Sunday, October 23, 2016

Book Review - Earth Psalms by Francine Rivers


Millions of readers have been transformed and inspired by Francine Rivers’ bestselling novels Redeeming Love and A Voice in the Wind. Now, in this weekly devotional, the beloved author invites you to join her in seeking the Creator through the marvelous natural world we live in. Francine shares observations she’s gathered over a lifetime of exploring—abroad and in her own backyard—and reflects on how they might apply to your daily life. What do the majestic redwoods, the persistent woodpecker, or a glorious sunrise reveal about our artistic and generous God? How could that change your outlook or the way you handle adversity?

Stunning photography, Scripture excerpts, applications, and prayers accompany Francine’s reflections, inspiring you to be encouraged. Be challenged. Be comforted. God’s power is immense; His attention to detail in precise; His love for you is vast and unfailing. The proof is all around you.


New York Times bestselling author Francine Rivers had a successful writing career in the general market for several years before becoming a born-again Christian. As her statement of faith, she wrote Redeeming Love, a retelling of the biblical story of Gomer and Hosea set during the time of the California Gold Rush. Redeeming Love is now considered by many to be a classic work of Christian fiction and it continues to be one of the industry's top-selling titles year after year.

Since Redeeming Love, Francine has published numerous novels with Christian themes—all bestsellers—and she has continued to win both industry acclaim and reader loyalty around the world. Her Christian novels have been awarded or nominated for many honors, and in 1997, after winning her third RITA Award for Inspirational Fiction, Francine was inducted into the Romance Writers of America's Hall of Fame. In 2015, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW).

Francine's novels have been translated into over thirty different languages, and she enjoys bestseller status in many foreign countries.

Francine and her husband live in northern California and enjoy time spent with their grown children and grandchildren. She uses her writing to draw closer to the Lord, and she desires that through her work she might worship and praise Jesus for all He has done and is doing in her life.

Visit her website at and connect with her on Facebook ( and Twitter (@FrancineRivers).


This is one of the most beautiful books I've ever seen! It's such an amazing book with gorgeous photographs and beautiful Scriptures and devotions throughout. There are 52 devotions to reflect on each week and bring us into reflection on God's beautiful creation through the photographs.

The book is hard cover with heavy paper inside that make it a pleasure just to hold! The content is so amazing and together it makes for a coffee table quality book. I just couldn't put it down!

At the end of each devotion there is a section for you to reflect on then apply to your life. I loved this because the author gave insights to things that I hadn't really thought of before. It is just such an amazing reflective book. It really brings you closer to your relationship with God and what a wonderful way to start your quiet time! I found this book calmed my heart and my spirit and gave me an added dimension to my time with the Lord.

You'll love this book! It's just a must have for anyone who loves a beautiful devotional and the work of Francine Rivers. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by Tyndale Blog Network

Blessings - Julie

Book Review and Giveaway - Life Creative


Creative moms often feel as though they must lay their passions down. But God had something special in mind for the creative woman during this intense season of mothering.

In this Pinterest age of handcrafted children's parties, Instagram photos of beautifully decorated homes, and blogs filled with poetry and prose, it is clear that we are in the midst of a brand new artistic renaissance. Not one born in Italian cathedrals or Harlem jazz clubs, but rather in kitchens, nurseries, and living rooms around the world. Mothers, working in the cracks and crevices of each hectic day, are adorning the world with their gifts, and they're showing all of us the beauty of this Life Creative.

In this book, you'll learn:

-Why the world needs your art
-How this Life Creative begins at home
-When art can turn a profit
-Your part in this modern day Renaissance

Life Creative paints the stories of moms, just like you, who are fitting their inspired lives into the everyday, ordinary places of motherhood. Women like home decorator Melissa Michaels and jewelry designer Lisa Leonard, author Angie Smith, recording artist Ellie Holcomb, and many more.


Wendy Speake is a trained actress and heartfelt teacher. She ministers to women's hearts through storytelling and life applications, utilizing drama, comedy, poetry and the study of God's Word. During her career in Hollywood, Speake found herself longing to tell stories that edify and encourage women. She is the author of Triggers: Exchanging Parents' Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses (BRU Press, 2015). Speake is a wife and homeschooling mother of three boys.

Kelli Stuart is a writer and a storyteller at heart. She has written for several websites including The Huffington Post, 5 Minutes for Mom, The MOB Society, (in)courage and Compassion International. She is the author of three books, including Like a River from Its Course (Kregel Publications, 2016) and a noted speaker. Stuart her husband live in Florida with their four children.


Life Creative Wendy Speake Kelli Stuart


The first thing I noticed about this book is how pretty it is. The cover is gorgeous and the pages are decorated so beautifully. I love extra touches like this, especially in a book about creativity.

As a creative mom, I would have loved to have had this book when my children were toddlers. It gives you "permission" to be creative and actually encourages it. How many of us creative moms feel we need this? We are so focused on being good moms and encouraging creativity in our children we sometimes put our own creative needs on the back burner.

The thing I love about this book the most is how they show through God's Word that God encourages us to be creative! God himself is the ultimate creator so it only makes sense that He would make us creative, too. I also like how they realize that there are different types of creative. Some women enjoy sewing while others enjoy cooking - but it's all a creative process.

They also point out how things have changed so much for moms in this day in age. I know when I was young, my mother was a stay at home mom, like most of my friends moms were. My mom did needlepoint, ceramics and other creative pursuits with no guilt. There was no pressure to be something "more". In fact, being creative was highly thought of. Moms today are pulled in all directions to be everything to everyone.

Being creative brings us peace and as moms we need that. It calms us allows us to be ourselves. In turn, this makes us better moms (and wives). I just love this book! I found it so encouraging and it sparked creativity in me, too! I highly recommend it and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by LitFuse Publicity Group

Blessings - Julie

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Counting Our Blessings - Link Up!

It's not always easy to stop and think about how we have been blessed when life seems to be coming at us from all directions. Stress becomes our enemy but we can't shake him because he stalks us and keeps popping up. That's really when we need to stop, take a cleansing breath, and focus on those things that are good and peaceful. That's what this is all about. A time for us to stop and just relax. A time to thank God for his blessings - big and small.

97. I am so very thankful for my the blessing of a good Vet for my babies. Cookie has been a little sick for awhile. We consulted her Veterinarian after her tooth extraction back at the end of July. He thought it was just the after affects of that and also some allergies. She seemed to get better and then last week, she took a huge turn for the worse. Her nose was running horribly and she would sneeze and cough. I called and he had me bring her in that same day. Turns out she has a sinus infection and allergies along with it that are making everything bad for her. She is on antibiotics and an antihistamine and I'm so happy to report that she seems to be getting better. She's still sneezing once in a while but her nose is running very little and she's improving. I am so thankful. She is such a huge blessing!

Her little eyes are shiny again and she's playing with her toys again. So thankful!

98. Of course, we can't talk about Cookie without talking about Mitzi! lol She just keeps doing things that amaze me. She does not like when I leave the house. She always knows because she will see me putting my shoes on. I normally wear slippers around the house all day. She gets very upset when the shoes go on! Anyway, when I get home, she now runs to get my slippers so I can put them on! I guess she figures if I have my slippers on, I won't leave. Of course, first she has to chew me out for being gone in the first place! Oh, what a joy and a blessing she is!

99. So, as many of you know, I'm a huge, huge Anglophile! (That's just a fancy word that means I love all things British.) One of my favorite things to do is to listen to old radio shows. You know, when there was no such thing as television or it was still too expensive to have one. Radio dramas are my favorite with Police and Detective at the top of my list. So, I found an app that has tons of shows and they have several British shows. Of course, those became my favorites and one in particular I found really exceptional. They are the Inspector West shows. I don't think there were too many done but they are so well written and acted - you feel like you're right there. I found out they are based on novels by John Creasey. Now, Mr. Creasey is a very interesting man who wrote over 600 novels - not always in his own name but using pen names, too. He was a best selling author and so I knew I had to read his books! Try finding them, though, here in the US - 40-50 years after they were published. Yes, I saw some on Amazon but they are so expensive and besides, I really want the old paperback vintage books! So, I decided to stop into a new used bookstore here and just see what they had. Eureka! Look what I found!

Seven books - all vintage - and all John Creasey!! Woohoo! Don't you love those covers? Some of these were printed in the US and some in the UK. The green one with the striking cover is from the UK. I'm one happy girl! So now, I'm going to be looking for more of his books under his own name plus his different pen names. I'm so thrilled and feel so blessed to have found so many books all in one place!

What are your blessings this week? I hope you've had many! Share on the InLinkz below or in the comments.

Blessings - Julie

Book Review - Union With Christ - The Way To Know and Enjoy God


Have you ever had difficulty connecting what you know to be true about God with how you feel or how you live each day? Have you ever longed to change but just felt stuck?

The Bible makes a stunning claim: God has provided a way for your life to be united to Christ's. What does that mean? Is it really possible for me, now? What would it look like?

In Union with Christ, Rankin Wilbourne makes union with Christ accessible and beautiful, for you. Union with Christ is not an abstract idea. It is a powerful reality. And recovering a sense of your union with Christ can change everything for you, like finally putting on a pair of desperately-needed glasses.

Discover how coming to see your life through the lens of union with Christ can help bridge that gap between your head and your heart, between your belief and your experience. Union with Christ is what we most need in order to know and enjoy God.


Rankin Wilbourne grew up in Louisiana and was educated at the University of Mississippi and Princeton Theological Seminary. He is now the senior pastor of Pacific Crossroads Church in Los Angeles. As a former commercial banker, Rankin understands the "gap" between the gospel preached on Sunday and the world people face on Monday. Leading a thriving church in a city driven by stories, he's concerned with drawing connections between what we believe and how we live. Rankin and his wife, Morgen, reside in Los Angeles with their three children. Visit his website HERE.


The first thing I really love about this book is how easy it is to read and understand. I was one of the rare non-fiction books I've read where I just didn't want to stop reading it. I was expecting to have to re-read sections of the book for clarification because it's such a lofty subject matter, however, the author did a great job in explaining things for clear understanding. Any re-reading done was simply because I wanted to remember something or just for the pure joy of reviewing it.

He makes a vital argument for why doctrine is so important in the church and in our relationship with Christ. I also love how he shows us how much joy there is in having this vital relationship, or union, with Jesus.

He starts the book with emphasizing how important our imagination is in knowing God. We don't see him physically so our imagination needs to be exercised in this regard so we can grow in our relationship with Him. I thought this was so interesting because we aren't generally encouraged to use our imagination when it comes to God. However, what he tells us makes total sense and does help us to have a bigger picture when it comes to understanding our union with God.

Written in four parts, Mr. Wilbourne lays out a complete concept of how important our union with Christ is and how to go about making this a vital aspect of our life. He shows how important this relationship is in our every day life and in all areas of our life.

I think this book is wonderful and I intend to read it again. It's one of those books that you love the first time going through (with highlighter in hand, I might add) but that reading again brings a deeper clarification and understanding. It's just a book I really want to read again because I found it brought such a deeper meaning to my relationship, or union, with Jesus. I highly recommend this book and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by LitFuse Publicity Group

Blessings - Julie

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Faith Journaling and Other Things

I have started my new online Bible study, ENTRUSTED, by Beth Moore and all I can say is it's amazing! We are on day four and I'm amazed at how much I've already learned. Beth has changed her studies in that you have 5 levels of study to choose from. If you're a busy woman, you can chose level one. If you have more time to devote to study, you can choose one of the higher levels. It's a wonderful way to study without guilt!

I was watching a wonderful video by The Reset Girl on how she takes notes as she watches Bible teachers like Charles Stanley. I was so inspired! I decided to start doing the same thing and started with my note taking on Session One of my Entrusted study. Here's a picture of my notes:

I had so much fun with this and it truly did deepen my listening abilities to the teaching. As I did my notes, I would stop or even rewind to listen again for my note taking. I used Christian stickers and Illustrated Faith washi tape on this page, as well as just fun little shin stickers. I enjoyed this so much and intend on doing this for all my note taking! Like Cori (The Reset Girl), I like to listen to Charles Stanley. Some other favorite teachers of mine are John MacArthur, Tony Evans, and David Jeremiah.

Here's a link to the video if you would like to see her process for yourself.

It's finally Fall here! I'm so glad. I don't care for the heat and it's so nice to have crisp, airy nights to sleep by. I sleep so much better when it gets cooler and the air conditioning is off. Clean outside air is always more appealing to me!

I'm going to be having a small surgery next week. I had a biopsy done on a mole that has given me problems for over 40 years. When I was little, my guinea pig scratched the mole off and ever since, it's itched and looked odd. I'm so glad I finally got into my dermatologist to get this truly looked at. I'm not real concerned about this but will be glad when it's over.

I hope you're doing good, dear friends!

Blessings - Julie