What to Expect This Summer…

Hey all!

BSF is over and for many of us that means the accumulation of dust on our Bibles begins!

Hence, I’ve been brainstorming what I can do to keep you and me in the Word (short of a full-blown Bible study as I need a break too!).

Here’s what to expect:

I will continue my devotionals on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays.  Like last year, these will be short and to the point, meant to be read and digested in a couple of minutes, leaving time for personal prayer and application on your life and circumstances.

My poetry contributor extraordinare, Lissette Trahan, has agreed to share short prayers with us that she has collected over many, many years.  These will appear on Tuesday and Thursday.  For those of you who struggle to know what to pray (I know I do!), I am praying these will give you a starting point!

Saturday will continue to be inspiring quotes on my heart at the moment.

Prayer requests will be on hiatus until the Fall but if you have something, please email it to me (atozmom.wordpress@gmail.com).  If I get enough response, I will post these once a month or so depending on volume.

Book reviews will appear as I get them done and when I find those worthy of recommending.

Finally, I am asking that you please pray about donating to my blog (the donation button is in the sidebar to the right).  I am only working part-time and would like to continue to do so in order to devote time to this forum, which I feel is an important endeavor and calling, and my other writings.  If you’ve been helped this year by my studies and if you’re led to give and are able, please consider doing so.  I would be eternally grateful.  If not, no worries!  I still love you all!!!

God bless, and I hope you have a fun, warm, and God-led summer!

Last Prayer Requests for the Summer!!

Hey all!

This will be my last prayer request post for the summer so if something is on your heart either now or long term, please share!  Either post in the comment section below or email them to me at atozmom.wordpress@gmail.com

I’m wishing you a fun-filled summer and many blessings!

Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy

Image result for lizzie brightLizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy by Gary Schmidt is on the surface a typical new kid on the block book.  Turner Buckminster has just moved from Boston to the small community of Phippsburg, Maine in 1911.  His father has taken a job as the local pastor.  Turner immediately gets into trouble and trouble keeps finding him.  He accidentally skips a rock into a neighbor’s fence.  He’s caught with his pants down by this same neighbor as he tries to wash blood out of his pants so his parents won’t find out.  And he visits Malaga Island, a place where African-Americans live, and befriends a girl named Lizzie Bright Griffin.

The community wants all the island inhabitants to move so they can build a resort on the island.  And they are giving the residents no choice.  Turner becomes good friends with Lizzie and Turner’s father is beginning to tire of the town trying to force him to side with them.  He’s “somewhere between two worlds and drowning because he couldn’t find his way in either one.”

Turner inherits a house in the town and wants to give it to Lizzie.  The community is in an uproar.  They force the inhabitants to leave and burn their houses down.  Turner, distraught, attacks the sheriff of the town.  His father comes to his defense but in the struggle takes a bad fall off a cliff.  Lizzie has moved away and Turner is left reeling.  Can the soul of a whale help?

Great story with twists at the end I would have never predicted.  Laugh-out-loud funny as Turner finds himself always in predicaments that land him in trouble. “Maybe it wasn’t such a terrible thing to be a dang fool sometimes.  Maybe, he thought, it was just what you were supposed to be.”  Touching story of a forbidden friendship.  Powerful tale of doing what’s right when the rest of society says no.  “Who knows where these ideas will take us.  But wouldn’t it be exciting to find out.”

Newbery Honor Book for 2005.  You won’t want to miss this one!  Highly recommended.  Great historical novel of racial divisions.  Themes are timeless.

Prayer Requests for Week of April 22nd, 2018

Hey all!

As always, please leave your prayer requests in the comment section below or email them to me at atozmom.wordpress@gmail.com and I’ll get them up asap.

Prayer requests for my husband for advancement in his profession and for me to find a career.

Have a blessed and amazing week ahead!

The Art of Racing in the Rain

Image result for art of racing in the rainThe Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein is an excellent, quick read that’s not your everyday dog-book.

Told from the point of view of Enzo, a terrier mix, Enzo tells the story of his life and his owner, Denny.  Denny is a struggling race car driver.  Typical story.  He falls in love, gets married, has a child.  But what Enzo knows and no one else does is Eve, Denny’s wife, is sick.  She has cancer and has an inkling something is wrong but is in denial.

Eve takes a fall and in the hospital her disease is discovered.  Given only 6-8 months to live, Eve is taken care of by her parents who have the financial means to care for her.  Her daughter, Zoe, lives with them as well while Denny continues to travel and race.

When Eve passes, her parents fight for custody for Zoe.  Denny is falsely accused of rape and the custody battle begins.

However, this is the framework for the story.  The real story is Enzo and his insights into humanity.  He is convinced when he passes he’ll come back as a human.  He absorbs racing mantras from the greats such as:  “That which you manifest is before you.”  “Our successes and failures have been brought on by none other than ourselves.” “The physicality of our world is a boundary to us only if our will is weak; a true champion can accomplish things that a normal person would think impossible.”

“Any problems that may occur have ultimately been caused by you, because you are responsible for where you are and what you are doing there.”

“The true test of a champion is not whether he can triumph, but whether he can overcome obstacles in order to triumph.”

“The one who drives smart will always win in the end.”

“I was not killed because I was not finished.  I still had work to do.”

“There is no dishonor in losing the race.  There is only dishonor in not racing because you are afraid to lose.”

“Can we not will ourselves to achieve the impossible?”

“My soul has learned what it came to learn.  We can’t have everything we want.  Sometimes, we simply have to believe.”

I don’t usually recommend books where the animals die at the end, but the ending to this book is joyous.  I’m not promising you’re not gonna cry (I was sad), but the book is so full of hope and ends on such a positive note you definitely won’t regret reading this book!  Full of wisdom and great themes of standing up for what’s right, not giving into pressure, and living each day to the fullest.  You don’t want to miss this book!

BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 30

First Day:

  1.  It’s hard to quantify what I’m learned about God.  What I can say is this:  I’ve grown deeper with Him.  I’m more grateful, more humble, more worshipful, more in-tune with Him.  I understand God a bit more and His plan for mankind.  I understand Jesus and the Holy Spirit as well.  I feel my prayers are better.  My listening and hearing the Holy Spirit are better.  Every part of my life is better due to this study.

Second Day:

2)  I learned I need Him more.  I’ve learned to rely on Him more.  I’ve learned to pray more.  To listen more.  To put Him first more. I’ve learned to study more.  I’ve learned His plan for my life more.

Third Day:

3)  Any time you draw near to Him He changes you.  I’m nicer, kinder, more compassionate, a bit more patient, more committed, and more desirous of Him in my life more.  I’m trying to do more things simply because they are the right thing to do and not let my selfish desires throw in the towel.

Fourth Day:

4)  I’m more appreciative, more grateful, more knowledgeable, and more dependent on Jesus.  As I become more like Jesus, I reflect more of him.  I’m trying to be more generous with my resources and time.  I’m trying to have a mind more about others rather than myself and put others before me.

Fifth Day:

5)  I believe He has put me in the perfect job (if I get it) FINALLY!  where He wants me to be where I can have the greatest impact.  I’ve started to grow this forum and with my new job I’ll be able to grow this more and do more for His kingdom than I ever could otherwise.  I believe I’m right where He wants me and that feeling is beyond words.

Sixth Day:

6)  Trust in God.  Trust in His plans.  Trust that you’re where you’re supposed to be right now in the moment and in all future moments.  Quit fighting Him and rely on Him.  God has a plan whether you acknowledge it or not.  Life is much easier if you obey, obey, obey!!

Prayer Requests for Week of April 15th, 2018

Hey all!

As always, please leave your prayer requests in the comment section below or email them to me at atozmom.wordpress@gmail.com and I’ll get them up asap.

Prayer requests for my husband for advancement in his profession and for me to find a career.

Have a blessed and amazing week ahead!