Thursday, October 21, 2010

sometimes, the answer comes sooner

I've come to expect answers to prayer (at least answers in the affirmative) to come slowly. I've been praying for a husband for the last 11 years. Still waiting on that one. I've been praying for a friend's salvation (though not as consistently as I should) for six years. About a year ago, she told me she had been reading the Bible I gave her, but as far as I know, she hasn't become a Christian. I've been praying about a health insurance issue for several months. I may know the result by the end of the month.

It's not that I think God can't answer "big" prayers soon, but I often think He won't. In the last week, God has answered two of my recent prayers, and I must admit that I was surprised by both of them.

The first answer to prayer came the day after I asked my Bible study group to pray about it. One of my classes, an advanced reading class, is made up of 10 international students, all juniors and seniors. I absolutely love teaching the class, and I've sensed that my relationship with some of the students might be poised to go outside the classroom. So I asked the girls to pray that I'd have wisdom and opportunities to get to know some of the students on a deeper level. The next day, one girl walked into class talking about how much she wanted a Pooh Bear Latte. And I thought, "Here's the opportunity you've been praying for!" I snagged her after class and asked if she'd like to get coffee after school. Coffee turned into over an hour of really good conversation.

The other answer to prayer took a little longer ... three whole weeks! I asked my Bible study group to pray about my relationship with a girl I've known pretty well for a few years. I had a really good talk with her sometime last month, and I asked her if she'd like to get together on a fairly regular basis. Other than mentioning it in Bible study, I did nothing--I just wasn't sure what we should do; I've never seen myself as a mentor before. Last week, she cornered me in the hallway (she goes to NC) and said we needed to talk ASAP. She came over on Sunday night, and we spent four hours together--drinking coffee (do you see a theme???), watching country YouTube videos, and talking about some really serious stuff.

In both cases, I found myself stunned that God would answer my prayers so immediately ... and humbled by my lack of faith. This experience has taught me that I need to pray believing that God will answer, whether it's with a "yes," "no," or "wait"!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

"the way home" dvd review

My love for Dean Cain is well documented. So when BookSneeze offered me the chance to review his latest movie, I jumped at the chance!

Cain plays Randy Simpkins, a man whose two-year-old son Joe disappeared while he was supposed to be watching him. When those in the community learn Randy’s son is missing, they turn out in droves to help search for Joe.

I wanted to like this movie. Instead, I just feel ambivalent about it. It was fine; the acting was good, the plot featured plenty of action, and the display of community is one we don’t often see in this age of technology and privacy. But it was lacking … something. At first, I thought perhaps the problem was that I already knew the ending—it’s a true story, and it's not hard to guess what happens. But that’s not it; I’ve thoroughly enjoyed many true-story movies where I already knew the ending. In the end, all I can say is this: The Way Home is a nice, well-produced film that’s safe for the whole family. But it’s probably not a movie you’ll watch over and over again.

I received this dvd free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze book review blogger program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Monday, October 11, 2010

free karen kingsbury book. for real!

Please note: This book is no longer free for Kindle. 

Right now, Karen Kingsbury's Redemption is a Kindle freebie. Redemption is the book that first introduced the Baxter family, and it's one of the first Kingsbury books I read. You don't need to own a Kindle to get this book; there's a Kindle for PC/Mac or Kindle for Mobile Devices app you can download for free. I currently have 42 books that I've downloaded to my laptop, including the first book in Candace Calvert's Mercy Hospital series! All the books I've downloaded have been Kindle freebies. If you love reading, you should definitely check it out!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

"code triage" by candace calvert

One week: that's all it will take for Dr. Leigh Stathos to finally be free of her cheating husband. One week: after that, Sam Gordon can make a play for the man of her dreams. One week: that's all the time San Fransisco police officer Nick Stathos has to convince his wife to give their marriage another chance. In one crazy week, Leigh, Nick, and Sam find their lives intersecting in ways they hadn't expected. In the end, each of them will make decisions that will change the course of their lives.

Fast-paced and enthralling, Code Triage captured my attention from the first page. I expected a run-of-the-mill romance, but Calvert delivered an intriguing plot ... with a liberal dose of romance sprinkled in! The only thing I didn't like about the book was the cover--I felt like I was reading one of those racy Harlequin novels. There's no way I would have gone out in public with this book! Rest assured, there's nothing remotely smutty about it. In fact, I think it fairly realistically deals with the consequences of extramarital affairs. This is book three in Calvert's Mercy Hospital series, and I'd like to get my hands on the other two.

Who should read it? Anyone who enjoys good, clean romance.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free for review from Tyndale House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

really, really cheap music

Consider this a public service announcement: iTunes now has lots of songs for $.69! I'm sure Amazon will jump on the bandwagon soon enough, but for now, they only have about 12 songs that cheap. I just bought Breakfast at Tiffany's (a high school favorite of mine) and Crusin' ... and I'd certainly consider lots more if I wasn't trying to restrict my spending!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

"scars" by patience prence

In Scars: An Amazing End-Times Prophecy Novel by Patience Prence, sixteen-year-old Becky (great name, huh?) turns to the Bible for answers after massive natural disasters kill millions and a mysterious man begins predicting the future. As time goes on, Becky's new-found faith becomes illegal, pitting her against the government, her neighbors, and even her mother. Ultimately, she must decide what is worth more--her beliefs or her life.

Like many Christians, I read the Left Behind books, watched the A Thief in the Night movies from the '70s, and debated where I stood on the rapture question (pre-, mid-, or post-trib), but I can safely say I've never read anything like Scars. I'm not particularly up on my eschatology, so I couldn't really tell if the author's ideas truly line up with Scripture. She did often include footnotes with Bible verses; sometimes the verses didn't seem to go with what she was talking about, but I'm sure they were included for a reason. I also wondered about the lack of the rapture or even a mention of it. And the timeline of the tribulation also seemed a little "off" to me ... but then again, I've already admitted I'm not up on my eschatology! (One other concern: a Christian in the book--one who seemed to be strong in the faith--chooses to worship the Antichrist rather than lose his life. While I suppose it's possible he wasn't a Christian to begin with, the implication in the book is that he loses his salvation.)

The plotline of Scars is interesting, and I wasn't ever able to predict what would happen next. If you'd like to read more about the author or purchase this book, visit her website at

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free for review from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."