their sufferings have become legend.
They are the Kurds, descendants of the ancient Medes best known today from the pages of the Bible — inhabitants of what the world now calls Northern Iraq.
Yet today the Kurds are rebuilding so brilliantly from war and oppression that even their enemies call it a “miracle.” Six star hotels stand where bombs once fell, shopping malls and gleaming schools rise where massacres once occur. National Geographic and Conde Nast have listed modern “Kurdistan” as a “must-see” tourist destination.

You can purchase your own copy at Worthy Publishing.

My Opinion:

I’m going to admit that I knew little to nothing of who the Kurds were or even what Kurdistan is, so this book was highly educational in explaining all that to me and opening my eyes to this group of people who are blossoming as they come out from under a tyrannical government and also out from a war against the Kurds.  I do remember Sadaam Hussein and the American troops finding him hiding in a hole in the ground but little do I remember of anything in any American news outlet and apparently that was just find with America as well as Sadaam.  As I read this book, I couldn’t help but think of the Jews and many others lost during the Holocaust – Sadaam was an evil man, but I won’t tell the details here because I don’t think I could bear to repeat them.

The author does a great job in tracing the Kurdish people’s beginnings and I appreciate that he began his timeline figures at 6300 BC instead of millions of years ago, but regardless of when the Kurdish culture began theirs is a story, like the Holocaust, that must be told so that everyone can learn from it and experience how down trodden people can fight back and not necessarily with weapons and rise up to become a mighty people.  Stephen Mansfield also told of Christians who came to live among the Kurds and help them – the Kurds have made Islam their own and it’s not the kind that is akin with ISIS or other terrorist groups.  Missionaries come and are welcomed with open arms – not for the help they bring but because it seems, Kurds, love and welcome everyone.

There is pain in these pages but if you can look past the pain, don’t forget it though, and see the Kurds as a people, as a person (the author gives the reader a ‘visit’ with several Kurdish men) and see how they’ve overcome severe oppression, hatred and almost complete extermination then this book will not only be an educational one but one that will open your eyes to a people who still need our prayers and our help.  One won’t simply see them as Muslims or a non-Christian, you will see them as your fellow man, suffering, and come to identify with them.  Of course, it’s also a book if you don’t want to be educated beyond what the media allows you to know and if you don’t want your heart opened to those needing help far from you, leave the book where it is and move on.  It took me time to get through this book because it isn’t a quick read, I don’t recommend reading it in bed, but I do recommend reading it.

(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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Litfuse Publicity: Where Treetops Glisten by Tricia Goyer, Cara Putnam and Sarah Sundin

About the Book:

The crunch of newly fallen snow, the weight of wartime

Siblings forging new paths and finding love in three stories, filled with the wonder of Christmas

Turn back the clock to a different time, listen to Bing Crosby sing of sleigh bells in the snow, as the realities of America’s involvement in the Second World War change the lives of the Turner family in Lafayette, Indiana.

In Cara Putman’s White Christmas, Abigail Turner is holding down the Home Front as a college student and a part-time employee at a one-of-a-kind candy shop. Loss of a beau to the war has Abigail skittish about romantic entanglements—until a hard-working young man with a serious problem needs her help.

Abigail’s brother Pete is a fighter pilot hero returned from the European Theater in Sarah Sundin’s I’ll Be Home for Christmas, trying to recapture the hope and peace his time at war has eroded. But when he encounters a precocious little girl in need of Pete’s friendship, can he convince her widowed mother that he’s no longer the bully she once knew?

In Tricia Goyer’s Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Meredith Turner, “Merry” to those who know her best, is using her skills as a combat nurse on the frontline in the Netherlands. Halfway around the world from home, Merry never expects to face her deepest betrayal head on, but that’s precisely what God has in mind to redeem her broken heart.

The Turner family believes in God’s providence during such a tumultuous time. Can they absorb the miracle of Christ’s birth and His plan for a future?

You can learn more about the authors and purchase a copy of the book at Waterbrook Press.

About the Authors:

TRICIA GOYER is a prolific author of nearly forty books, including “Chasing Mona Lisa,” and a speaker and blogger. CARA PUTMAN is the author of twenty books including “Shadowed by Grace.” She is the winner of the 2008 Carol Award for historical fiction. SARAH SUNDIN is the critically-acclaimed author of the Wings of the Nightingale series, the Wings of Glory series, and the forthcoming Waves of Freedom novels.

My Opinion:

I love reading books that are set during Christmas time and since Where Treetops Glisten was set in both a historical setting (WW2) AND had a Christmas setting, it was right up my alley.  What I really liked about this book was unlike other 3-in-1 books this book stuck with the same family over the period of the war, so I didn’t begin reading about 1 set of characters, only to be thrown into another set when the next novella kicked in – it was all centered around the Turner family and follows each of their three living children, now grown.  All three of the books or novellas, are fantastic – I can’t say that I enjoyed one over another because they all were written in a way that kept the story flowing, one into the other, and held my attention long after I should have been in bed, sleeping.  Be sure to also grab a box of tissues because I can almost guarantee that there will be places that your eyes will start to water – and if like me, play it off as if there is something in your eye.

This is a great book fro cuddling up with in front of the Christmas tree, yes, mine is already up – and a fireplace, if it’s available.  Of course, I preferred to cuddle up in bed and read while staying warm and toasty – the stories are ones of hope and family and love even in the midst of war.  Each author also takes her time in carefully crafting how God is working in each character’s life – even fictional characters can sometimes show us how God is always carefully working even if we don’t realize it or recognize the work, He’s there.  I cannot recommend this book enough, if you enjoy a cozy romance once set in a historical time period and Christmas then it will have something for you – just about anyone wanting a short break from the daily grind that is life.

If you’d like to see what other bloggers thought please visit the Litfuse Landing Page.

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American Heritage Girls and Field Trips

Our American Heritage Girls Troop has been meeting and hard at work since September and I’ve taken over the Pi/Pas (Pioneer/Patriot) so we’ve been working on trying to knock out some Stars and Stripes requirements, two of the girls have got a good start but my oldest just crossed over so she’s catching up.  We’ve finally completed Emergency Prepardeness and while it’s an AHG girl badge my friend and I turned some things into field trips.  One of the first things was to visit and find out what is required to be a professional rescuer (for lack of better wording as I don’t have the hand book out right now).

In the living area – where they can relax between calls – the red light on my head is the alarm to wake them up in case they are sleeping.

Inside the squad – that’s my little guy peeking around for a camera moment.

Climbing the training tower steps.

My son preparing to spray the hose. I was kindly offered the chance but having spent much time doing it in the Navy, I declined.

After that was done the only thing left to do was to get the girls certified in adult/child/infant First Aid/CPR/AED – this was more trouble that I had thought.  I also aimed to get my 10 year old certified along with the Pi/Pa girls – the first person didn’t think the girls could do it or “comprehend” the information.  So after talking with our Troop leader and the other mom we found someone else.  I’m happy to report that all four girls did comprehend all the information given and passed all the testing, including being able to give 30 chest compressions in under a minute!  I also went ahead and retrained so I’m now up to date as well.  We had our training over two days going from 9a.m. till about 12:30 to 1p.m.  The Pi/Pa girls have completed their Emergency Preparedness and in my opinion this completes the health and safety requirement that we are supposed to teach.

My daughter and her friend demonstrating how to check the scene, check the person and yelling for help, AED and first aid kit.

My other daughter practicing first aid on their other friend.

So an aside and mainly because no pictures are allowed inside the house, we took a field trip to the Pennsylvania House Museum.  It’s been renovated and is now run by the Lagonda Chapter of the DAR (I hope to join one day) – it was many things over the course of the years but it’s heyday was during the National Road as people moved west to Ohio and further (it’s weird to think of Ohio as the ‘west’).  Two of our three tour guides were homeschool graduates themselves and also members of the DAR, they were very knowledgeable about the house, which was great.

My three in front of part of the house – it’s HUGE.

Okay, well that is it for now.  I have some more reading to do to bring you more quality book reviews (I’ll also be having a DVD review and giveaway soon) but I’ll have some more posts like when my daughter’s pen pal’s family visited us from Georgia and our trip to the Zoo.  Thank you for visiting and remember I love comments and will try to respond to each one!

(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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Litfuse Publicity: Pound Foolish (Windy City Neighbors Book 4) by Neta and Dave Jackson

About the Book:

Book Four in the Windy City Neighbors series (Castle Rock Creative, October 2014)

Greg Singer coordinates consumer sports shows for powerboats, four wheelers, snowmobiles, and jet skis—macho toys for outdoor men like himself. But the job puts tremendous stress on his marriage with Nicole, who for the first time notices the handsome lawyer at the end of the block. “Greener pastures?” When the recession hits Greg’s industry, he thinks the crisis is merely an opportunity for God to bless him with unmatched prosperity, a promise he hears preached each Sunday, and he steps out in bold faith . . . But is he being “pound foolish”?

The fourth in the Windy City Neighbors series, Pound Foolish explores the economic upheaval and uncertainties challenging every family. Intersecting with Penny Wise (book three), the Jacksons employ the innovating storytelling technique of “parallel novels.” Though each book follows its own drama and story arc, the characters’ lives become intertwined and affect one another. Pound Foolish returns us to Beecham Street—a typical American neighborhood . . . where a growing friendship brings new meaning to prosperity.

Purchase a copy at Dave and Neta’s website.

About the Authors:

Dave and Neta Jackson are award-winning authors living in the Chicago area where their parallel novels from the Yada Yada House of Hope and Harry Bentley series are set. As a husband/wife writing team, Dave and Neta Jackson are enthusiastic about books, kids, walking with God, gospel music, and each other! Together they are the authors or coauthors of over 100 books.

You can connect with them at their website, Facebook, and Twitter.

My Opinion:

I just had the pleasure of finishing Book 4 in the Windy City Neighbors series, Pound Foolish by Dave and Neta Jackson – of which I have read the entire series (as well as all the Yada Yada books and Souled Out series) – if you want to see my other reviews here just do a quick search, I won’t bore you with linking each one.  Pound Foolish is like the others a parallel book, so the characters from the other books will be seen and heard from in this book so I encourage you to read the first three as well as the other books that this trickles from.  This book though focuses on the Singer family – the dad holds down a job while mom stays home and homeschools their two children, but when a crisis in the form of an employment situation arises will the family crumble under pressure or come out fighting?  Nicole Singer has a degree and used to work briefly as a paralegal and then when the children came she stayed home – as the book continues Nicole is dissatisfied with her life, her husband tends to ignore her so she finds another man who seems to like her, she wants to go back to work.  Greg Singer listens to some poor counsel at his church and begins falling for get rich schemes and it finally takes some blunt talk from Harry Bentley to set him on the right path.

Even though I have to say that Nicole isn’t the typical homeschool homemaker – the majority of the moms I know don’t seem to feel their life is over – Nicole does school at home rather so they seem to be stuck inside a lot.  I digress – I won’t nitpick the book based on what homeshool looks like it in and isn’t.  I really enjoyed this book, as I have all the other books in this series – it’s fast paced and the twists come and I think to myself, “I didn’t expect that”.  While it’s not all roses at the end, thankfully the Jackson’s books are a bit realistic so everything isn’t tidy, the good does shine as does God working in the family’s life shows loud and clear.  Dave and Neta Jackson weave together real life, even the hard hitting area of a would-be affair, with God’s Word and how He is always there if we just let Him into our life.  It can’t be easy to write a novel where the characters are flawed, where the characters struggle with their faith in their daily life like we do, and ultimately how God makes His way known.

The book takes a hard look at what can happen when a marriage isn’t thriving – when spouses ignore one another and think that they can do all things on their own – whether it’s the education of children at home or the financial or even the romantic side of marriage.  Throw in job instability and the whole thing is a mess – with a real look at the messes we create when we try to do things on our own and how even when we think He isn’t around or doesn’t care see how God works through our messes and can begin healing the broken people and ultimately the marriage.  I’ll be eagerly awaiting Book 5, Snowmageddon to be released so I can see what is next for the neighbors of Beecham Street.

If you’d like to see what other bloggers thought, please visit the Litfuse Landing Page.

(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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Litfuse Publicity: Quilted by Christmas (Quilts of Love series) by Jodie Bailey

About Quilts of Love:

Quilts tell stories of love and loss, hope and faith, tradition and new beginnings. The Quilts of Love series focuses on the women who quilted all of these things into their family histories. A new book releases each month and features contemporary and historical romances as well as women’s fiction and the occasional light mystery. You will be drawn into the endearing characters of this series and be touched by their stories.

About the Book:

A grandmother’s last wish is to communicate God’s love through an Irish chain quilt.

Taryn McKenna believes she’s easy to forget. Abandoned by her parents and left behind when her high school sweetheart joined the army, she vows to never love again and throws herself into her love for the outdoors and the pursuit of a college degree—something no one else in her family has ever accomplished. Her goal, as a young teacher in the hills of North Carolina, is to leave a legacy in the lives of the middle-schoolers she teaches.

When Taryn’s grandmother Jemma, the only other person who ever held her close, has a heart attack that reveals a fatal medical condition, Taryn is corralled into helping Grandma work on a final project—an Irish chain quilt that tells the story of her history and the love Jemma knows is out there for Taryn. As the pieces of the quilt come together, Taryn begins to see her value. Can she learn to believe that God will never leave her behind even though others have?

Learn more about this book and the series at the Quilts of Love website.

About the Author:

Jodie Bailey is Tarheel born and bred. After 15 years as a military spouse, she settled with her family back in North Carolina. She is the author of the military suspense novel Freefall and is a contributor to a devotional for military families, Fighting Fear: Winning the War at Home. While not working on her next novel, she teaches middle-schoolers to love writing as much as she does.

You can catch up with Jodie on her website, Facebook and Twitter.
My Opinion:

I’ve been enjoying the Quilts of Love series for some time now and when I saw the Christmas themed one, Quilted by Christmas I knew I had to add this one to my read pile.  I’ve never had the chance to read any of Jodie Bailey’s other titles but this one has me definitely wanting to check them out, right away we are introduced to Taryn McKenna who has carried around a secret for years and the townspeople who think she let a good one get away.  The book is a good example of why “words will never hurt me” is so wrong – words that are spoken in anger and spite and left to fester cause wounds that can’t be seen but must be healed as much as an seen wound.  As Justin Callahan arrives on the scene again and back into Taryn’s life she can’t seem to avoid him as her Grandmother keeps hiring to do odd jobs around her house – then Taryn finds the beginning of a quilt – and the mystery begins.

Quilts tell stories, they represent love, time and care – when one finds a quilt they don’t just find a blanket but they find something much more.  Family heritage, rites of passage, cultural stories retold, so when Taryn discovers the quilt her Grandma has been working on for a wedding to be given to the bride has been ruined she sets out to put the discarded, started quilt in the attic together.  Little does she know what that quilt symbolizes.  As she and Justin work together quilting this quilt for the upcoming Christmas time wedding, neither knows the unexpected turn their lives will take both literally and symbolically.  I recommend this book if you enjoy a good Christmas time book, a good romance or just a book about Christ’s healing love as it can work through others – it’s a good quick read for this holiday season!

If you’d like to read what other bloggers thought please visit the Litfuse Landing Page.

(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

Don’t miss the newest Quilts of Love book, Quilted by Christmas by Jodie Bailey. October’s QOL release is a warm Christmas tale of God’s steadfast love.

Enter to win a Kindle HDX, and RSVP for the “Merry Quilted” Quilts of Love Facebook party on December 9th.

One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • Two copies of Quilted by Christmas by Jodie Bailey (One for you and one to give away as a gift!)
  • Hidden in the Stars by Robin Caroll
  • Swept Away by Laura V. Hilton and Cindy Loven

Enter today by clicking the button below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 16th. Winner will be announced November 17th at the Quilts of Love blog.

Wait! There’s more! RSVP for the “Merry Quilted” Quilts of Love Christmas Book Chat Party on December 9th and connect with some of the Quilts of Love authors. Jodie Bailey, Laura V. Hilton, Cindy Loven, Cathy Elliott, and Gina Welborn will be hosting a “merry” evening of book chat, Christmas traditions, prizes, and more!



RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on December 9th!

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Golden Prairie Press; Coutdown to Thanksgiving by Amy Puetz (review)

**This post may contain affiliate links – if you click and purchase I will earn a small commission.**

If you’ve noticed I’ve had the chance to review other home of Golden Prairie Press! products and all are quality, well researched resources to use in your homeschool or even just your home if you don’t homeschool.  I’ve had the pleasure of using Heroes and Heroines of the Past, Uncover Exciting History, and Ten Girls from History.  With this latest book, Countdown to Thanksgiving Ebook, which can be purchased as an e-book (colored interior) or as a printed book (black and white interior) for $17.00, you’ll add a bit of old fashioned fun to your holiday as you begin counting down.  Grab your e-book version today so you can begin your countdown to Thanksgiving today.

I was given the e-book version which I loaded on my tablet’s Kindle app very easily so I can take it with us when we’re out and for ease of reading at home.  I printed off a copy of the countdown calendar and the proclamation sheet for each child – I liked this as there wasn’t much printing since I can read everything on my tablet, saving money on ink and paper.  Amy has a short introduction which gives you an idea of how to use the stories and activity ideas she lists in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, which begins today, the 13th of November.  She says that each days reading and activity should take between 30 and 45 minutes but that also depends on the family and how much they do, whether just reading the story, reading the story and doing the activity, or however each family tweaks it will depend on the time spent.

There are 14 days of reading and activities, that does include weekends and Thanksgiving day, I mention this because my 10 year old asked me so I know others may wonder the same thing.  Of course, if your weekends are like ours and already jammed packed, you could do two stories and activities on Friday and two on Monday to make up for Saturday and Sunday.  Honestly, though it’s short and I’m sure they can be worked in to even the busiest of weekends.  Amy also discloses in her introduction that almost all the daily readings are taken from the 1800s and early 1900s so the language is a bit dated but she has cleaned up the spelling to be more modern.  Another item of note that I like about Amy’s books, old language has such a nice ring to it and even includes words that we modern Americans don’t use anymore so it also expands our vocabulary.

So you may be thinking to yourself, what stories and what type of activities are in the book?  There are several and I won’t give them all away but here is a sampling of what you’ll find within the pages of Countdown to Thanksgiving Printed Book:

  • First Harvest – Home in Plymouth by W. DeLoss Love, Jr.
  • The Mother of Thanksgiving from Amy Puetz
  • Thankfullest Thanksgiving by Pauline Shackleford
  • Excerpt from Godey’s Lady’s Book Magazine by Sarah Joseph Hale
  • how to make a Pilgrim hat for boys and a cap for girls
  • songs and hymns (if you can’t read music you can search online to find the tune)
  • recipes – my favorite is the modernized version of pumpkin pie versus the old fashioned, time consuming way of making it

Of course there are more, but that is just a sampling – feel free to visit the product page where you can download a sample of the book and the contents page before you buy and even watch a video of Amy talking about the countdown to Thanksgiving book.  Geared towards ages 6 to 14, I truly think children of all ages will enjoy it, I know I enjoy the historical stories that are a part of American history and the tradition that is Thanksgiving and watching as my children complete the crafts and baking (I’m happy to say the biscuit recipe does not include eggs).  I’m even going to be asking my husband if we can spare some money so I can purchase Countdown to Christmas Printed Book for our Christmas celebrations next month.

(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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Kregel Tour: If You Follow Me (The Dunbridge Chronicles #3) by Pam Rhodes

About the Book:

In the parish of Dunbridge the news is out: Claire and Neil are engaged! And yet, before the celebrations have really begun, Ben, the father of Claire’s son, appears back on the scene… It quickly becomes clear that young Sam is not the only person Ben wants to win back. As Neil reels in the face of Claire’s confusion at spending time with her first love, Wendy always seems to be there to provide support and comfort. Little does he know of Wendy’s involvement in Ben’s reappearance… However, Neil has little chance to ponder his love life as the whole weight of running the church and parish descends upon his inexperienced shoulders. Neil’s time as a curate in Dunbridge is coming swiftly to an end. Where should he go next, and who will go with him?

You can purchase your copy at Lion Hudson or wherever books are sold.

My Opinion:

If you’ve read my blog you’ll know that I really enjoyed the first book, Fisher of Men, but then in the second book, Casting the Net I had a few concerns so I guess I was hoping that the third book would be more like the first but I’d have to say the third was even more shocking especially since I was under the impression it was supposed to be Christian fiction, but as I look at the Lion Hudson website they list it as “modern and contemporary fiction”.  I must admit to enjoying following Neil’s story as he really has to delve into parish life and even though he’s still a curate (still in training) he’s basically acting as the full time vicar all while planning his wedding to Claire who still makes clear she can’t fully embrace his Christianity.  While I did enjoy the overall story, reading how Neil is getting on and has actually matured somewhat was refreshing as that was one issue I had with book two.

However, my concerns with this one was the use of “b****” by Claire who is engaged to Neil towards Neil’s ex-girlfriend who would like to rekindle her romance with him, I understand anger but it didn’t need to be expressed so vulgarly.  Also as Neil and Claire are discussing their upcoming marriage he is telling her what he thinks are good qualities in a minister’s wife and she tells him, “That I’m also your idea of s** on legs, and you fancy me madly?”.  I may sound like a prude or old fashioned but honestly I was just sort of taken aback no matter how attractive one finds their soon-to-be spouse I just don’t think it needed put into words.  Of course there was also the issue of homosexuality, which I know is something that is in our faces today and I guess I prefer to avoid it when I’m escaping into a book but the fact that no one counsels the young man in what God’s Word says and everyone is just okay with it left me a bit dumbfounded, also his suicide attempt seemed to be glossed over by just taking him and putting him a group home with other boys like himself.

As I said, I did enjoy the overall story and seeing some lose ends from the last book tied up and completed gave me a sense of happiness but again I still had concerns.  I know that there are friends who wouldn’t mind this book but there are others who will appreciate the heads up.  That said the author does live in the United Kingdom where things do tend to lean toward the more liberal ideologies even in their churches and while some words here are vulgar and not normally used in proper company those same words are not seen as vulgar over there.  I’d love to continue reading The Dunbridge Chronicles should there be more but I will approach with caution in the future.

(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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