Pilgrimage: My Journey to a Deeper Faith in the Land Where Jesus Walked By Lynn Austin

We all encounter times when our spirit feels dry, when doubt looms.The opportunity to tour Israel came at a good time. For months, my life has been a mindless plodding through necessary routine, as monotonous as an all-night shift on an assembly line. Life gets that way sometimes, when nothing specific is wrong but the world around us seems drained of color. Even my weekly worship experiences and daily quiet times with God have felt as dry and stale as last year's crackers. I'm ashamed to confess the malaise I've felt. I have been given so much. Shouldn't a Christian's life be an abundant one, as exciting as Christmas morning, as joyful as Easter Sunday?

With gripping honesty, Lynn Austin pens her struggles with spiritual dryness in a season of loss and unwanted change. Tracing her travels throughout Israel, Austin seamlessly weaves events and insights from the Word . . . and in doing so finds a renewed passion for prayer and encouragement for her spirit, now full of life and hope.

Felt like I was on a personal tour of Israel, with just words, no pictures, I had a deeper sense of what it must feel like to be blind. This book opened my eyes in so many ways, and deepened my faith and trust. Sometimes we all go through a spiritual dry spell and we have to remember that whatever we go through is all for His glory, not ours. A great read. Austin paints a vivid picture of the Holy places where Jesus walked.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Switch On Your Brain By Dr. Caroline Leaf

You are not a victim of your biology!The vast majority of the illnesses that plague us today are a direct result of our thought life. What we think about truly affects us both physically and emotionally. Today our culture is undergoing an epidemic of toxic thoughts that, left unchecked, create ideal conditions for illnesses.

Supported by current scientific and medical research, Dr. Caroline Leaf gives you a prescription for better health and wholeness through correct thinking patterns. She exposes the "switch" in your brain that will enable you to live a happier, healthier, more enjoyable life where you achieve your goals, get your thought life under control, and even become more intelligent. And her 21-Day Brain Detox Plan guides you step-by-step through the process of replacing toxic thoughts with healthy ones.

Ready to reap the benefits of a detoxed thought life? Read on . . .

Dr. Leaf states "Science is catching up with the Bible daily. How true, because God is THE greatest scientist. He created the heavens, the earth and us in it..." Oh how marvelous! For such a long time science has been fighting the Bible and the scriptures it contained but now people are starting to realize the TRUTH.  We can certainly change our lives by changing the way we think. There are a lot of scripture references to uphold facts and that is something I can appreciate. One can babble on and on about facts and science but if there's no scripture to back it up then it's nothing to me.
It's so amazing to learn how our brains are wired all according to God's plan and purpose!

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from BakerBooks, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Fired Up By Mary Connealy

When a doctor who attracts danger falls for a cook determined to make it on her own, there's going to be trouble in Texas!

Glynna Greer came west as a mail-order bride and ended up in a bad situation. Now her husband, Flint, is dead, and she's determined to make a go of it on her own. In a town full of men, Glynna decides she can support her two children by opening a diner--never mind that cooking is not her greatest talent.

Dare Riker is a doctor who saves lives, but someone seems determined to end his. It may have something to do with the traitors he dealt with during the Civil War, or it might be related to the recent incident with Flint Greer and the ranch. Whoever the culprit is, he or she seems really fired up, and Dare can't let his guard down for a moment--which is a challenge, since right now he's trying to win the heart of the recently widowed Glynna.

Though his doctoring business is booming due to Glynna's questionable cooking, Dare seems to encounter unexpected dangers wherever he goes. There's the avalanche. And the fire. And then the shadowy figure with a knife. Can Dare survive it all long enough to convince Glynna to take another chance on love?

A little mystery and romance, even comedy! That's what Connealy has wrapped up in this little package! A great follow up to swept away but with a little more quirkiness. The story flows nicely with the relationship between Glynna and Dare and the trouble that follows Dare and Glynnas lovely cooking lol. I love the values tied to her reads such as the strong message of forgiveness and the importance it carries for the Christian. I do look forward to where the writer will take the characters to, the next level, in the next story

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Chasing Hope By Kathryn Cushman

A Touching Story of Two Unlikely Friends.
The Power of Trust.
The Struggle of Pain.
And How, Sometimes, Following God Can Lead You to the Most Unexpected Places.
A talented runner determined to make the Olympics, Sabrina Rice had her dreams shattered by a devastating diagnosis. One forfeited scholarship and several years later, she's forged a new vision for her future that has nothing to do with running, which she's buried deep, intent on forgetting...

Until the day she sees Brandy Philip running across the college campus, easily outpacing security. Sabrina immediately recognizes world class potential, and it's all the more painful that it belongs to a troublemaking teen. When a chance encounter brings the two young women together, Sabrina realizes she's Brandy's best hope to salvage a life about to spiral out of control forever.

I love how the story was told from both characters (Sabrina & Brandy's) point of view. We got to see what each one was experiencing physically and mentally and a glimpse into their struggles and passions. We can also apply the lesson to our daily lives and wait on God and His plans for our lives and not our own.

I did enjoy this book and found out later that it's book number 6 from the Tomorrow's Promise Collection so I will definitely be searching for the previous 5. I thoroughly enjoy Cushman's writing style and the Christian values that are woven into this novel about faith and love. Great read!

I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review


Fighter: 5 Keys to Conquering Fear By Manafest

"It's too late it's my fate I can't turn around, there's no fear in the mirror to hold me down"
Musician Chris “Manafest” Greenwood lost his father to suicide at the age of five, and found himself with nothing to cling to but a single mom and his childhood dream of moving to California to become a professional skateboarder. But God had different plans; by the age of 18 Chris fell in love with hip-hop music and quit his corporate job to join the ranks of Toronto’s competitive underground hip hop scene, choosing the name Manafest as a reflection of his goal to manifest his dreams. After years of fighting for success in one of the toughest industries in the world, he found himself living in his dream— a 3-time JUNO award nominee, Top 10 Billboard charted rock artist, living in southern California, selling hundreds of thousands of records worldwide.
Named after his highest charted song, Fighter, this book is the story of how Chris conquered his fears and found success in five stages, which he calls the anatomy of a fighter—courage, perseverance, mindset, discipline, and willpower—the five resources we can all draw on in order to reach our dreams, no matter what they are. The message is simple; we have to replace fear with faith. If God can do something great with a skate punk from Pickering Ontario, imagine what he can do with your life!

Ok, so unlike most people that requested this book, I was not a fan of Manafest, I had barely even heard of Manafest up to this point, but he had a story to tell, and I wanted to hear it. Sometimes we're too harsh to judge people in the spotlight forgetting that we all have our own stories and struggles and pretty much just trying to survive like everyone else. I read this book in a couple hours (Since it's only 166 pages) and learned the spotlight is not all it's cracked up to be. It takes many struggles and sacrifices to get us where we're meant to be, and sometimes where we want to be and where God wants us to be are two totally different places. But it's good to see that despite everything he went through with losing his Father to suicide and his injuries he sustained, he's still serving the living God and putting his insecurities behind him and not letting fear control his life. I urge you to check out his music on you tube. I've included a link to a song I enjoy:

But this book is more than just Chris Greenwood's life story and rise to fame, this book also teaches us how we can overcome our fears and obstacles that are keeping us from following God's plan for our life. I encourage you to check it out!

"Book has been provided courtesy of Chris Greenwood and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.  Available at your favourite bookseller.


New Year, New Blessings, New Goals

Hope you all had a great Christmas and a great start to the New Year. God is so good! It's not about what we have physically, but what we have spiritually, our heart and soul is where it counts. I was thinking, what if we were stripped of everything we own, everything we've worked for, house, car, cottage, RV, ATV, iphones, ipads, computers? How would our heart be then? Where will our Faith stand?
Friend, it does not matter how much money you have in the bank, what kind of car you drive or the clothes you wear, what matters is your personal relationship with Christ. You think God looks down and says "Oh, look at that shiny new Corvette!" or "Wow! I love the millions you have in savings!". No my friend, he doesn't. God is no respector of persons, to him we are all his children and are all created equal. God tells us in Matthew 6:19-20
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal."
 So my main goal for the year is this; not to lose 50 lbs (okay that wouldn't hurt), not to save a bunch of money in the bank (okay, I admit that wouldn't hurt either) but my main goal, my focus for 2014 is simply this, to examine myself and my relationship with Christ, to grow into a deeper, meaningful relationship with Him. I want to be an example of God's unending love, mercy and grace and start living what I'm preaching. James 2:26 says

"As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead".

And God has given me another year, to live fully, alive, right where I am!
How about you?