Showing posts from July, 2009

Not So Fast by Ann Kroeker

Life’s Too Short to Live in Fast Forward Ann Kroeker’s new book offers readers simple solutions for a slower, saner lifestyle Today’s frenzied families find themselves fragmented in this high-speed, fast-paced, goal-oriented society. Even while racing to second jobs, appointments, lessons, practices, games, and clubs, we crave an antidote. How do we counteract the effects of our overcommitted culture? Replenish our depleted selves? Restore our rushed relationships? For those readers whose every hour is rush hour, author Ann Kroeker explores the jarring effects of our overbusy culture and offers refreshing alternatives. Bypassing the fast lane, Kroeker’s new book, Not So Fast: Slow-Down Solutions for Frenzied Families (David C Cook, August 2009), urges families to discover how simplifying and slowing down can help restore strained relationships…and souls. “We’re raising our kids in a high-speed, high-pressured, 24/7 world,” says Kroeker. “Pushing children to get ahead, we cram everythi

Oz wouldn't be so bad

Just before 6:30 this morning, the tornado sirens blared. In middle of the night, I can normally sleep through the train horn blaring yards behind my duplex. Maybe it's because it was close to around the time I usually have to get up, but the sirens woke me. Peachy. I'm awake before I have to be this morning, and there's severe weather. I knew that if I didn't call my dad to confirm, yes, I did indeed hear the sirens, he would call me. It's just the way it is. Trust me. I beat him to it. He turned on the TV. I figured he would turn on the local radar since he has local cable. No, he turns it on channel 4 or something, which I could have done myself via Dish Network. The National Weather Service announces that they are cancelling the tornado warning as the sirens start to wind down. But before they do, my dad tells me that I could get dress and come over to their house though he does not know if their house is any safer. No, thanks, Dad, I think I can hunker down in

Don't hold your breath

If you are looking for exciting reports of what I am doing with my three days off this week, don't hold your breath. I did absolutely nothing of real value today, and didn't turn on my computer until I got back from church tonight so that I could write a blog. IT WAS WONDERFUL! I didn't get out of bed until 10 this morning. Granted, I didn't get to sleep until like 1 AM because I was working on something late last night. I took a nap this afternoon too because I needed to catch up on more sleep since I got up too early yesterday. I haven't been sleeping wonderfully lately. It was great. I did get an old piece of furniture out to the curb. I had a four drawer dresser thing that I had gotten when I went off to college that held clothes in my first apartment, stuff in my bathroom in my last duplex and craft stuff in a closet in my current one. The drawers were coming unglued and stayed off whack of their wheel runners. So I trashed it. That was the most active part of

Christianish by Mark Steele

Suffering from Christianish ? In his new book, author Mark Steele transforms middle-ground, Christianish faith into a passionate, authentic pursuit of Christ Modern evangelicalism has lost its balance. A lukewarm spirituality, somewhere between cold faith and hot pursuit, has taken hold and found many believers in the median between the wide path and the narrow road of the spiritual walk. The efforts of many have become more centered on how to cope with their own dysfunctional lives, and less concentrated on what it really means to follow Jesus. It’s something not quite Christian. It’s more like…Christianish. In his new book, Christianish: What if We’re Not Really Following Jesus at All? (David C Cook, August 2009), author Mark Steele tells the story of his own personal journey from living in the “in-between” to a life that’s centered on Christ. “Somewhere along the road, I stopped being a ‘little Christ’ and instead began filling out the application that I had labeled ‘Christian.’ It

Make Love, Make War by Brian Doerksen

Living a Life of Radical Worship Award-winning songwriter Brian Doerksen shares insights behind some of the most beloved songs of our time as he provokes readers to love and war What is true worship? It can elevate us into the presence of God, renew and refresh our spirits, and offer the deepest expression of love for our Savior. Yet worship can also be a call to arms, a battle cry, a salvo in an ancient spiritual war that continues today. In his first book, Make Love, Make War: Now Is the Time to Worship (David C Cook, August 2009), award-winning songwriter Brian Doerksen challenges Christians to make their lives an offering of radical worship. An acclaimed songwriter, recording artist, author, conference speaker, and pastor, Doerksen believes God is calling us to love and to battle—to spread peace and wage spiritual warfare. “Each is essential to our daily spiritual walk,” writes Doerksen. “We do this through how we live, how we serve Him, and how we protect and fight for what matte

Being Talented is Tough Work

Being a blogger with original content is tough work. I don't feel so original today. I would say that would be one of the reasons you should never expect me to be a New York Times bestselling author. Actually, scratch the best selling part. I don't expect you to ever see me write a book. Believe it or not, I don't really like to write. Well, as readers of my blog, you might be yelling, "DUH!" at your computer screen because I'm not much of a writer most of the time. However, that doesn't mean that I don't have a great appreciation for those who do write. I work with many prolific authors. I read many others as well. Wow. I just can't imagine sitting down and coming up with a book of any kind. That's truly an amazing talent. Speaking of talents, while I was working on some posts for this blog and the Business as UNusual blog for the next couple of weeks, I've had repeats of "America's Got Talent" playing in the background. Th

You have the wrong girl

I don't accept every friend request on Facebook , but I do accept most. I accepted this person named Debi a few weeks ago, not knowing how I knew her, but said OK this time around. Debi is quite the friendly sort and has commented several times on my posts. I keep thinking, "who is this woman?" Yet, I didn't ask. At first I thought maybe she was a friend of a friend. In the meantime, last week, a man asked if I was the Audra Jennings that lived on such and such street in Arlington and was their neighbor. Nope, it's not me. Well, this week Debi sent me a message saying that in going through her address book she saw that I had moved from Arlington and changed jobs -- that my new one looked interesting. Uh, Debi, you have the wrong Audra. Evidently, this is quite strange because I look like this other Audra - and am about the same age. I was even told that everyone has a twin, and mine even has the same name. Interesting. A month or so at work, I received an email fr

Scape goat

As Paige pointed out to me on Friday before she left, it was all my fault that I wasn't going to where they were going. Well, yeah... (I am no longer saying the name of the locale because every time I do, the tourist department finds me and makes comments on my blog or someone on Facebook tells me where to stay the next time I go. Have these people been reading what I have said? I'm not going back if I can help it.) It was probably a mistake to spend a couple of hours with them Friday before they left because it made me wish that I was going with them in a way. To spend time with them, not spend time in the state of Missouri aka Misery in my book. When they arrived at their destination, Mom called to say they had arrived. She also said that the girls wanted to take the helicopter ride, but Dad told them that I would be mad if they did. Well, true, but I don't think that they are going to let a 5 year old and an 8 year old on the helicopter without adult supervision. Don'

Andrew Wilson's GodStories

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book! You never know when I might play a wild card on you! Today's Wild Card author is: Andrew Wilson and the book: GodStories David C. Cook; New edition edition (July 1, 2009) ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Andrew Wilson holds degrees in theology from Cambridge University and London School of Theology. His passion is to communicate the extraordinary truths of God. Andrew teaches internationally and is an elder at Kings Church Eastbourne in the UK, where he leads training and development. Andrew is also the author of Incomparable: Expl

The Kidnapping of Kenzie Thorn

Congrats to fellow publicist Liz Johnson on her first book, The Kidnapping of Kenzie Thorn. (Don't expect me to write a book anytime soon!) Liz has written a fast-paced enjoyable read. As I said last week in a review, I am a "love skeptic," but Liz has done a great job of making the romance aspect of the book believable and not make me want to gag at the sappiness . (That is high praise, Liz!) The characters have great personalities that you can really root for. And as for the suspense, there were a couple of twists and turns I wasn't really expecting. While I'm not big on romance as a rule, I love suspense. Here is more information about the book itself and the author. Be sure to check out Liz's website . Summary: Myles Parsons is just another inmate in Kenzie Thorn’s GED course until he kidnaps her, offering only a feeble explanation–that he’s actually FBI Special Agent Myles Borden. Terrified, Kenzie doesn ’t want to believe his story of being undercover

You all should be proud

You all should be proud of me. My parents and nieces are headed to Branson on Friday night, and I am not going on the trip. Some people thought I would give in, but I didn't. And there was a much higher likelihood in the end than there was in the beginning. Now, I just need to win the lottery - a scratch off would do - so that I can get some $ for me and Jenny to go do something. Both of us single ladies don't have enough saved up right now for a trip.

David C Cook Novel Receives 2009 Christy Award

Jordan-Lake’s Blue Hole Back Home wins the First Novel category Publisher David C Cook is pleased to announce that author Joy Jordan-Lake has received 2009 Christy Award for excellence in Christian Fiction. The award was presented on July 11, 2009 at the tenth annual Christy Awards presentation preceding this year’s International Christian Retailers Show in Denver, Colorado. Jordan-Lake’s Blue Hole Back Home took home honors in the First Novel category. Every year, The Christy Award invites publishers to submit novels written from a Christian worldview and copyrighted in the year preceding the awards. Each novel is entered in one of several genre categories and/or the first novel category. The novels are then read and evaluated against a ten-point criteria by a panel of seven judges composed of librarians, reviewers, academicians, literary critics, and other qualified readers, none of whom have a direct affiliation with a publishing company. David C Cook received three nominations th

Trying to flourish like the palm

I have an obsession with taking pictures of palm trees. My living room is filled with palm tree decor as well. Oh, and my bathroom. So, when I came across this verse this week, I decided I needed to post some of my favorite palm tree pictures: Psalm 92:12(a): The righteous flourish like the palm tree

Critical Care - review revisited

Last week, when I posted the tour for Candace Calvert's Critical Care , I promised a more lengthy review for it once I finished the book (and then had a chance). First of all, I am going to put in a disclaimer. My opinion is not the popular opinion because I've seen a number of good reviews about this book. It just wasn't one of my favorites. I have to give credit to the publisher's team of writers and publicists for back cover copy and press releases for getting me interested in the book. I had said that the book started out slow, and it did, but it did pick up the pace the further in you got. To me, however, it didn't live up to what I expected from the teasers. From the back cover: After her brother dies in a trauma room, nurse Claire Avery can no longer face the ER. She's determined to make a fresh start--new hospital, new career in nursing education--move forward, no turning back. But her plans fall apart when she's called to offer stress counseling for

Another one bites the dust

Thankfully, I survived another year of running the craft room for Vacation Bible School. It was actually pretty uneventful. I had hoped to post pictures of the "What Would Martha Fix Jesus to Eat" craft, but honestly, it wasn't all that interesting after all. The children lacked the creativity I had envisioned. I did make a cupcake at the request of one of the children, and I do believe that the macaroni was pretty cute. I didn't have a picture of the macaroni though. With the leftover model magic, I now owe all the moms that were helping with the classes strawberries. I will post you a picture of that once I do them.

How was I supposed to know?

Evidently, this is the week for me to get myself into trouble. Tonight we got together to eat at Don Jose's (pronounced Hoe- say's ) in honor of Peyton's birthday. A girl after my own heart, she loves cheeze in-chill-ah- duhs . (Her pronunciations .) Peyton's pronunciations really aren't the point though. But, I will get there in a minute. Julie had a card for Paige to sign for Peyton, so she did so. When Peyton went to open it, she had me, sitting next to her, to read the card for her. Before I tell you what the card did and DID NOT say, I have to tell you about Paige. Paige has a few tendencies and traits like her daddy. The most obvious one, at least to me, his her spelling abilities. Both Brian and Paige learned to read and spell very differently than I did. Their brains work very differently than mine. They are phonetic to the extreme. Which is not their fault - just the way they were taught. Mom and I vividly remember always trying to decipher what Brian was

So maybe I'm slow... more ways than one. Today, I think I was supposed to learn more than one personal life lesson. While one is certainly more important as far as the big picture is concerned, one is making a bigger impression on me right this second. There's a reason why every other female in the church building at VBS tonight was wearing flip flops. After work, I had something I needed to take care of, and then went on out to the church to get things ready for the craft room. Therefore, I didn't go home and change clothes. On Monday meeting days, we normally dress better than casual Fridays. Well, I knew not to wear my pair of wedges. Knew it. But my flat slide on shoes are pathetic, and I decided against wearing those with the pants I had on. Why? Well, I'm a little slow, I suppose. I was very slow by the end of the night. I could barely walk, my feet hurt so bad from standing up for two hours doing crafts. Suffice it to say, tomorrow night while we are molding model magic clay for th

Happy 4th of July!

So, I read an article online about taking pictures of fireworks using certain camera settings and a tripod. I think I struck out. Happy 4th of July anyway!

I'm more of a recluse and boring person that I thought

For the life of me, I can't think of anything to blog. I have decided that I've become a recluse too. Wednesday, I thought about blogging about what a lonely day it was. Christi was sick 3 out of 4 work days, so officially I was downstairs at the office by myself. At times Nancy was working on mailings, but she was in and out. Jenny was supposed to meet me for lunch, but she had insomnia and overslept, so I ate my cheap enchiladas in solitude. That was really pretty lonely. I'm working on some stuff for VBS which starts on Sunday. Admittedly, I'm just not into it this year. Since we are making up our own material this year, I dragged all the leftovers out of the craft closet, and we are having craft room leftovers. I spent $100 (a fraction of years past) on crafts this year to fill in and go with something else I had. And, I've put less effort into it than I have in years. I just thought of something, and then forgot it. I've had brain overload for a period of

Warren Wiersbe's Be Hopeful

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book! You never know when I might play a wild card on you! Today's Wild Card author is: Warren Wiersbe and the book: Be Hopeful (1 Peter): How to Make the Best of Times Out of Your Worst of Times (The BE Series Commentary) David C. Cook; New edition edition (June 1, 2009) ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe is an internationally known Bible teacher and the former pastor of The Moody Church in Chicago. For ten years he was associated with the Back to the Bible radio broadcast, first as Bible teacher and then as general

GodStories by Andrew Wilson

An Epic of Eternal Proportions In his latest release, Andrew Wilson explores fifty-six of the glorious stories that make up the gospel of God and will change the way we live and worship Today, multitudes see theology as a rabbit warren of concepts without narratives, a series of points, principles, and theories that take all the best bits (like characters, plot twists, and heroism) out of the Bible and leave behind a slightly inedible result—like eating cereal without milk or playing Scrabble without vowels. But in his new book, GodStories: Explorations in the Gospel of God (David C Cook, July 2009), author of the best-selling Incomparable brings Scripture to life with fresh and relevant insights on how its stories can profoundly affect our faith. Just as we have one God in three persons, and one church made up of many people, so in Scripture we have one gospel made up of many stories. In fifty-six short narratives, Andrew Wilson examines these beautiful, triumphant, often heartbreaki