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Monday, October 28, 2013

Music Monday: {In the End} by Natalie Grant


Natalie Grant's new album, Hurricane, is FANTASTIC!  I love all of the songs, but the song that I'm showcasing today is definitely one of my favorites!  In the End has an awesome country, folk, bluegrass sound, and I think it's fair to say that it's one of my all-time favorite songs!  I absolutely LOVE IT -- toe-tapping, hand-clapping, and praising the Lord that we win in the end!  I hope that you love it just as much. Be sure to scroll to the bottom for the lyrics.  :-)

Enjoy and BE BLESSED!

Can’t catch a break
You’ve had your fill of old clich├ęs
Like “Life is hard, but God is Good”
And even though it’s true
It won’t stop what you’re going through
I wish that I could say it would
But He’s outside of what you feel
It might not make sense but one day it will
There’s coming a day, the sun will always shine
He’s gonna wipe away every tear from your eyes
hold on my Brother, things are gonna get better
You’re gonna smile again
Cause we win in the end

Oh oh oh oh, oh oh oh oh oh, oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh, oh oh oh oh oh, oh oh oh oh oh

You’re standing still
Life has handed you a bitter pill
Once again you’re on your face
You got questions
Plenty of secret confessions
Wondering if you’ve run out of grace
But He’s outside of what you feel
This life is just a moment but our forever is seal, oh yeah
There’s coming a day, the sun will always shine
He’s gonna wipe away every tear from your eyes
hold on my Brother, things are gonna get better
You’re gonna smile again
Cause we win in the end
it won’t be about the streets of gold, pearly gates
Arms and wings, diamond Lace
All in all is that He’s gonna hold you hold me
Heartache will disappear
Questions will be come clear
Life will all make sense in the end

Oh oh oh oh, oh oh oh oh oh, oh oh oh oh oh
We win in the end
Oh oh oh oh, oh oh oh oh oh, oh oh oh oh oh

There’s coming a day, the sun will always shine
He’s gonna wipe away every tear from your eyes
hold on my Brother, things are gonna get better
You’re gonna smile again
Cause we win in the end

Oh oh oh oh, oh oh oh oh oh, oh oh oh oh oh
We win in the end
Oh oh oh oh, oh oh oh oh oh, oh oh oh oh oh

Glory Glory Hallelujah
Glory Glory Hallelujah
Glory Glory Hallelujah
We win in the end
Glory Glory Hallelujah
Glory Glory Hallelujah
Glory Glory Hallelujah
We win in the end

Monday, October 21, 2013

Music Monday: {Overcomer} by Mandisa


Need encouragement today?  No matter what you're facing, God is always with you!  Hang onto His promises!  This song will lift you up, encourage you, and remind you that as long as you have Christ . . . you have HOPE!  Keep pressing on, He's there to help you . . .

For I am the Lord your God
    who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
    I will help you.
Isaiah 41:13 NIV

Enjoy, and be blessed! 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

A Book Review: Revell Blog Tour {Love's Awakening} by Laura Frantz

About the Book:
Ellie Ballantyne, youngest child of Silas and Eden, has left finishing school. But back at her family home in Pittsburgh, Ellie finds that her parents are away on a long trip and her siblings don't seem to want her to stay. When she opens a day school for young ladies, she begins tutoring the incorrigible daughter of the enemy Turlock clan. The Turlocks are slaveholders and whiskey magnates, envious of the powerful Ballantynes and suspicious of their abolitionist leanings. As Ellie becomes increasingly tangled with the Turlocks, she finds herself falling in love with an impossible future--and Jack Turlock, a young man striving to free himself from his family's violent legacy. How can she betray her family and side with the enemy? And will Jack ever allow her into his world?

Masterful storyteller Laura Frantz continues to unfold the stirring saga of the Ballantyne family in this majestic tale of love, loyalty, and the makings of a legacy. With rich descriptions of the people who settled and civilized a wild landscape, Frantz weaves a tapestry of characters and places that stick with the reader long after they turn the last page.

My Star Rating: 5 Stars

My Review:
Masterful storyteller, Laura Frantz, has done it again! In this second installment of The Ballantyne Legacy, we witness the continuing journey of the Ballantyne family as they endure life's trials and joys.  Set among the backdrop of 1822 Pennsylvania, the story comes to life with vivid descriptions, and melodic and expressive prose that leaves me captivated at every page. 

With its rich, historical detail, and a fine cast of characters, I was drawn into another place and time.  There's so much to love about this story, it's difficult to know where to begin.  I'd have to say that while the story does start out at a relaxed pace, things certainly do pick up pace, and heat up.  With the Ballantyne and Turlock families both having a wide array of personalities amongst them, it makes for a good amount of tension and drama.  There are the characters that charm and endear you, and then others that make you cringe at their less than desirable ways.  It ends up being the perfect balance, and lends itself to a very interesting story.

In addition to tension and drama among the characters, I loved those scenes that brought a sense of danger, fear, heartache, and needless to say, . . . those moments that take your breath away and leave tears in your eyes.  There were a couple chapters where I literally found it hard to breathe -- oh, the emotion!  I was left with a pounding heart, and a feeling that I couldn't turn the pages fast enough to see how things were going to be resolved.  Laura Frantz has a true talent for making the reader truly feel the entire gamut of emotions.  From heart-pounding tension, to sigh-worthy romance, this novel has it all . . . a literary banquet, to be sure!

I highly recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys well written, historical fiction with rich detail, well drawn characters, and a sweet love story to win your heart.

**Thank you to Revell for a free copy in exchange for my honest opinion.**
**Available September 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.**

About the Author: 

From Laura's Website: "I was born and raised in Kentucky, living first in Ashland, Mammoth Cave, Bowling Green, and then Lexington. But my heart has always been in Berea, Madison County, the place my family has resided since the 18th-century. I came to know Christ there at the age of 12, was baptized, and spent my childhood roaming through the woods and swimming in the rivers of my books.
My earliest memories are of the public library, standing in front of shelves filled with those little biographies of famous historical figures like Daniel Boone and George Washington and Sacajawea. I began scribbling stories at age 7 and thankfully never stopped. My passion then and now is history and all the wonders of past centuries.
I attended college at Denison University in Ohio and also in England, living in a manor/castle and studying the American Revolution from the British perspective. Shakespeare and 18th-century literature form the backbone of my English degree. Strangely enough, I only took one creative writing class.
It was never a desire of mine to be published. I simply love to write for the sheer joy of writing – and that was enough. But as Proverbs 16:9 says, “The heart of a man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”
I hope my books bless you."

Monday, October 14, 2013

Music Monday: {Good to Me} by Audrey Assad


Even though Audrey Assad's new album, Fortunate Fall, came out back in August, I just picked it up a couple weeks ago. For some reason the release date escaped me. Needless to say, I'm thrilled that I've added this one to my iTunes collection. It is stunningly beautiful, and truly a feast for the ears! I highly recommend it, and I'm so happy to share one of the tracks with you here today.  I pray that it blesses you. Enjoy! (Be sure to scroll to the bottom to see the lyrics)

As I listen to this song, I can't help but think of Psalm 23 . . .

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
  He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters, 
     he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake. 
 Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.
 You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;

my cup overflows.  
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
    forever.

He is so good to us . . . amen?

 
I put all my hope in the truth of Your promise,
and I steady my heart on the ground of Your goodness
When I'm bowed down with sorrow, I will lift up Your name,
and the foxes in the vineyard will not steal my joy

Because You are good to me, good to me
You are good to me, good to me
You are good to me

And I lift my eyes to the hills where my help is found
And Your voice fills the night, raise my head up to hear the sound
And though fires burn all around me, I will praise You, my God,
and the foxes in the vineyard will not steal my joy

Because You are good to me, good to me
You are good to me, good to me
You are good to me
Blessed are - You are good to me, good to me
You are good to me, good to me
You are good to me

Your goodness and mercy shall follow me all my life
I trust in Your promise
Yeah, Your goodness and mercy shall follow me all my life
I trust in Your promise
Your goodness and mercy shall follow me all my life
I will trust in Your promise 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Music Monday: {Shine} by Christa Wells


With the August 2013 release of Christa Wells new album, Feed Your Soul, comes a new video for the song Shine.  The entire album is beautiful and captivating, and I highly recommend it!  It's truly one of my favorites, as are all of her albums.

You can read a thoughtful review of the album here at HighWire Daze.  In addition, there are currently seven of her songs available to listen to at her website, just follow this link to Christa Wells Music.


I pray you have a beautiful week.  Enjoy and be blessed!


Yes, it’s hard to believe
When you’re well aware that you’re not what you mean to be
And your house is full of unfinished rooms
’Cause you’re fond of starts, but you find it hard to follow through
You think you’re recognized by your faults
 But the mirror that you hold is false
’Cause you shine
He shines His light through a prism
We give back what we’re given
To color this, to color this
To color this world, color this world
 Be the friend you never had
 Be the one to take a stand
Say it your way, say it your way
Say it your own way
And it’s hard to believe
That I count as much as those on either side of me
’Cause I don’t have it, whatever it takes
 To be like them, they are gifted in so many ways
Yes, we could lay our talents in the earth
We could pile on the doubt like dirt
Or we can shine
He shines His light through a prism
We give back what we’re given
To color this, to color this
To color this world, color this world
 Be the friend you never had
 Be the one to take a stand
Say it your way, say it your way
Say it your own way
Shine, we shine, His light refracted
Shine, we shine His light refracted