Friday, February 28, 2014

Verse of the Day

Don’t be so naïve and self-confident. You’re not exempt. You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else. Forget about self-confidence; it’s useless. Cultivate God-confidence. No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it. 1 Corinthians 10:12–13 msg

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Verse of the Day

Yet I still belong to you; you are holding my right hand. You will keep on guiding me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny. (Psalm 73:23–24 NLT)

"I will always show you where to go. I'll give you a full life in the emptiest of places—firm muscles, strong bones. You'll be like a well-watered garden, a gurgling spring that never runs dry. You'll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew, rebuild the foundations from out of your past. You'll be known as those who can fix anything, restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate, make the community livable again."  (Isaiah 58:11–12 MSG)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Verse of the Day

And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him. (1 John 5:14–15 ESV)

But anyone who needs wisdom should ask God, whose very nature is to give to everyone without a second thought, without keeping score. Wisdom will certainly be given to those who ask. (James 1:5 CEB)

Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it with good things. (Psalm 81:10 NLT)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Verse of the Day

"And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will be given what you ask for. Keep on looking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And the door is opened to everyone who knocks. (Luke 11:9–10 NLT)

"Here's what I'm saying: Ask and you'll get; Seek and you'll find; Knock and the door will open. Don't bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This is not a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we're in." (Luke 11:9–10 MSG)

Monday, February 24, 2014

The A – Z of C. S. Lewis by Colin Duriez

About the book: 

A Complete Guide to His Life, Thoughts and Writings

Published to coincide with the 50th anniversary of C. S. Lewis's death, this complete guide covers all of Lewis' works, from his literary criticism to Narnia.

C. S. Lewis's work is widely known and regarded, but enthusiasts are often only aware of one part of his work-his children's stories and his popular theology; and yet he wrote so much more, including science fiction and literary criticism. This volume brings together all aspects of C S Lewis's life and thought. Arranged in alphabetical order, it begins with The Abolition of Man-written in 1943 and described as "almost my favorite"-to Wormwood, a character in The Screwtape Letters. This book will delight anyone who is interested in C. S. Lewis and wants to learn more about him, his thought, his works, and his life.

Purchase a copy: 

About the Author: 

Colin Duriez was for many years a commissioning editor at Inter-Varsity Press UK. He has subsequently appeared as a commentator on DVDs of Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings, and BBC television's The Worlds of Fantasy. He is also the author of The Inklings Handbook (with the late David Porter), J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis: The Story of Their Friendship, and Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings, and has contributed to definitive reference works relating to Tolkien such as The Tolkien Encyclopedia (Routledge).

Margie's Comments: Wow! What an excellent resource for everything C. S. Lewis. This book is carefully and meticulously researched and compiled into an interesting, extremely readable volume on the life and work of C. S. Lewis. It includes 8 pages of bibliographical material for those who desire to extend their research into this fascinating, multi-dimensional man. This book is definitely a keeper. 

Verse of the Day—Life's Unexpected Turns

(The verses I'm posting today are from the ESV version of Daily Light on the Daily Path devotional.) 

Last week hubby got a text from our landlord saying he was "thinking" about selling the house and property we've been renting the last two years. He said he would call us the next day. No phone call, no text, nothing. 

Then Thursday a realtor put a For Sale sign up in our yard. 

Friday the realtor called to set up a time to see the house that afternoon. We couldn't do it then and finally we settled for a time Sunday. 

Saturday we found the listing online with this in the description (yes, I'm aware of the misspelled word: "Tennant in property now but will be vacant soon."

Hubby again tried to get a hold of our landlord. Hours later, our landlord texted that his house had burned down and he was selling all his rental properties. 

Okay. But does that constitute the 30-day written notice the state of Missouri requires? Not to us, but who knows what the landlord thinks? He's a little bit of a "strange duck," as my mama used to say. 

So we add one more difficult situation on top of several others. God certainly isn't surprised by any of this, though I'm beginning to understand how Job felt. Even more than I have identified with him at times in the past. I'm very thankful that God knows the path ahead; He has a "new" place prepared for us to call home; and He will never leave us to face what seem to be insurmountable mountains before us. 

Saturday, before we saw the online listing, the Lord gave me these verses from my reading in the Daily Light:

Who is the man who fears the Lord? Him will he instruct in the way that he should choose. Psalm 25:12

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:108

And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. Isaiah 30:21

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle, or it will not stay near you. Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the Lord. Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart! Psalm 32:8–11

I know, O Lord, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps. Jeremiah 10:23

If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Proverbs 3:24

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6–7

In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety. Psalm 127:2

This morning, these verses were in my reading:

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.” Matthew 7:7–8

And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him. 1 John 5:14–15

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. James 1:5

Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it. Psalm 81:10

And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. Luke 18:1

The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry. . . . The Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. Psalm 34:15–17

“Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” John 16:24

Yes, I'm thankful that the Word of God is living. It has the answers to anything life throws at us. It equips us for the battles and tasks we face. And its promises are as true today as they were when the words were written. 

I'm thankful that God is continually guiding me, that He never leaves me, He's always with me. His plans for me are beyond what I can even think or imagine. And as I keep my eyes on Jesus, He will enable me to run the race He has ordained for me. 

God is good. All the time. Even when our plans and tasks for the week include starting the search for our new place to live. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Verse of the Day

So be truly glad! There is wonderful joy ahead, even though it is necessary for you to endure many trials for a while. These trials are only to test your faith, to show that it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold – and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold. So if your faith remains strong after being tried by fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. (1 Peter 1:6–7 NLT)

A Sky without Stars

This week, the

is introducing

Abingdon Press (February 18, 2014)



Linda S. Clare is an award-winning author and coauthor of several books and has also published many essays, stories, and poems in publications, including The Christian Reader, The Denver Post, and The Philadelphia Inquirer. Her most recent book is Sky without Stars, the newest release in Abingdon’s Quilts of Love line. Born in Arizona, Linda and her husband now make their home in Eugene, Oregon, where Linda has taught college-level creative writing classes, and writes, edits, and mentors other writers. She also is a frequent writing conference presenter, a church retreat leader,
and mom to four grown children and five wayward cats.


Frankie Chasing Bear is caught between cultures. She wants to raise her son Harold to revere his Lakota heritage, but she also thinks he will need to learn the white man’s ways to succeed. After the untimely death of her husband, Frankie joins the U.S. Government’s Relocation Program and moves to Arizona. There she begins sewing a Lakota Star pattern quilt for Harold with tribal wisdom sung, sewn, and prayed into it.

A bed without a quilt is like a sky without stars, but neither the quilt—nor her new life—comes easily to Frankie. Nick Vandergriff, for instance, is the last man Frankie wants to trust. He’s half-Lakota but Christian, and Frankie can see no good coming from that faith after her own parents were forced to convert at an Indian school. Can Nick convince Frankie that white men and Christians aren’t all bad? And will Frankie learn that love is the most important ingredient—for her son’s quilt and life itself?

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Sky Without Stars, go HERE.

Review to come later.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Verse of the Day

Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vine; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns lie empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation. The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He will make me as sure-footed as a deer and bring me safely over the mountains. Habakkuk 3:17–19 nlt

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Verse of the Day

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5)

For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. (Proverbs 2:6)

But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. (James 1:5)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Verse of the Day

You will keep on guiding me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny. Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever. (Psalm 73:24–26 NLT)

Monday, February 17, 2014

Verse of the Day

Fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you. . . . For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity but of power, love and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:5–7 NLT

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Once Upon a Winter's Heart

This week, the

is introducing

Center Street (January 7, 2014)



Over the years, Melody Carlson has worn many hats, from pre-school teacher to youth counselor to political activist to senior editor. But most of all, she loves to write! Currently she freelances from her home. In the past eight years, she has published over ninety books for children, teens, and adults--with sales totaling more than two million and many titles appearing on the ECPA Bestsellers List. Several of her books have been finalists for, and winners of, various writing awards.

She has two grown sons and lives in Central Oregon with her husband and chocolate lab retriever. They enjoy skiing, hiking, gardening, camping and biking in the beautiful Cascade Mountains.


Emma Burcelli has suffered over a decade of dating disasters. But she concludes that love is officially dead when her grandfather Poppi suddenly passes, leaving her grandmother Nona devastated. To help out, Emma works in the family bookstore, which Nona insists must be decked out in sweetheart décor as Poppi would have done for Valentine's Day. Although she feels like a V-Day Scrooge, Emma quickly learns to enjoy the task with the help of a handsome family friend, Lane Forester, who shows her that hanging hearts is much more fun when done to the tune of Dean Martin. As Emma and Lane share time and memories of Poppi, she reconsiders the notion that romance is alive.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Once Upon a Winter's Heart, go HERE.

Review to come later.

Verse of the Day

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father . . . that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:14–19 NASB)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Verse of the Day

Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the LORD; and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He will do it. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light and your judgment as the noonday. Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who carries out wicked schemes. (Psalm 37:3–7)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Step into the Water

"It shall come about when the soles of the feet of the priests who carry the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan will be cut off, and the waters which are flowing down from above will stand in one heap." (Joshua 3:13 NASB)

Many years ago during a visit to my sister's, her pastor preached a sermon from this passage. We were facing a difficult decision, unsure where to go, where to turn. We heard from the Lord that day, sitting as guests in that church. And while it wasn’t easy, we knew the only way for us was to move forward into the flooded waters.

When God brought the children of Israel to the Jordan at the end of their forty years of wandering in the wilderness, it was the spring run-off. The snow was melting in the mountains at the headwaters of the Jordan, and now the river was a mighty, rushing, dangerous river, possibly overflowing its banks. And God’s instructions to the children of Israel was to enter the Promised Land—now was His perfect time.

I’ve seen mountain streams and rivers during the spring run-off in the Rockies of Colorado. And I saw video of the same streams and rivers in raging flood stage when Colorado received record amounts of rain this past fall. The damage the water can wreak, the danger to life to those caught in its raging heights, is enormous.

Yet God told the children of Israel to move forward. This was His path for them. They had already missed their first opportunity to enter the land forty years before and balked, unwilling to trust God to remove the giants in the land. Now the people were ready to follow God.

But I’m sure there were many fearful souls lining up to cross that day. I love the picture of God going before them. The ark was God’s presence in the midst of the people. The priests who carried the ark were the first to enter the water. Those lead priests, the two carrying the front of the ark, very probably obeyed with their legs and feet shaking so much it was hard to stand on the planted foot as they stepped forward by faith.

Once again, we are faced with difficult decisions on several fronts. And once again, the Lord is telling us to move forward into the raging unknown. Too often, I’m tempted to wait it out. Surely the Lord doesn’t mean for us to go through this difficult if not extremely dangerous way before us. He’ll remove the obstacle or surely He’ll lead us around it.

But that is not the way of faith. Since we moved to Missouri at the beginning of 2012, the words the Lord has given me for each year have all come from Hebrews 12:1–3. Focus, persevere/endure, and balance/moderation. While two of those words aren’t specifically found in this passage, they are implied. Here is the passage from The Message, a paraphrased version of scripture:

Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we'd better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now he's there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!

What is the difficult path before you the Lord is asking You to follow? Are you facing the raging floodwaters of Jordan? Step forward by faith, believing that He is always faithful, always good, always guiding (Lam. 3:23; Rom. 8:28; Isaiah 41:1-2, 58:11).

The words of this magnificent hymn of the faith expresses this principle—walk forward in faith even though the obstacle seems insurmountable and extremely dangerous:

Guide me, O Thou great Jehovah,
Pilgrim through this barren land.
I am weak, but Thou art mighty;
Hold me with Thy powerful hand.
Bread of Heaven, Bread of Heaven,
Feed me till I want no more;
Feed me till I want no more.

Open now the crystal fountain,
Whence the healing stream doth flow;
Let the fire and cloudy pillar
Lead me all my journey through.
Strong Deliverer, strong Deliverer,
Be Thou still my Strength and Shield;
Be Thou still my Strength and Shield.

When I tread the verge of Jordan,
Bid my anxious fears subside;
Death of deaths, and hell’s destruction,
Land me safe on Canaan’s side.
Songs of praises, songs of praises,
I will ever give to Thee;
I will ever give to Thee.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Verse of the Day

The LORD says, "I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. (Psalm 32:8 NLT)

Friday, February 7, 2014

Verse of the Day

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy. (Psalm 103:4 ESV)

But you, O Lord are a God merciful and gracious slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. (Psalm 86:15 ESV)

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Verse of the Day

I hear the tumult of the raging seas as your waves and surging tides sweep over meThrough each day the LORD pours his unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing his songs, praying to God who gives me life. (Psalm 42:7–8 NLT)

"I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden wealth of secret places, so that you may know that it is I, the LORD, . . . who calls you by your name."  (Isaiah 45:3 NASB)

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Verse of the Day

Encourage the exhausted, and strengthen the feeble. Say to those with anxious heart, "Take courage, fear not. Behold, your God will come with vengeance; the recompense of God will come, but He will save you." (Isaiah 35:3–4)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Dancing Master by Julie Klassen

About the book: Finding himself the man of the family, London dancing master Alec Valcourt moves his mother and sister to remote Devonshire, hoping to start over. But he is stunned to learn the village matriarch has prohibited all dancing, for reasons buried deep in her past.

Alec finds an unlikely ally in the matriarch's daughter. Though he's initially wary of Julia Midwinter's reckless flirtation, he comes to realize her bold exterior disguises a vulnerable soul---and hidden sorrows of her own.

Julia is quickly attracted to the handsome dancing master---a man her mother would never approve of---but she cannot imagine why Mr. Valcourt would leave London, or why he evades questions about his past. With Alec's help, can Julia uncover old secrets and restore life to her somber village . . . and to her mother's tattered heart?

Filled with mystery and romance, The Dancing Master brings to life the intriguing profession of those who taught essential social graces for ladies and gentlemen hoping to make a "good match" in Regency England.

Purchase a copy:

About the author: Julie Klassen loves all things Jane---Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. She is a three-time Christy Award winner and a 2010 Midwest Book Award winner for Genre Fiction. Julie and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota.

Learn more about Julie at:

Margie's Comments: I know when I pick up a new Julie Klassen novel, I'm in for a great read. The Dancing Master doesn't disappoint. The characters, especially Alec and Julia, are so real, I had a hard time letting go at the end of the book. I wanted to read more, to see how they fared later in life. The story is full of historical detail, but it isn't boring. The author truly brings the world as it was 200 years ago alive. I especially loved reading about Alec's vocation in life, as it seems so much of the grace and elegance of the Regency period in England is lost in today's society. For an excellent read, I highly recommend The Dancing Master by Julie Klassen.

Verse of the Day

There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears. Philippians 1:6 msg