Posted by: hugapoohlouise | July 1, 2015

Summer’s List By Anita Higman Book Review

Looking for an awesome summer read?  Summer’s List by Anita Higman is just the book for you.  As a matter of fact, you can read Summer’s List all year round.  But I must warn you, be careful because I was hooked on page one.  Allow me to introduce you to Summer Snow, Martin Langtree and Laney.Summer's ListIf you’ve ever lost someone or are losing someone to death this is a book that helps take the sting out of death and portrays it from the perspective of the one dying and the one left on living.  Having survived the death of my mother and brother, believe me when I say I needed this book.  I don’t want to mislead you, this book is not dark and dreary and all about death.  It is after all called Summer’s List.  It is full of light, love, joy and reconciliations, friendships that span the years and there is a little bit of mystery involved too.

I loved Summer’s List from the start, after reading page one, I was hooked.   Let me share a bit about Anita Higman’s latest book called Summer’s List.  From the back of the book:  A dying wish alters the course of a young woman’s life.  Summer Snow’s life had never been easy from caring for her ailing parents at the prime college age to hearing from her grandmother that she is dying soon; her dreams and youth got buried under her care for the ones she loves.  Not to mention her love life, which is in worse shape than her life. BUT, that is all about to change… Summer’s grandmother sends her on an unexpected adventure with a childhood friend that she hasn’t seen in 20 years.  A wild ride that brings two people closer as one is slipping away.  A true lesson in putting others before self.

A nice easy, clean read.  I will be recommending this book to others.

Until Next,

M

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post.  I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. There are No affiliate links (or money gaining opportunities for me) included in this post. I was given a free copy of Summer’s List by Litfuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review of the materials contained with in it.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255:“Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” 

 

Posted by: hugapoohlouise | June 7, 2015

As Waters Gone By by Cynthia Ruchti Book Review

Cynthia Ruchti pens words that flow with hope! Stories come alive as she writes her books about characters who need some strand of hope. Do you need to be reminded about Biblical hope? Are you like me and need hope? Than come join me on a journey through Cynthia Ruchti’s newest Christian fiction book “As Waters Gone By”.

As-Waters-Gone-By-pKI have never been a huge Christian fiction fan… I say have, after reading “As Waters Gone By”, I have changed my perception of Christian Fiction.  Cynthia Ruchti made a Christian fiction lover out of me.  If all Christian fiction books are as beautifully written then I must read more.  Cynthia has a way of writing that you feel as if you are a part of the story, not necessarily as a character but you are seeing her beautiful words that are seasoned with grace flowing before you and you come to feel as if you personally know each character.  You’ll laugh, you’ll cry and you’ll long for more.

Cynthia Ruchti is an award-winning author who has penned more than 14 books.  She is a women’s ministry speaker for events and she serves as Liaison for American Christian Fiction Writers.  I think I will best remember her as the author who introduced me to Christian Fiction and made it come alive for me.

“As Waters Gone By” shares the story of Emmalyn and her husband who is incarcerated.  Marriage with day-to-day contact is hard but in this book you’ll discover how not having your husband with you or near you makes it even harder.  5 long years of separation this marriage must endure.  You may ask how is that possible.  Remember all things are possible with God.

“As Waters Gone By” is an easy read.  Almost immediately your attention is drawn in to this intricate story of a husband and wife.  You’ll discover things that will cause you to doubt and you’ll meet people who you’ll fall in love with.  I don’t want to give too much away about this story, but I will be reading this book again.  I give it five stars our five stars.

So if you love Christian Fiction or this would be your first book, grab a copy today!  The real life struggles of the characters in this book helps you find hope in a world that is not very hopeful without Jesus Christ.  Revisit marriage in a new light and realize that God has a plan.

Until Next Time,

M

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post.  I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. There are No affiliate links included in this post. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255:“Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” 

Take the plungebanner banner 

Summer . . . a time that kids pine for during the school year and parents may anticipate with something akin to dread. Fearing refrains of “I’m bored” or hours spent on the couch playing video games can make moms and dads nervous about the long, hot months stretching before their family. Focus on the Family’s Odyssey Adventure Club offers an answer, encouraging parents and kids to embrace faith and fun with the Take the Plunge Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse magazine’s Summer Challenge.

Take the Plunge

The Take the Plunge challenge features:

  • Master Mind Monday — commit God’s Word to memory
  • Ways to Play Wednesday — spend active time with your family
  • Faith Sharing Friday — share God’s love with others

The Take the Plunge challenge helps families memorize at least five verses, engage in five activities together and share their faith with five people before the school doors swing open again. Those who sign up will receive an 11-week plan with suggested verses to memorize, activity ideas (such as visiting a war memorial) and ways to witness (such as passing out popsicles at the park with an invitation to your church), making this challenge the perfect tool for parents who want summer to be a time of spiritual and social stimulation for their kids.

“Research tells us that the more senses we involve when teaching children a principle, the more likely it is to stick,” Plugged In editor and Adventures in Odyssey podcast host Bob Smithouser says. “Bible memorization by itself is great, but it becomes even more powerful when put into action. Know it. Share it. Live it.”

Families who sign up to take part in the challenge at www.whitsend.org/summer will have access to weekly verses to memorize, ideas for family fun and suggestions for service projects that allow a family to share their faith. Additionally, anyone who signs up to participate in the Take the Plunge challenge will receive a free scene from the latest Adventures in Odyssey album, as well as a free story from the book Strange Journey Back.

A Bonus Contest

From June 1–5, tell us in 30 words or less how you are going to take the plunge to deepen your faith this summer for a chance to win a family four-pack of tickets to the theatrical release of Beyond The Mask June 5th weekend and free access to the Odyssey Adventure Club all summer long (June, July, August—total $85 prize value)!

Send your entry to contests@whitsend.org. Two winners will be chosen to win each day June 1-5 and announced on the Adventures in Odyssey Facebook Page.

Entries will be chosen based on creativity and writing skill. Rules are available at whitsend.org.

Another review for Family Christian!

288732Faith, Family and Forgiveness!  Who doesn’t come into contact with those words as we walk out our Christian life in a world that we don’t belong?  I have come into contact with these words too many times to count.  But thank God for grace.

A real up close and personal look into the lives of two Duck Dynasty stars lives, Jep and Jessica Robertson.  What an eye opener for me.  I am not a die had Duck Dynasty fan, but my three girls love to watch it.  I would have to say I hear the most laughter out of them when they are watching and yes, Si is their favorite.  I watch the show as I am in and out of the room, but I am not a die hard fan.  Until now….

I accepted the invitation to review “The Good, The Bad, And The Grace of God” for my kids!  I am not sorry I did.  After reading this book, I now consider myself a fan.  I wanted to discover some background on my kids favorite show and I ended up falling in love with the people, the message and their life mission.  But from the very first page I was caught up in the story, a true story of Jep and Jessica’s life.  Not the sugar coated parts, real life in the trenches.  Through the problems, the joys, the family, the business all of it.

Written from both Jep and Jessica’s point of view with one chapter being Jep’s version and the next Jessica’s.  I loved that I could read this married couples words side by side.  What a testimony to their love for God and each other.

Their story begins from childhood before they met and takes you on a journey through their lives before God and after God, before meeting and after meeting and marrying. It relays the message of how each found God and each other.  You can feel the overwhelming presence of God on almost every page of their real life story.

An open honest read that reveals the grace God gives to mankind, and demonstrates the call God places on all our lives.

You won’t want to miss this one.

Until Next Time,

M

 

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. There are No affiliate links included in this post. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” I review this book for Family Christian stores and the only thing I received was the book in exchange for an honest review.

Posted by: hugapoohlouise | May 29, 2015

When the phone rings at the crack of dawn….

When the phone rings before the sun rises in the morning my blood always runs cold.  How about you?  You know the feeling that something could be wrong and then your mind races with all the possibilities.  Yep.  That one.

This morning my phone rang before the sun peeked over the horizon.  I was up spending time in God’s Word.  But the phone scared me!  As I jumped up to answer it before anyone else in the house heard it and woke up, a million not so pleasant thoughts were running through my brain.  What if….?  What if…?

I answered the phone rather out of breath and listened while my heart sank lower in my chest than I like it to be.  The familiar voice on the other end did little to put my mind and heart at ease.

It was my uncle.  He said that he had been receiving phone calls from my dad all morning and when he picked up the phone all he heard was breathing.  Oh No!  My mind took off in that direction now that it had something to focus on.

I threw on some clothes and headed out the door to check on my elderly father.  As you can probably tell, I am use to these type of phone calls.  NOT.  For many years I slept fully clothed when my mother was ill.  So at the drop of a hat I could be out the door and down to her house to help.  My mother as a result of her terminal illness suffered anxiety attacks, the phone rang quite regularly.

I am not as use to getting phone calls about my dad.  He is elderly, but he is doing great for his age, but when the phone rings you answer it right.  No matter, who or what is on the other end.

As I was getting myself out the door I looked up!  Yep, looked up and cried out to the only one I knew to cry out too.  Lord, I need you.  I need you now!  Were the words that filled my mind and my heart.  No sooner did these words cross the threshold of my heart and mind, then the peace that passes all understanding flooded my heart, mind and soul.  I felt the Father of the Universe wrap His loving arms around me, little ole’ me.  He lifted me up, up above the shadows.  Thank God.

When I arrived next door at my dad’s house, I was greeted at the door with his smiling face.  Another thank God went heavenward.  Apparently, my dad’s cell phone had fallen into the bath water and was not operating properly.  And again another thank God.

So all is well.  I am so thankful.  One that I live next door and can be at my dad’s house in an instant as we say in the south.  I am so thankful that other’s care about my dad and put him first in their life.  I am so thankful that it was only a piece of equipment that can be replaced.

Until Next Time,
M

 

Posted by: hugapoohlouise | May 25, 2015

Odyssey Adventure Club May Special

oac-may 

Memorial Day is just around the corner, which means school will be out for the summer! Parents, does that fill you with dread, knowing all you’ll hear for the next few months is, “I’m bored!”? Keep reading because we have a deal for you—one that will only cost you a buck and that will keep your kids safe online while allowing them to have fun and to grow in their relationship with Jesus.

Buck Oliver is back in the latest Adventures in Odyssey album, and to celebrate, you can try the Odyssey Adventure Club for just a buck for your first month. Sign up before May 31st using the promo code BUCK! *This deal only applies to first-time accounts and is good the first month only.

Members receive:

—24/7 streaming access to more than 750 Adventures in Odyssey episodes (a $1500 retail value).

—A new, members-only Adventures in Odyssey episode every month.

—A subscription to Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse Magazine.

—A web quest of video stories and online activities reflecting the biblical theme of that month’s episode.

—On-the-go access with the OAClub mobile iOS app.

—Growing access to Odyssey books, a daily devotion, access to select Radio Theatre dramas and more.

Additionally, a portion of each Odyssey Adventure Club membership benefits Focus on the Family partner organizations, such as Carry the Cure and Mission Aviation Fellowship, providing parents with an opportunity to teach children about the value of serving others. The Odyssey Adventure Club hopes to spend another 25 years hand-in-hand with parents seeking to teach biblical truth to their children while inspiring the theater of their imagination.

OAC-May-Offer 

Your favorite Adventures in Odyssey characters are also Taking the Plunge in Album 59 and now you can, too! This summer, dive into your faith and grow closer to God by joining the Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse Magazine Taking The Plunge Summer Challenge. It includes these simple things:

  • Learn 5 memory verses
  • Get active with 5 family activities together
  • Share God’s love and your faith in 5 different ways

When you commit to the Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse Magazine Taking The Plunge Summer Challenge, you’ll receive:

  • A promo code for an exclusive Odyssey Adventure Club first month offer (for new members only)
  • Adventures in Odyssey special studio message
  • “Strange Journey Back” book excerpt
  • “Jones and Parker Mysteries” book excerpt

To learn more about the Odyssey Adventure Club, visit www.oaclub.org, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Another review for Family Christian and a giveaway! I was so excited when I was selected for a review and giveaway of “The Fringe Hours Making Time for You” by Jessica N. Turner.  As a wife, mother, employee, I always struggle with time management.

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Do you long for balance in your life?

Does one area of your life overwhelm or overshadow all the other areas?

Do you feel like you’ve been running and running for so long that you can’t remember why you were running in the first place?

If you are like me, wife, mom, employee, caretaker and the list goes on, as I wear many hats in my daily life, you’ve answered yes to one of the questions above or maybe they were great big “YESSES!” to all three.

Then you MUST read “The Fringe Hours Making Time for You” by Jessica N. Turner.  A liberating book that helps you with time management and helps you say yes and no without being overwhelmed, overloaded, or guilty.

You’ll actually find time for yourself without cutting short other areas of your life in a healthy way.  If you are healthy, you are able to minister to those you’ve been entrusted with better.  Take it from me a mom who ran on empty for far too long and paid the price with my health.

No one can do it all and do it well, don’t fall prey to that lie.  Doing it all and well requires sacrifice either with your health as I mentioned above, or your work quality or your relationships.  There is a verse in the Bible that says:

Ecc. 9″10 ESV “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might,

for there is no work or thought or knowledge or

wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.”

Written for every woman, this book will help you regardless of your lifestyle or season of life you are in.  Written for you a woman who needs and deserves fringe hours. You may ask how the author of “The Fringe Hours” could possibly give you advice or help?  Jessica N. Turner surveyed more than 2,000 women and interviewed dozens more in order to write this book to be a help to us.  Jessica compiled all the data and wrote this book that you could hold in your hand and find your own fringe hours, not hour this is plural, ladies.

A fountain of insight of how women just like you and me spend their time and what struggles they are facing in certain times in their life.  With workbook questions within the body of the book there is no extra book to buy before you can begin implementing in your own life.
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So what are you waiting for?  Didn’t you answer yes to one of the questions above?  Now let me tell you how you can win your very own copy of “The Fringe Hours Making Time for You” by Jessica N. Turner and Family Christian.  All you have to do is visit the Family Christian store by clicking on the name of the book or Family Christian anywhere within this post and tell me:

1.  Why you need the book “The Fringe Hours”.  Come back and leave a comment

2.  Share this review and blog post on your social media outlet.  Come back and leave a comment

3.  Visit Family Christian and share an item from their website that would complement this book. Come back and leave a comment

4.  Stay in Touch with  Family Christian on one of these social media outlets.  Come back and leave a comment.

Twitter:

Pinterest:

Tumblr:

Instagram:

Or Visit Family Christian on Facebook:

I have one copy to give away to one of my readers, complements of Family Christian.   Contest ends June 4th, 2015 at Midnight.  Winner will be posted here on this blog and you will have 48 hours to claim your prize.

You’ll see for yourself within the pages of this book, I did.

Until Next Time,

M

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post. 

I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. 

There are No affiliate links included in this post.

I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255:

“Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” 

Posted by: hugapoohlouise | May 20, 2015

May Day… May Day!

Wow!  I stopped for a minute the other day and realized that it is May 2015.  Where has the time gone?  Five months into a year and I didn’t realize it?  May is my favorite month for a very selfish reason.  It’s Mother’s Day and it’s my birthday.  I’ve never understood why adults dread their birthdays?  I love my birthday.  Sure you get one year older, but I am not concerned with age, vanity.  It’s life and I proudly wear the scars.

So after realizing that we were in my favorite month the excitement set in!  My husband had a plan to celebrate Mother’s Day and my birthday all in the same day.  Now to know me is to love me, I hope.  But I absolutely hate the malls, shopping, trying on clothes and huge crowds of people.  So when he tells me that him and the girls want to take me to the mall for Mother’s Day and my birthday, I cringe inside.  The mall?  What are you thinking my least favorite place on this earth.  I think I would rather walk across hot coals with no shoes that enter the mall and on a holiday weekend at that.  But I smiled sweetly and said sounds awesome.  The last part was the best he said I could pick the restaurant.  Right now I am loving authentic Mexican cuisine.  So I choose a nice restaurant that I know I love the food at.  I won’t bore you with the details of the whole entire trip, but let’s say it was a nice, pleasant day, except for the mall. LOL

Mother’s Day is a day that is bittersweet for me.  I have not had a mother to celebrate Mother’s Day with since 2006.  I think this was the first year that the sting was not as noticeable.  I think this was the first year that I actually felt like celebrating Mother’s Day.  To say that I miss my mom is an understatement, but that is a story for another day.

I have some awesome reviews and giveaways for May, June and July.  As you know each year as Summer approaches I take a step back from the amount of blog time I spend with you.  My kids are out of school and we want to enjoy every sun filled moment outside that we can, so until I can figure out how to blog and run at the same time, the post will slow down.  But the content will still be exciting and the giveaways hot.  So don’t forget to subscribe.

Until Next Time,

M

Posted by: hugapoohlouise | May 16, 2015

We have another winner!

I am so excited another contest has come to an end here on Melissa’s and Dawn’s Musings!  I love giving stuff away.  Especially stuff that glorifies God and helps others in their walk with Jesus Christ.

book-cover-devotional-3d

And that’s just what The Blythe Daniel Agency, Inc., Thomas Nelson and this blog did.  The winner of their very own copy of “Devotionals For A Healthier You” is…

Amy Goins

Amy left a comment with a recipe from the “Devotionals For A  Healthier You” that she would like to try.  So Amy you have 48 hours to contact me at my email address svnhm1 at yahoo dot com to claim your prize.  I will need a mailing address so I can drop your very own copy of “Devotionals For A Healthier You” in the mail.  Just in time for summer.

Thank you to everyone who entered and all the nice emails and comments that were received.  This is an awesome book.

Until Next Time,

M

Posted by: hugapoohlouise | April 28, 2015

Devotionals For A Healthier You – Review and Giveaway!

book-cover-devotional-3dAs we enter Spring and Summer here in the world, I find that healthy living is on my mind more than during the winter months when I would rather be hibernating.  How about you?  I finally found a devotional that has healthy living within its pages BUT, that’s not all… It is a devotional too that feeds the Mind, Body and Soul.  So I can take my journey to healthy living to the next level that includes balancing my life in all areas that are important to my walk with the Lord.

I don’t know about you, but as a mom, I want to be able to do it all – For God, For Family, For Friends, etc.  But doing it all comes with a price tag, I know I’ve suffered an amazing cost.  I tried to do it all, but by doing it all in my own strength something had to give or be used up and it was my health.  After having three children in four years, being the caretaker to my ill mother, Sunday school, children’s church, vacation Bible school and not to mention the doctor’s visits for everyone else.  My body suffered and not for the glory of God.  I gained weight, I ate unhealthy, I lived to gratify the flesh and it showed.  Boy oh Boy did it show.  I was in Wal-Mart one day to buy shoes for my middle child whose feet grow an inch a week.  You know those mirrors they have at Wal-Mart where you can see the new shoes you are trying on before you buy?  Well I found myself in front of one, you see I normally avoid mirrors and cameras, why?  They reflect an image back at me that I do not like nor do I recognize.  So anyways the mirror found me and I looked deep inside and I saw what I had allowed myself to become and I was appalled. I looked horrible.  I needed help.  I knew this was not going to be a journey I could take alone.  I need to the God of the Universe and guess what?  As I cried out to Him in Wal-Mart He was there and He helped me once again to get back up and one the right track.

Devotions For A Healthier You by Katie Farrell came two days later in the mail from The Blythe Daniel Agency, Inc., to review.  What amazing timing.  Thank You, Lord for being an on-time God, One who cares for me, even when I am not caring for myself.  Don’t let the title fool you.  This is not just a devotional book.  It is a book is based on feeding the mind, body and soul.  It brings you into balance regarding food, faith and fitness.  It reminds us that it’s not all about us.  I love how the author, Katie Farrell, who is also the creator of Dashing Dish, uses faith in relation to healthy living.  I did not know how closely related the two were until I began reading Katie’s book.  As a side note here there is a free study guide that you can download at Katie’s website Dashing Dish to go along with your book, hint:  I am giving away a copy.

The book is just the right size.  You can carry it in your purse, your Bible study bag, Gym tote anywhere.  Also, did I mention that it is gorgeous.  It alone catches more people’s eyes.  They ask me about it all the time.  The book also includes meal plan and recipes.  Now I needed that as a busy person sometimes I choose the wrong route when it comes to feeding my family healthy.  Do you?

You can’t go wrong with this book as it helps us take our focus off self and returns it the balance that the Lord has intended.  If you are struggling like I was to do it all, but trying to do it in your own strength then keep reading because I am giving away a copy of Devotions For A Healthier You by Katie Farrell, courtesy of The Blythe Daniel Agency, Inc.  To win your very own copy just complete the following:

 

 1.  Visit Dashing Dish (which is Katie Farrell’s website)

Look around and find one recipe you would like to try,

return here and leave a comment sharing it with our readers. (One Entry).

2.  Share the recipe above on Facebook but tag me, MelissaWaters522. (One Entry)

3.  Tweet your recipe on Twitter but include me in the tweet MelissaWaters15 (One Entry)

4.  Leave a comment on the blog with your favorite workout. (One Entry)

The contest ends on May 16th, 2015 at Midnight, Eastern Standard Time.  So what are you waiting for get clicking.

Until Next Time,

M

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post. 

I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. 

There are No affiliate links included in this post.

I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255:

“Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” 

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