Monday, January 23, 2012

Where do you go when you need help?

How frustrating it is to run into a problem and not know how to solve it!  You go to people who you feel should be qualified to help, and you get run of the mill answers.  No real help at all.  Instead the question is posed, "are you in the Word and have you been praying about the situation?"  Yes, we need to be in the Word and we do need to be praying about the situation BUT, and this is a very big BUT, we sometimes need tangible assistance.  We need to be pointed to someone who can help us, who can let us know that we are not alone, that others have gone before us.

Did you realize that sometimes God allows us to go through hard times and then He brings someone  to us who is going through similar situations, and we can be of assistance to them?  What we have learned from our experiences, information we have gleaned, resources we have gathered can and should be shared with those who have come to us seeking help.  Reassurance that God is there, and that the Word of God is a powerful and effective tool should be first and foremost.  And believe me, prayer plays a big part, too.  But God gives us additional tools to be effective in helping others. 

Some of us have gone through divorce, lived through affairs, dealt with physical and/or emotional abuse, lost children either through death or other circumstances, dealt with rebellious teenagers, the list goes on...  Why don't we compile lists of resources, along with the Bible and prayer, that can be used to help our fellow Christians the next time they come to us? 

Prov. 3:5-6

I just found these, one was in an e-mail to me from Women of Faith: 

Friday, January 20, 2012


Front CoverAccused: Pacific Coast Justice Series No. 1
By: Janice Cantore
Published by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
Copyright 2012

Anytime I can't put a book down or I lie awake in bed reading until midnight (or later), I know I have a really good book.  That's what happened last night with Janice Cantore's new book Accused, the first in a new series called the Pacific Coast Justice Series (release date scheduled for February 1, 2012).  Although I am a prolific reader, I have never read any of Ms. Cantore's books before.  Let me just tell you, I will be reading the other books in this series, the second of which, Abducted,  is scheduled to be released during the summer of this year.

Carly Edwards is a ten-year veteran on the police force in Las Playas, California, working night patrol.  The story begins with Carly being partnered with a hot shot temporary replacement for her regular partner, Joe King.  As the story unfolds a shooting has occurred, with Carly and the hot shot firing shots and subsequently killing the suspect.  Carly is removed from patrol and reassigned to juvenile, which she is none to happy about, while an investigation looks into the shooting, which has become high profile.  Unfortunately it's now been several months and Carly is still stuck in juvenile, when what appears to be a chance for redemption arrives with the disappearance of the town's well loved mayor, Teresa Burke.

I don't want to give away the story, but there is an ex-husband who is a Sergeant on the force, a police reporter who Carly feels ruined her life with his story of the shooting, drugs and smuggling.  Somehow Carly ends up on the run along with another fellow police officer who everyone thinks has gone off the deep end. By the way, it's believed that Carly herself has gone off that deep end,too.  This book keeps you guessing who really did it.  Is it just one person, or are there more involved?

Throughout the book is beautifully woven the plan of salvation. Carly says she does not believe in God.  Will she make the right choice and follow God's call, or will she continue on under her own power, trusting in luck and her own skills?

Why not check out Ms. Cantore's website and learn more about her life as a police officer and how she combined work and her faith, and how she uses that today in her writing.  While you're there you can find out about other books she has written, and read her blog.  I think I'm due a trip to the library in the morning to see if I can find other titles by this author!

In order to comply with new Federal Trade Commission regulations, please note that this book was provided compliments of  Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

New Format

Hey, everybody.  Hope you all are having a great start to a brand new year.  Hard to believe half the month of January is already gone! 

I am trying out a new blog format.  What do you think of it?  Let me know what I need to tweak! 

Thanks for reading...


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: Then Sings My Soul, Book 3

Then Sings My Soul, Book 3
By: Robert J. Morgan
Published by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
Copyright 2011

Let's be honest.  Who really wants to read a dry, boring old book about hymns?  Today's world is so filled with praise music, contemporary music, whatever you want to call it.  Words are projected on an overhead screen, and we rarely ever use hymnals anymore.   Today's music is catchy and vibrant, and has everyone clapping their hands and swaying to the music.  It's uplifting, and it praises our Savior!  That's where Robert Morgan's book Then Sings My Soul Book 3,The Story of Our Songs: Drawing Strength from the Great Hymns of Our Faith  comes into play.

Mr. Morgan sets forth a case for never forgetting the songs of our past.  He begins with the history of hymns -- did you know the first recorded hymn is in the Bible?  Beginning in Exodus 15:1 a hymn is sung by Moses and the Israelites, having left Egypt and crossed over the parted Red Sea.  This is just the beginning of hymns in the Bible.  As pointed out by Mr. Morgan, hymns were a large part of the life of the Jew BEFORE the time of Christ, and continues on to this day. 

After discussing hymns in the Bible Mr. Morgan begins with the history of hymns in the early church, Medieval hymns, German hymns, English hymns and songs more modern.  This is followed by actual hymns (beginning in 100 a.d. with The Gloria Patri, otherwise known as Glory Be to the Father) and continues on to present day.  Some of these hymns I had heard and sung before, some I had not.  Alongside the story of each hymn is the actual hymn itself.  It was very difficult for me to read through the hymns instead of trying to sing the hymns.  But I suppose that is what was intended by the author.  I even got up a couple of times and tried some out on the piano, to the chagrin of my sons.

Closing Then Sings My Soul Book 3 is a section on how to use hymns today.  I am from the generation where hymns  and not much else were sung in church.  It took me a while to become a fan of praise and worship music.  However, I am learning to do as Mr. Morgan suggests and blend both hymns along with praise and worship into my life.  I have learned to love them both.

Unfortunately a lot of people today agree with my earlier comment about hymns being dry and boring.  They are not.  They are our Christian heritage.  A great deal of doctrine can be found in them.  However, we shouldn't adhere to one genre to the extent of ignoring the other.  Again as Mr. Morgan points out, we need to learn to blend our praise and worship music with the hymns of old.  Let's not lose any of our music!

This book and it's predecessors Books 1 and 2 would be a great addition to the library of anyone interested in music, music history, involved in church music, or just for those who love Christ.  I hope you will enjoy this book as much as I have!
In order to comply with new Federal Trade Commission regulations, please note that this book was provided compliments of  Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

My Learning Curve

View from Cooter's Pond, Prattville, Alabama

I love to take pictures, and occasionally I get some decent shots.  However I have lately been wanting to take some night shots. When my mom recently upgraded her camera I inherited her "old" one, and I decided that now is the time to try some shots.  

The first thing I needed to do was to find out HOW to take those night shots. If you just point and shoot, everything is going to be dark.  It's been years since my college black and white photography class, and I have forgotten everything I learned.  Since I had read in the users manual that there are such things as f-stops and apertures that need to be adjusted, and since the directions didn't explain it so I could understand (probably just me!), I went online during lunch Wednesday and found just what I was looking for.  PhotonHead is for those who want BRIEF essays on how to use your camera, as well as the history of photography -- did you know that as early as 500 years before Christ it had been discovered what can happen in a dark room?  Don't laugh, just read the article.  Very interesting!!  In any event, PhotonHead's site helped me out a lot. I quickly read up, then that evening went out and experimented. 

Looking towards Montgomery, across Cooter's Pond, from the lookout point, Prattville, Alabama
All of the shots in this blog post were taken after dark, and by increasing the amount of light coming into the camera I think they turned out okay for a beginner!  The first photo has a little bit of shake too it, though.  I was in such a hurry to get a sunset over water that I didn't take the time to put the camera on the tripod, and when you increase the amount of light coming into the camera you are increasing the time it takes to take the photo.  And I shake...  

I am going back to the site soon to scout out a location without as many branches obscuring the view.  Next time I'll be better prepared.  And maybe next time I'll take along a friend for safety reasons.  It probably wasn't a very good idea for a woman to go by herself to a deserted public park to take photos at night.  And my dad and brothers will probably want to skin me if and when they find out.  But I had my pepper spray and my car keys and my cell phone in my pockets!

Looking towards Montgomery, across Cooter's Pond, from the lookout point, Prattville, Alabama

The second and third shots shown were taken at the top of the lookout at the same park. I have been wanting some shots of Montgomery at night, and remembered this place when I was taking the shots of the sunset over water.  I hurried to the site and set up quickly, and snapped off a lot of bad shots but a couple of good ones, too.  Had a good time experimenting with the different light settings on the camera.  

From the lookout point at Cooter's Pond, Prattville, Alabama

As I was getting ready to leave, I had even taken my camera off the tripod and was heading back to the car, I looked up and there was another beautiful sunset.  And to think I almost missed it!  I was so afraid it would be gone before I could get the camera set back up, but I was able to snap off a few shots.  Sometimes it pays to pay attention to your surroundings!

Although I know you can edit photos using various photoshopping programs, the only editing on all but the last photo was the addition of my name and date.  The last photo I decided to play around with and enhance the color.  It is the same photo as the one before it, just with the colors enhanced.

What a fun project!  I can't wait to get out there and try again.  Why not go out and try some pictures of your own?