Friday, February 17, 2017

The Jesus Club-Brian Barcelona-Book Spotlight

About the book (from Amazon's discription)
How a Simple Act of Obedience Is Igniting Revival in Our Nation's Schools
What happens when a teenage convert from atheism hears a challenge from the Lord--and decides to act on it? This true story is the catalyst for a move of God that is taking the high schools of America for Jesus.

Brian Barcelona, a dynamic leader on the forefront of youth evangelism, recounts how he answered God's call on his life with dramatic and miraculous results. Just a few months out of high school, Brian obeyed God's directive to return to his alma mater and preach the gospel to the kids in the Bible club. Suddenly lives began to be changed. Hearts were saved. Numbers grew. Soon other schools joined in, sparking a youth revival in which thousands of teens are letting Jesus heal their lives.

This remarkable story will inspire you to reach out to others, particularly young people, and believe that God will equip you for the call he gives you. Let your heart be energized through simple acts of obedience and watch as God does mighty things!

About the author... (provided by TBN)

Brian Barcelona is the visionary and founder of One Voice Student Missions. 

He was a former atheist who at age 16 had a love encounter with God that changed his life forever. Brian’s passion is to see every high school student in the nation heard The Good News and be saved, discipled and sent. 

One Voice Student Missions was founded in Northern California with Brian and a group of high school students. He started by preaching the Gospel in their high schools and began seeing thousands saved. Bible Clubs were growing as big as 600 students, gathering every week during lunch in various campuses. 

Now, Brian is a voice that calls the youth of America to surrender their lives to Jesus along with calling the local churches in America to reach their most “unreached mission field” - public high schools. 

He resides in Los Angeles, CA and is under the leadership of Pastor Netz Gomez, the senior pastor of Houses of Light Church in Northridge. 


One Voice Student Missions

1530 Elizabeth Street

Pasadena, CA 91104

Facebook / Instagram: One Voice Student Missions

OVSM Twitter:  OneVoice1963

Instagram: BrianMBarcelona

Snapchat: OVSM63


Click here for the TBN video interview.

The Forward by Nick Vujicic
The story of how God has used Brian Barcelona in high school campuses through One Voice Student Missions is one that has changed lives of thousands of students across this country.  I personally have seen and believe that now more than ever there is a window of opportunity that we must seize to reach the youth of this nation right where they are every day.  The awakening of local churches to reach youth is happening like never before, and everyone is asking, "How do we reach the next generation?"

One Voice Student Ministries is wisely and strategically using the local church as a focal point to sponsor the mission field where the Good News still can be shared.  While that window remains open,
now is the time of salvation and discipleship!  This book is one I would recommend you read-- to get
inspired but also to realize what is possible and that you can live out these stories in your city campuses as well.  You will be moved, challenged, not to just sit in back in the church seats as "consumers"
but be moved, to go and love students unconditionally.  If you're a student, pastor or leader, I 
encourage everyone to see this model and book of testimonies as a way that we as the body can be unified in our vision to see Jesus lifted high for all to see. 

Purchase at these retailers or read reviews.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Thankful Thursday

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I have a big 'ole list to share with you today after work. 
#1 I am thankful I get to go to work!
I'll be back with more to share with you.
And with Michelle at Thankful Thursday.
Visit Michelle here. 

Monday, February 13, 2017

Happy Homemaker Monday

The Weather...
A beautiful 56 this morning.  We've been having wonderful weather.  A little chilly and cool in the morning then 70's or so in the afternoon.  Thankfully the days it's been colder have been during the week.  The weekends have been gorgeous.

On My Reading Pile...
Sorry for the dark's the list
Still Life by Dani Pettrey (fiction)
Tightropes and Teeter-Totters by Lisa Pennington (Growth)
The Elusive Miss Ellison (historical fiction)
How To Find Your Dream Dog by Dixie Tenny
All for blog tours with Litfuse, I Read Book Tours and Baker Publishing.

Favorite Blog Post From Last Week...
How to Make a Gathering Apron
I loved this post found over at Summer Acres what a lovely name for a blog Jessica included a tutorial and a video.  The post is over here.

Something Fun To Share...
I am having a giveaway over at OurHolidayJourney leave a comment and follow for extra entries.  I am giving a way a 
Valentines Junk Journal there's a few more days left to enter!

Blog Hopping A New Blog I Discovered...
Not sure how I stumbled onto Kelly-Anne's sweet little blog but I was delighted once there.  Her photography is beautiful and she makes some darling things to sell in her shop.  Click here to visit 
Diary of a Country Girl.

On The Menu This Week...
Monday-Hamburgers-Onion Rings
Tuesday-Chef's choice. The Cowboy is off on Tuesday we've started a new little tradition.  He cooks at least the meat.  I usually have to figure out something green or 'veggie like' to complete the meal.  
But it's Valentines Day maybe we'll go out HeHe.
Wednesday-Pork Chops, Scalloped Potatoes and Squash Medley
Thursday- Kid Friendly Chili Dogs and Fritos, Salad
Friday--Chicken have to see what is in freezer
Saturday--Italian maybe a mini lasagna, calamari,salad and bread
Sunday- Pot Roast, Potatoes and Carrots

On My To Do List...
Finish putting fabric on shelf in my sewing/crafting room.
Try to sort out garage to move Christmas stuff in. 
Delete photo's off computer. Organize my 'pins'
Put away Valentines Day and decorate mantle and dining room
Try to settle into my new work schedule 

In The Craft Basket...
Finish the Valentines junk journal for giveaway.  No peeking.

Looking Forward To This Week...
Actually it's over the next few weeks.  The Cowboys work is opening a new location in the next week weeks.  He will be working closer to home again and his hours will change!  Yea.
I can actually quit work by summer but I am thinking I'll keep working because I really like it and I love the extra money which I get to play with!
The biggest thing is his added income and his hours.  We will get off at 6.  Now he works 5-9.  I work usually 9-2 so it is going to be a blessing for us!

From The Camera

On The Prayer List
Please pray for the sweet B.J. over at Sweet Nothings. 
Her husband needs prayer right now.  They are waiting 
the result of a biopsy.  


Linking with Sandra at Family Corner and a few of my favorites.  Visit my parties page for links to my favorite parties.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Have A Good Day

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It's a good and busy day here. 
I have lots on my agenda. 
Photo's coming soon.  
There is still time to link your Valentines Day posts.
Come over to the party and enter the drawing!
Here's the current link.
Here's the Giveaway link.
Enjoy your day!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Thankful Thursday

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Today first on my list is I am thankful I am writing a Thankful post. I have missed the last few weeks.

I am Thankful for family events that have gotten me behind on posting.   I am sorry Michelle I have missed writing a Thankful post and linking.
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I had a busy and eventful weekend.  I loved spending the day with my grandson.  We went to  McDonalds on Saturday.  On Sunday we went to visit his horse.  Then stopped at Michael's and Sprouts and ended the day at Sonic. 

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We began our day Saturday at the court house where my grandson goes every other weekend for a supervised visit with his father. 

I am thankful for the system and the efforts that they make to keep all the children and families safe.  Although I am thankful I am not an advocate for how the system works.  It is a 'real' eye opener to see all the children there going in to see a parent.  I am thankful that I only have one grandchild having to go through this ordeal.  
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I am thankful for the gorgeous weather we had been having. 
Spring is close.  I planted some basil, green onions and some tomatoes in my greenhouse.  I am thankful for my greenhouse. 
I love it!
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I am thankful for my blogging friends.  A few are on my prayer list right now.  I love you guys.  I pray God's hand on each and everyone of you.  
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So do you have a list? Why not write it down and share with Michelle for Thankful Thursday  over at It's A Small Town Life

I'll be sharing the love and linking at a few of my favorite parties.  For links look at my parties page. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Making Marriage Beautiful-Book Review

Making Marriage Beautiful

About the book (provided by Litfuse)
Making Marriage Beautiful (David C Cook, January 2017)
What makes a marriage beautiful? Honesty? Compatibility? Physical and emotional intimacy?
All of these are important, but there’s one component that determines the quality and longevity of a marriage more than anything else: a willingness to grow.
Because a wedding joins together two imperfect people, all couples experience disappointment, conflict, and pain. How husbands and wives respond to these challenges determines the kind of people they will become and the kind of marriage they will have.
Making Marriage Beautiful reveals how the pursuit of Christ results in profound transformation for both the individual and the marriage. Rather than offering clich├ęs and formulas, Greco relies on candor, humor, and real life stories to bring encouragement and wisdom to all couples, regardless of whether they have been married four weeks or forty years.

About the author
Dorothy Greco and her husband, Christopher, have spent their entire twenty-five-year marriage helping men and women create and sustain healthy marriages. They have served numerous churches in the Greater Boston area for thirty years. Dorothy's writing has been featured in "Relevant Magazine," "Christianity Today," "Sojourners," and "Her.meneutics." She is a regular contributor for "Gifted for Leadership," "Today's Christian Woman," and "Start Marriage Right." The Grecos have three sons and live near Boston.

Dorothy Greco  Visit the author here.

Amazon, B&N and CBC

And I thought. . . 
The authors suggested couples read and study this book.  Don't let that scare you off.  My wonderful husband isn't one to pick up this kind of book.  Maybe yours isn't either.  
As women we are wired to have a desire to Making our Marriage(s) Beautiful.  Our husbands are too but in a different way.   I applaud the husband that will take the step and read and respond to to this powerful resource.  
As a woman who does have a desire to be a Godly woman and helpmeet for my husband I am always looking for God's help and am open to any resource at my disposal.  
Making Marriage Beautiful is that resource.  Written in an easy to read format I was engaged and eager to read each part.  I liked that the sections within the chapters were short.  
I find myself catching snippets of time to read and I think that most women are like that. 
Each section can be read in a few minutes.  But a wealth of information is within.  
Personally I liked that the author interviewed other couples and shared their stories and their solutions to their own personal struggles.  
This is a book that I would recommend to any couple that has a desire to grow together in the way that God intends.  
This is a book that would be a great resource for a church library.  
I received a complimentary copy from Litfuse
This review will appear at Amazon, B&N and CBC.
This review will appear on Good Reads and My Reading Journeys and will be linked at available and appropriate blog parties.

Visit the Litfuse blog tour for more reviews.  Click Here.

Wordless Wednesday



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Linking with my favorite parties
See the list on the parties page

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Baking Cookies With A Few Friends Part 1

Everyday can be a holiday! 
Sometimes just baking cookies makes the day very special.

That's just what we did the other day.  
We invited a few friends.
It was a warm and sunny day here in Texas.
Our friends from the north were dressed for winter weather.

It was such a fun and Fabulous day we even had a party crasher.
He promised not to eat all the cookies so we let him stay.
I did catch him stuffing a few in his pocket!  
I guess he needed some for his loooong nap.

With all the guests settled we got into making cookies!
With so many friends to feed and entertain we choose refrigerator slice and bake cookies.  
First we read the instructions.
We started with a few marshmellows to keep everyone happy while we baked.
Then we got busy...

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Ever so carefully using a ruler we sliced the cookies.
Our friends waited ever so patiently.
Everyone got a special glass for milk.
And then we waited.  
And waited. 
And waited.
For those cookies to bake.
Thanks for visiting.  We'll be back in a couple of days to show you pictures from our party with a 'few friends'.
We love parties. 
Here's a few we go to...
The Art of Homemaking, Monday Social, Amaze Me Monday, Create With Joy, Share Your Cup, Inspire Me Tuesday, Sundays at Home, Saturday Sparks, Share It One More Time, The Charm of Home,  Best Of The Weekend, Bloggers Pit Stop, Grammy's Grid, No Rules Weekend, Grace At Home Party, The Scoop,Home Sweet Home Friday, Dagmar's Home Party, Wow Us Wednesday,
 Show and Share, Tips and Tricks Linky Party, 
All the links are on the parties page.

Monday, February 6, 2017

A Fine Year For Murder-Book Spotlight

About the book (provided by I Read Book Tours)

After months of marital bliss, Jessica Faraday and Murphy Thornton are still discovering and adjusting to their life together. Settled in their new home, everything appears to be perfect … except in the middle of the night when, in darkest shadows of her subconscious, a deep secret from Jessica’s past creeps to the surface to make her strike out at Murphy.

When investigative journalist Dallas Walker tells the couple about her latest case, known as the Pine Bridge Massacre, they realize Jessica may have witnessed the murder of a family living near a winery owned by distant relatives she was visiting and suppressed the memory.

Determined to uncover the truth and find justice for the murder victims, Jessica and Murphy return to the scene of the crime with Dallas Walker, a spunky bull-headed Texan. Can this family reunion bring closure for a community touched by tragedy or will this prickly get-together bring an end to the Thorny Rose couple?

Buy the Book:  Amazon  ~ Add on Goodreads

Author's Bio:

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, romance, and humor.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, son, and four dogs (including the real Gnarly) on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Connect with Lauren: Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook

Lauren Carr

I was able to get a chance to chat with Lauren . . . 
Thank you, Lauren, for agreeing to chat again today.  I feel like I’m talking to an old friend.   I thoroughly enjoyed our last visit when we chatted about Killer In The Band!

Today as planned we’re talking about A Fine Year for Murder.  Catchy title.  Which I want to talk about in a minute but first I want to ask did the plot come before the title or vice versa?

The plot came first. When putting together a new mystery, the murder case is the central focus of the story. Everything else that follows serves to enhance the mystery. The title comes much later. For a few of my books, I didn’t come up with the title until well after the rough draft had been written. This wasn’t the case for A Fine Year for Murder.

Awe so now tell us how did you come up with the title?

A Fine Year for Murder comes from the setting, which is a vineyard in southern Virginia. Get it? Wine. “It’s a fine year for cabernet.” It’s A Fine Year for Murder. I love catchy titles. Not only do I want a title to be catchy, I always want it to be unique. Once I come up with a title, I will google it and go onto Amazon and do a search for it. If multiple books come up with the same title, then I’ll change it because I don’t want my book to get lost among a dozen books with the same title.

I was really excited when I was offered to read A Fine Year for Murder especially when I saw it brought back Jessica and Murphy whom I met in Candidate for Murder which btw was another favorite!  Without revealing too much can you tell us a little about the plot and where the story takes place?

Jessica and Murphy are going to be my traveling detectives. Being the younger generation, they aren’t as settled as Mac Faraday and the Lovers in in Crime. So their cases will take them to different settings and bring a bit more action and technology into their storylines than my other two series.

After Kill and Run, the first Thorny Rose mystery, I wanted to write a mystery that would center more on Jessica Faraday. Both Kill and Run and Candidate for Murder revolved around Murphy and his military connections.

Jessica and Murphy are a team—they are partners. I don’t want the Thorny Rose mysteries to end up being a series where Murphy goes after the bad guys while Jessica worries about him. So I knew as soon as I had finished writing Kill and Run that the next Thorny Rose mystery had to be Jessica’s story.

I had already mentioned in passing that Jessica had nightmares, which resulted in her striking out at Murphy in her sleep. In A Fine Year for Murder, we explore the source of those nightmares.

When investigative journalist Dallas Walker tells the couple about her latest case, known as the Pine Bridge Massacre, they realize that Jessica, as a child, may have witnessed the murder of a family living near a winery owned by distant relatives she had been visiting and suppressed the memory.

I haven’t read the book yet but the synopsis indicates that Dallas is investigating
The Pine Bridge Massacre I’m wondering did Dallas become interested because of
Jessica’s past?  Or is Jessica’s past brought to the present because of Dallas’ investigating?

Dallas happens onto the case totally by coincidence. The murder case had been a famous cold case. When the remains of the police’s prime suspect are found, the case heats up again and Dallas, unaware of Jessica’s connection, dives in. After comparing notes, they realize that Jessica’s past could hold a key to solving the mystery.

I read about the series on your website.  Which brought a question to mind; Since we’re traveling to another setting away from Spencer and Chester in this story can the reader expect that maybe the bedroom doors are gonna be left open a little? 

The Thorny Rose Mysteries are just a little bit edgier than the Mac Faraday and Lovers in Crime mysteries. The bedroom door is open a little bit more and there may be some rougher language (no F-bombs, though!). But still, reviewers and readers have declared them to be clean reads.

I am always interested in the research an author does for a story.
First I was wondering do you do you own research?  (is this an o.k. ? to ask)

Yes, I do conduct my own research. Through the years, I have collected an assortment of connections in law enforcement, criminal law, forensics, and computer technology. Google and YouTube have become invaluable! But I always double check my facts. Still, I do believe in the freedom of literary license—meaning that as a writer with a vivid imagination, I have the freedom to take the facts and take a flying leap with them!

For example, in Candidate for Murder, I introduced a new “character” who will be a regular in the Thorny Rose mysteries by the name of Nigel. My editor and I had a disagreement about what to call him. I called him an IA (Artificial Intelligence) she said that was not the correct term. We decided on Virtual Butler.

Nigel is the brain inside of the Faraday-Thornton’s Smart House. As explained in Candidate for Murder, Nigel is a computerized prototype designed and engineered by a team of computer techs, including Jessica’s brother Tristan, who work on contract for the Phantoms. Nigel’s primary purpose is to provide security for the estate. However, since Nigel was a prototype, Tristan and the computer geeks released their inner “Tony Stark” (from Ironman) and went wild.

In the end, Nigel is not only connected to all of their electronics, controlling the lights, temperature, and even the water temperature, but he is also up close and personal with all of the government’s computer systems.

Some readers, especially those intimidated by modern technology, may find this a bit wild. However, according to my research, every piece of Nigel’s technology is available today—including that described in Candidate for Murder’s climax. As a writer, I just pieced the various bits of technology together and gave the computer a name—and a snarky personality to make him more interesting.

Can you tell us if you did any special research while or before writing A Fine Year for Murder?
How long did you spend while researching?   Is your research virtual or do you travel to other places? 

The bulk of my research is virtual—simply because I’m too lazy to get dressed and go out. Most of the research I did for A Fine Year for Murder was on the Keddie murder case, a real thirty-five year old cold case in which a family was brutally murdered in a small cabin in a rural area. The bare facts of the real case were just a jumping off point.

Then, since I had already decided that Jessica was going to have some connection to it, I had to decide what that connection would be. Since Jessica and Murphy live in Virginia, I decided to make it be a vineyard in southern Virginia, that is owned by distant relatives. The murders were committed in a tiny company-owned village next to the vineyard.

I’ll spend months researching a case and the various elements, including the characters who will be the best fit for the book, before I sit down to start writing the mystery. 

While most of my research is online, I have also gone to conferences and workshops for hands on training. I’ve gone to the Writer’s Police Academy more than once. I’ve also taken gun classes to learn about using weapons. While virtual research, whether it be online or television, is very convenient, nothing beats hands on to give a writer a more intimate understanding of what they are writing about.

Well it has been super fun getting a chance to chat again thanks so much for
giving us a little sneak peek and background about A Fine Year For Murder.  I can’t wait to read it!

 And I'm reading it now and can't put it down!  If your a reader of Cozy Mysteries check 
A Fine Year For Murder by Lauren Carr!   You won't be disappointed.  

Here's a great Giveaway . . . 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Homemaker Monday

Happy Homemaker Monday

The Weather...
I couldn't ask for better weather.  It is so nice and pretty now. 
We did have a few cold days last week but they didn't last. 
Spring is peeking in!  

On My Reading Pile
..Making Marriage Beautiful: Lifelong Love, Joy, and Intimacy Start with You by [Greco, Dorothy Littell, Greco, Christopher]  Product DetailsProduct Details

Favorite Blog Post From Last Week...
Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, dog and outdoor This was a facebook post. 
A long lost friend posted about training dogs as companions. 
I was reminded that she and her family have been training dogs for years.  Many of you know that we lost our dog this past fall just before we moved into our house.  It was very sad for us and we've taken our time deciding on a new dog to join our family. 
We are looking into joining this organization to train dogs as companions.

Something Fun To Share...

Link party and giveaway. This weeks party is here
The giveaway is over here

On The Menu This Week...
I need a super simple week.  Let's see

Monday--Taco's my go to simple
Tuesday-- Kielbasa, Fried Potatoes, Carrots simple and yummy
Wednesday--Crockpot Navy Beans, Cornbread crockpot simple
Thursday--Kid friendly Pizza
Fri-- Chili
Saturday-- Freezer meals for next week and leftovers for dinner
Sunday-- Roast, Potatoes and Carrots

On My To Do List...
Begin the Valentines Day Junk Journal I have the supplies now for the fun
Finish post cards
Finish painting the shelf for my room
Shop for supplies for freezer meals for next week and make on Saturday

In The Craft Basket...
Supplies for junk journals

Looking Forward to...
My sweet daughter invited me to go on a road trip the end of 
March to visit Pioneer Woman's store.  Yea! Saving money and counting down the days.

Looking Around The House...
Sweet Valentines decorations

From The Camera...
John 3:16 Love Printable, Name, Word & Letter Craft:

Linking with 
Happy Homemaker Monday, The Art of Homemaking
Create with Joy,  Amaze Me Monday, Monday Social