Psalm 27:1

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The New Living Translation Break Through to Clarity Bible Contest and Giveaway

The New Living Translation Break Through to Clarity Bible Contest and Giveaway

Visit and click on the tab that says “Sweepstakes”

Fill out a simple form, take a quick Bible clarity survey, invite your friends to join and you’ll be entered to win one of our exciting prizes.

With each fan number milestone a new prize will be given away.

Grand Prize
Apple iPad 64G and a Life Application Study Bible
Awarded when the NLT Fan Page hits the fifth milestone
Retail Value: $829.00

2nd Prize
Already awarded
32G iPod Touch and a Life Application Study Bible
Awarded when the NLT Fan Page hits the fourth milestone
Retail Value: $300.00
3rd Prize
Will be awarded when fan count hits: 3500
Kindle DX and a Life Application Study Bible
Awarded when the NLT Fan Page hits the third milestone
Retail Value: $489.00

4th Prize
Will be awarded when fan count hits: TBD
Apple iPad 16G and a Life Application Study Bible
Awarded when the New Living Translation Fan Page hits the second milestone
Retail Value: $499.00

5th Prize
Will be awarded when fan count hits: TBD
Apple iPad 32G and a Life Application Study Bible
Awarded when the NLT Fan Page hits the first milestone
Retail Value: $599.00

Prize Eligibility – Recently updated to include more countries
Sweepstakes participants and winner(s) can be U.S. residents of the 50 United States, or residents of any country that is NOT embargoed by the United States, but cannot be residents of Belgium, Norway, Sweden, or India. In addition, participants and winner(s) must be at least 18 years old, as determined by the Company.

Sweepstakes Starts March 17, 2010 @ 10:24 am (PDT)
Sweepstakes Ends April 30, 2010 @ 10:24 am (PDT)

Wait, there’s more!
Visit for a chance to win a trip for two to Hawaii!
Here are the details:
Choose one of six passages of Scripture from the New Living Translation and consider:

How do these verses encourage you to know God better?

What is God teaching you in this passage?

How does this passage apply to your life?

Submit your answer and you’ll be entered to win.

Just for signing up: Everybody Wins! Win a Free .mp3 download from the NLT’s new Red Letters Project. It’s the dynamic, new presentation of the sung and narrated words of the Gospel of Matthew. You win the download just for entering! Or choose to download the NLT Philippians Bible Study, complete with the Book of Philippians in the NLT.

Every day, one person will win the best-selling Life Application Study Bible!

The grand prize: One person will win a fantastic trip for two to the crystal clear waters of the Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu’s North Shore in beautiful Hawaii.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Here Burns My Candle Blog Tour

Here Burns My Candle is Liz Curtis Higgs' latest book. It is set in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1745 during the Jacobite rebellion and is a "retelling" of the story of Ruth and Naomi from the bible.

Let me say first and foremost: This is a great book!! When I started reading it, I had trouble because it doesn't mirror the book of Ruth exactly. But, once I got to reading, it was difficult to put down. The characters are well written and, though the background story is one I wasn't familiar with, I was able to follow along without much difficulty. The characters seem real. I love Elisabeth and her love for Donald. Even though Donald's mother, Lady Marjory, is difficult and not very fond of her son's wife, Marjory comes to see that Elisabeth is strong and is there for her during very difficult times. Even though life changes dramatically for this family and they are faced with hard choices, they stand together and rely on God for direction and hope. This book covers the first eighteen verses of Ruth. Liz Curtis Higgs will continue the story of the Kerrs in the follow up called Mine Is the Night, set to come out sometime next year. I can't wait until it comes out to see how the author has everything unfold.

"Lady Elisabeth Kerr is a keeper of secrets.  A Highlander by birth and a Lowlander by marriage, she honors the auld ways, even as doubts and fears stir deep within her.

"Her husband, Lord Donald, has secrets of his own, well hidden from the household, yet whispered among the town gossips.

" His mother, the dowager Lady Marjory, hides gold beneath her floor and guilt inside her heart. Though her two abiding passions are maintaining her place in society and coddling her grown sons, Marjory's many regrets, buried in Greyfriars Churchyard, continue to plague her.

"One by one the Kerr family secrets begin to surface, even as bonny Prince Charlie and his rebel army ride into Edinburgh in September 1745, intent on capturing the crown.

"A timeless story of love and betrayal, loss and redemption, flickering against the vivid backdrop of eighteenth-century Scotland, Here Burns My Candle illumines the dark side of human nature, even as hope, the brightest of tapers, lights the way home."

If you are interested in getting more information on or purchasing this book, check out this link to the WaterBrook Multnomah website. Here you will see different options where you can purchase the book online.

As a special treat for my readers, you can view the Here Burns My Candle trailer here or click on the link below.

LIZ CURTIS HIGGS is the author of twenty-seven books with three million copies in print, including: her best-selling historical novels, Thorn in My Heart, Fair Is the Rose, Christy Award-winner Whence Came a Prince, and Grace in Thine Eyes, a Christy Award finalist; My Heart’s in the Lowlands: Ten Days in Bonny Scotland, an armchair travel guide to Galloway; and her contemporary novels, Mixed Signals, a Rita Award finalist, and Bookends, a Christy Award finalist. Visit the author’s extensive website at

This book was provided free of charge for review by Waterbrook Multnomah.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Games We Play

To pass the time in the car or van, whether it is on long road trips or a jaunt to the store, the kids and I play games.  Some I played as a child; others the kids and I have created.  They are loads of fun and can be addicting.

One I taught the kids is Slugbug.  For those who aren't familiar with this game, a slugbug is a Volkswagon Beetle.  They were popular when I was growing up.   Fortunately, their popularity has rebounded and they can be found in abundance nowadays.  When you see a VW Bug, you yell, "SLUGBUG!"  The first one to call it get a point.  The person with the most points once you get to your destination wins.  I find myself playing this game when I'm in the car by myself.  At one time, it had gotten so bad that I knew where all the "regular" places were and would start looking for them when I was with the kids.  It wasn't cheating; I was making my trips around town work to my advantage. The kids are amazed because I can see them quite a ways off.  The trick: knowing the body style and headlight shapes comes in REALLY handy. 

We play the same game with Ford Mustangs.  When you spot a mustang, you yell "Mustang!"  This one is a favorite of my kids.  They love those cars (as does their mom)!

One my kids came up with was Twinkie Banana.  When you find a yellow vehicle, you try to be the first to yell either "Twinkie" or "Banana" (the difference: the darker color is a twinkie; the lighter one is a banana).  Sometime we just yell "Twinkie Banana" to cover all bases.

My nephew Nathan and a friend of his created another game using Dodge and Jeep vehicles.  If you spot a Dodge, try to be the first to say "D-D-DODGE!"   If you see a Jeep, say "BEEP-BEEP JEEP!"  The person with the most wins.  This is another game where knowing the body styles, headlight shapes and emblems really well works to your advantage.   This is a hard game because your tongue will get twisted up, especially if you see them close together.

One I do sometimes on my own is finding vehicles all the same color.  It's amazing how many vehicles you can find all of one color at one time when you're paying attention.  The next time you are out driving, take a look around you and see how many cars there are all one color.  It is really interesting.

A game my kids like to play on long trips is the Alphabet Game.  Melanie and I used to play this when we would go on trips to Ohio and Florida to visit family.  I taught this to the kids either last year or the year before and they liked it.  To play, you search for signs that have the letters of the alphabet on them, starting with the letter A.  Once you find the letter you are on, you move to the next one.  You must go in order and you can't skip any letters.  The hardest letters to find are Q, U,V and Z.  You can go miles and miles before finding the right sign.  You have to keep your eyes open and read every sign you see.  Sometimes we play together.  Other times we play individually, seeing who can get to the end first.  This game can be played during the day or at night, while the car games are best during the day.

I've tried to make up a game similar to the Alphabet Games using numbers instead.  I haven't had much luck on this one.  This one is not as much fun because numbers are everywhere. 

When I was a teenager, my friends and I would thump the ceiling of the car every time we saw a car with one headlight.  Sometimes I catch myself wanting to do this for no reason.  Strange, I know.

Do you have any games you and your familiy play while in the car?  Are there any you played as a child?  I would love to hear about them.  We are always looking for something new to play.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

What We Leave Behind

I have a weird habit when I read the newspaper.  I like to read the Obituaries.  You never know what you will discover when you read them.  Many times, I have found relatives of friends or acquaintances that have passed that I was not aware of, nor was my mom.  I also like to read about the history of the deceased.  Quite a few served our country in the military, worked for many years in the same job, or retired from one job but moved onto another. What I like most is to see the number of family members that will remember the deceased.

In today's paper, there were quite a few that had large families.  Francola Renfroe lived to be 100 years old.  She left four daughters and six sons, 51 grandchildren, 90 great-grandchildren, 67 great-great-grandchildren, and 6 great-great-great-grandchildren.  Eugene Mosley was 96.  He left five daughters and three sons, 70 grandchildren, 125 great-grandchildren, and 25 great-great grandchildren.  Mary Sue Garner, age 85, left four kids, six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.  Jack Henson Tiner, Jr, age 66 left two daughters, one son, seven grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. 

Just imagine the history they left behind!!  The changes they have seen and experienced; the difference they have made in people's lives; and the legacy they leave to their children, grandchildren and so on.  I was blessed to have known, albeit not too well, my great-grandmother.  My mom's grandmother lived until she was in her 90s.  She was a few strong and godly woman.  Every story I have heard and family member I've spoken with about her just raves about what a wonderful person she was.  I think about Grandma Mae and the legacy she left behind when I read the obituaries like the ones above.  The impact they made on their families will live forever.

God calls us to impact the world around us.  We are told to preach the gospel to, Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the ends of the earth.  If we can't physically go to the ends of the earth, maybe one of our children or grandchildren will go and impact the world for Christ.  If you teach your children and grandchildren about the love of Christ, you are leaving a legacy that will live for eternity.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spring Break and Time Changes

The Time Change to spring forward an hour occurred Sunday morning at 2 a.m. and the kids started their Spring Break this week. Even though we lost an hour, we are all still getting up about the same time, even with them sleeping late.  It sounds weird, doesn't it?  They are getting up around 8, which is 7 before the change.  Their normal wake time for school is 7 a.m.  I know. I know.  Stop it.  Okay!

We've been busy this week.  Monday was spent grocery shopping.  It isn't the funnest thing to do while you are on vacation, but it was a necessary evil.  We were completely out of fruit and veggies, bread, eggs, and milk.  The kids were really good, though and helped out a lot.  They played outside riding bikes and scooters, and playing basketball. 

Tuesday, the kids and I went to the Memphis Zoo with our friends, Tracy Gallagher and kids.  Our kids are all about the same ages, so they have a buddy to have fun and partner up with.  We met up there at 9:30 and left at 1.  We took our lunch and ate it while watching the Sea Lion Show.  The kids had a great time running around, seeing all the animals and hanging out with friends.  All of us were wiped out.  Andrew finally fell asleep for his nap after 2 p.m. and slept until 6.  He walked the whole time.

Tomorrow, our friends Jack and Marilyn are taking Hannah and their granddaughter, Emily, swimming at the Y.  The girls go to the same school and are about a year or two apart in age.  They've met a couple of times and enjoying playing together.  The boys and I are probably going bowling, but I haven't completely decided.  It's either the park or bowling.

Thursday will find us at Chuck E. Cheese's with Susan and her boys.  We've been looking forward to getting together for a while.  Susan home-schools her boys so it limits our time to do things together.  It worked out that their Spring Break was the same as ours so we decided to take advantage of it and hang together.

Friday, we will probably go bowling again and maybe to the park. I know, we plan to do that twice but the kids love it.  Since Hannah wouldn't be able to go with us on Wednesday, I thought we could go again.

Growing up, I didn't get to do a lot during Spring Break because my parents worked.  I remember sitting at home and playing with Melanie and my friends instead of taking trips or going a lot of places.  Since we don't know what the future holds, I want to do as much as I can and hope the kids enjoy and remember it.  You're only young once, right?  Or, at least until you have your mid-life crisis...HAHAHA

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Why You Say It Book Tour

If you like trivia, I have the book for you.  Webb Garrison wrote a book entitled Why You Say It subtitled "The Fascinating Stories Behind Over 600 Everyday Words and Phrases."  For trivia buffs like me, this book is wonderful.  The information on the back of the book describes it best:

"Are you more likely to take the bull by the horns or beat around the bush?  Don't let anyone call you on the carpet for failing to put your best foot forward.  That would be a bitter pill to swallow.  In the long run, it's easier to just bite the bullet and get your ducks in a row.  After all, nobody likes the taste of humble pie.

"You've likely uttered at least one of the adages within the last week, but have you ever stopped to consider where such conversational staples originated?  Why You Say It reveals the backstory of more than six hundred words and phrases that pepper our everyday dialogue.  This catalog of our language's most colorful expressions delivers an illuminating read for anyone curious about the evolution of words."

It's easy to see where some of the words and phrases in the book originated and how they came into play, such as Handwriting on the Wall.  As you may remember from Scripture, the book of Daniel tells how the hand of God wrote four strange words on the wall while King Belshazzar of Ancient Babylon misused holy vessels taken from the Jewish Temple.  Daniel was able to interpret the mysterious message and told the king disaster would come upon him and the nation.  Events soon unfolded just as Daniel had said. 

The backstory on others are not as well-known.  Melba Toast was named after Dame Nellie Melba, a famous opera singer in the late 1800s.  She demanded thin slices of bread oven-baked until very crispy, which came to be known as Melba Toast.

There are also phrases where you think you know how it came about but, after reading Mr. Garrison's description, find out you were wrong.  For instance, "Grin Like a Chesire Cat" did not originate with Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland."  Instead, it came from Cheshire County, England.  Cheshire County "was an independent political unit for centuries.  Justices of the peace named by the king had no jurisdiction," so Delamere Forest became famous as a haven for highwaymen.  During King Richard III's reign, Mr. Caterling was named as the new forest warden.  He put an end to poaching and captured the criminals, many of which were hanged.  Caterling had a wide grin on his face while watching the executions.  This unpleasant expression was described as "grinning like the Cheshire Caterling."  Over the centuries, it becamed shortened to the phrase we are all familiar with now.

This is a very interesting book, a fun and easy read.  I think anyone who reads it will find it very enjoyable and enlightening as well.

Webb Garrison, formerly Associate Dean of Emory University and President of McKendree College, wrote more than 55 books, including Civil War Curiosities and Civil War Trivia and Fact Book.  Before his death in 2000, Garrison lived in Lake Junaluska, North Carolina.

This book was provided free of charge by Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Friday, March 5, 2010

I Love Books!

Right now, I have five different books I am reading.  Most of them, I am about half way through and, for different reasons, have stopped.  These books are:

- Tom Clancy's Shadow Warriors, which chronicles the Army's Special Forces units.  My father-in-law, Dick, served in this unit for 15 years.  It is over my head in areas but still an interesting read.

- Mom's Trapped in the Minivan by Cynthia Sumner.  Dick and Daphne gave it to me for Christmas.  I was reading it while waiting in the carline and put it down when Hannah and I started reading the "Little House" books.

- Violet's Perplexing Puzzles  Book Five which is based on characters by Martha Finley.  She was a 19th century Christian writer who had millions of followers at the time.  I was also reading this one before the "Little House" series book marathon.  This is actually one of Hannah's books and thought it looked interesting.

- Laura Ingalls Wilders' These Happy Golden Years.  Actually, I haven't started reading this one yet.  Since Hannah is still reading The Long Winter, I decided to wait until she catches up.  She still has one more book to read, Little Town on the Prairie before she is caught up with me.

- Liz Curtis Higgs' newest book, Here Burns My Candle.  I am reading this one for an upcoming blog tour for Waterbrook Multnomah.  My review is to be posted between March 22 and 26, so I am trying to get it finished.  This book is another adaptation of the story of Ruth and Naomi and is set in 1745 in Scotland.

- Book number six isn't here yet.  I will be doing a review of Why You Say It by Webb Garrison.  According to the Thomas Nelson website, "Why You Say It explores the history of these and over six hundred other common and uncommon phrases in an intriguing and entertaining way. Have you ever wondered what rhubarb and angry mobs have in common, why we call them red-letter days, or what loaded for bear actually means? With delightful insight into how our language grows and changes, Why You Say It is intellectually stimulating and easy to read."  Since I love to learn little trivia things like this, I think this sounds really interesting.  The book should be here any day now.

I know...I need to sit down and finish the books I have already started before reading anymore.  You are right. I am just enjoying reading again.  When the kids were younger, I had a hard time concentrating and would fall asleep when I tried to read.  Now that they are older, I can actually undertand what it is I am reading and stay awake.  The blog tours I am doing are supplying an addiction I have to the written word.  (The best part is...they are free!!!)  For as long as I can remember, I have enjoyed having a book in my hand and on my bookshelves. 

In the Eighth grade, I remember reading Gone With The Wind.  The book is 1,062 pages long and took me only eight days to read it.  Yes, EIGHT days.  I read it as soon as I got ready for school, any time I had a spare minute during school, at lunch, between classes, before homework was done, after homework was done, and late into the night.  I thought the book was so facinating but could have done without all the information about the Civil War battles. It was too confusing.  LOL

I am blessed to have children to love to read.  Hannah takes a book with her to school to read during free time.  She also likes to read before she goes to bed and, sometimes, in the morning after she is ready for school.  Will and Andrew both like to read, too.  Will likes to read short stories and books himself and to us.  Mike will read to Andrew before bedtime most nights.  Mike even likes to read.  Unfortunately, he has a hard time concentrating nowadays when he sits down. 

In my dream house, I would love to have a Library to put the books we all have into one place.  Right now, they are scattered all over the boys' room; Hannah's closet, shelving unit and her desk; under mine and Mike's bed, in a bookshelf by my closet, on shelves over Mike's dresser, on my nightstand, and on the chest by Mike's side of the bed; and in four bookshelves in the living room.  One day.... until then, I have to find somewhere to put them all.  Now that I think about it, there might be space in the bathrooms....