Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Psalm of the Week

Psalm 139

1O lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.

2Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.

3Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.

4For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.

5Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.

6Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.

7Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?

8If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.

9If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;

10Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.

11If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.

12Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.

13For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb.

14I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

15My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

16Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

17How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!

18If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.

19Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men.

20For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain.

21Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?

22I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.

23Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:

24And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Beyond the Shadows by Robin Lee Hatcher

Loneliness and grief stalk Deborah Haskin after her husband's death, but hope eases her pain when she marries Gideon. After their marriage, Deborah discovers a devastating secret—Gideon is an alcoholic! How can someone who has brought her healing bring so much hurt, too?

Alright, what do I have to say about this book? Well, first off, I was a little hesitant to read this book when I got it because it was about living with an alcoholic. It wasn’t something I wanted to read about, considering it’s not the best situation. But Beyond the Shadows was actually a lot better than I thought it was going to be. First off let me tell you that Robin Lee Hatcher did a wonderful job describing all the feelings the characters were feeling. I’ve read her books before and she’s always done a beautiful job in that area. As for the reality of the story, it was a very sad book. People normally do think that alcoholics are irritable and mean, but Robin shows how that’s not truly the case. I would definitely recommend this book to you, readers. Although I’m not really one to read a book where the characters narrate the story, but this one is definitely an exception. If you have time to read this book, I would tell you to read it. Robin Lee Hatcher once again amazes me with her ability!
I hope you have a wonderful New Year,

*This book was checked out of my local library for reviewing*

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wednesday's Song of the Week #6

Christmas is finally here, my friends!!! This will be our last bunch of Christmas songs before Christmas, and only one more Wednesday in this month. I hope you enjoy each and every one of them, and I hope they warm your heart as well as rock your Christmas. This time you might be surprised to hear one song that isn't a normal thing on here. It's a little bit louder, but not the worst I could do. Once again I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a beautiful New Year.
Here are your songs:

#1 White Christmas by Bing Crosby

#2 Christmas Shoes by FM Static

And our worship song will be...

#3 In Me by Casting Crowns

I hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

*These songs will be played on the playlist at the bottom of this blog.*

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Psalm of the Week

Here's your Psalm of the week! I have made up my mind to do one in the beginning of the week and one at the end. Stay tuned for upcoming reviews and posts in the future. Merry Christmas everyone!

Psalm 10

1Why standest thou afar off, O LORD? why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble?

2The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poor: let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined.

3For the wicked boasteth of his heart's desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth.

4The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.

5His ways are always grievous; thy judgments are far above out of his sight: as for all his enemies, he puffeth at them.

6He hath said in his heart, I shall not be moved: for I shall never be in adversity.

7His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity.

8He sitteth in the lurking places of the villages: in the secret places doth he murder the innocent: his eyes are privily set against the poor.

9He lieth in wait secretly as a lion in his den: he lieth in wait to catch the poor: he doth catch the poor, when he draweth him into his net.

10He croucheth, and humbleth himself, that the poor may fall by his strong ones.

11He hath said in his heart, God hath forgotten: he hideth his face; he will never see it.

12Arise, O LORD; O God, lift up thine hand: forget not the humble.

13Wherefore doth the wicked contemn God? he hath said in his heart, Thou wilt not require it.

14Thou hast seen it; for thou beholdest mischief and spite, to requite it with thy hand: the poor committeth himself unto thee; thou art the helper of the fatherless.

15Break thou the arm of the wicked and the evil man: seek out his wickedness till thou find none.

16The LORD is King for ever and ever: the heathen are perished out of his land.

17LORD, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear:

18To judge the fatherless and the oppressed, that the man of the earth may no more oppress.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wednesday's Song of the Week #5

Okay so here's your next few Wednesday's songs of the week.

#1 Evergreen by Switchfoot

#2 Silent Night by Josh Groban

And for our worship song of the week,

#3 The Blessing by John Waller

I hope you enjoy these songs, while your preparing for Christmas which is just a week away.
I hope you have a blessed Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

Merry Christmas!


*These songs will be playing on the playlist below.*

Fields of Grace by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Will their Mennonite faith be shaken or strengthened by the journey to a new land?

With their eldest son nearly to the age when he will be drafted into military service, Reinhardt and Lillian Vogt decide to immigrate to America, the land of liberty, with their three sons and Reinhardt’s adopted brother, Eli. But when tragedy strikes during the ocean voyage, Lillian and Eli are forced into an agreement neither desires. Determined to fulfill his obligation to Reinhardt, Eli plans to see Lillian and her sons safely settled on their Kansas homestead- and he’s equally determined that the boys will be reared in the Mennonite faith. What he doesn’t expect is his growing affection for Lillian- and the deep desire to be part of a family.

Fields of Grace is a touching story set in the 1800s, when many Russian Mennonites made their way to America. It follows the lives of Lillian and Eli, showing the hardships they overcame to make over their lives in the strange new country of America. This book reminds us that, even in the face of trials, God is still on the Throne and will provide for all our needs. The theme of this book is evident as you read of these characters’ struggles: “… My grace is sufficient for thee: for My power is made perfect in weakness…” (2 Corinthians 12:9). Mrs. Sawyer has created unforgettable characters and a plot very close to her own heart. Her family came from Russia during this time, bringing with them their Mennonite faith as well as the hearty wheat kernels that Kansas is now known for. Mrs. Sawyer has done a wonderful job on this new book, weaving the lives of two friends together in a touching way. Full of unforgettable characters, heartbreaking loss, and a deep faith in God, this book will keep your attention from the beginning and not let you go until you’re finished!

I hope you all have a wonderful and blessed Christmas!

Love in Jesus,
Elyssa =)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Psalm of the Week

Update! Let's make this more of a once a week thing, but we'll give this one to you first!

Psalm 3

1Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me.

2Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah.

3But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.

4I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.

5I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the LORD sustained me.

6I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about.

7Arise, O LORD; save me, O my God: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly.

8Salvation belongeth unto the LORD: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Psalm of the Week

Hey everyone!
Well, I bring to you something new again. It's seems like all the new things start out slow but soon become the best things. Well, since my friend and I love how well our Wednesday's Song of the Week is doing, I figured I'd give you something else. Today we are starting a new thing, something I hope we all will keep up with. Everyday, at least we hope it will happen that often, we will give you our Psalm of the Day. Hopefully this will allow us to take time out of our busy days to read more of God's word.
Thanks for reading this blog, we thank God for each and every one of you.


Here's your Psalm of the Week for December 13

Psalm 18
1I will love thee, O LORD, my strength.

2The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

3I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.

4The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid.

5The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me.

6In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears.

7Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth.

8There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it.

9He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under his feet.

10And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind.

11He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.

12At the brightness that was before him his thick clouds passed, hail stones and coals of fire.

13The LORD also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire.

14Yea, he sent out his arrows, and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them.

15Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered at thy rebuke, O LORD, at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils.

16He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters.

17He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me.

18They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the LORD was my stay.

19He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me.

20The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me.

21For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God.

22For all his judgments were before me, and I did not put away his statutes from me.

23I was also upright before him, and I kept myself from mine iniquity.

24Therefore hath the LORD recompensed me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his eyesight.

25With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful; with an upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright;

26With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself froward.

27For thou wilt save the afflicted people; but wilt bring down high looks.

28For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.

29For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall.

30As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.

31For who is God save the LORD? or who is a rock save our God?

32It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.

33He maketh my feet like hinds' feet, and setteth me upon my high places.

34He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.

35Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.

36Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip.

37I have pursued mine enemies, and overtaken them: neither did I turn again till they were consumed.

38I have wounded them that they were not able to rise: they are fallen under my feet.

39For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle: thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me.

40Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies; that I might destroy them that hate me.

41They cried, but there was none to save them: even unto the LORD, but he answered them not.

42Then did I beat them small as the dust before the wind: I did cast them out as the dirt in the streets.

43Thou hast delivered me from the strivings of the people; and thou hast made me the head of the heathen: a people whom I have not known shall serve me.

44As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me: the strangers shall submit themselves unto me.

45The strangers shall fade away, and be afraid out of their close places.

46The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted.

47It is God that avengeth me, and subdueth the people under me.

48He delivereth me from mine enemies: yea, thou liftest me up above those that rise up against me: thou hast delivered me from the violent man.

49Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name.

50Great deliverance giveth he to his king; and sheweth mercy to his anointed, to David, and to his seed for evermore.

*The passage is taken from the King James Version*

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Shades of Blue by Karen Kingsbury

A fairytale future. A Checkered past. A decision awaits.

Brad Cutler, twenty-eight, is a rising star at his New York ad agency, about to marry the girl of his dreams. Anyone would agree he has it all—a great career, a beautiful and loving fiancée, and a fairy tale life ahead of him … when memories of a high school girlfriend begin to torment him. Lost innocence and one very difficult choice flood his conscience, and he is no longer sure what the future will bring except for this: He must go back to the shores of Holden Beach in search of his first love, and a forgiveness neither of them has ever known.

Three people must work through the repercussions of a decision made long ago before any of them can look toward a new future.

Finally the review for Shades of Blue comes upon us! Man, how long have I waited for this moment? Too long is my guess. When I first heard that Karen was coming out with another book in October, I was thrilled. It was bad enough that we had to wait till March to get the next Above the Line addition, and the idea of a new novel in between was perfect. Let me just say that Shades of Blue was absolutely amazing! Everyone that’s a Karen Kingsbury fan knows that it could never be less than that, and Shades of Blue did not disappoint. The characters of Brad Cutler and Emma Landon were so realistic it was scary. Every time I picked up the book I felt like I was meeting with old friends. The decision the two of them made was horrible, but the forgiveness they eventually found together was beautiful. Although I was hoping that Emma and Brad would get reunited, this story didn’t end that way. Brad’s fiancée, Laura James started off, to me, as a spoiled rich girl that didn’t care about anyone but herself. Yet in the very end, I feel that Laura redeemed herself by symbolically washing Brad’s feet; and in so doing asked for forgiveness as well. Okay, even though this story didn’t end the way I saw it ending that doesn’t mean it wasn't totally amazing. Shades of Blue was a touching, heartwarming story about a scarred past and a new chance to forgive. It you’re a fan of Kingsbury’s work then I know you will love this story. It was fantastic!

Not only does this book touch your heart, but it also gives you an inside scoop as to what abortion really is. As you see what Emma went through then and the effects it had on her life, it's just heartbreaking. Emma's life should be a lessen to everyone out there, hopefully making them think twice before taking an innocent baby's life.

I hope this review made you think about how precious an unborn baby's life really is.

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas,


Where Grace Abides by BJ Hoff

“God never runs out of grace. In every season of life, in every heart that knows Him, loves Him, and seeks to serve Him, God’s grace abides.” ~BJ Hoff, Where Grace Abides~

Rachel Brenneman has a problem…
Rachel loves the people of her Riverhaven Amish community, who want nothing more than to be left alone to live out their gentle, unassuming lives of faith. But Rachel also deeply loves the “outsider”, Jeremiah Gant, an Irish-American conductor for the Underground Railroad. With the sincere hope of marrying Rachel, Jeremiah asks the bishop for permission to join the Amish community. When an unexpectedly negative decision is rendered, delivering a heartbreaking blow to them, they try to move on with their separate lives.
Meanwhile something sinister- and deadly- threatens the community’s peace. At the lone sound of a midnight bell, the Plain People rally. What they must do, they will do together.
While Rachel’s life is here with her people and Jeremiah lives as an outsider, their future seems hopeless. And yet their love story is tender and endearing- a bold, inspiring journey of faith.

In the sequel to Rachel’s Secret, the lives of the Amish in Riverhaven are changed once again. With strange things going on around town, as well as a missing wife and mother, their faith is tested and tried as pain and confusion begin to fill their lives. Rachel has her personal battles, Jeremiah doubts whether or not he could live as an Amish man, Gant’s friend Asa continues his work in the Underground Railroad, Rachel’s brother Gideon does the impossible, and her mother moves on from the past. As each character goes through their personal struggles, I found myself getting sucked once again into the lives of the people in the small community of Riverhaven. I can’t tell you how incredibly upset I am that I have to wait another year to read the last book in this series! Miss Hoff did a great job once again, weaving the Irish and Amish in a way that touches you and makes you fall in love with the characters all over again. The love of God is weaved throughout the book, and I found myself cheering Rachel on as she shared the Gospel with her mother. Although the Bishop forbade them to talk about God, Rachel and her friends have studied the Bible and witness any chance they can get. But don’t get me wrong here. Rachel has her doubts at times, but in the end, she- as well as Jeremiah- trust God with their future. Full of history, suspense, mystery, heartache, and a community of lovable characters, Where Grace Abides will leave you wondering what happens next in the story and in the lives of your friends in Riverhaven. Once again, if you’re a fan of Amish fiction, this is a definite must-read!

Love in Jesus,

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wednesday's Song of the Week #4

Here are Wednesday's songs of the week. And just like I promised you're getting three more!

#1 I Celebrate the Day- Relient K

#2 Oh, Come All Ye Faithful -Casting Crowns

And for your pleasure once again, I bring to you one of my favorites. A song that describes the love of our Savior.

#3 Beautiful One- Jeremy Camp

Hope you enjoy week four's songs of the week!

Merry Christmas,

*These songs will play on the bottom playlist.*

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Sound of Sleigh Bells by Cindy Woodsmall

Beth Hertzler works alongside her beloved Aunt Lizzy in their dry goods store, and serving as contact of sorts between Amish craftsmen and Englischers who want to sell the Plain people’s wares. But remorse and loneliness still echo in her heart everyday as she still wears the dark garb, indicating mourning of her fiancé. When she discovers a large, intricately carved scene of Amish children playing in the snow, something deep inside Beth’s soul responds and she wants to help the unknown artist find homes for his work–including Lizzy’s dry goods store. But she doesn’t know if her bishop will approve of the gorgeous carving or deem it idolatry.

Lizzy sees the changes in her niece when Beth shows her the woodworking, and after Lizzy hunts down Jonah, the artist, she is all the more determined that Beth meets this man with the hands that create healing art. But it’s not that simple–will Lizzy’s elaborate plan to reintroduce her niece to love work? Will Jonah be able to offer Beth the sleigh ride she’s always dreamed of and a second chance at real love–or just more heartbreak?

To start off, I guess I’m going to have to say that I’m a huge fan of Cindy Woodsmall. I believe I’ve read her other books at least three times each, they’re that good! Cindy is probably one of the best authors I’ve read before. She’s definitely up there with Karen Kingsbury and Beverly Lewis. Yet even with all this I was hesitant to read The Sound of Sleigh Bells. Don’t ask why, I have no idea. But when it came time for me to start the first chapter I just wasn’t into it. Now, trust me when I read her other series, Sister’s of the Quilt, I had no trouble whatsoever getting into it. But when I started this one, it wasn’t the same. Now, as I read it, I have o tell you that it definitely captured my attention. This story got my attention and kept it throughout the entire book. Sure the first chapter wasn’t that interesting, but after that this story had my entire mind’s focus. What with her interesting characters and heartwarming plot, Cindy Woodsmall created yet another beautiful book. I’m thankful that I didn’t lose interest with that first chapter because this story was worth reading.
Many thanks to Cindy Woodsmall for allowing her fans to be a part of her world!

Merry Christmas guys,


Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Blind Side!

The Blind Side depicts the remarkable true story of Michael Oher, a homeless African-American youngster from a broken home, taken in by the Touhy’s, a well-to-do white family who help him fulfill his potential. At the same time, Oher's presence in the Touhys' lives leads them to some insightful self-discoveries of their own. Living in his new environment, the teen faces a completely different set of challenges to overcome. As a football player and student, Oher works hard and, with the help of his coaches and adopted family, becomes an All-American offensive left tackle.

What would you do if you saw a young boy walking on the side of the road in the pouring rain? Would you offer him a ride, and upon hearing that he didn’t have a place to stay, offer him your living room couch? That’s what Leigh Anne Touhy and her husband do when they find Michael on the side of the road. Welcoming them into their home and lives, the Touhy’s find themselves falling in love with Michael and his gentle nature. As the Touhy’s go through some changes, Michael does as well. He slowly comes out of his shell, and moves out of the shadows of his past.
First off, let me just say that I loved this movie! The Blind Side was truly an amazing movie, grabbing your attention right away. From the beginning to end, I was captivated by the true story of Michael Oher, and how he overcame all the obstacles that came his way. This movie will definitely touch your heart, make you laugh, and get you to thinking: “What would happen if I were in that situation?” This was probably one of the best movies that I’ve seen this year, and I can’t wait for it to come out on DVD!

Hope you all are enjoying the Christmas season!
Love in Jesus,
Elyssa =)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wenesday's song of the Week! #3

So it's that time of the week again, time for Wednesday's song of the week. This week, considering it's the first Wednesday of December, I thought I'd give you a little more than normal. How about three songs? Personally I think we're going to have to take this thing all throughout December. Christmastime is definitely here!

#1 God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen by Jars of Clay

#2 It Cam Upon A Midnight Clear by Sixpence None the Richer

And for our third song I thought I'd give you more of a worship song, since we should always be worshiping our Savior!

#3 Jesus Messiah by Chris Tomlin

Merry Christmas!

*All these songs will be featured on the bottom playlist.*

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Christmas Teaser!

Hey everyone!
Okay, so it's finally December, and I thought I'd give you something that's a little fun. While I was getting into the Christmas spirit this morning I came across this song in my music library. I can't tell you how much it made me laugh. Some of you may think that it's a little over the top, but it was definitely what I needed. I hope you all enjoy this Christmas teaser.

Good King Wenceslase- Relient K

Merry Christmas!!!!!

*Song will play on the playlist.*

One Shenandoah Winter by T. Davis Bunn

In the early 1960s, residents of Hillsboro in the Shenandoah Valley are thrilled when a doctor agrees to settle in their community. Especially Connie Wilkes, the town's assistant mayor, who has worked long and hard to convince any doctor to relocate to the town. The reputable Dr. Nathan Reynolds, who sees tiny Hillsboro and its residents as hopelessly backward, isn't the most pleasant of men, but the town begins to accept him when his new techniques save the life of the local minister's baby. Even though the doctor does not share her strong belief in God, Connie finds herself growing closer both to him and to God when her beloved uncle is diagnosed with cancer.

One Shenandoah Winter tells the story of a young doctor and his battle over his past. When Nathan Reynolds first arrived in Hillsboro his attitude towards others was quite unpleasant. His heart was closed up; still mourning the loss of all the cancer patients he’d allowed to die over the years. He’d come to Hillsboro looking for a place to rest and forget what drove him there. Little did he know that one man would be able to open up his heart and help him see the beauty in life. After a few weeks of getting to know the town’s “legend” Papa Joe, Nathan can feel the difference in the way he looks at things. The story progresses and blooms into an amazing tale of Dr. Reynolds’ journey to a better life, yet all the while a secret can ruin even the small amount of improvement the town has made in his life. When Papa Joe shows signs of having a terrible disease, all Nathan can do is go to the Source of peace that passes all understanding. This book showed me that sometimes it takes giving of ourselves to help others. We don’t always know what’s going on in other people’s lives, and to judge them as to how they act towards you isn’t always the best idea. I’ve heard it said that fear can drive you to do things you wouldn’t normally do otherwise. Yet, in this story we see that when an entire town puts their differences aside and try to love Dr. Reynolds things begin to change. Just like 1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear has torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”