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Monday, May 28, 2012

Music Monday: {Speak} by Lindsay McCaul

This is an exciting day!  I've discovered a "new-to-me" artist, and all I can say is WOW!  Lindsay McCaul is a GEM and a TREASURE!  This talented lady has been around for awhile, as she's been touring with Casting Crowns, and opening for other artists including Steven Curtis Chapman and Brandon Heath.

Her debut album, If It Leads Me Back, released in January 2012.  I've been listening to it today, and I LOVE it!  Each and every song is rooted in scripture, and Lindsay has such a beautiful voice -- another amazing artist using her gift for the glory of God!  

"The resulting collection [If It Leads Back To Me] showcases McCaul’s warm, expressive vocals and compelling songs."

The song that I chose to showcase today is titled, Speak, and is inspired by Psalm 130, Lamentations 3:25-26, Psalm 31:21-24, and Isaiah 40:27-31.  I pray that it blesses you today, and that you have a beautiful week!

Isaiah 40:27-31 (NKJV)
27 Why do you say, O Jacob,
And speak, O Israel:
“My way is hidden from the Lord,
And my just claim is passed over by my God”?
28 Have you not known?
Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the Lord,
The Creator of the ends of the earth,
Neither faints nor is weary.
His understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the weak,
And to those who have no might He increases strength.
30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
And the young men shall utterly fall,
31 But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.

 For more information on Lindsay, her music, and tour dates, visit her website.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Monday, May 21, 2012

Music Monday: {Losing} by Tenth Avenue North

". . . bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you must do."  Colossians 3:13 NKJV

Forgiveness.  Forgiveness isn't easy.  In fact, forgiveness can be one of the hardest things to do, yet we are called to do it.  Thankfully, as Christians, we are equipped with everything we need to forgive those who have offended and hurt us.

My natural self doesn't want to forgive.  My natural self wants to hold a grudge.  After all, look at what they did to me!  Did you hear how they treated me!?!  Yet, as believers, we are the dwelling place of God.  The Holy Spirit is in us.  So it is not through our natural self that we can accomplish forgiveness; it's truly through the power of the Holy Spirit.

“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."                Matthew 6:14-15

My love for God, and my desire to please Him through my obedience, is what fuels and drives me to the place where I can forgive.  Not because I think what the other person did is okay, but because I choose not to be angry and bitter.  Praise the Lord, He has forgiven me!  Past, present, and future . . . HE FORGIVES!

 "For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”  Hebrews 8:12 NKJV

I just heard this song for the first time yesterday, and I loved it immediately!  It's a GREAT song!   I pray that it blesses you today, where ever you are.  God bless!

Oh, Father!  Give me grace to forgive them!  

Mike from Tenth Avenue North talking about how God forgets our sin.

For more information on Tenth Avenue North, and their upcoming album, visit their website here . . . Tenth Avenue North  The Struggle is available August 12, 2012.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

A Book Review: {Promise Me This} by Cathy Gohlke

About the book: Michael Dunnagan was never supposed to sail on the Titanic, nor would he have survived if not for the courage of Owen Allen. Determined to carry out his promise to care for Owen’s relatives in America and his younger sister, Annie, in England, Michael works hard to strengthen the family’s New Jersey garden and landscaping business.

Annie Allen doesn’t care what Michael promised Owen. She only knows that her brother is gone—like their mother and father—and the grief is enough to swallow her whole. As Annie struggles to navigate life without Owen, Michael reaches out to her through letters. In time, as Annie begins to lay aside her anger that Michael lived when Owen did not, a tentative friendship takes root and blossoms into something neither expected. Just as Michael saves enough money to bring Annie to America, WWI erupts in Europe. When Annie’s letters mysteriously stop, Michael risks everything to fulfill his promise—and find the woman he’s grown to love—before she’s lost forever.

My Star Rating: 5 Star

My Review: This is my first novel by Cathy Gohlke, and it will not be my last!  Gohlke is an incredibly talented author, and it's easy to see why she is a two-time Christy Award winner.  The story is very well written, and I'd liken it to a multifaceted gem.  There's nothing flat about this novel, as it has many dimensions and layers to it -- family, the Titanic, World War I, a love story, and the beautiful Christian elements of faith, forgiveness, redemption, and self-sacrifice.  Every aspect of the story was skillfully woven to create a very satisfying read; one that I would definitely describe as epic.

There's so much to this story, and it's certainly not a quick read, but it's one that's very hard to put down!  I couldn't wait to see what happened next as Gohlke took me from one scene to another, effortlessly spanning many years and settings.  With fascinating historical details, realistic characters, and many twists and turns, I give this one a full five stars!

Promise Me This is a well researched and well written book that will captivate you!  I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical fiction, with beautiful messages of faith.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Music Monday: {For Your Splendor} by Christy Nockels

I couldn't resist posting another Christy Nockels' song! This song is absolutely beautiful! This song expresses the prayer of my heart for myself, my children, and my entire family. I pray that you'll be blessed by this song. And if you're like me, you may need a tissue.

Sweet blessings to you. Have a fantastic Monday!

Friday, May 11, 2012

{Good Morning Girls: The Proverbs 31 Woman Bible Study}

I'm excited about the upcoming Good Morning Girls summer session, and I thought I'd share it with you here, in case you're interested, and haven't seen it.  The session starts May 14th, and runs through August 17th.  

I've copied Courtney and Angela's post here, so you can get all of the information you need to get started.  Please read on to get all of the exciting details!  It's going to be a great time of digging deeper into God's word, getting to know Him, and the plan He has for us. 

To go directly to the Good Morning Girls website, click the following link -- Summer Session Sign-Ups

"I’m excited to announce the  Good Morning Girls summer session!  GMG will be using my FREE eBook “The Proverbs 31 Woman ~ One Virtue at a Time!”   If you haven’t downloaded it yet – now’s the time – here’s how to get it for Free!
To download and print the reading plan click here.
This summer session will include:
  • Weekly videos from Courtney & Angela
  • Practical and realistic tips on HOW to be a Proverbs 31 Woman
  • Fun weekly challenges
  • Memory verses
  • And special guests!!!
Our study is going to be light, practical and GREAT for the busyness of our summers!
Do you have to be in a Good Morning Girls group to join? NO but we recommend you create one!!! :) !
What is Good Morning Girls? (GMG)
If you have never heard of Good Morning Girls before here’s what we are… “Good Morning Girls” is a title for a group of women who use email, Facebook, Twitter, Skype or text messaging to keep each other accountable for their quiet times. My group emails each other each daily after we have our quiet time. We say “Good Morning” and then share what we read in our quiet time. Some of us have our quiet time first thing in the morning, while others squeeze it in during children’s naps or at bedtime. The time of day doesn’t matter…..our focus is just being in God’s Word daily!"

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Sweet Treat: Cappuccino Cake from {Christy Jordan's Southern Plate}

Photo Credit: Christy Jordan's Southern Plate
If you love coffee and chocolate, you're going to want to make this cake!  It's fantastic, and got rave reviews when I took it to a get together at my Sister-in-Law's house!  It's Cappuccino Cake, and it is VERY good -- I'll be making it again!

 Up until very recently, I hadn't heard of Christy Jordan, or her Southern Plate website and cookbook.  But I give big thanks to Tamera Alexander for pointing me in Christy's direction! I have since discovered a WONDERFUL treasure trove of southern recipes!  I'm a California girl, but I love all things southern, and secretly wish I was from the south -- and that I had a southern accent.  ;-)

Since I doubt that I'll ever live in the south,  or have a southern accent, at least I can cook up some fine southern creations with the help of Christy Jordan's Southern Plate.

So far, I've made two recipes from her website, and I have big plans to make more.  Her Southern Plate cookbook is on its way, as a Mother's Day gift to myself, and I can't wait to get cookin'!

If you make the Cappuccino Cake, be sure to come back and let me know how you liked it.  : )

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

{A Quote to Inspire You} #2

“As your faith is strengthened you will find that there is no longer the need to have a sense of control, that things will flow as they will, and that you will flow with them, to your great delight and benefit.”

~Emmanuel Teney

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

{The Book Club at Desiring Virtue}

Photo Credit: Jessalyn Hutto at Desiring Virtue
I want to share Desiring Virtue's Summer Reading Selection with you.  I'm eagerly looking forward to being a part of the book club, and learning more about the Bible.  I've copied Jessalyn's post here, so that you can find out what this awesome study is all about.  Please read on to get all of the information, and I hope you join me on this Summer reading challenge to dig deeper into Biblical theology.

You can also find out more at Desiring Virtue by following these links . . .

"Today I am thrilled to announce The Book Club’s first Summer Reading Selection! Together, we will be going through Graeme Goldsworthy’s book According to Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible.
According To Plan focuses on two main things: the overarching storyline of the Bible and the Gospel. When I first threw out the idea on Facebook of beginning a book study I asked whether you would be more interested in a study on how all of Scripture fits together or in seeing Christ in the Old Testament. Most of those who answered said they would like to learn more about how we see Christ in the Old Testament. As I went about making the decision of which book to start out with, I couldn’t get around the fact that our difficulty seeing Christ in the OT often arises from our misunderstanding of the Bible’s complete unity. We often have difficulty understanding the OT because we don’t see it as primarily about Christ and the unfolding of the redemptive story. According to Plan is one of the best resources available for helping us to do just that.  Here is the publisher’s description:
“The massive diversity and complexity of the Bible can make it a daunting project for anyone to tackle. Getting a grasp on the unity of the Bible, its central message from Genesis to Revelation, helps immensely in understanding the meaning of any one book or passage. That is the goal of this book by Graeme Goldsworthy.
  • How do the Old and New Testaments fit together?
  • What is the point of biblical theology?
  • What is the overall story of the Bible?
  • What difference does it make?
Goldsworthy answers these questions with an integrated theology of both Old and New Testaments that avoids unnecessary technicalities. Concise, pithy chapters featuring dozens of charts, highlighted summaries and study questions make According to Plan an enormously useful book for understanding how the Bible fits together as the unfolding story of God’s plan for salvation.
I chose this particular book because it will be challenging to each of us and yet accessible to those who haven’t yet dipped their toes in the deep waters of biblical theology.
“This guide is written for those who have not had any formal theological education. Provided you have a desire to know the Scriptures, even if you have only achieved a very basic knowledge so far, this book is designed for you. Of course, if you have been to Bible college or theological college this book could still be for you. I believe that many preachers, ministers, Scripture teachers, youth leaders and the like will benefit from studying the basics of biblical theology. So, this is a beginner’s guide in the sense that I have tried to introduce the subject without assuming much prior knowledge. I do assume, however, that you are a believer in Jesus Christ and that you have some basic understanding of what the Bible is all about.” -Graeme Goldsworthy
According to Plan is sure to challenge us as we learn what biblical theology is and encourage us as we develop a tighter grasp on how the Gospel relates to and illuminates all of Scripture. 
“It is my deep conviction that every part of the Bible is given its fullest meaning by the saving work of Christ who restores a sinful, fallen creation and makes all things new.” (According to Plan)
You can read an entire chapter of Goldsworthy’s book here.
I hope you will join me on May 21st as we begin to work through this book together!
Stay tuned for more information about our first book study as well as your own printable bookmark!
Are you connected to The Book Club’s Facebook Page? If not, click here and “like” it to stay updated on all Book Club news!"

Monday, May 7, 2012

Music Monday: {Ever Lifting} by Christy Nockels

Christy Nockels is a "new-to-me" artist, though I have heard her name before.  Over the past week, I've become a huge admirer of her work, and look forward to listening to her "older" solo music, as well as the music she put out with her husband, Nathan Nockels, as the duo, Watermark

Obviously, I'm a little slow to the party sometimes, but I'm so glad that I discovered her music while visiting the Ungrind website (which is a fabulous site that you should check out!).   I listened to the samples of Into the Glorious on iTunes, and within fifteen minutes, I was happily listening to the album in its entirety!  Christy has a fantastic voice, which she uses all to the glory of God!  What a beautiful gift!  I love every song on the album, and I especially love the first track, Ever Lifting, with its upbeat tempo -- it's so catchy, and makes you want to sing and dance!

Enjoy and be blessed!

"You're lifting my head so I know You're near me. You're lifting my eyes so I see You clearly. Where I belong. You are where I belong. I'm lifting my voice just to sing a new song. I'm lifting my hands just to show You I know where I belong. You are where I belong."


For more information about Christy and her music, be sure to visit her website.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

{A Quote to Inspire You} #1

I thought it would be nice to share inspirational quotes with you on Wednesdays.  I hope you'll enjoy this addition to Sweet Treats & Inspiration.

Be encouraged, and be blessed!

"We are never more like our Father in Heaven than when we are kind to the ungrateful and wicked."
~Beth Moore