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Monday, April 30, 2012

Music Monday: {10,000 Reasons} by Matt Redman

Happy Music Monday, friends!  Thank you for stopping by today!

Lifting up PRAISE to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!  This is such a beautiful song -- one of my favorites! 

For all your goodness, I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find.

Bless the Lord, O my Soul,
Oh my soul,
Worship His holy name.
Sing like never before,
Oh my soul,
I worship Your holy name.


Monday, April 23, 2012

Music Monday: {Look Like Love} by Britt Nicole

I've been listening to Britt Nicole's latest album, titled Gold, and it is amazing! She shares the message in such a fun and fresh way! I LOVE the entire album, and especially love to listen to her music when I go on my walks (and when I'm working around the house!!).  It's very energizing, and if you're inclined to dancing, you won't be able to help yourself.  : )

As Christians, we've been called to live a life that looks like Christ, and that has to look like love. I pray that I have an opportunity to be the hands and feet of Christ every day -- I want to look like love.

"It's up to you and me, To leave a legacy, If we're all they ever see." 

I hope you enjoy this song, and that it speaks to your heart. Sweet Blessings, Michelle

Monday, April 16, 2012

Music Monday: {How Emptiness Sings} by Christa Wells

I discovered Christa Wells a couple months ago when Janelle at Comfy in the Kitchen mentioned Christa's album, Frame the Clouds, on her facebook.  I listened to the samples on iTunes, and bought the album that day, and I've been loving it ever since!  Her voice and music are AMAZING!  In the reviews that I've included below, her music is referred to as, "captivating, compelling, phenomenal, and poignant," to name a few.  If you like JJ Heller, Audrey Assad, Sara Groves, and Brooke Fraser, I have no doubt that you'll fall in love with Christa Wells.

The following video is one of the songs from her 2011 release, How Emptiness Sings.  I purchased this one too, and have had it on repeat -- so beautiful!  Take a listen, and let me know what you think.

Enjoy and be blessed!

"Glory to God, Glory to God! In fullness of wisdom, He writes my story into His song, 
My life for the glory of God."

Praise for How Emptiness Sings:
“How Emptiness Sings is nothing short of phenomenal...The title track narrates the stories of people who have sacrificially given of themselves to give glory to God. There is an ethereal quality to its whole composition. This is not the first song of encouragement ever written, but it among the most astute, the most poignant... ...Shrewd, discerning, compelling – her unique way with words puts her in that league of writers at the top of the game...If it were merely beautiful, How Emptiness Sings would still be great, but Christa Wells easily transcends mere greatness with her insightful lyricism.”
“Let me just say this is one of the most captivating albums I’ve ever heard. Christa has a vocal sincerity and creativity that rivals Brooke Fraser, Audrey Assad, JJ Heller and Sara Groves... For me, the standout experience of this stellar album is hanging on every note of the gorgeous title track, “How Emptiness Sings." choice for song of the year. I am so captivated by this album, I have to give it 5 stars and every song is incredible. I only wish there were a few more songs, it’s that good. For sure, this is the ultimate “gourmet” release of 2011.”
“If you are not familiar with Christa Wells, now is the time to get acquainted...Her latest work, How Emptiness Sings, is a poetic masterpiece. Clocking in at just under 26 minutes, this release is comprised of seven well written songs, no filler. ”
"This full of compelling, memorable lyrics, wistfully poignant lead vocals and well-blended harmonies. Christa's vocal style has been likened to that of Sarah McLachlan and Sara Groves and she is the equal to both these huge talents...Thoroughly recommended."
Beckie Weadon - Cross Rhythms

Artist Bio:

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday Funny: {Bella's Hillarious Makeup Tutorial} by

It's been a long time since I posted a Friday Funny, so here we go!  My daughter showed me this video on youtube by, and our entire family was laughing hysterically!  It is SO FUNNY, and I hope you enjoy it too!

"So cute! 3 year old baby Bella gets confused and is unable to put makeup on her left eye because she is looking at her reverse image on the laptop! HILARIOUS!"

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Book Review: {By the Light of the Silvery Moon} by Tricia Goyer

About the book: Remember the Titanic 100 years after its doomed voyage with Tricia Goyer’s fictional portrayal of one woman’s journey. To Amelia Gladstone, this ship means promise of seeing family again. To Quentin Walpole, the Titanic represents a new start in America…if he can get on board. All seems lost until Amelia offers him a ticket, securing his passage—and bringing him face-to-face with his railroad tycoon father and older brother, Damien. As Amelia works to reconcile father and son, she finds herself the object of both brothers’ affection. Can she choose between two brothers? Or will she lose everything to the icy waters of the Atlantic?

My Rating:  5 Stars

My Review: It's not often that I actually purchase a book for "full" price, but that's how much I wanted to read this one!  Tricia Goyer has done an amazing job bringing to life all of the magnificence of the Titanic, as well as its tragic demise (which only takes up about twenty percent of the book).  Tricia has done a fantastic job weaving the real-life story of the Titanic, around the fictional story of Amelia Gladstone -- the two seem to have been effortlessly woven together.  In addition, Tricia includes an intriguing retelling of the story of the prodigal son.  With messages of God's love, hope, forgiveness, and redemption, you can't go wrong -- it all works together beautifully!  I read the book in two days, because it was so hard to put down!

The setting is vividly described, and brings to life the opulence of one of the finest ships ever built!  And despite the fact that you know the ship will sink, it doesn't take away from the intrigue and suspense of the story.  I still felt the heart-pounding tension brought on by the sinking of the ship, and the suspense of not knowing what would happen to the characters.

The characters are well drawn, likeable, and very realistic.  I came to like all of the characters, and was impressed by the solid, natural dialogue throughout the novel.  The romance is sweet, as Amelia is torn between the affections of three men.  I was never quite sure how the love story would turn out, and Tricia does a great job of keeping you guessing until the very end. 

Being familiar with the stories of the Titanic and the prodigal son doesn't detract from this story in any way.  I highly recommend it to all who enjoy solid, well-written Christian historical fiction.  Tricia Goyer is an outstanding author, with an exceptional skill for storytelling.   I look forward to reading more of her books in the future!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Music Monday: {The Stand} by Darlene Zschech (Live)

Such powerful praise and worship!  Amazing!

I'll stand
With arms high and heart abandoned
In awe of the One who gave it all.

I'll stand
My soul Lord to You surrendered
All I am is Yours.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A Book Review: {Beneath a Southern Sky} by Deborah Raney

Usually, I would give you an "about the book" synopsis at this point in my review.  In the case of this book, I would rather have not known anything about the premise of the story before reading.  I'm the type of reader that likes to see the story unfold as I read.  It's for this reason, that I try really hard not to read book blurbs.  There are many times I've read the back of a book, and thought, "Oh, I wish they wouldn't have put that there, because I would have rather found that out while I was reading."  Generally, I look at the overall consensus on or, and then I kind of skim the reviews, for fear that I might find out too much about the story -- thus ruining the reading experience, in my opinion.  

So what about you?  Are you the type of reader that likes to know what the story is about before you read the book?  If not, don't read the following synopsis.  In this particular case, I think the blurb gives too much of the story away.  And don't worry, I won't give anything away in my review.  ;-)

"Deborah Raney reminds us that God's ways are not our ways…but His paths lead to fulfillment and joy."
--Angela Elwell Hunt, author of The Note and The Heirs of Cahira O'Connor series
About the book:   After two years of serving as a missionary in a remote area of South America, Daria Camfield has returned to the States to mourn her husband, reportedly killed while providing medical aid to a neighboring Colombian village.

One family discovers how God can redeem any tragedy.

At first, Daria finds comfort only in the daughter born to her after Nate’s tragic death. As she begins to heal, she also finds a listening ear and a tender heart in her new boss, veterinarian Colson Hunter. Determined to move forward with life, Daria ignores the still small voice calling her to wait and accepts Cole’s marriage proposal. But after the wedding, Daria’s new dream life turns into a nightmare with the arrival of an unbelievable telegram: “Nathan Camfield found alive. Flying into K.C. Int’l. via Bogota…”
Now two men have the right to her daughter, her life, and her love. Will Daria return to her beloved first husband, abandoning Cole? Or will she reject Nate and choose the only man her daughter has ever called “Daddy”--a man she has come to cherish with all her heart?  

My Rating:  5 Stars

My Review:  After reading Tamera Alexander's, A Lasting Impression, I was browsing her blog and found a list of  "Books I wish I could erase from memory and read again for the first time (since I loved them so much)," and on that list was Deborah Raney's, Beneath a Southern Sky.  Since Tamera is one of my favorite authors, and I trust her book recommendations, I decided to pick this one up for my Kindle -- and I'm so glad that I did!

Oh. My. Word.  I LOVED it!  I've never read another book quite like it, and found it to be very unique.  Deborah Raney takes difficult circumstances, and weaves a story that is realistic and touches the heart.  The messages of forgiveness, sacrifice, and God's will are so well done, and beautifully written.   Oftentimes, it seems that faith messages are an afterthought in Christian fiction, but Deborah has woven these messages perfectly into the story.  The characters deal with real issues of faith that I think most Christians can relate to.  The dialogue and narrative are very well done, so much so, that you can truly feel the emotions right along with the characters.  The characters are flawed, and they face real, human struggles, making them easy to relate to.

I personally didn't find the story predictable, though I did have a preference for how the story would turn out.  I had no idea how Deborah would reconcile the circumstances, so I was very intrigued to see how things would play out.  I was literally weeping at the end -- which is a good thing for me!  I'm one of those readers who likes a good cry in a book, and for me, there's just something wonderful about a book that can touch the heart in that way.  This was a very satisfying read for me!

Beneath a Southern Sky won the 2002 RITA Award for Best Inspirational Romance, and it is a book that I would highly recommend.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Music Monday: {Savior to Me} by Kerrie Roberts

Here's another beautiful song by Kerrie Roberts!  It's one of my favorites, and I love how she passionately, and beautifully expresses the way I think we all feel about our Savior.  I pray that it blesses you today.

  You've caused a dawn within my soul
My heart no longer is my own
I want to praise You now
With every breath that You allow

Dear Lord, I thank You today, and every day, for Your love.  My heart is filled with gratitude for Your forgiveness, grace, and mercy.  I am completely in awe of You and Your perfect sacrifice!  Thank you, Lord, for loving me so much that You sent Your Son to die on the cross for my sins, and make a way for me to have a personal, intimate relationship with You.  I lift up Your Holy Name, Jesus, and I praise You -- the lover of my soul, my redeemer, my fortress, and my strength.  I am eternally grateful that you are Savior to me!  Praise and glory to God!  In Jesus name, Amen!