Saturday, April 30, 2016

A new children's book by Julia A. Royston

I just read the book, "Grannie, Grandpa and Me" by Julia A. Royston and illustrated by Derrick Thomas. I must say I loved it and it is a very beautiful book of poetry and pictures. Thank you so much Julia, for a much needed book. I've walked in these shoes and wish I had a book like this to read to children a long time ago.
One of my favorite things about the book was it was so real. It starts with a page with grandparents in a courtroom as that is how many grandparents obtain custody.
Going through the ages and stages of this child's life was so very poignant. This book displays the very best of scenarios as sadly not all grandparents are able to be up the task so easily. Some deal with heavy financial and medical issues and many families have a lot of resentments about why they are in the position they are in. "Grannie, Grandpa and Me" shows the beauty of loving grandparents who stepped outside of their own plans for their lives and gave a wonderful life to the next generation.
The only thing I’d liked to have seen included was the grandchild when getting married, might have wanted to adopt or be a guardian ad litem herself as a way to give back to the world, what she had been given.
I must say hats off to Derrick Thomas, those illustrations were truly beautiful. In fact beautiful, beautiful, beautiful are my main words for this book written for such a time as this. My husband was getting his coffee and I tried to read him the last page of the book and couldn't for the tears.
Thanks Julia for writing this and for your work of service to schoolchildren. I’d give it ten stars if that was possible. Write on.
I was very grateful to receive a Review Copy from the publisher through BookCrash. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

A new prayer, for a new day.

Some days the only thing we can do is pray:

Lord, You alone, know how overwhelmed we are. Please give us some help and hope. When we are afraid help us to trust in You. When we can’t see give us Your vision. When we need HOPE be that for us. Give us direction, give us wisdom which You said You would never deny if we asked for it. Help the weary ones today, help the perplexed ones, help the needy and help our souls to cry out to You, living water, Living Hope and our great restorer of the song. We need a new song Jesus. We need manna from heaven for this day. WE NEED A TOUCH FROM THE MASTER’S HAND.

We cry out to You. We seek You, we cling to the hem of Your garment and we will be dragged along in the dirt if You don’t reach down with a tender touch. You are our tender touch today. You are our smile. You are our help. Help us. Help us, Help us please Jesus. 

Send journeymates to those who need them, resources help and friends. Take care of our loved ones, our children, grandchildren, the young and aged, also. Be the shine in the eye, the sparkle that we need, the kindness that we crave. Be our everything today we pray. We praise Your name, we love Your Word and we look to see You one day in glory! This is my prayer today to the One I love.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

12 weeks today; For this I have Jesus.

12 weeks today; For this I have Jesus.
Yes, once again I've waited way too long to update my blog. Sometimes just looking at the subjects in my emails would give me subjects for a blog, such as this one: "Your brain and memory are failing..." or "Dad catches cupcake thief red-handed." Who are these people and how do they know me so well? LOL!
One of my favorite old commercials I've updated to fit my life, is "My face has fallen and it won't get back up!"  Stress does make me wonder where my brain and memory went as the last 12 weeks have been incredibly sad and stressful. I can see the age creeping up each time I look in the mirror and yes, I need to do so many things but sometimes getting out the door with my hair combed, such as it is, may be the miracle for the day. Aryel's hair is more important. She's doing well at the new school and I'm so grateful that she not only has Shirley Temple's hair but her personality for the most part. She loves to sing and dance and watch old reruns of Full House. Especially when her mom comes over.
I'm incorporating my book review of Andy Lee's new book here. I love Andy, having met her at FCWC and felt a kindred spirit right away. All I have to do is look at her sweet, smiling face and I'm comforted. I was so honored that she would send me an advance copy of her book to review. I wish I could afford to buy you all one, it is that beautiful. I would've loved to have copied and pasted paragraphs all over facebook of some of her quotes as they meant so much to me.
Here it is:
A Mary Like Me is one of the few books that as soon as I finished it, I wanted to read it all over again. Andy Lee is a poignant, loving woman and her books and writings are the essence of her spirit. Holy Spirit, that is. Andy is well qualified to write this book with a degree from Eastern Nazarene University and has taught Bible studies for over twenty years but I have to say it's her heart that draws me to her writings.
 I loved when Andy described original Greek words that acquaint us with this book and scenarios of the stories. There are resources in the back of the book and also an invitation to start your own Mary Group. The meaning of the name Mary/Miryam which is: bitter, rebellious, defiant, beloved, gift of God don't even seem to belong in the same sentence let alone meaning, but in a way, it was comforting to me.  Haven't we acted at times, like all of those meanings?
This quote is one of the reasons I so fell in love with this book, "Some of the most fearless, determined, and brilliant women I've met have struggle with mental turmoil. I've often found myself beside them, begging them to give up and go home. But they didn't surrender the situation until they won the battle or became too weary to continue. The truth is, when a woman has been forced to fight for life---whether in a bad family, bad marriage or mental illness---this person, more times than not, becomes a survivor." From beautiful Andy Lee in her book, A Mary Like Me, Flawed Yet Called
I thought of several women when I read this and some that I'm hoping will learn to survive soon. Some that I love dearly and anguish with the thoughts of their torment yet sometimes the choice is beyond what we can do to help. The choice is theirs. My thoughts from reading this book: make good choices today, people, it affects more than just yourself. It affects the whole family and generations to come.
Another quote that I want to include is:
 “There is no one that Jesus does not want to heal and cannot use for the furthering of the Kingdom of God. There is no one who is worthless, or incurable, or unusable. May it be noted the gospel of Jesus Christ resurrected was first proclaimed through the lips of a woman to men. God never intended to silence half of his creation in proclaiming his gospel.
          Perhaps if Peter had hung around long enough at the tombs that day, he would have been given the opportunity to tell the Good News, but he didn’t. Mary did. God is an equal opportunity employer. May we employ our mouths today as Mary did, no longer affected by the rejection of others but unswervingly, undeniably convinced of the life of Jesus.”
Andy Lee has done a wonderful job of expressing who the many Marys in the Bible were; women like many of us.


Monday, April 4, 2016

Book review for the children's book: Yes Dear, There Really Is A Devil

Yes Dear, There Really Is A Devil by Chris Rader and Johnnie Coley was beautifully illustrated by Sonny Heston.

I loved the poems and the concept of a book of this nature describing the enemy of our soul to children. The illustrations were among the best I've seen in children's books. One of the first scriptures mentioned, " Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour" was accompanied by pictures of lions. The lion seemed be a villain throughout the book; yet  so many children are familiar with Aslan from Chronicles of Narnia representing Jesus. I thought that might be confusing to them. A lion also represents the Lion of Judah so I had to do a double take as I was reading the book to my granddaughter to make sure I got across who was  the bad guy. At age seven she seemed interested in it.

The short poems were great and I applaud any parent who is looking to teach their child and when she couldn't find an appropriate book wrote her own. I was little confused on as it was listed  with three authors: Chris Rader (Author), Johnnie Coley (Author), Erin McKay (Author) yet I didn't find that on my copy. I look forward to reading more from these authors.

Disclosure of Material: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through the book review program, which requires an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR Title 16, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”