Saturday, February 28, 2015

Shelfie: Paper Hearts by Courtney Walsh

Book Description:Abigail Pressman would never have guessed that love notes penned on paper hearts by an anonymous couple could restore her belief in love. As a business owner in a quaint town at the base of the Rockies, she’s poured everything into her dreams of expansion... and resisting the matchmaking efforts of the Valentine Volunteers, who gather in her store to continue Loves Park’s tradition of stamping mail with the city’s romantic postmark. When Abigail is unwillingly drafted into the Volunteers, she encounters the paper hearts, a distraction that couldn’t come at a worse time. A hard-to-read doctor has become Abigail’s new landlord, and he’s threatening to end her lease to expand his practice. As she fights a growing attraction to this handsome man who seems intent on crushing her dreams, Abigail is inspired to string the hearts in her store, sparking a citywide infatuation with the artsy trend. But when a new batch of hearts reaches the Volunteers, it appears something tragic has happened to the couple. Will uncovering their story confirm Abigail’s doubts about love, or could it rescue her dreams... and her heart?

About the Author: Courtney Walsh is a novelist, artist, theater director, and playwright. Paper Hearts is her fourth novel. Her debut novel, A Sweethaven Summer, hit the New York Times and USA Today e-book bestseller lists and was a Carol Award finalist in the debut author category. She has written two additional books in the Sweethaven series, as well as two craft books and several full-length musicals. Courtney lives in Illinois where she and her husband own a performing and visual arts studio. They have three children.

Book Review: I was a little skeptical since Courtney Walsh is a new-to-me author. However, I really enjoyed reading this book.  The book played like a movie in my head. The storyline and characters were well developed. You found yourself going through the emotions with each character. My favorite character in the book was Ursala. I loved rooting for both characters and though they seemed to be on separate sides. I really enjoyed the fact that love was celebrated all year round instead of just one day. If you like fiction you will love this book. It was beautifully written! 

Reader’s Note: I received this book from Tyndale Publishers in exchange for this honest review.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Put Your Love on the Map

I don't know why but I was shocked when Valentine's Day stuff was out on the shelves January 1st! I thought it was a little much, ya know? I'm not "hating" on the holiday. I just think commercialized love is a little shallow. Nothing says love like over sized animals, sweets, and spending too much money right? Real love can't be found on a shelf. You can't buy it.  It definitely shouldn't be celebrated once a year. 


"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.  By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35

Jesus gave us the greatest example of love. He went to the cross for you and I. For the whole world. Love is sacrificial. It gives every day. It dies to self. It's much more than just a feeling every now and then. It's an everyday decision. 

This year, what if we did something different? God's love compels us as an outpouring of what's already been done for us to love others. What if we put our love on the map? What if we put our love into action? Let's love one another. 

Maybe for you it's giving a little extra to a missionary. Maybe it's going on a mission trip. Maybe it's providing food, giving clean water, sponsorship, or giving bibles. Let's share love in a tangible way. Want to find out more? You can at World Help and put your love on the map! 
In His Love, 

Friday, February 6, 2015

Fair Trade Friday: Box #5

You already know what day it is and it's one of my favorites every month. IT'S FAIR TRADE FRIDAY! Sorry, I didn't mean to yell. I just got a little excited! What's Fair Trade Friday you ask? Fair Trade Friday is a monthly membership club that delivers a box of quality items to your door by the first Friday of the month. The items in the box are fairly traded and provide employment to women all around the world. 100% of the proceeds from each box goes to the empowerment of impoverished women as an opportunity to introduce them to the Gospel. Plus, you will love everything they send you! 

Here's what came in my box this month: 

Reusable gift bag by Friends of Mercy Goods. 

This shirt is from Freeset in India. {front}

Please excuse the wrinkles. Its been traveling. {back} 

Bracelet from The Refugee Project in Houston, TX. 

You all know I love Zambia. I absolutely loved getting a little piece of Zambia in the mail. This soap smells sooooo good!

This lip balm. I. love. it. I have already ordered a few as gifts! Also from Zambia. 

One of my favorite bags so far! Want your own? Go get one! This box employed approximately 7 women! 7 women around the world! Your yes matters! Even in the small things! 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Shelfie: Counter Culture by David Platt

Counter Culture BookBook Description: Everywhere we turn, battle lines are being drawn—traditional marriage vs. gay marriage, pro-life vs. pro-choice, personal freedom vs. governmental protection. And as difficult conversations about homosexuality, abortion, and religious liberty continue to inject themselves into our workplaces, our churches, our schools, and our homes, Christians everywhere are asking the same question: HOW ARE WE SUPPOSED TO RESPOND TO ALL THIS?

In Counter Culture, New York Times bestselling author David Platt shows Christians how to actively take a stand on the most pressing social issues of our day. Drawing on compelling personal accounts from around the world, Platt presents an unapologetic yet winsome call for Christians to faithfully follow Christ into the cultural battlefield in ways that will prove both costly and rewarding. 

THE LINES HAVE BEEN DRAWN. The moment has come for Christians to rise up and deliver a gospel message that’s more radical than even the most controversial issues of our day.

Book Review: The lines have been drawn. In his new book, David Platt, sounds the alarm for Christians. Is the church even awake? Honestly, I both love and do not love this book. The part where I don't love it is strictly because it calls me out of my comfort zone. It requires me to stand boldly when I 'd rather just be quiet. Issues like marriage, abortion, and sexuality. The solution to the issues mentioned in the book is the gospel. One of my favorite quotes from this book is, "So let us not stay silent with this gospel. Let's not allow fear in our culture to muzzle our faith in Christ."

At the end of every chapter are three practical ways you can take action. First and most important is praying to Him, then participating with Him, and finally proclaiming His Word in the world around us. You can also visit the website to view more resources and buy the book. This is not a feel good, tickle your ears kind of book. It's a call to action. As Christians we've been charged to "walk in a manner worthy of God." Let's do that. 

Reader’s Note: I received this book from Tyndale Publishers in exchange for this honest review.