Thursday, June 14, 2018

Book Review - Breaking the Fear Cycle


The Bible calls us to "fear not" on many occasions. But just how do we accomplish that when every news item seems designed to get us wringing our hands? Using her own story as a catalyst, Maria Furlough discusses how to overcome fear for good. With practicality and passion, she shows us the steps we can take to bring those fears to God rather than act on them and to trust God with the future.

When we give God full control over our lives, choosing his sovereignty over our own ability, we can break the cycle of fear, grow through suffering, and trust God to fulfill his promises of protection and peace. If you are filled with anxiety about your personal circumstances, the state of the world today, or even your fear-clogged social media feeds, you'll welcome this hands-on journey from fear to freedom.


Maria Furlough is a wife, a mother of five, and the head of women's ministry at Lake Forest Church in Huntersville, North Carolina. She has been writing and teaching Bible studies for 14 years and currently writes on the blog True Worth at


This book was so appropriate for me. I have been a fearful person all my life and this is one of the best books for combating that fear that I've ever read.

Maria knows something about fear. One of her worst fears (and I think every Mom's fear) was losing a child. This happened when she is carrying her precious child, Gideon, she finds out that he will be born without lungs, kidney or bladder and would only live a few hours after his birth. She has to face the fear, but shows us how she did just this, with the help of God.

She shares stories of others who were fearful in the Bible, like David and Job, and how they were able to face their fears because of their faith in God. We, too, can have this same kind of faith.

One of my favorite things is that at the end of each chapter, she has a series of questions for us to answer. This helped me to truly reflect on my feelings of fear and then combat those fears by going to God's Word. Because of these wonderful questions, this book would make a great book for a small group.

I loved Maria's style of writing because she helps us to truly understand God's promises of giving us strength and faith so we can rise above the fears we feel. She was so open and honest in this book and I enjoyed each and every page. I highly recommend this book to anyone who struggles with fears because it will truly help you overcome. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by Revell Reads

Blessings - Julie

Book Review - Adamant


What is truth?

This has become the defining question of our time. But while everyone has an opinion, truth, it seems, is getting harder and harder to find. Perhaps that's because we are searching for something when we should be looking for someone.

Truth has a name.

More ancient than time and more present than this moment, truth is not a river that changes with the cultural currents, but a rock--immovable, invincible, unshakeable--and the cornerstone of all we are and ever dream to be.

Theologically deep yet intimately accessible. Adamant will be an anchor for your soul in a raging sea of opinions, giving you a clear sense of direction in a wandering world.


Lisa Bevere has spent nearly three decades empowering women of all ages to find their identity and purpose. She is a New York Times bestselling author and internationally known speaker. Her previous books, which include Fight Like a Girl, Lioness Arising, Girls with Swords, and Without Rival, are in the hands of millions worldwide. Lisa and her husband, John, are the founders of Messenger International, an organization committed to developing uncompromising followers of Christ who transform their world. Learn more at


This book took me longer to read than it normally takes me. Not because it was hard to get through, but because it was so good and so profound, I wanted to absorb each and every word!

This book takes us through the truth of who God is and, in turn, who we are in Him. Each and every chapter shows us the truth of God and how we need to stand on the Rock of Jesus and not be swayed by the worldly cares around us.

My favorite quote from this book is, "The Rock is our strength, our sure footing in a world littered with gravel." This really epitomizes the whole book for me. Jesus is everything - our truth, our Adamant. Everything else is just gravel that we will never have sure footing on.

My favorite chapter was on transformation. As one who is always striving to do better, this chapter was especially encouraging because it is through the strength of God that we can transform. She also shares how important it is to pause and ponder and that's something that I have lacked in my very busy life.

I absolutely love this book and will be reading it again. There's so much truth to be gleaned from this book and it truly is life and heart transforming because Lisa is sharing God's Word and that's always the best thing. She explains things so well and has so many wonderful statements throughout this book that really stick with you. I highly recommend this book and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by Revell Reads

Blessings - Julie

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Counting Our Blessings - Linkup!

Hello friends! It's Tuesday so it's time to Count Our Blessings!

53.  My first blessing is that I finally was able to get a back injection! It's been over a year since I last had one and was needing it so very badly. I couldn't do it when I had the ostomy bag because I couldn't lie on my stomach. I'm so thankful to finally get one to relieve my pain! That's a huge blessing for me!

54.  I was having some high stomach pain the week before last. Of course, my mind immediately went to the crazy zone...."I've got diverticulitis"! I went through this for several days before finally calming down and realizing that it was pain from the surgery. I had so many people praying for me, which was such a huge blessing. Plus I had one lady reach out to me to let me know she had the same issues for a year and that it was totally normal. That really gave me peace. I thought it was so very sweet for her to contact me and calm my fears. This week has been much better and, yes, I still have some pain, but it's not as bad.

55.  At my son's work, they are collecting school supplies for children. He made this amazing box that mimics an old school house design. This is that back...

This is the front...

On Sunday, we spent the day painting it. I did the brick, the vines, and the logo on the door. He did all the white trim everywhere.

Here it is after the first set of vines around the door...

Then the next day, I decided it needed more vines around the windows so here it is with more vines...

Then my son painted a wood board green and mounted little flags across the front. So here is the finished piece.

Isn't it wonderful? The last picture shows it at his place of business ready for the donations of school supplies. It was so fun working on this project with him and doing something for others. That is always a blessing!

What are your blessings this week?  Please share on the linky below:

Blessings - Julie

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Book Review and Giveaway - Courageous Women of the Bible


In Courageous Women of the Bible, LaTan brings to life some of the soft-spoken heroes of the Bible like Abigail, Jael, Jochebed, The Woman with an Issue of Blood, and The Widow with Two Coins – all who made faith-filled choices that positioned them for success. She even talks about some of the bolder women such as Deborah, Bathsheba, and Mary, Mother of Jesus, and others in a way that will have you thinking about something you hadn’t quite realized before. Through these stories and deeply moving end-of-chapter questions, LaTan encourages us to look beyond what we perceive we need and take hold of the courage to draw closer to Jesus when facing illness, isolation, or rejection and to live and give generously while stepping out into faithful, fearless living no matter the season of life or what the unknowns are. I see LaTan’s book resonating with those who have tried everything else and haven’t thought that courage equals obedience and that it starts with one step, not a daring feat.


LaTan Roland Murphy is an award-winning author and speaker and has been featured in WHOA women’s magazine and numerous other publications. She is the author of Becoming a Woman of Interior Elegance and co-author of God’s Provision in Tough Times. She is also the founder of The Colors of His Love Women’s Conference. She and her husband, Joe, have three adult children and two delightful grandchildren. They live in Raleigh, North Carolina. She would love for you to stop by and visit her on her website at


As someone who struggles with fear, this book was such a help to me! I love how the author uses the women of the Bible to encourage us to have godly courage in our life.

Some of the women she illustrated had courage was Deborah; Mary, Mother of Jesus; Abigail; and my favorite, The Woman with an Issue of Blood. Each chapter is devoted to one of these Biblical women and the trials they faced and the courage they had to go forward and do what God called them to do.

One of my favorite quotes in this book is, "When people grow weary of hearing our afflictions, Jesus doesn't." This was so comforting to my heart. I know that I can go before the Lord and tell him my fears and concerns and He is repulsed or turns away because He is tired of hearing it. He cares and listens.

I really enjoyed the thoughtful questions at the end of each chapter. It really made me think about fear can control my life and gave me ideas of how I can make changes. There is also a really favorite part in the back of this book - journal pages for us to write out what is on our heart after reading each chapter. I loved this as it helps me to get things worked out when I write them down.

My very favorite thing about this book is that is talks about courage from God. I don't have the personal courage sometimes to do what I need to do, but God is more than willing to give me the courage to go forward in life. He will do the same for you!

I highly recommend this book to women who struggle with fear or a lack of courage. It will definitely show you how God has the courage you need to go forward. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by the BlogAbout Blogger Network and Bethany House Publishers


I am so excited to have two copies of Courageous Women of the Bible to give away! Please enter on the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win one of these copies.  I will pick two winners June 15th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blessings - Julie

Book Review - The Cats Came Back


Small-town librarian Kathleen Paulson often seems to gets mixed up in murder, but luckily, her very special cats always find a way to help her close a case . . .

The charming Minnesota town of Mayville Heights is hosting a music festival, and the whole place is bustling with musicians and tourists. Kathleen is looking forward to taking in some fabulous performances--and her two cats, Owen and Hercules, are looking forward to taking in some fabulous sardine crackers. But then the trio stumbles across a dead body by the river.

The victim is a close friend--who also happens to be a look-alike of a popular cabaret singer set to perform at the festival. Who could have wanted to harm this innocent girl? Was it a case of mistaken identity?

As accusations abound and suspicions swirl, Kathleen, Hercules and Owen will put their abilities--both mundane and magical--to the test, and lay down the paw.


New York Times bestselling author, Sofie Kelly, writes the Magical Cats mysteries, set in the small town of Mayville Heights, Minnesota. As Sofie Ryan, she is the author of the popular bestselling Second Chance Cat mysteries that feature repurpose shop owner, Sarah Grayson, a group of senior sleuths and the world's oldest computer hacker.

Sofie has been a late night disk jockey—which explains her love of coffee--and taught absolutely terrified adults how to swim. Like Kathleen Paulson in the Magical Cats books, she practices Wu style Tai Chi. Sofie is also a mixed-media artist and likes to prowl thrift shops looking for things to re-purpose in her art.


This was an absolutely delightful book and was definitely a cozy read.

Kathleen is a small town librarian who owns two cats with amazing powers of perception. When they are out doing a photo shoot for the town calendar, they find a dead body. It happens to be someone that Kathleen is acquainted with and it starts the sleuthing by both her and her two kitties, Hercules and Owen.

I liked the fact that Hercules and Owen had once been feral cats but trust Kathleen to hold and pet them - something that they allow no one else to do. They do like others and make it quite clear when they don't. They are definitely special cats that can perform strange feats!

Marcus is the local police detective, who happens to also be Kathleen's boyfriend. It's refreshing that he encourages her help instead of trying to keep her out of things. He's protective without being oppressive and is not only her boyfriend, but a true friend.

There is the side story to the wedding taking place and different family situations that lend to the main story of murder. I did know who had done the murder early on in the book, however, it was a joy to read the book for the pure enjoyment and not be trying to figure out "who done it" the entire time. There was enough of a twist to the murderer's reasoning to make it hugely interesting.

I enjoyed this book so much! I read it in about three settings and it was so relaxing to read between my more serious non-fictions books. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys cozy mysteries and just a good read.

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by the First To Read Program by Penguin Books

Blessings - Julie