Posted in Uncategorized

Wanted to Share…

Hey-ho, Kermet!

 

Going to be quick here…I was hoping to have this posted this morning, but we had to leave the house before I got the chance, so here I am now. :)

A couple days ago fellow blogger, Ashley posted a blog post that was really good and I wanted to share it because I enjoyed it, and she gave the okay, so here I am to share. I know a lot of you just add favourite posts in your monthly wrap-up and so one would think that’s what I should do, but to be honest, I can never remember to do that. ^.^ So, I’m here now while I’m thinking of it! So yep, here’s a post by Ashley that I enjoyed reading. Hope you can enjoy it too!

Below is the beginning snippet, but be to go HERE to read the rest.

 

 

I remember taking an American Literature class my senior year of high school. I really enjoyed it, and not just because I love reading and I love history (especially American history). I found it fascinating, because it showed me how entertainment not only reflects culture, but also influences it. When I looked at the various time periods, I saw how the books, poems, and short stories written expressed how people felt at that time. I witnessed how society viewed God, morality, science, technology, government, etc.

We oftentimes dismiss entertainment as just that. Entertainment. Movies, books, and songs make us laugh, stir our emotions, and provide a brief respite from the reality of life.

But there is something deeper to entertainment that we often fail to realize.

 

“Entertainment and the value of human life” by Ashley Bogner.

Another snippet to interest you – one I loved:

We were made in God’s image, a concept I’ve been really learning a lot about in some of my Bible college classes. This phrase comes from Genesis 1:26-27, where it specifically says that man and woman were made in His image. How cool is that? God made us in His image and breathed life into us. We’re pretty special to Him. Do you think He views the death of one of His “image-bearers” lightly? I don’t think so. And neither should we. We should see everyone in this light, as one of God’s children.

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Book Review: “Emmeline” by Sarah Holman

 

Emmeline by Sarah Holman

 

“Emmeline” by Sarah Holman

Part of the Vintage Jane Austen Retellings

 

About the Book:

 

What if Jane Austen’s Emma lived in America in the year 1930?

The talk of stock market crashes and depression isn’t going to keep Emmeline Wellington down. Born to wealth and privilege, Emmeline wants nothing more than to help her new friend, Catarina, find a husband. Emmeline sets her sights on one of the town’s most eligible bachelors, but nothing seems to go right. Even her friend and neighbor Fredrick Knight seems to question her at every turn.

Will she help Catarina find the man of her dreams? Why is her father acting so strangely? Will the downturn affect her life, despite her best efforts?

 

 

 

My Review:     //4 out of 5 Stars//

 

This idea of a Jane Austen retelling collection is brilliant, and so when the chance to read/review “Emmeline” (Sarah Holman’s retelling) came up, I jumped! Back when Miss Holman opened up the writing contest for this collection I had planned on entering myself, and had even started writing, but it wasn’t to be – I wasn’t able to finish it. Ah well. At least I can enjoy reading those who did enter!
I have not read the original of “Emma”, but that didn’t hinder my enjoyment of this retelling. I understand that it is very close to the original, so I don’t feel like I was missing anything to understand.
“Emmeline” is remarkably well-written. I think this might be the best yet of Miss Holman’s writing; it flowed so smoothly and read just effortlessly.
I admit I had a bit of a hard time with Emmeline sometimes, because of her character, but I really loved her turn-around at the end, and despite her flaws she was still a like-able character. And Frederick Knight was fantastic! I really enjoyed his character, and how he handled Emmeline was great. I loved his “scoldings”, too, as they were done out of love.
The Christian message was very well done and tied together beautifully at the end.
The whole story was a very good one, and I was really impressed with it. There was a bit at the end that maybe seemed a little rushed, but didn’t hamper the enjoying of it at all.

Good story! Can’t wait to read the rest. :)

 

*I received a complimentary ecopy for review.

 

emmeline

 

 

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6 Years?!

This is a rather impromptu post…I realized the other day that I had forgotten to prepare a “January Wrap-Up” post. Ooops! There’s been a sickness bug floating around though, so I blame that (no, I didn’t come down with it, but other family members did).

But anyway, I was going to work on said wrap-up post when WordPress informs me that I’ve been blogging here for SIX years! Happy six anniversary to me. XD Once again, I was not prepared for this….one would think I would know that this day was coming, and would have some planned out celebratory post to share, with fun graphics, links, and confetti. But, erm, nope. Dat’s not my style, apparently.

What made me start blogging in the first place, you might ask? Well, technically me first bloggeroo was started on that good ol’ site once known as Homeschool Blogger (which is no longer in existence). That (and Webkinz…let’s be honest here) was actually my first introduction to the wonders (and peril?!) of the Internet. I do have fond memories of HSB – I met my first penpal there; I was 11 years old. ^.^ (She and I are still friends, which is cool). And then came along…..JibeNow. A social-media site for, you guessed it, homeschoolers. A friend on HSB had recruited me to this new, incredible site. I loved it – it was super fun, great, and…enjoyable. This was about 6-7 years ago now. I met peoples on JN (some whom I got to meet in person, no less), made some memories, and then….it shut down! After only a few months of me being on it. *cries* ‘Twas sad, I tell you. Maybe for the best, since I spent way too much time on there, but that is neither here nor there right now. Back to the whole blogging thing – so when I joined JibeNow, I switched my blog over to that site. And when that closed, WordPress became my new domain. Ta-da.

 

And now, 6 years later, I am still blogging. Under the same blog name, God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae. Because that is what I am – a Peculiar Treasure to God. That’s what we all are. I think I am definitely on the Peculiar side, so it fits. :) I love the Bible verse behind it. It’s in Exodus – go look it up. :D

I honestly cringe to return to some of my first blog posts. Looking back at my 14-16 year old self is not the most pleasant experience. Haha. ^.^

 

Soooo….that’s about all I’ve got for a special 6-year Blog Anniversary Post.  I guess I could sum up January while I’m here, huh?

January. Umm…I read a lot? Around 9 books.  Got some books too:

 

picture0202171009_1

“The World of The Vikings”

“The Flaming Sword” by Heather FitzGerald (such a gorgeous cover it has!!)

“Almost Like Being in Love” by Beth K. Vogt

“Princess Ever After” by Rachel Hauck

“Love Finds You in Liberty, Indiana” by Melanie Dobson

“Love Finds You in Poetry, Texas” by Janice Hanna

“Outlining Your Novel” by K.M. Weiland

 

I think I only purchased 4 of them…from the library booksale. So, that’s nice. :)

 

As for what I read…

“Love Me Tender” by Janice Hanna

“Operation Space Cats” by Lesa McKee

“A Basket of Flowers” by Christoph Van Schmid

“Why Not?” A novella by Debra E. Marvin

“Destiny Defied”, “Destiny Delivered”, and “Destiny Defended” by J.A. Marx

and then I read some of a book, but skimmed some and didn’t finish it because of inappropriate content.

 

And just today I finished reading this book called “Everything’s Coming Up, Josey” by Susan May Warren (a MN author! Cooooool.), that I had picked up from the library just because. And oh my word, I loved it! It was SO cute, and so relatable. I just majorly bonded with the main character, Josey. Even to her height. XD Super good. And super witty. ^.^

 

Anyway, I know this isn’t much of a wrap up post, or a celebration one, but I must be off. Toodle-pip!! Here’s to another who-knows-how-many-years of blogging!

 

 

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Don’t Lie

dont-lie

Our relationship with Jesus is very personal. That’s what I believe. We are, because He is. He’s Holy, and Perfect, and Loving. We’re broken, and at this stage, un-perfect. But we’ll only stay that way if we don’t let Him into our lives. What’s broken can be healed, and what’s blemished can be perfected. It’s all grace. But we do have to choose. Choose to live like that – choose to be perfected, to let Jesus’ all encompassing grace surround us and make us new.

“Not my will, but Yours be done” – most of us are familiar with that phrase, I’m sure. But how often do we truly pray it ourselves? It’s h.a.r.d. To actually mean it, at least. But still, praying with our mouths still sets our direction and aligns our will with His.

I recently had a prayer appointment with a family friend. Many good things came from it, but one was not lying. To myself. We can’t lie to God – He knows everything anyway. But we can lie to ourselves. Maybe you’ve done this, too: I wouldn’t be totally authentic with God about what I was feeling because I didn’t think I “should” be feeling what I felt. For example, I wanted specific physical healing. But I wouldn’t truly ask for it because I knew I “should be thankful in all things”. And that’s true – we are to be thankful in all things, but it has to start from the heart. And I was lying to my heart, making me sick in a way. So sitting there in that prayer appointment, He said “Stop lying. Tell Me what you want,”. It sounds unconventional. Maybe it is. But my God is a Healing God – He knows the steps for inner and perfect healing. So I did, I let out all my pent-up feelings to Him. I listed off what I wanted, one by one. For years I never did that – I never was truly authentic out of fear of being “wrong” or making myself “unlovable”. Childhood fears. We all have them – He just unearths them slowly and gently when we give Him room to.

As I listed my wants, I was emptying myself so something beautiful could happen by His hands. When I was done speaking out my wants, He showed me that it was good, but now it’s time to give those wants over to Him and understand “Not my will but Yours be done”. Then He led me to want what HE wants. So if that means no immediate healing, Blessed be His Name. He’s teaching me to pray “This is what I want Lord, but not my will but Yours be done”.

Is it easier now? Heck no! We live in an ongoing battle. He showed me that I will have to keep affirming out loud that I want what He wants. It’s not going to be easy. And I’m still going to stumble. But He wants honesty. It’s cool how something two-sided can be bonded together. He wants to hear what I want, but also for me to align myself with His will – both of these work in harmony. “You have not because you ask not”  – so let us ask, let us be honest. Let us not lie. And watch as He brings us to a place of “not my will but Yours be done, Father”.

 

There’s a quote in one of my favourite books that I’m rereading right now (“Destiny Defied” by J.A.Marx”)  that says:

“Heal the spirit and the rest will fall in line.”

 

And that’s truth. Once we allow the Lord to heal our spirit, the rest really will follow.

Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and all this shall be added unto you.

Posted in Books, Uncategorized

2016 Book Recap Tag

Hello! Faith tagged me for the 2016 Bookish Recap Tag (click on the image below to go to her post!), and so I am here to fulfill this tag! Fun, fun, fun!

 

 

 

Rules. 
— Include the above button in your post.
— Answer the 11 questions.
— Use as many book covers as you like. (The correct answer to this question would be ALOT. B-))
— Tag 5-10 people and notify them that they have been tagged.
>> Questions. 
 
// How many books did you read in 2016? (Exact if you know, or approximate if not.) 
63 I think.
// Did you set a reading challenge for yourself and, if so, did you meet it?  
I did set a goal – I had originally set it for 75, but then in about October or November, I could see that wasn’t looking good, so I re-set it for 60. Which I did meet. :D
// What was your most read genre this year? Least read? 
Oooh, golly…I have to think about this one…The most was either historical or contempory fiction. Least read was…nonfiction – that can be a genre, right?! ;)
// What’s five of your favorite books from 2016? 
I did a post on this on the 31st (here), but I shall reitterate:
Family Lies Deadly Ties by J.A. Marx Land of Silence by Tessa Afshar Forest Child by Heather Day Gilbert
The Cautious Maiden by Dawn Crandall Light of the Last by Chuck Black
“Family Lies, Deadly Ties” by J.A. Marx, “Land of Silence” by Tessa Afshar, “Forest Child” by Heather Day Gilbert, “The Cautious Maiden” by Dawn Crandall, and “Light of the Last” by Chuck Black. All amazing!!
// What’s five of your least favorite books from 2016? 
Okay, um…let’s see…
A Daring Sacrifice by Jody Hedlund The Prophetess by Jill Eileen Smith Risen by Angela Elwell Hunt
The Fiercest Fight by Brent King A Time to Die by Nadine Brandes
“A Daring Sacrifice” by Jody Hedlund (didn’t finish because of inappropriate content), “The Prophetess” by Jill Eileen Smith (skimmed the end half), “Risen” by Angela Hunt (didn’t finish because again, inappropriate content), “The Fiercest Fight” by Brent King (wasn’t my kind of book. Creepy.) “A Time to Die” by Nadine Brandes (Okay, let me say something before I’m labasted by this choice…it was goodish, but I had some issues with it personally). And yeah, these least favourites were least favourites for me personally. May not be for others.
// What new favorite author did you discover? (Not necessarily that the author is ‘new’, but that they became new to you this year.)   Dawn Crandall! I loved “The Cautious Maiden” so much, and was really impressed with her writing!
// What’s five of your favorite book covers from the year? 
How about I show you?
The Flaming Sword by Heather L.L. FitzGeraldCourageous by Dina L. SleimanLand of Silence by Tessa Afshar
Austen in Austin, Volume 1 by Susanne  DietzeKeep Holding On by Melissa TaggForest Child by Heather Day Gilbert
(You just realised I chose 6 instead of 5. Yeah. I broke a rule – sorry! Couldn’t decide which to leave out, so I didn’t. XD)
// How many books did you purchase for yourself in 2016? (Exact if you know, approximate if not.) Oh my goodness, I don’t even know…maybe somewhere between 50-70?? Maybe more, or less. I really don’t know. XD Thriftstores are my friends, so I find quite a few there….and I got some as gifts/review copies…so yeah, I don’t know.
// What’s the longest book you read in 2016? “Watch Over Me” by Christa Parrish at 515 pages.
Watch Over Me by Christa Parrish
// What’s the shortest book you read in 2016? “Last Wish” by Valerie Howard at 15 pages.
Last Wish by Valerie   Howard
// What’s your reading goal for 2017? 70 books is my goal. But to be honest, I’m really hoping to read 100. But…we’ll see!
And so there is the tag! And I’m afraid I’m going to break another rule and not tag anyone specific. Because let’s face it…I don’t know a lot of people to tag. So, if you’re reading this and you want to be tagged: You’re It!
I do make an awesome hermit.:
(via Pinterest)
Posted in God's Lessons, Uncategorized

New Year, New Growth

Happy New Year all. :)

I figured I ought to make a quick first post of the year. ^.^ I was hoping to put together a specific post to be my first of 2017, but haven’t had the chance to do so. I think I say that a lot… Coming up I have a blogtour post, so at least that’s something. ;)

 

It will be interesting to see how 2017 plays out. I know God will reign strong, and keep prompting us to His Cross.

2016 was a good year. A growing year. Towards the end months, I personally have felt more “refining fire”, and it hurts, but God’s growing me. He’s working on me – healing a lot of stuff. I praise Him. But it is hard, can’t lie. However, these verse bring amazing awe and comfort:

“Come, let us return to the LORD. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us.” – Hosea 6:1

“For He bruises, and binds up: He wounds, and His hands make whole.” – Job 5:18

 

Yes, He will bruise us. But He will heal and make us whole again – His bruising is only to make us more like Him. I pray that He continues to do that in each one of our lives this year. Let Him bruise. Burn the dross out of us. We can’t be full of Him if we don’t let Him empty us of ourselves first. Let that be our 2017 goal – to let Him work, no matter how painful it might be. Because the wounds of God are better than the pleasures of evil. Like the verse that says “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.”(Proverbs 27:6). Jesus is our Friend.

By Him growing us, we will only grow closer to Him, and that is a beautiful gift.

:)

 

glory

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Book reviews, Uncategorized

BookLook Review: “The Silent Songbird”

Eeek, I’ve been silent on my blog for quite a while! I should’ve posted this review sooner, but between life and memory, it didn’t occur…I apologize! 

 

 

The Silent SongBird by Melanie Dickerson

Review copy from BookLookBloggers.com

About the Book:

“Evangeline is gifted with a heavenly voice, but she is trapped in a sinister betrothal until she embarks on a daring escape and meets brave Westley le Wyse. Can he help her discover the freedom to sing again?

Desperate to flee a political marriage to her cousin King Richard II’s closest advisor, Lord Shiveley—a man twice her age with shadowy motives—Evangeline runs away and joins a small band of servants journeying back to Glynval, their home village.

Pretending to be mute, she gets to know Westley le Wyse, their handsome young leader, who is intrigued by the beautiful servant girl. But when the truth comes out, it may shatter any hope that love could grow between them.

More than Evangeline’s future is at stake as she finds herself entangled in a web of intrigue that threatens England’s monarchy.Should she give herself up to protect the only person who cares about her? If she does, who will save the king from a plot to steal his throne?”

 

My Thoughts:

I really love the cover of this book. As usual for a Dickerson book, the cover is very beautiful and captivating, and represents the story inside very well.
This was a retelling of The Little Mermaid – what I love best about Melanie Dickerson’s books is that they are Christian Fairy-Tale Retellings *without* magic. That’s so great. And they have a historical feel with the setting, which is neat too.
This was a fun story to read. I enjoyed seeing the similarities to The Little Mermaid a great deal, and yet also reading new twists to the story.
There were only a couple slight concerns I had for this book towards the end. I don’t want to give too much away so I will try to keep it brief, but I wasn’t very pleased with an act of disobedience that was shown in a good light, and later condoned because it was “courageous”. The goal for this act could’ve been accomplished in a way that was not glorifying stubbornness and disobedience. That disappointed me, though I see it in stories a lot –  a strong female character doing what they want because they know they *can*, even when they’re requested not to out of care from the other person, and then later the other character saying she was right in going against his wishes. It just could’ve been handled in a better way, in my opinion, and still reached the desired ending.
The other thing was the romance bit, where they fall in love without knowing each other – even when a father warns against it because “the heart is deceitful”. They never really truly got to know each other better before kissing happened.
But otherwise, it was a great story, and a sweet romance for the most part. Strong characters, great plot, and a well-done retelling. :)