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Grow Old with Me, the Best is Yet to Be

How many times have you heard this saying?  “Grow old with me!  The best is yet to be…”?  Very romantic, isn’t it?  Did you ever wonder where this often misquoted phrase comes from or perhaps you know.  Do we really know what the poet meant?

Nineteenth century Victorian English poet Robert Browning wrote “Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be, the last of life, for which the first was made. Our times are in His hand…”  My heart swoons every time I hear this verse.

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My husband and I often recite this to each other and then break out in laughter.  Is right now the “best” that we had anticipated?   How many times have we lost sight of the “best” on our journey because of inconveniences you wonder?  Many times.  We are, after all, only human.  As we age life takes its toll on our bodies and sometimes throws some twists and turns in our story.  Then the why me sets in.  Why did my retirement get cut?  Why is my husband so ill?  And the list goes on.

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Reflecting on what exactly is this “best is yet to be” I think it would be different for everyone.  It is actually a perspective thing, too.  For me, the best is in the little stuff.   My husband and I have been together for so long we just know each other better than anyone else.  It is the familiarity that comes with time, love, and going through things together.  Children, moving, jobs, family deaths, grandchildren, illnesses, and retirement all have a tendency to knit a couple closer together or at least they did us.

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The best is him bringing me strawberries because he knows I like them more than other berries.  It is him knowing I like my coffee hot, not warm, and that Caramel Vanilla is my favorite.  Being able to finish my sentences or hearing what I mean, instead of what I say is a big part of the best.  Sharing inside jokes and communicating with just a look or touch.  Mimicking accents on movies or television shows is silly, but he knows I love it so he plays along.

Having precious memories of a treasured life together and reminiscing while swinging on the deck is  awesome.  It doesn’t get much better than that.  My table surrounded by my parents, children, and grandchildren is the best of the best.  Sure I am getting old, have tackled obstacles, but the best is still coming each day.

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The poet says “our times are in His hands” and I am so grateful for that.  Actually the Lord’s hands on me is the only way to have a good life.   My life would have been and would be so different without God holding me.  I cannot imagine it, and I am glad there is no need.  He has carried me through many trials and tribulations.

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Maybe the “best is yet to be” refers to Heaven.  When speaking of the best of any and everything, Heaven is just that.  The best of the best.  Personally I can think of nothing better than going to Heaven after my time on earth is done.  Living everyday with Jesus and my saved loved ones will be the happiest of times.  No more pain, heartache, or sorrow, doesn’t that sound like “the best” to you?

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Book Review: Marked by Love by Tim Steven

Marked by Love: A Dare to Walk Away from Judgment and Hypocrisy by author Tim Steven is a frank, real, honest look at how we see and love others.  It is an in your face, step on your toes, search inside yourself book that challenges readers.  Are others able to identify us by our actions that we are Christians?  Can they see Jesus shining through us?
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It is not always easy but we are told to love everyone.  Scripture says to love and pray for your enemies.  Sinners, too, need your love.  Perhaps you don’t agree with them, but you can still love them.  Love the person and hate the sin.
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How do you think we are doing? Are we Christians living as the Bible commands?  Are we lovings others?  Do we not judge?  These are stinging questions but this book is a wake up call to anyone who has forgotten.  We are to be Jesus to others and live as He taught us everyday, not just the hour or two on Sunday when we are in church.
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The author explains God said twice in scripture “Jesus is marked by my love”.  Jesus did not have a tattoo or certain color he always wore to mark Him.  The only thing that marked Jesus Christ and the only thing that would mark His followers is love.  We as followers are also marked by love.  Do we act like it?  Can we treat everyone with love?  We are commanded to do just that.  Not just people we like but everyone.  Even those we disagree with in choices, politics, lifestyle, and anything.
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I would highly recommend this walk the walk book to anyone.  It is very upfront about people needing to change.  We need to stop this bickering, judging, and hating.  How would our world be if we treated everyone with love and showed them Jesus?  Think of the changes!  This is a great group read.  Believe me, you will want to discuss it with people.  You will want to change for the better.  This reader did.   It gets a 5 out of 5 stars from me.  I received a copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.  All opinions are my own honest ones.
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Book Review: A Sparkle of Silver by Liz Johnson

A Sparkle of Silver by author Liz Johnson is a contemporary Christian fiction.  This 368 page romance mystery is set on Georgia’s coast.  It is Book One in the author’s Georgia Coast Romance Series and the first book I have read by her.  She does a lovely romantic mystery.


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I really enjoyed the author’s writing style.  Her book was interesting, well planned, and written so that it kept my interest.  It was well researched and gave details and information on a time period and things I did not know.  I love that in a book.  This one flashed back to the 1920’s.  Characters were realistic and believable.  It was easy to imagine them and their feelings.  The Christian element was present, another important issue for me with Christian books.

This is the story of Millie Sullivan.   Years ago her great grandmother had a guest at an oil tycoon’s estate on St. Simon’s Island, Georgia. Now Millie is working as a guest at the same estate’s tourist attraction. Millie’s Grandma Joy insinuates there a clue to a treasure in the great grandmother’s old journal.  It happens to be hidden in the chateau.  Millie decides to search for the journal since she needs money and is caught by security guard Ben Thornton.  A deal is hatched, sparks begin to fly, and the adventure begins.

The author does a wonderful job with this tale.  The past and present are seamlessly interwoven to make a story that caught my attention early.  A few twists were thrown in to keep readers guessing.  Timely topics are touched on such as dementia, loyalty, family, forgiveness, money issues, and growing in faith.  All in all this is a worthy read.
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I recommend A Sparkle of Silver to anyone that likes Christian contemporary fiction, especially romantic mysteries.  This one has adventure and history.  It offers a lot.  I liked it very much and rate it 5 out of 5 stars.
I was given this book by the publisher and not required to write a review.  All opinions are my own honest ones.

Book Review: The Cumberland Bride by Shannon McNear

The Cumberland Bride by author Shannon McNear is Book 5 in the Daughters of the Mayflower Series.  This 256 page Christian historical novel was filled with adventure, romance, and of course history. Even though it is Book 5, readers that have not read the first four will be able to follow it without any issues.

Shannon McNear is a new author to me.  I enjoyed her style of writing.  The story caught my attention within a few pages and strongly held it until the end.  Her style is easy to understand, flows smoothly, and I could tell this book had been well researched.  I love a book that teaches me things, and this one did just that.  Another thing I want from a Christian book is inspiration.  This one provided that, also.  The descriptions were detailed without being overlong.  This book swept me back in time to 1794 and I was able to go on a journey in the wilderness.  It took me through some twists and turns, emotions were raw at times, but I loved this captivating book.
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The Cumberland Bride is the tale of Kate Gruener.  Kate her family are venturing from Bean’s Station, Tennessee, through the Cumberland Gap into the wilderness of western Kentucky.  It is also the story of Thomas Bledsoe, the scout for their party. Thomas has experience with Indians.  As one might think, their journey is filled with adventure, danger, thrills, and peril. It is also filled with faith, hope, love, trust, and prayers to God.
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The author has done a wonderful job with her characters.  They are relatable, well rounded, and feel like friends.  I could feel their emotions coming through the pages.  Conversations sounded authentic. The love story was one of the best I have read in a while.  All in all this is a charming book that begs to be read in one sitting. If only life would have cooperated, I would have done just that.  It took me two days to read it, and I set it down begrudgingly.
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I highly recommend this to anyone that likes historical fiction or historical romance.  It is a page turner that you will learn from and provide you with reading enjoyment.  If you like Colonial times, Appalachian Trail, or early Tennessee and Kentucky books, please don’t miss this one.  It gets a 5 out of 5 star rating from me. I received a copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and all opinions are my own honest ones.

Book Review: The Christmas Remedy by Cindy Woodsmall & Erin Woodsmall

 

 

The Christmas Remedy by rauthors Cindy Woodsmall and Erin Woodsmall is a charming 198 page Amish Christmas book.  The Woodsmall authors do a wonderful job of mixing contemporary Amish and what they call Englisch (us) cultures in this story.  The sweet romance is a also a mystery.  So we have a contemporary Christian Amish romantic mystery.  What a great combination!

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Their writing style is like opening the door into another place.  I gladly glide on in and stay, making many friends while I am there.  It was easy to become invested in this book.  I did within the first few pages.  It was difficult to put the book down until I had finished it.  I felt like a kid wanting to stay on vacation a few more days.  The characters were too likable to just leave.
This is the tale of Amish young woman Holly Zook.  She works in the town pharmacy.  After a medical issue her boss’ son, Brandon, comes home.  These two characters are well defined and true to life.  I met Brandon’s father, Lyle, the beloved pharmacist.  A helpful chicken farmer, Josh Smucker.  There were too many characters to name.  All distinct and likable or perhaps not.
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This book taught me some things I did not know.  One of my three favorite things in a book.  Teach me something.  It also had a God glorifying message.  Check.  I wasn’t sure about that one, but good things come to those that wait.  The last is I want to feel like I am there.  I did.  Obviously these wordsmiths know what they are doing and do it quite well.
The Christmas Remedy was a tad predictable but that did not make it any less enjoyable.  There were issues touched that effect most all of us.  Family, forgiveness, loving others as ourself, helping, healthcare awareness, and envy are a few of those topics.
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I truly enjoyed this Christmas book.  There were friendship, blossoming love, caroling, health fair, smores, family gatherings, and good Amish food.  It received 5 out of 5 stars from me, especially for the strong closing message.  This would be a great stocking stuffer for the reader on your list.  Buy one for yourself.  You will enjoy traveling to Amish country during the holidays while sipping cider in front of your fireplace.
I received a copy of this from Waterbrook and the authors.  All opinions are my own, honest ones.

Preorder your copy

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We don’t want you to miss Cindy Woodsmall‘s upcoming Christmas Novella. Pre-order today and we’ll send you Where Treetops Glistens for free!! Stock up in time for Christmas reading!

Pre-order today >> https://bit.ly/2QQ4TLR

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Indivisible CelebrateLit Blog Tour, Review, and Giveaway.

Indivisible by author Travis Thrasher is based on a true story and positively powerful.  It was based on the movie by David Evans, which I have not seen yet.  The 336 page book by Barbour Publishing took me through a plethora of emotions as I read nonstop.  It captured me early and I willing stayed until the end.

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Opening the book is a forward stating this book is dedicated to the chaplains of the US Armed Forces and soldiers who valiantly serve to protect our freedom.  Amen.  Where would any of us be without them?  Indivisible broaches many relevant topics and issues that our servicemen and their families face.  After reading it, I had a little better understanding of the trials and trauma facing them.  However, I said “little” because I cannot imagine going through the ordeal myself.
This is a God glorifying tale of husband and wife, Darren and Heather Turner.  He is a Chaplain.  Their relationship and marriage is definitely strained and changed by his deployment.  How could anyone go overseas and come back the same person?   PTSD is discussed.  Yes, it is real and terrible.  Spouses left behind, trying to support one another while raising children alone and feeling neglected is another topic.  That really made me think.  How many times would I have missed my husband had he been gone?  Every single one.  Indivisible does a good job showing the left at home spouse’s side, too.
My emotions were raw by the time I finished this book.  The author did an exemplary job writing this.  I highly recommend this book.  If you have someone in service this may touch a little close to home, but it is wonderful.  A worthy read that is so hard to put down.  My mind keeps revisiting it even though ai finished the book days ago.  Definitely a 5 out of 5 star book.  I received copy of this book from Celebrate Lit.  This is my own, honest review.

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About the Book

Book: Indivisible

Author: Travis Thrasher

Genre: General fiction, drama

Release Date: October 23, 2018

A novelization of the film Indivisible, this is a story of love and marriage and finding each other all over again.

When Darren deploys to Iraq during the surge of 2007, he leaves behind his loving and supportive wife, Heather, and their three small children. Their marriage is the envy of the base, both believing strongly in the calling to serve in the military. Darren knows he’s there to support the troops in their darkest moments as their chaplain, but what he doesn’t realize is that he will face his own dark moments, which will have lasting effects on his marriage.

Meanwhile, Heather is creating a community among the other wives and families left behind. She rallies support back home, realizing the dangers the men and women serving overseas are facing, but she also begins to notice a change in Darren during their brief conversations. When he returns, he is no longer the man who left-the man Heather married. His greatest fear is letting her down, but instead of opening up to her, he shuts her out. Their marriage was so strong before. But how can they get back to where they were . . . or find a new way forward?

Indivisible is a story of sacrifice, marriage, and faith that will leave audiences full of hope even amid their most challenging times.

We are excited to announce that this book is going to be a major motion picture!

Link to movie trailer: https://youtu.be/CHdhbE2tJyA

More about Indivisible

This book is based on a true story, so we’d love for readers and moviegoers to meet the real Darren and Heather Turner:

Darren and Heather Turner both grew up in Georgia, and met in 1999 when Darren was working in campus ministry at the University of Georgia. (Darren is still a Bulldog at heart.) Heather was working as a recruiter for an organization that sends English teachers overseas, and Darren had just returned from a year teaching English in Mongolia when they met. Married that same year, they served another six years together in campus ministry and added three children to their family.  Through the husband of a friend of Heather’s, Darren learned that opportunities existed for service as a military chaplain. In 2006, Darren completed seminary, was commissioned in the Army, and deployed almost immediately. Their family’s experiences from this timeframe are the basis of the new movie INDIVISIBLE. Darren, who is on active duty, and Heather are passionate about serving military families, marriage counseling, and leading marriage retreats. The Turners currently live in North Carolina with their children Elie, Samuel, and Meribeth.

Learn More About the Turners

About the Author

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Bestselling author Travis Thrasher has written over 50 books and worked in the publishing industry for over twenty years. He has written fiction in a variety of genres, from love stories and supernatural thrillers to young adult series. His inspirational stories have included collaborations with filmmakers, musicians, athletes and pastors. He’s also co-written memoirs and self-help books. His novelizations include Do You Believe? and God’s Not Dead 2. Upcoming releases in 2018 include The Black Auxiliary about the lives of the other 17 American black athletes who competed with Jesse Owens in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. Travis lives with his wife and three daughters in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Blog Stops

Carpe Diem, October 4

The Becca Files, October 4

A Baker’s Perspective, October 5

Robin is Bookish, October 5

The Power of Words, October 6

Christian Bookaholic, October 6

Splashes of Joy, October 7

Mary Hake, October 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 7

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 8

Inklings and notions, October 8

God’s Little Bookworm, October 9

Simple Harvest Reads, October 9 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)

A Reader’s Brain, October 10

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 10

Book by Book, October 10

Just the Write Escape, October 11

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, October 11

Real World Bible Study, October 12

All-of-a-kind Mom, October 12

Bibliophile Reviews, October 13

Pause for Tales, October 13

For The Love of Books, October 14

Texas Book-aholic, October 14

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 15

Cafinated Reads, October 15

All 4 and About Books, October 15

Spoken from the Heart, October 16

Janices book reviews, October 16

Maureen’s Musings, October 17

A Diva’s Heart, October 17

Bigreadersite, October 17

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Travis is giving away a grand prize that includes the Indivisible novel along with a devotional!!

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Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d627/indivisible-celebration-tour-giveaway

Find a Book Friday: Dare to Begin Again Celebrate Lit Tour

Dare to Begin Again by author Rosalinda Rivera has an enticing pink cover with a lovely bouquet of flowers and says “Let God Write Your Best Future”.  Okay, I’m in.  This 184 page by Whitaker House had me with its cover.  Then when I learned the DARE stood for Decide, Allow, Rise, Enjoy there was no putting this encouraging book down.
After an introduction there are sixteen chapters with different topics.  All of these are relevant in today’s life.  Dream Again, Forgive Again, Risk Again, Trust Again, Heal Again, and Love Again are just a sampling of what you will explore.   There is a story, a God lesson, Bible tie in, closing with “I DARE YOU TO…”. Author Rivera encourages readers at the end to DARE to whatever the chapter title is.  Dare to Hope, Begin, Forgive, or Listen.
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I enjoyed the author’s writing style.  It was easy to see this book has been well thought, researched, and organized.  The author has a smooth style of writing and her words seem to just flow.  Her stories and experiences are transparent and written to help readers.  She provides encouragement, scripture, and food for thought.  Author Rivera gives many positive, inspiring suggestions that stayed with me.  “Stay positive and don’t allow negative thoughts to enter.”  Another favorite is “Don’t let your past hurts, disappointments, and rejections hold you down.”  Both of those stuck with me and had me nodding in agreement.
This book reminds readers that God is with us and for us.  He has a plan for our future.  She says to keep moving forward with determination and God,  It is an upbeat, positive book.  There is a lot of cheerleading to uplift readers but not a lot of instruction on how to exactly accomplish your goal.  That is more implied or left to readers.  She does give some guidance but not an abundance.
Author Rivera has written a God glorifying book filled with ideas, support, inspiration, scripture, and experiences to help readers.  It is really a wonderful book.  Any readers club, small group, or individual read would highly benefit from reading it.  I highly recommend it and rate it 5 out of 5 stars.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. These are my own honest opinions and review.

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About the Book:

Book Title: Dare to Begin Again

Author: Rosalinda Rivera
Genre: Non-Fiction, Christian Life, Woman’s Issue
Release date: September 4, 2018

We all have struggles and challenges in life. Whether they are of our own making or not, things don’t always work out. Sometimes, we just give up on our dreams and goals. But it doesn’t have to be that way! God is a God of new beginnings, and throughout the entire Bible, we read about people who were stuck, disappointed, and faced impossible situations—people God freed. Rosalinda Torres Rivera challenges us to Dare to Begin Again. Using stories from her own life, other people, and biblical times, Rosalinda offers inspirational, down-to-earth advice on beginning again. Each chapter tackles a different issue where you may be “stuck”—such as an inability to forgive, trust, or hope—and examples of people who overcame similar challenges. Practical tasks at the end of each chapter walk you through a DARE challenge (Decide, Allow, Rise, Enjoy) to help you move closer to a fresh start. Rosalinda is the daughter of Victor Torres, an ex-gang member from Brooklyn, New York, and his wife, Carmen, founders of the New Life For Youth ministry. She has seen more than twenty thousand people get out of tough situations and turn their lives around. “They’re people whose tales of transformation prove God is still at work,” she says. “He’s written and re-written their life’s chapters—and He’s willing to do the same for you.” It takes a commitment, but with the help of God, inspiring, true stories, and practical applications, you can Dare to Begin Again.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Rosalinda Torres Rivera is the executive director of New Life For Youth, one of Virginia’s largest residential facilities helping to rehabilitate people from a life of addiction. She has been reaching out to families in crisis, poverty, and hopelessness for over twenty-five years. Using her business skills, Rosalinda developed a model of social enterprise to sustain the non-profit New Life For Youth by creating businesses that train thousands of young people in job skills and leadership.

47B0BEFA-8F9F-45A2-914D-4E00541D43D9She is also the president of New Life Enterprises, the founder of Mercy Moms Home, a place for single mothers to find hope and healing, and the founder of Bella Women’s Ministry in Richmond, Virginia, which hosts annual conferences for over five hundred women.
Each year, Rosalinda is a featured presenter at various events nationwide. She has ministered throughout the world and has traveled to over twenty-two countries. From the White House to the local community, she has been nationally recognized for her impact in bringing hope to the hopeless.
Rosalinda was appointed to the Board of Governors of the National Association of Nonprofit Organizations & Executives, headquartered in Washington, DC. Style Magazineselected her as a “Top 40 under 40” leader for her impact in Richmond, Virginia.
In 2018, the Valentine Museum in Richmond will feature the work of her family as one of the city’s first Hispanic families to impact Richmond in the non-profit sector.
Rosalinda is the daughter of Victor Torres, an ex-gang member from the streets of New York, and his wife, Carmen, the founders of New Life For Youth and pastors of New Life Outreach International Church. She served as an associate producer on Victor, a movie about her father’s journey from drugs and gangs to Jesus and redemption.
Rosalinda and her husband, Carlos, have three children: Alana, Gabriel, and Victor.

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