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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Rachael Lampa - New Single - Remedy

Rachael Lampa is back!  I've been listening to her older albums for years; I love her music, and her amazing voice!  I've been wondering when something new would come out, and so happy to find out this past week that she has a NEW SINGLE!  Two versions of Remedy, will be available on iTunes July 26, 2011.  The new album, All We Need, will be available on September 27, 2011. 

I am loving the R&B/Pop sound of this new song!  What makes it even better, is that she sings of how Jesus is our "remedy," and all that we need . . . for our every need -- "Jesus, your love is my hope."

This song makes me want to crank it up and dance, and give praise to my redeemer and the lover of my soul!  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Book Review: Surrender the Heart by MaryLu Tyndall

About the book:
On the brink of the War of 1812, Marianne Denton must marry to unlock her inheritance. Without the money, her mother can't receive medical care and her sister will be destitute. But Noah Brenin needs to sail his cargo to England before the war commences in order to prove his worth to his father and make enough money so he won't have to marry at all.

Defying his father's wishes, Noah loathes the idea of marrying a woman he finds plain and pompous. Marianne wants nothing to do with the rogue who taunted her as a child, yet she must convince him otherwise or her mother will die.

But when Noah walks out on their engagement party, Marianne chases him down and ends up on his merchantman out at sea. The situation worsens when Noah's ship encounters a British man-of-war and the couple are impressed into the British navy. While a young lad's prophecy of destiny looms over them both, Marianne and Noah are forced to face their darkest fears as they desperately try to find a way to escape and fulfill their destinies-destinies that could change the course of the war and history forever. 

My Rating: 5 Stars

My Review: 
This is my first novel by MaryLu Tyndall, and I thoroughly enjoyed it!  It's also the first novel that I've read that is set on the "high seas."  After reading this one, I will definitely add Mrs. Tyndall's other books to my wishlist.  MaryLu is certainly a gifted author, with an amazing talent for storytelling and a heart for God that shines through the pages!

My knowledge of ships is very limited, but it's obvious that MaryLu has done her research!  The setting really came to life for me, and I felt immersed into the story, like I was right there with Marianne, Noah, Luke, Daniel, and the rest of the crew.  I could feel the tension of the battle, the pain and fear the men felt accepting their punishment upon a British Navy ship, and the cold, salty sea spray from the ocean.  There is no doubt that MaryLu is a top-notch writer!

The characters were well-drawn and memorable, and I found myself being able to identify with Marianne.  She's not perfect in appearance, or in her faith, and that makes her so easy to relate to.  She believes in God, but  she makes bad decisions sometimes, and she sins.  She's not perfect, but she's forgiven by a God who is.  I appreciated being able to watch her grow in her faith, and come to a place where she could trust God and others.

As a Christian, this is exactly the type of book that I want to read.  I am entertained, while at the same time my faith walk is strengthened by the trials and the lessons that the characters go through.  For some readers, this may come across to them as "preachy,"  but for me, it's exactly what I want.  If I'm going to spend the time reading a fiction book, I'd also like to come away from it feeling like I've learned something, and grown right along with the characters.  Jesus used parables to teach us, and authors like MaryLu Tyndall do the same thing.  She has used this story to convey the messages of faith, trust, forgiveness, and redemption. 

I enjoyed everything about this book, from the action-packed adventure on the high seas, to all of the romantic tension!  And can I just say, the romantic scenes just took my breath away -- be still my heart!  If you love books filled with faith, romance, and enough action to keep you turning pages long into the night, this book is for you!  I highly recommend it!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Beautiful For Me by Nichole Nordeman

Nichole Nordeman is one of my favorite Christian singers!  This single came out last summer for the release of the Veggie Tale's movie, Sweetpea Beauty

This is an amazing song!  Nichole sings so beautifully and touches my heart so deeply.  As a young girl, and a young woman, I was never truly comfortable in my own skin.  It wasn't until I became a Christian in 2006, that I really got to a place where I could be more comfortable in my own skin (I still struggle with it a little bit, but not like I used to).  The self-doubt, the self-consciousness, the worrying about what others thought when they looked at me -- it's tiring to let all of that consume you.  There's so much freedom in accepting who you are, exactly how God made you.      

Psalm 139 (NIV)
13 For you created my inmost being;
   you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
   your works are wonderful,
   I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
   when I was made in the secret place,
   when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
   all the days ordained for me were written in your book
   before one of them came to be. 

Your works are wonderful, indeed, Lord!

Beautiful For Me by Nichole Nordeman as featured in Veggie Tales, Sweetpea Beauty

Every girl young and old has to face her own reflection
Twirl around, stare it down
What’s the mirror gonna say
With some luck, you’ll measure up
But you might not hold a candle to the rest
“Is that your best?” says the mirror to the mess
But there’s a whisper in the noise
Can you hear a little voice
and He says

Has anybody told you you’re beautiful?
You might agree if you could see what I see
‘Cuz everything about you is incredible
You should have seen me smile the day that I made you beautiful for me

If it’s true beauty lies in the eye of the beholder
What my life and what’s inside to give him something to behold
I want a heart that’s captivating
I wanna hear my Father say

Has anybody told you you’re beautiful?
You might agree if you could see what I see
‘Cuz everything about you is incredible
You should have seen me smile the day that I made you beautiful for me
Close your eyes
Look inside
Let me see the you that you’ve been trying to hide
Long ago, I made you so very beautiful
So I ought to know you’re beautiful

Has anybody told you you’re beautiful?
You might agree if you could see what I see
‘Cuz everything about you is incredible
You should have seen me smile the day that I made you beautiful
You’re so beautiful
Beautiful for me
So beautiful for me
Has anybody told you?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award - Thank you, Casey!

Thank you to Casey of Writing for Christ - The Audience of One for sharing this "Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award" with me!  : )
Now I am to share a few random facts about myself, so here goes . . .

* I prefer wearing socks, and I always wear socks to bed, no matter what time of year it is.
* Most people think doilies are old-fashioned, and for "grandmas," but I personally love them!
* Frank Sinatra is one of my MOST favorite singers!  I *heart* Frank!
* I love to watch musicals, especially with Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, and Frank Sinatra!
* I can whistle the tune to the "Andy Griffith Show" quite well.  ;-)

I am passing this blog award on to Christy at Southern Sassy Things.  I recently discovered her blog, and I love it!  : )

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Give me Jesus - Jeremy Camp

There is no doubt, the Bible is a deep book.  It can be complicated and hard to understand.  But then there are the times when it couldn't be more clear and evident.  Deuteronomy 30:15-16 (NKJV) says, "See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the LORD your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess."

We have a choice to make.  Which path will we choose?   Following Him will lead to life.  Isn't that a wonderful promise to carry in your heart?  It's all about Him and our relationship with Him -- resting in Him and staying in His presence.  We were created to have a relationship with Him, and walk with Him everyday; resting in His presence in the morning, when we are alone, and when we come to die.  At any time, we can sing a song like this and be transcended into a quiet peace.  A peace that passes understanding, and a place where we know that nothing can ever separate us from Him or His love (Romans 8:38-39).