Friday, July 22, 2016

Book Review - Words To Live By


What would happen if you incorporated one positive, powerful word into your faith, your mind, and your relationships each week? The power of a positive word can uplift, encourage, and refresh, even as it challenges you to listen more intently, think carefully, and speak compassionately. Words to Live By: 52 Ordinary Words That Lead to An Extraordinary Life helps you focus on a single, powerful action word each week of the year. Linda Gilden and Dalene V. Parker offer five different devotions per word, encouraging you to focus on that word, pray that word, find that word in Scripture, and watch for ways God brings that word to mind during the week. As you see God?s Word anew, you will experience immediate changes in the way you think, listen, and speak God?s truth to others.


Linda Gilden is a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, American Society of Journalists and Authors, CLASSEMINARS, Inc., and Christian Authors Network.

Linda Gilden is an experienced writer, speaker, editor, writing coach, and Certified Personality Trainer. Author of the popular Love Notes series, she is also the author of Mommy Pick-Me-Ups, Mama Was the Queen of Christmas, Personality Perspectives – Clues to Building Better Relationships, Called to Write, and many ghostwritten books. With over a thousand magazine articles to her credit, she is a prolific writer who loves to share a great story. She speaks nationally many times throughout the year, is a frequent radio and television guest, and welcomes the opportunity to help others become better communicators. Visit her at


This is a wonderful book that focuses on one word a week. For instance, one word the author focuses on is "HOPE". She gives a wonderful example of hope and then this is followed up by five days of devotions that focus on and help us reflect on hope.

Each devotion has a Scripture to start out the day that reminds us of our word of the week and then a beautiful little story that further focuses our attention on the word. I really enjoyed the devotions because each story was easy to relate to and good. I enjoyed each and every one of the devotions and I really enjoyed that I felt brighter and happier after reading them.

They are wonderful to use for your quiet time with the Lord and I love focusing on a word a week. Sometimes it's so easy to breeze by the important words of our life but, because you are focusing on this word for five days, you gain a deeper understanding of that word through God's Word. I have many sentences and words highlighted in my book to help me focus on the word of the week and also because there were so many life changing sentences in this book.

I really love this book and it is staying in my quiet time area so I can read it each day and remind myself of the wonderful words that God gives us to draw us closer to Him. I highly recommend this book and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by Worthy Publishing

Blessings - Julie

Monday, July 18, 2016

Counting Our Blessings - LinkUp!

Hello friends. I'm sorry I missed last week's linkup. I've still been battling fatigue and we've had other stressful things happening and I've just been pooped! It's awful when you can't even find the energy to write a blog post. Anyway, I'm here right now and let's get to counting our blessings!!

73. I went to see my Vascular Surgeon for my six month check-up on my leg bypass. They did an ultrasound and all looks good! It's always such a relief to know everything is working properly. I also talked to him about my lack of energy. He told me that after all I have been through, he thinks I have at least another 12 months of recovery. He also didn't realize that I had 8 units of blood and he said that alone was something to recover from. It was such a relief to have him tell me this! I know I have a lot to get through, but I will, with God's help.

74.  I worked a bit more on my Christmas felt banner. Here's the latest picture:

I love all the sequins and beads! It's hard to tell in this picture but it just makes everything pop and looks so festive. I was out of polyfill so hubby went with me to Michael's where I got a small pack and also took advantage of their fantastic sales! I didn't get a lot but it was fun to get out for a while with the hubs.

75.  Sam's Club had gotten these gorgeous orchids in for Mother's Day. I admired them but the price was way more than I wanted to pay. Every time I would go back, they would lower the price because they still had a lot of them left after the holiday. Finally, they got down under $10.00 and I decided to take advantage of that price. They had some I had never seen before and I picked out this one

It's hard to tell in this picture because it just didn't show up right but the petals are actually yellow. All the pink veins make the petals look pink but they are very yellow. I wish the picture would have shown it better. Anyway, it's gorgeous and I'm so thrilled to have another orchid! I seem to do really well with them and have had them bloom regularly. If they keep getting really cheap, I may have to get myself another one!

76.  I started this new cross stitch. It's for a roll and it's a little break from the large piece. I love the special stitches in this piece!

I'm sorry the fabric is so wrinkled. I really need to give it a quick press!

77.  This time of year is slow for book reviews so I always catch up on my library book reading. I have read three books by Maureen Jennings. The first one is an Inspector Murdoch book

It was excellent although a bit different from the television show. However, it was still a great story and the suspense was excellent! These stories are based in Canada during the turn of the 20th century.

Then I read another book that is her DI Tom Tyler series. I didn't realize that the books were in a particular order so I accidentally read the second book first. It definitely stood alone but there were references to certain people and situations that it would have been helpful to have known about. Anyway, this book was called, "Beware the Boy".

This series is set in 1940's England during the war and it was very good! I did figure out by the end who some of the bad people were but it ended up in a bit of a cliff hanger regarding the leader of the bad group. So...I'm thinking there were will a follow up to this story?

Then I read the third book in the DI Tom Tyler series called, "No Known Grave".

I read this book in 1 day! No kidding! It was such a great story and I couldn't put it down! The story was so full of twists and turns that you didn't see coming and I honestly never did figure out "who done it" until the author revealed it. That doesn't happen to me very often and I loved it! Again, it's set during WWII in England and the war plays a huge part in both of these books.

If you enjoy mysteries, seriously, I highly recommend these! I have the first Tom Tyler book on hold and another Murdoch book on hold. I'm not sure why my library only has two Murdoch books but I'm going to ask them to order the others. I just love having this down time to read books I've had on my list to read but don't have time other times of the year.

How has your week been? Please join me in counting your blessings!!

Blessings - Julie

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Book Review - Murder Mezzo Forte


He is a reclusive history professor with musical hallucinations. . . .

She a headstrong professor of religion, a converted Wiccan. Earlier, they solved a campus murder, but now police say they formed two-thirds of an illicit love triangle with a newly-murdered female colleague and they're probably guilty of her murder. A leak of the alleged scandal to the college administration threatens their jobs.

Their desperate attempt to prove themselves innocent of the triangle and the murder plunges them into a tangle of unsavory corporate relationships among college trustees. And it puts their lives in danger from a mysterious criminal organization that seems to have tentacles everywhere.

Can this ill-matched pair's stumbling efforts succeed against the entrenched forces of the police, the college's incompetent administration, and that powerful but unseen criminal organization? If not, they may end up unemployed, in prison, or suffering a fate much worse.


Donn Taylor led an Infantry rifle platoon in the Korean War, served with Army aviation in Vietnam, and worked with air reconnaissance in Europe and Asia. Afterwards, he earned a PhD in Renaissance literature and taught literature at two liberal arts colleges. His publications include three suspense novels, one historical novel, and a book of poetry. He lives near Houston, TX, where he writes fiction, poetry, and essays on current topics.


This book continues the story of Preston and Mara and their investigative escapades. This is book two of this series but it definitely stands alone on it's own. After reading this, however, I'm sure, like me, you'll want to pick up the first book, Rhapsody in Red.

What  I love about this book is the dry humor that the author brings to the story. Murder is not a humorous subject by any means, but his humor truly adds to the story and gives us a break from anything too dark.

When Preston and Mara find the body of fellow professor, Mitra Fortier, after she has summoned them to her office, a story full of twist and turns starts. Since they had solved a murder before, those around them expect them to do the same again, whether they want to or not.

There is also a bit of romance between Preston and Mara that adds to the story. They are always trying to be very careful because of the jeopardy it may bring to their jobs. The musical hallucinations of Preston give us a huge glimpse into his personality and humor. The intrigue of the mystery keeps you reading to find out what happens and I always love a page turner. Plus, it kept me guessing until the end which is what a good mystery should do!

This was a fun book to read and if you enjoy a good mystery, you'll enjoy this book. I highly recommend it!

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

Blessings - Julie

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Counting Our Blessings - LinkUp!

It's been such a week full of blessings here! How was your week? I hope it was full of blessings, too!

69. We had such a wonderful 4th of July! We didn't do anything real elaborate but it was special to me. :) We had steak (which is quite rare for us!), pasta salad, green tossed salad and apple pie for dessert. I finally learned how to cook steak properly after years of cooking it like shoe leather! lol It was absolutely delicious!

We also watched this

I loved it! In fact, my whole family loved it! Then we sat on our deck and watched the fireworks. Such a nice day!

70. I have been searching for a new small lamb chop toy for Mitzi for months. I have found large ones but never any small ones. The other day I went to WalMart with my son and decided to check again. They had two of them! Yay!! Here is Mitzi with her new Lambie!

Here she is sleeping with her new toy.

She has had a little lamb chop since I first brought her home and has always slept with it. I could tell she was so happy to have a new one.

71.  I've been taking a break from my cross stitch and working on my Christmas felt banner again. Here's where I'm at so far.

It's probably hard to tell exactly what this is but that's a stable and it will have the Holy family in it. I love the window, don't you? Here's a close up...

I've always enjoyed doing these kinds of things and find it to be a very relaxing. Hopefully, I'll have a lot more done by next week to show you.

72. My biggest blessing has been all the lovely and encouraging comments you have left me on my blog posts where I have shared my health issues. I can't tell you how much this meant to me. Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know you're thinking of me and praying for me.

Now it's your turn! How was your week? Please share on the linky below or in the comments.

Blessings - Julie

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Share Your Voice!!

One thing I'm realizing is that we only have our voice for so long to share what God has done for us. If I had died two years ago, I would not have shared nearly enough of what God has done in my life. I would have let opportunities go by and not shared my full story of God's goodness and grace.

"You only have your voice for so long to share what God has done for you."

What is it that God has called you to do and you haven't done? We all have so many days and hours until we are no longer able to do these things. If you're a writer, write! If you're an artist, create! Whatever it is - now is the time. We are all in different times of our life. Some of us have more time than others but make time to adventure into your calling. Whatever time you take to share your voice is perfect because it's fitting into your life as it is at the moment. 

I'm actually quite an introvert and it's really hard for me to open up and share with others. However, God allowed me to live on this earth longer for a purpose and I believe that purpose involves Him. He has called me to share my story - bad and good - to inspire and help others. 

I don't have it all together - believe me! I don't do as much as I would like to do. I am tired so much of the time and I have absolutely no energy at times. I have to force myself to do the bare minimum each day. Some days are better, but they are far and few between. It's actually quite frustrating. When I do have any kind of energy, I try to do what matters most. My Bible study time is the highest on that list then it goes from there. Some days, I don't even have the energy for that.

I am keeping my eyes on the future. I believe - truly believe - that this is going to get better. I think God is preparing me for that time. He wants me to be a voice for those who are hurting. I am so very thankful for the fact that I can share with you through this medium. I can minister and share through this simple blog. It's rather a miracle, don't you think? 

I have friends that I would have never met if it weren't for this medium called internet. I am able to connect with others who are struggling through Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and more! How amazing. Our circles are really limitless and that's why I'm telling you...


You never know who you're going to inspire and bless!

Blessings - Julie