Word-Filled Wednesday: I Will Sing!

>> Wednesday, November 25


"I will sing unto the LORD as long as I live: 
I will sing praise to my God while I have my being." 
Psalm 104:33

My favorite part of church has always been the singing. I even sing along with the choir and the soloists, much to my husband's chagrin. When I discovered contemporary Christian radio I was overjoyed! Now I don't have to wait for Sundays to "sing unto the Lord". Yes, I will sing praise to my God as long as I live, and when I enter Heaven I will have the ultimate joy of singing praises with the angels.


For more Word Filled inspiration, visit Susan at "Forever His"



Photo from dbthielman's album at www.photobucket.com. Scripture from the King James Version of the Holy Bible.

 
Catrina Bradley

"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes."
Psalm 18:24 (Msg)

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Book Review: "The Silent Gift", by Michael Landon, Jr. and Cindy Kelley

>> Monday, November 23


The Silent Gift
by Michael Landon, Jr. and Cindy Kelley

The Silent Gift is the remarkable story of a mother's unconditional love for her son, and the lengths to which she goes to protect him from a world, and a father, who doesn't understand him. Her own past haunts her, and she vows that her son will never know the same the heartbreak and betrayal she suffered as a child.

The book opens with the harrowing account of Jack's birth. Flash forward: 1930's America is reeling from the Great Depression, and Jack's mother, Mary, struggles to put food on the table and clothes on her son's back. She has always known that Jack is special, but when their circumstances lead to the revelation of her son powerful gift, their lives are changed forever.

Jack's mother is a character I can relate to. At times she is plagued by doubt, and at other times she is all but certain she is doing the right thing. Who can she trust? And whose motivations are less than charitable? Mary isn't always right: she misjudges many of the people she encounters, and she makes mistakes along the way. But even when she makes the wrong choice, even when things go horribly awry, she never gives up her mission to protect, at all costs, the son she loves. She desperately wants Jack to be accepted, and for others to realize how special he is (even without his "gift"). Like our Heavenly Father, Mary is willing to sacrifice everything, including her freedom and her life, for the child she loves.

After reading the publisher's blurb for The Silent Gift, I expected a sappy-happy story dripping with sugar. I was partly wrong.  This heartwarming historical novel is filled with emotional tension, suspense, and true-to-life characters, faults and all. The authors succeed in showing us a snapshot of life in this decade and bringing history to life. I couldn't help but notice the similarities of Depression-era America to our current economic situation.

I truly enjoyed The Silent Gift. When I can't resist the temptation to keep reading, and I ignore "real life" in order to stay "in" a story, I know I've found a good book. I even found myself worrying about Mary and Jack when I wasn't reading.

My thanks to Bethany House Publishers for providing me a free copy of The Silent Gift.  Just so you know, I only recommend books I would choose for myself. Too many books fill the bookstore and library shelves for me to waste your time reading bad fiction. If I didn't like it, I would tell you so. Mr. Landon and Ms. Kelley have penned a novel that is worth reading.

Counting my many blessings, including BOOKS,

Catrina Bradley

"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes."
Psalm 18:24 (Msg)

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Book Review: "The Lost Symbol" by Dan Brown

>> Saturday, November 21

The Lost Symbol
by Dan Brown

The King of Controversy is back with another day in the life of code-breaking, mystery chasing, secret betraying, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon. To describe this novel as a page-turner is an understatement. "The Lost Symbol" by Dan Brown crisscrosses our nation's capitol at a breakneck pace as the hero races the clock to solve the cipher of the Ancient Mysteries.

Robert is given just 12 hours to find a secret hidden pyramid, crack its code, and locate the key to the Ancient Mysteries, or his close friend and mentor will die. But if he succeeds, the world as we know it may very well end. Robert teams up with his mentor's daughter, Katherine, whose discoveries in the field of noetic science also have the potential to change the world forever.

Glimpses into Robert's past give his character three dimensions, and his burgeoning relationship with his new partner in anti-crime shows us his heart. By the end of the book, we know Robert even better.

The Freemasons take center stage in "The Lost Symbol." As an organization known for keeping its secrets secret, the Masonic brotherhood is a natural target for conspiracy theorists and inspiration for an imaginative novelist. I have little doubt that, even though Mr. Brown was complimentary of the Masons, his latest undertaking, like its predecessor "The DaVinci Code", will create yet more fodder for the rumor mill.

I know from experience that Masons will not reveal their secrets, even to those they are closest to. I've always been curious, and have even been tempted to believe some of the disinformation propagated about them, but in preparing to write this review, I, for the first time, sought out what those secrets might truly be.

Like me, it seems Mr. Brown also used the internet for much of his research. Blogs and articles abound that confirm much of what The Lost Symbol "reveals" about the Masons, until you get to the site sponsored by the Masons themselves. If you'd like to read their official response, it can be found here: http://www.freemasonlostsymbol.com/ .

I was pleased to see faithful Christian characters and Scripture verses used not only extensively, but kindly. "The Lost Symbol" is not a Christian novel, however, and should not be read as one. Even though the existence God the Father is declared and defended by Mr. Brown's Christian characters, God the Son, Jesus, is only spoken of as a prophet or a great teacher; God the Holy Spirit is completely left out of the equation; and man is exalted above all.

In addition to almost-Christianity and the Freemasons, we are also treated to a smorgasbord of philosophy, science, and history, plus world religions of all flavors. I read everything with a grain of salt, knowing that if he didn't tell the whole truth of the Bible, he likely misconstrued, misstated, or misunderstands the other things he writes about as well.

For pure readability, excitement, and page-turning potential, I give "The Lost Symbol" five stars. If you chose to read it, please remember - it's fiction and every word should be read as such.


Catrina Bradley

"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes."
Psalm 18:24 (Msg)

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Friday Fiction: Brodery In Pure Snowwhite

>> Friday, November 20

Brodery in Pure Snowwhite

Grandmom's teaching me how to in broder. She showed me how to make pretty stitches that look like flowers and she promised to show me lots more stitches too.

Grandmom has a box filled with special threads of all the colors God ever created and I want to make all my flowers a different color. Grandmom says, “That would be too much work.” If I was God, it wouldn't be too much work.

She got us snowwhite new pillowcases to broder in. There's a garden drawn on them and we're going to broder in lots of colors and all kinds of stitches. Once I've learned how to make them.

I'm supposed to wash my hands, with soap, before I touch my bordery. Grandmom says, “White won't stay white if you don't work with clean hands.”

One time though I didn't. I came inside and wanted to broder in lots of flowers to surprise Grandmom. I wanted her to show me a new stitch.

I looked at my hands and they looked clean so I decided I didn't need to wash them. Besides, I didn't really do anything to make my hands dirty. Grandmom says lots of stuff and I don't always do what she says all the time, like the times I don't think I need to.

When I was all comfy in Grandmom's rocker, I licked my fingers and squished the end of a pink thread so it would slide through the needle. Grandmom thinks this part of brodery is hard but it’s really easy for me.

Grandmom told me she liked to broder in clean snowwhite because white is like God's canvas and brodering it in with colored stitches is a reef lection of His creation. I don't know what a reef lection is, but I think it's something like a beautiful painting. I know you make paintings on a canvas because I've watched that guy on TV do it. And Grandmom's broderyed in things are just as beautiful as his paintings are. Yep, they’re a reef lection.

I was thinking about this stuff and making flowers and pretty soon the pink thread was too short to make any more. I pulled the needle out and poked it into Grandmom's pincushion and held up my brodery to look at my new flowers.

At first I thought there were shadows on the pillowcase but when I held it close I saw it wasn't shadows. It was dirt. All over the clean white. I licked my thumb and started rubbing it. It got worse and worse and I started crying. Grandmom would be so mad at me. She would know I didn't wash my hands even though she always told me to.

I knew she would be coming in from the garden pretty soon but I just sat there in her rocker crying and staring at my ruined brodery.

When she came in smiling with a pitcher full of pretty flowers, I scooted out of the rocker and just held out my brodery because I couldn't tell her what I did. And I couldn't look at her either.

As soon she took my brodery, I hid my hands behind my back. I wanted to wipe the tears off my face, but I was afraid I'd leave dirt on my cheeks. Even though my hands still looked clean to me.

Grandmom scooped me up and gave me a big hug. "I want to show you something," she said.

Grandmom was really nice instead of mad. She took me to the laundry room and poured some washing powder into the sink and ran some water. Then she took the hoop off my brodery and put my pillowcase into the water.

"Remember when I told you about the white fabric being like God's canvas?"

"Uh, huh, Grandmom." I was still sniffly but Grandmom's hugs made my crying stop.

"When God first made us, we were clean and white inside. But we're just people, and sometimes we do bad things. And that makes us get dirty. God knows that, but He loves us."

Grandmom swished my pillowcase around in the soapy water, pulled it out and rinsed it off and squished it in a towel. When she held it up it was clean again.

"That's why He gave us Jesus, little one. Jesus is the soap that washes us inside. He makes us clean white again. Now go wash your hands, with soap, and I'll show you how to in broder a vine.”

© 11/20/09

Thank you for reading my offering for this week's Friday Fiction!
Our hostess today is Sherri at A Candid Thought Click on over!



Check back tomorrow for my review of Dan Brown's new novel, "The Lost Symbol."

Catrina Bradley

"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes."
Psalm 18:24 (Msg)

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Gospel or Idolotry? God is Enough

Today I thought I'd share a short video you may have already seen. In fact, I've seen it dozens of times myself. It doesn't matter. Each time I watch it, and hear Mr. Piper's words, I want to cheer, cry, and fall to my knees all at the same time.


Courtesy of MckLinky Stuff - FREE!


God is enough.

Catrina Bradley

"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes."
Psalm 18:24 (Msg)

Read more...

Book Revew: The Sacred Meal by Nora Gallagher

>> Wednesday, November 18


The Sacred Meal
The Ancient Practices Series
By Nora Gallagher

The Sacred Meal is not a treatise on the sacrament of Eucharist, nor is it a theological lesson on the Last Supper. It is simply one humble woman sharing her personal experiences, remembrances, and revelations on the practice we call Communion.

Nora Gallagher makes no attempt to use scholarly terms or confusing definitions to convey her thoughts, but she does keep the Word close at hand as she reminisces about her Communion encounters. Each chapter includes quotes from Scripture that Ms. Gallagher applies to her life. Recounting moments from Christ’s life, she speaks of His purpose, cites His teachings, and seeks to understand His heart. She examines our Savior in an intimate way.

Our author invites us to participate in a personal Communion that is only possible when shared with others, then gives us examples of how we might go about doing that. She remains transparent and honest while telling of her own communion experiences from both the servant and server aspects, at the altar and in the soup kitchen. In whatever circumstance, the reader is assured that, whether Ms. Gallagher is serving or being served, she is the recipient of great joy.

Ms. Gallagher shares her own inferences and interpretations without forcing her opinion on the reader. Throughout most of “The Sacred Meal” I was drawn into a deeper understanding of what I already knew, or was reassured of the promise of the Word. On more that a few occasions, though, Ms. Gallagher presented a concept I had never before considered. I didn’t always agree with her, but I can’t say how many of my disputes result from Godly wisdom and how many from what “I’ve always been taught”. What I do know is that Ms. Gallagher made my inner eyes widen and caused me to examine my own relationship with the Body of Christ and with Jesus Himself.

I’m grateful for Thomas Nelson Publishers for proving me a copy of “The Sacred Meal” and giving me the opportunity share my opinions. My education from the Holy Spirit will not be complete until God calls me home. “The Sacred Meal” has opened windows leading to new and deeper learning. If you, like me, never grow full of wisdom, I suggest you give it a read.


Catrina Bradley

"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes."
Psalm 18:24 (Msg)

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Word-Filled Wednesday: Oh the books!

>> Tuesday, November 17




This may not surprise you, but I love books. New books, old books, shabby books, shiny books, it doesn't matter. I gobble them up.

To think the wisdom, kindness and teaching imparted by one man could not be contained by all of the books in the world is astounding. Add to that, this man's life was cut short at the age of 33. Unfathomable.

If you laid the shelves in the Library of Congress end to end, they would stretch from New York to Boston. Not even close to enough books. Incomprehensible.

Our God is an awesome God.

Praise His Name.


Catrina Bradley

"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes."
Psalm 18:24 (Msg)



The purpose of Word filled Wednesday is to share God’s word through photo’s & a verse! If You’d like to join us for Word Filled Wednesday, run to The 160 Acre Wood and find our host for today!


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Friday Fiction: The Rise and Fall of the GEICO Gecko

>> Friday, November 13


It's time for Friday Fiction! My entry for the "Green" topic at FaithWriters.com didn't go over well with the judges, but the commenters seem to like it and it made my husband laugh. I'll chock that up as a success. I hope you enjoy it as well!




The Rise and Fall of the GEICO Gecko

Kermit the Frog knows what he's talking about when it comes to being green. One minute you're the darling of the masses, and the next you're hanging out with a heavy-footed Neanderthal wielding a tennis racket. Before you know it, people say, "Who?" when you mention the once-infamous GEICO Gecko.

At one time, the entire television-viewing population of the United States knew my name. Well, not my name, exactly. No one ever cared to ask. It's Martin, by the way, just in case you give a fig.

I was popular with the masses, and even those who didn't care for my flavor of humor knew me on sight. They welcomed me into their homes night after night, sometimes as often as nine times during prime time alone. I made them laugh; I made them smile; I brought joy to their homes.

When the next big thing came long, the newest face on the block, I was relegated to second string...and eventually cast away like last week's tuna casserole.

Oh, if only I could turn back the clock and relive the 90's - my glory years. I'd even settle for the early double-aught's when I shared the stage with the Neanderthals. Did you know one network actually signed those uneducated posers to star in their own sitcom? Appalling. Even though their show was quickly cancelled, it was the beginning of the end for this lizard.

By 2015, the never-ending letter-writing campaigns and obnoxious e-mail petitions and slews of angry phone calls had convinced that network to bring back the cavemen. Or possibly they just wanted to stop the madness. In any case, Nielsen families loved them, ratings flew off the charts, and yours truly, Martin the GEICO Gecko, fell to the wayside.

I'm convinced a conspiracy is afoot. I've emailed, texted, and Facebooked Kermit to get his opinion, but he has yet to get back to me. He is nearing retirement years; maybe he's just willing to go gently into that good night.

You see, when the whole eco-biased "green" brainwashing rigmarole was revealed for what it really was and a certain eco-politician was humiliated before the Supreme Court, "Green" was no longer in vogue, to put it mildly. "Green" was out, and all things green along with it.

Sometimes, when I catch sight of a shooting star, I wish I were a salamander.


-----

The GEICO Gecko is a trademark of GEICO.

© 10/21/09


Be sure to visit our hostess this week, the sweet Yvonne Blake (Vonnie), at My Back Door where you can follow the links to more fiction or join in and post your own! MckLinky will tell you how.

Catrina Bradley

"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes."
Psalm 18:24 (Msg)

Read more...

Win a Kindle!

>> Saturday, November 7


Win a brand new Kindle!

When I first heard of the Kindle, an electronic device to read books, I thought, 'No way." I thought the same thing when I saw Captain Picard reading Shakespeare on one in the "future'.

I love books - the feel of the paper, the riffle of the pages, the smell even. And everyone I talk to who has a Kindle absolutely agreed with me - before they tried one. Now they love they love their Kindles.

So, of course I'm curious. And if I can win one, I can find out for myself without shelling out $250.

Are you curious - - - it doesn't hurt to enter!




Catrina Bradley

"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes."
Psalm 18:24 (Msg)

Read more...
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