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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Book Review: The Doctor's Lady by Jody Hedlund

About the book: 

Priscilla White knows she'll never be a wife or mother and feels God's call to the mission field in India. Dr. Eli Ernest is back from Oregon Country only long enough to raise awareness of missions to the natives before heading out West once more. But then Priscilla and Eli both receive news from the mission board: No longer will they send unmarried men and women into the field.

Left scrambling for options, the two realize the other might be the answer to their needs. Priscilla and Eli agree to a partnership, a marriage in name only that will allow them to follow God's leading into the mission field. But as they journey west, this decision will be tested by the hardships of the trip and by the unexpected turnings of their hearts.

My Rating:  5 Stars

My Review:
When I received the opportunity to read this novel, I jumped at the chance!  I had read so many wonderful things about Jody Hedlund's writing, that I knew I couldn't pass it up.  Within just a few pages, I knew that all of the 5 star reviews were right -- The Doctor's Lady is a story not to be missed!  And as the old saying goes, you can't judge a book by its cover, well with this one you can.  The cover is one of the most gorgeous I've seen, and the story inside the cover is just as captivating; one that I won't soon forget.

With romantic tension, realistic characters, and plenty of action, there wasn't anything about the story that I didn't like.  The pacing was fantastic, with never a dull moment in sight.  And the romance?  Well, let's just say my heart skipped a beat on several occasions.  Jody has certainly impressed me with her ability to write an engaging, faith-filled story -- so much so, that I can't wait to read the rest of her work!

What I love about Priscilla, is that she's so easy to relate to.  I could identify with her on so many levels.  On several occasions in the book, I found myself thinking, "That's exactly how I would feel," or "That's just how I would respond!"  She has a strong desire to serve the Lord and to be a missionary, but she doubts her abilities when she's out of her comfort zone.  She knows that she's lived a pampered, sheltered life, and at times it leaves her feeling weak and selfish.  She's truly a wonderful character, and I really appreciate how Jody's portrayal of  Priscilla "walking out her faith," led me to examine my own heart.

I love the historical aspect of the novel, and how well Jody took the real story of Marcus and Narcissa Whitman, and created it into a magnificent novel that explores all of the hope and heartache of westward expansion.  If you're a fan of this type of historical, I think you'll be very happy with one.  I loved every moment of this story, and highly recommend it! 

**Thank you to the publisher for providing a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.**

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Book GIVEAWAY! My Favorite Bible: The Best Loved Stories of the Bible by Rondi DeBoer and Christine Tangvald

Here's a sweet treat, just for you!  Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, has graciously offered to give one of my readers a FREE copy of My Favorite Bible: The Best Loved Stories of the Bible It's not a children's Bible, but a Bible story book that includes key verses and parent pages called “Family Talk” and “Family Fun” to assist adults in discussing the stories with children. 

With the vibrant illustrations and engaging text in this Bible storybook, you can enjoy sharing the best-loved stories of the Bible with the children in your life and encourage a life-long love for the Word of God. My Favorite Bible is a book of exciting Bible stories and activity pages that guide children through the foundational truths of Scripture.

Each story is fully illustrated and includes a simple narrative full of things kids love: repetition, rhythm, and energy, along with a key biblical theme, a key Bible verse, and discussion questions to help adults introduce children to the Bible.

The colorful illustrations will capture the imaginations of children ages 4–8, and the stories will help adults to pass along the most important truth in life—the Gospel. Families will cherish this time as they read, listen, learn, and love, growing closer to one another even as they grow closer to God.

For your chance to win, just leave a comment that includes your email address.  If I draw your name, and there is no email address, I will have to draw another name.  Contest is open in the U.S. and internationally and void where prohibited. Chances of winning are based on the number of entries and winner is drawn from a non-biased third party-  I am not responsible for any lost or damaged items for said prize.

Thanks for coming by to enter! Contest ends on December 7th, at 8:59 P.M. PST.

Music Video: {Remind Me Who I am} by Jason Gray

This is an incredible song, that grips my heart, and overwhelms me.  God.  Loves.  Me.  No matter what labels I place on myself  -- I am beloved, and I belong to Him.  I'm embracing that this morning, and I pray that you are too.

Music Video: {I Will Not be Moved} by Natalie Grant

I've been a big Natalie Grant fan for about five years, and I even got to meet her backstage at one of her shows about three years ago.  She's an incredible singer, and she really rocks the message in this song and video! 

On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.  I will not be moved.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

{Give Thanks} Digital Scrapbook Layout

Click Photo to Enlarge
This is a layout that I did for the "Why I'm Thankful" challenge for MyMemories.  Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

{Psalm 103} Bless the LORD, O my soul!

When I read Psalm 103, I can't help but be thankful.  God forgives, redeems, satisfies, is merciful and gracious, he doesn't punish us the way we deserve, and his mercy is everlasting to those who fear him and remember his commandments and do them.  WOW!  That's awesome!  Amen?  God is ON THE THRONE, and he is in control.  We don't need to get bogged down with fear and worry.  He has dominion over ALL THINGS, and there we can find the peace that passes understanding.  

On Thanksgiving and everyday, I am thankful to God for His son Jesus, the gift of salvation, forgiveness, redemption, mercy, grace, and the Bible where He has laid out everything that I need to know.

God bless you all on Thanksgiving day, and everyday.  Love, Michelle
1 Bless  the LORD, O my soul;
         And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
 2 Bless the LORD, O my soul,
         And forget not all His benefits:
 3 Who forgives all your iniquities,
         Who heals all your diseases,
 4 Who redeems your life from destruction,
         Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
 5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
        So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.        
 6 The LORD executes righteousness
         And justice for all who are oppressed.
 7 He made known His ways to Moses,
         His acts to the children of Israel.
 8 The LORD is merciful and gracious,
         Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.
 9 He will not always strive with us,
         Nor will He keep His anger forever.
 10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
         Nor punished us according to our iniquities.       
 11 For as the heavens are high above the earth,
         So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;
 12 As far as the east is from the west,
         So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
 13 As a father pities his children,
         So the LORD pities those who fear Him.
 14 For He knows our frame;
         He remembers that we are dust.    
 15 As for man, his days are like grass;
         As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
 16 For the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
         And its place remembers it no more.[a]
 17 But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting
         On those who fear Him,
         And His righteousness to children’s children,
 18 To such as keep His covenant,
         And to those who remember His commandments to do them.
 19 The LORD has established His throne in heaven,
         And His kingdom rules over all.
 20 Bless the LORD, you His angels,
         Who excel in strength, who do His word,
         Heeding the voice of His word.
 21 Bless the LORD, all you His hosts,
         You ministers of His, who do His pleasure.
 22 Bless the LORD, all His works,
         In all places of His dominion. 
       Bless the LORD, O my soul!