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Tyndale 30 Day Launch Celebration!

Tyndale Publishing is launching their site on Monday February 1!

To mark this wonderful occasion, they will be giving away four book each day in the following categories:

  • Fiction
  • Non-Fiction 
  • Bibles
  • Kids

If you don’t win one day, you can come back daily to sign up. All you have to do is visit their site at Tyndale.com and enter!


(Feel free to share with with your readers, on your blog, Facebook page or Tweet it!)

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Songs of Deliverance by Marilynn Griffith

Songs of Deliverance, Marilynn Griffith, 978-0-8007-3279-0

They say time heals all wounds--but sometimes that's just not enough.

Fifteen years ago, Zeely Wilkins and Ron Jenkins were students that most people had stopped believing in. Lucky for them, their teacher recognized they were the cream of the crop and just needed the right soil.

Though they went their separate ways, the past has called them back to the school and the teacher who wouldn't give up on them. Now they'll have to decide what love really means--and whether they're willing to dance to a new tune to get it. But can they rediscover the songs of deliverance that once brought them together? Or will their secrets keep them apart?

In this soul-searching and suspenseful story, Marilynn Griffith invites you to believe in the power of truth, love, and redemption.

Songs of Deliverance started out way confusing. Between the bouncing around of character memories and trying to get straight who was who and who was in love with who, I was a bit leery about finishing it.

After I got past the first couple of confusing chapters, I really got to know Zeely, Grace, Brian and Ron. Zeely and Graces friendship reminds me a lot of my best friend and I in high school. I was taken back to memories of praying together, fighting, telling each other how it is! Just like Zeely and Grace do.

Each chapter brings a new twist into this story of God's provision, love and forgiveness. Each twist is not what you expect but after so many of them, I began to say to myself, 'Okay, come on now, this is starting to get really really weird!' I think that there was a lot (maybe too much) twisting going on here.

All that aside, Marilynn has an exceptional writing style and each chapter was told from a different characters point of view. I like books like that especially in complicated stories like this one.

Songs of Deliverance was a good read and it reminded me that God is in control, forgiveness is such a powerful thing and love is worth waiting for.

I do plan to read more by Marilynn, I just hope that they are not all so 'twisty'.

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*This book was provided by Baker Publishing Group free of charge in exchange for my honest review. This did not sway my review and opinion of this book in anyway.

The Daniel Fast by Susan Gregory

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Product Description
What if you could grow closer to God and improve your health in just 21 days? Susan Gregory, “The Daniel Fast Blogger,” has a plan to help you do just that. Widely recognized as the expert on this 21-day fast inspired by the book of Daniel, Susan has helped thousands of people discover a safe and healthy way to fast. The principles you learn from The Daniel Fast will change the way you view food, your body, and your relationship with the one who created you.

About the Fast
The blurb was taken from www.daniel-fast.com, the author's website.

The Bible teaches us that we are a spirit, we have a soul and we live in a body. The Daniel Fast affects all three parts of us as we enter into a period of time for focused prayer and fasting.

The Body - Certainly our bodies are effected as our diet is changed, for some in very dramatic ways, during the Daniel Fast. Many men and women experience detoxing from caffeine, chemicals and sugar. The symptoms are most often headaches, leg cramps, fatigue and malaise.

Most people lose weight during the Daniel Fast. And many report healings from diabetes, allergies, arthritis and cancer.

The Soul - Frequently referred to as "the flesh" in the Bible, the soul is also greatly impacted during the Daniel Fast. The soul is the seat of our emotions, intellect, personality and will. It is in the "soulish realm" where we experience cravings, frustration, anger . . . and even happiness.

During the Daniel Fast, your soul may very well rebel against the dramatic change in your diet. Experiencing and winning this battle over the flesh is often one of the most powerful lessons of the Daniel Fast.

The Spirit - Our spirit is that born-again part of us that surrenders to God and then abides with the Father and the Son. Our spirit is filled with the Holy Spirit when we yield to Him. During the Daniel Fast, we want to put our spirit in charge of the other two parts of us. When our flesh is acting out with a craving, we take control of it with our spirit (just as a parent takes control of a rebellious child).

Fasting is always coupled with a spiritual goal. So during this time of fasting, you will want to focus on prayer, study and meditation.

I have never heard of this fast before, though I have used other fasting books in the past. As I read this book I was challenged and I am now preparing myself to participate in the Daniel Fast.

I really like how she has this book set up; the first part tells you the logistics of the book, why this fast is good and the biblical basis behind it. In the second part of the book she includes many recipes, the food list and tips to staying on track. The last part of the book includes 21 devotionals, one for each day if you feel led to participate in the 21 day fast.

I visited Susan's blog and was very encouraged and challenged. If you want to know God deeper, than pick up Susan's book and prepare your heart to take the challenge of this 21 day fast.

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*This book was provided by Tyndale Publishing free of charge in exchange for my honest review. This did not sway my review and opinion of this book in anyway.

Moonbeam Dreams by Gina Browning

Moonbeam Dreams Virtual Book Tour January 2010

Product Description

Moonbeam Dreams is an intricately rhyming bed-time story written and illustrated by Gina C. Browning. It takes the reader and listeners on a magical, Dr. Seuss-like romp to the Land of Beddie-byes, where they meet all sorts of wonderful and interesting creatures. There are butterflies with gems dripping from their wings, dragons riding in red wagons, Lycra-wearing newts skating on moonbeams, unicorns, a frog climbing a kite-string, extra large snails and cats with fish-tails, and many, many more fun creatures to meet. It’s a positive, up-lifting and fun story that encourages children that almost anything is possible if you can dream it and believe in it strongly enough. It also encourages children to not be afraid of the dark, and that they have the ability to take control of their dreams. It also encourages children to welcome the weird and wonderful things that they might see in their dreams.

It is a story with a vocabulary that a child can learn from and grow into. It is also entertaining and interesting for adults to read as well.
It contains some interesting rhyming mechanics, alliteration and 22 bright and colorful, entertaining illustrations.

About Gina Browning

Writer and illustrator, Gina C. Browning, says some of the verses in her poetry book first came to her in her dreams as she was recovering from surgery years ago.
The poems and illustrations in Moonbeam Dreams gradually evolved into “a keenly rhymed, fantastical romp through a fantasy land, with weird and wonderful characters for readers of any age to enjoy.” Her poetry truly is for the young at heart.
Browning thinks her dreams are fun and adventurous, as she always looks for the positive side to everything. Her book encourages children not to be afraid of the dark, and to believe in themselves and their abilities so that almost anything is possible. Browning says dreams can come true “either in daylight or night” if you believe in them strongly enough.

I was excited to review Moonbeams Dreams when I took it out of the package the day it arrived in the mail. I immediately grabbed the first child that ran past me in the hall, it happened to be my 7-yr-old, Ri.

She read it beginning to end by herself and then we cuddled on the couch with Moonbeam Dreams, I read and my daughter pointed to all the bright and wonderful pictures. Lizards wearing roller blades, unicorns, a beautiful butterfly with jewels all over it.

The art work is amazing. Bright, fun and colorful.

The words are so positive and remind the child (and the parent!) to keep dreaming, anything is possible when you dream. We did have a hard time getting through some pages because of the rhyming and a few stanzas being a little off beat, but for the most part we soared through the book and then re-read it just for the fun of it!

Great book. Positive message, just watch out for a few tricky lines and you'll be just fine!
(Hey, that rhymed! I'm a poet and I didn't even know it! WOW! I'm on a roll, but now I gotta go!)

Review by Ri (My seven year daughter)
I asked her questions for this review, here are here responses.

If you had borrowed this book from the library, would you have wanted to go to the book store and buy it?
RI: Yeah, probably.

When you read it by yourself, did you understand it? Was it hard or easy to read by yourself?
RI: No, I didn't understand it. Hard to read.

When Mom read it to you, did you understand it?
RI: Yes. When you told me about it and we talked about it.

What was your favorite part?
RI: The butterfly picture. It was so pretty.

So, from Ri's answers and having read Moonbeam Dreams alone and to her, I would say that for the younger crowd (under 10) might be better to read to them, but the 10+ should be able to read and understand it on their own.

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*This book was provided by the author free of charge in exchange for my honest review. This did not sway my review and opinion of this book in anyway.

Jenna's Cowboy by Sharon Gillenwater

Jenna Callahan has a young son and rewarding work on her father's ranch. But she never expected to see Nate Langley back in town-the first guy she noticed, the one her father sent away all those years ago. And she never thought the attraction they felt would be as strong as ever.

Jenna's cowboy has some healing of his own to do, though, after two tours of duty in the armed forces. With the help of good friends, strong faith, and a loving family, he hopes to put the horrors of the past behind him and become the man Jenna deserves.

With an emphasis on simple acts of love, Jenna's Cowboy gives romance readers what they want most, a love story with a Texas touch.

Sharon grew up on Thompson's Ranch in the Rolling Plains of West Texas, near Colorado City. Her father was ranch foreman, and her parents lived there for over fifty years. The six thousand acre ranch provided pasture for Hereford cattle and an occasional Texas Longhorn, as well as fields of grain and grass to feed the stock and the primary crop, cotton. Love and marriage took Sharon across the country to state of Washington, but Texas is still dear to her heart.

Her books are honest down home love stories with laughter, conflict and sometimes tragedy that carries the reader along. The power of God working in the lives of the main characters is always evident as is their relationship to Him.

As she did in Love Song, Antiques and Texas Tender, she again brings you the wonderful people, small towns and West Texas region she loves in Jenna's Cowboy, Emily's Chance and a to be named third book in the Callahans of Texas series.

For Sharon, writing romance novels is a ministry. God has given her the talent to write, and she uses it to serve Him. She depends on Him to give her stories that will inspire, heal, entertain and bring her readers closer to Jesus.

You can find Sharon at her website: www.sharongillenwater.com

This was my first book by Sharon and I have to say that I was quite impressed. I have held back from diving into the western romance, for fear of not being able to relate, I guess. I am a born and raised city girl and though I did spend some time during my childhood on my uncle's ranch deep in the hills of Colorado, I didn't think that I would be interested in western romance. Well, Sharon has got me hooked!

Jenna's Cowboy not only takes you deep in the heart of Texas, but into a family that loves the Lord. The closeness of the families in this small tight-knit community shines through like rays of sun, its beautiful!

Riding along with the Callahans through their acres of land, being taken by nightmare into the deserts of Iraq and Afghanistan and watching true love have a chance to re-blossom will keep you turning pages. eaach chapter is something new and exciting and the many twists and turns in the story line had me finishing Jenna's Cowboy in a short two days. (That PLUS the fact that I sprained my ankle and by order of my awesome hubby have been off my wounded foot.)

Jenna's Cowboy is the fist in The Callahans of texas series by Sharon, with Emily's Chance (book 2) scheduled to release in September 2010. It's marked on my calendar, this is a series that I will complete!

“Available January 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

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*This book was provided by Sharon Gillenwater and Baker Publishing Group free of charge in exchange for my honest review. This did not sway my review and opinion of this book in anyway.

GUEST: Greg Middleton, Author of Real Men

Dysfunctional Male Syndrome

By: Greg Middleton – Author of “Real Men”

Let’s just face it fellows, we have so many dysfunctions built within our operating systems that we wouldn’t know where to start when it comes to fixing us. Imagine just how complicated are human being? If you disassembled us and attempted only to put back in the healthy working parts, many defective parts would not be placed back into the average male. So far we aren’t addressing females. Whatever we are as far as being complicated beings, females are probably twice as much, or more complicated.

Imagine an old classic 1958 Chevy that had been sitting behind the garage for 40 years. In order to fix that car you would have to start by disassembling it, taking out all the disintegrated defective parts and putting it back together with new ones that work. In order to fix us to the degree that we would be perfected we would need to likewise replace many of our dysfunctional parts.

Why are we the way we are? There are many factors that are responsible for each individual being the way they are. Genetics, parenting, immediate environment, or the lack of certain nurturing as we were developing made us turn out the way we did. We may even say that bad or good karma also has a role in making people the way they are. Regardless to the reasons, people are as they are. In order to improve upon what they are, it requires going through an analytical process of discovery and re-doing. First you need to see what is actually there, and then determine whether what’s there is either good or bad, according to what you consider to be ideal. After analyzing things then you need to fix what’s not working. In a way we are like machines that require regular maintenance in order for us to work as good as possible.

Just how screwed up is the ordinary male? There is a no cookie-cutter mold that would fit most males, but to various degrees most are screwed up in certain ways. Even the ones we think are saints aren’t really all that good. Part of the problem is the image we are expected to fit within. We are told that males shouldn’t cry or otherwise express their emotions outwardly. We are trained that it’s a sign of weakness to admit when you have a problem. We are told to stand tall and be a man in front of the weaker sex and don’t allow them to push you around. We are taught to put on a false image of yourself even if it goes against what you really feel. If we are so busy trying to be something that we know we cannot match up to, just how screwed up is that?

It’s true that society has this image of what it considers to be a “real man,” but that image is based upon mostly false concepts. The images we see of men in the media are mostly made up in some writer’s imagination. The images we see of famous men are usually the filtered version of the real person. Even though we think we know famous people because we see them so often in the media, in truth we really don’t know them. They hire PR firms to paint the image they want you to see. In the movies a screenwriter makes up the image they want the character to portray. What we see is the glorified version of fictional people or the watered down version of real people; that’s what we try to imitate.

In order to address our many dysfunctions we need to dismantle the fa├žade and start re-building our images based upon solid moralistic principles. Start with truth, fairness, justice, righteousness, compassion, love, joy, kindness, courtesy, peace, patience, will power, self-control, or whatever traits that you deem to be wholesome and true. Look into your own being and bring out the best qualities that you feel best represents the authentic self in you. Don’t worry about what others think of you as much as what you think of yourself. Remember, you have to live with you 24/7 and every moment of your life. Don’t you think your opinions of yourself should matter at least as much as the opinions of others?

Treat yourself as you would an old classic car that you’d like to restore. Take out all the defective parts and replace them with parts that work. Stop chasing idols that are based upon false images or mythological characters. They aren’t real… you are! If you don’t realize your many dysfunctions ask your real friends to be honest with you and tell you about your many weaknesses and faults. If they are real friends they will tell you the truth. If they are just phony people then you know that you need to find real friends.

Our dysfunctions can only stay with us if we hold on to them like unwanted warts. Forget about what others think long enough to remember what you really care about. Start working on “you” and don’t stop the project until you have rebuilt a real character that is the best version of you. Take a good look in the mirror and see if you like the person that’s looking at you back. If not then change, real change, starts at home. It starts with you taking control over the “self” and stop allowing others to tell you “who” you are. If you don’t like your dysfunctions then you are the only captain of your ship. Change starts with you. Let’s get rid of this dysfunctional male syndrome, especially in ourselves.


Writing came to this author totally by surprise. God planted an urge in Greg to search for Him during the fall of 1999. That search led to a constant reading appetite of various spiritual, religious, inspirational, and even metaphysical subjects. After reading so much material he began taking notes of his many late night sessions in order to remember what he was learning. He later began expressing his personal views of what he was digesting and recorded it in his journal. This collection of notes became the pages of his first book, In Search of the Soul. It was published in 2002 by Dorrance Publishing Company.

From his first book Greg continued to read and record his thoughts and opinions as they were developing. Since that first book he has been writing feverishly ever since. His second book Pearls of Wisdom, was published in 2003 by GEM Publications. Cold Tree Press published his third book, Food for the Soul in early 2005. His goal is to get as many of his completed works as possible into the hands of the readers whom they were intended to inspire.

In addition to being a writer, Greg is also a professional musician, Realtor, and a Professional Seminar Speaker. He and his wife Cynthia make their “Empty Nest” home in Altadena, California, and are ready to start on Phase Two, enjoying the grandchildren. Be on the lookout for more works from this prolific writer in the years to come.

You can find Greg online at www.gregemiddleton.com. For more information about Real Men and Real Men Seminars, please visit http://realmenseminars.com/


Real Men is a book about the plight of males over the last century, how they have become displaced by the changes in our society and lost of a distinct role.

Over the past few decades something is seriously shifting in the way men are operating within our society. Men are no longer the undisputed heads of the household or the family. Women have equal rights under the law and can compete against men for some of the better and higher paying jobs. Without a decided edge men are loosing their “king of the hill” status. Something must be done to at least redefine the role men should play. Whatever that role eventually becomes men will most certainly need to make adjustments from the way things were done in the past.

An Excerpt from REAL MEN


Much has been written and spoken about the differences between how males and females operate. It is not by accident that we have a different basic operating system. For example, we build motor vehicles as a means of transportation. We build calculators to assist us in computing numerical equations. One would not expect a calculator to serve as a means of transportation because it was not built for that purpose. In a broader sense, men and women were designed (built) for different purposes. From a design prospective, women were given operating systems to enhance the purposes of which they were created (built): Men were likewise.

For example, women were given the ability to conceive and have babies. They were also given the trait of nurturing and caring for their young. Part of their traits and operating systems were built around their design and purpose. This is not to say that women were only built for the purpose of having babies, it means that it is a unique function to them that men do not have. Since this function is unique to females, it is only natural that men are not equal to women in such capacities. Men were built to serve other functions within the human species of which the protectors and providers were arguably two of the traits that were uniquely designed within them. This does not mean that women cannot be good providers or protectors of the family, but that certain traits within their operating systems were not specifically geared for that purpose. Regardless as to how we choose to operate within humanity, we cannot ignore the fact that certain traits seem to be more prevalent in a particular gender than in the other.

Even in stating this supposition, it does not mean that people can't do as they choose. This is where free will comes into play. There are times when necessity makes the choice against what one may wish or hope to choose otherwise. With single-parent families on the rise many females are left with the total burden of raising and providing for their children. Regardless to what is natural, or the intended design specifications, once children are born into the world someone has to provide, care, protect, nurture, and otherwise raise them. In the absence of having both male and female guardians someone will have to do what is necessary. One gender, usually the female, will have to assume both roles and do as best as they can under the circumstances. Even though it may not have been a conscious choice to be in that situation, necessity dictates a different set of rules that must be obeyed.

In reference to the natural design regarding gender differences, we must understand that even though the design was different and the roles and purposes were different, at the end of the day, necessity and free will dominates the table. Understanding the differences between the natural, unique designs of the genders should assist us in relating to each other and affectively doing the jobs we find before us. Understanding your function and carrying out that purpose is part of your birthright. How you carry out your particular assignment is personal. It has a lot to do with the authentic person that resides in your shell called a human being. Even though we may not realize it, or consciously know it to be true, there is a power and a force in the universe that is far greater than we are. Individually we will die at a given point, but life carries on. A question we should inquire of ourselves is, when that final breath is taken, did you do your best with the plate that was placed before you.

Although this topic is specifically geared toward defining a real man, on a wider view we should be looking at becoming the most genuine person we are capable of being. With that as our primary goal, our natural given abilities will excel in the manner in which they were intended. Gender should not be an issue that we allow to create separation or dissention. Males and females were built for one another, as a hand and glove, to be the caretakers of this planet. If we abide by the natural order it will serve us well. If we do not, then the consequences will be on our shoulders.

Excerpted from REAL MEN by Greg E. Middleton Copyright © 2009 by Greg E. Middleton. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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Stop What You're Reading... Win a Rosetta Stone Product of Your Choice!

As a homeschool mom I am SUPER excited about this giveaway! I put down my down my book to read about and enter this giveaway! We've been looking at Rosetta Stone Spanish for a little while, now here is my chance to win it! (Free is ALWAYS better!)

Surround your family with language. By taking them there!

Travel to Paris, Madrid and Barcelona with Homeschoolers from all over the United States. Join Rosetta Stone Homeschool, Heart of the Matter and Fusefly on the inaugural Homeschool Language Learning and Networking Trip August 2-11, 2010.
Become immersed in new lands, explore history, culture, art and community. And truly speak to the world. For more details visit
Hurry, registration for the trip ends February 15, 2010.
For your chance to win a Rosetta Stone language product,
please visit Heart of the Matter.
Entries are being accepted until February 1st.

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Be Authentic by Warren Wiersbe

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

Be Authentic

David C. Cook; New edition (January 1, 2010)

***Special thanks to Audra Jennings – The B&B Media Group for sending me a review copy.***


A man who has given his life to a deep examination of the Word of God, Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe is an internationally known Bible teacher, former pastor of The Moody Church in Chicago and the author of more than 150 books. For over thirty years, millions have come to rely on the timeless wisdom of Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe’s “Be” Commentary series. Dr. Wiersbe’s commentary and insights on Scripture have helped readers understand and apply God’s Word with the goal of life transformation. Dubbed by many as the “pastor’s pastor,” Dr. Wiersbe skillfully weaves Scripture with historical explanations and thought-provoking questions, communicating the Word in such a way that the masses grasp its relevance for today.

Product Details:

List Price: $12.99
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: David C. Cook; New edition (January 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1434766306
ISBN-13: 978-1434766304


Like Father , Like Son—Almost

(Genesis 25—26)

Isaac was the son of a famous father (Abraham) and the father of a famous son (Jacob), and for those reasons he is sometimes considered a lightweight among the patriarchs. Compared to the exploits of Abraham and Jacob, Isaac’s life does seem conventional and commonplace. Although he lived longer than either Abraham or Jacob, only six chapters are devoted to Isaac’s life in the Genesis record, and only one verse in Hebrews 11 (v. 9).

Isaac was a quiet, meditative man (Gen. 24:63), who would rather pack up and leave than confront his enemies. During his long life, he didn’t travel far from home. Abraham had made the long journey from Haran to Canaan, and had even visited Egypt, and Jacob went to Haran to get a wife, but Isaac spent his entire adult life moving around in the land of Canaan. If there had been an ancient Middle East equivalent to our contemporary “jet set,” Isaac wouldn’t have joined it.

However, there are more Isaacs in this world than there are Abrahams or Jacobs, and these people make important contributions to society and to the church, even if they don’t see their names in lights or even in the church bulletin. Furthermore, Isaac was a living part of the divine plan that eventually produced the Jewish nation, gave us the Bible, and brought Jesus Christ into the world, and that’s nothing to be ashamed of.

Isaac wasn’t a failure; he was just different. After all, the people in each generation have to find themselves and be themselves and not spend their lives slavishly trying to imitate their ancestors. “Men are born equal,” wrote psychiatrist Erich Fromm in Escape from Freedom, “but they are also born different.” Discovering our uniqueness and using it to the glory of God is the challenge that makes life what it is. Why be a cheap imitation when you can be a valuable original?

No generation stands alone, because each new generation is bound to previous generations whether we like it or not. Isaac was bound to Abraham and Sarah by ties that couldn’t be ignored or easily broken. Let’s look at some of those ties and discover what they teach us about our own life of faith today.


Abraham recognized his other children by giving them gifts and sending them away, thereby making sure they couldn’t supplant Isaac as the rightful heir. Along with his father’s immense wealth (13:2; 23:6), Isaac also inherited the covenant blessings that God had given Abraham and Sarah (12:1–3; 13:14–18; 15:1–6). Isaac had parents who believed God and, in spite of occasional mistakes, tried to please Him.

Abraham’s firstborn son, Ishmael (chap. 16), wasn’t chosen to be the child of promise and the heir of the covenant blessings. God promised to bless Ishmael and make him a great nation, and He kept His promise (17:20–21; 25:12–16); “But my covenant will I establish with Isaac” (17:21;

Rom. 9:6–13). Ishmael was on hand for his father’s funeral (Gen. 25:9), but he wasn’t included in the reading of his father’s will.

Ishmael pictures the “natural” or unsaved person (1 Cor. 2:14), who is outside the faith and hostile to the things of God. But Isaac pictures those who have trusted Jesus Christ and experienced the miraculous new birth by the power of God (1 Peter 1:22–23). “Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise” (Gal. 4:28). Ishmael was born a slave, but Isaac was born free (4:21–31; 5:1–2); and Ishmael was born poor, but Isaac was born rich. Every believer in Jesus Christ shares all the blessings of the Spirit in Christ (Eph. 1:3) and is part of Christ’s glorious inheritance (vv. 11, 18).

From the moment of birth, we’re all dependent on the older generation to care for us until we can care for ourselves. We’re also indebted to previous generations for guarding and handing down to us the knowledge, skills, traditions, and culture that are extremely important to daily life. Imagine what life would be like if each new generation had to devise the alphabet, invent printing, discover electricity, or design the wheel!

The most important part of Isaac’s legacy wasn’t the great material wealth his father had left him. Isaac’s most important legacy was the spiritual wealth from his father and mother: knowing and trusting the true and living God and being a part of the covenant blessings that God had graciously bestowed upon Abraham and Sarah and their descendants. How tragic it is when the children of devout Christian believers turn their backs on their priceless spiritual heritage and, like Ishmael and Esau, live for the world and the flesh instead of for the Lord!


Genesis is a record of ten successive “generations.” Generations come and go, but the Lord remains and never changes. “Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations” (Ps. 90:1 NKJV).

A devoted home (vv. 19–20). When Isaac was forty years old, God selected Rebekah to be his wife (chap. 24; 25:20), and we have every reason to believe that they were both devoted to the Lord and to each other. The record indicates that Rebekah was the more aggressive of the two when it came to family matters, but perhaps that’s just the kind of wife Isaac needed. Whatever mistakes Isaac may have made as a husband and father, this much is true: As a young man, he willingly put himself on the altar to obey his father and to please the Lord (chap. 22; Rom. 12:1–2).

A disappointed home (v. 21). Isaac and Rebekah waited twenty years for a family, but no children came. The entire book of Genesis emphasizes the sovereignty of God and the wisdom of His “delays.” Abraham and Sarah had to wait twenty-five years for Isaac to be born; Jacob had to labor fourteen years to obtain his two wives; and Joseph had to wait over twenty years before he was reconciled to his brothers. Our times are in His hands (Ps. 31:15), and His timing is never wrong.

Like Abraham, Isaac was a man of prayer, so he interceded with the Lord on behalf of his barren wife. Isaac had every right to ask God for children because of the covenant promises the Lord had made to his father and mother, promises Isaac had heard repeated in the family circle and that he believed. If Rebekah remained barren, how could Abraham’s seed multiply as the dust of the earth and the stars of the heavens? How could Abraham’s seed become a blessing to the whole world (Gen. 12:1–3; 13:16; 15:5; 17:6)?

It has well been said that the purpose of prayer is not to get our will done in heaven but to get God’s will done on earth. Even though every Jewish couple wanted children, Isaac wasn’t praying selfishly. He was concerned about God’s plan for fulfilling His covenant and blessing the whole world through the promised Messiah (3:15; 12:1–3). True prayer means being concerned about God’s will, not our own wants, and claiming God’s promises in the Word. The Lord answered Isaac’s prayer and enabled Rebekah to conceive.

A distressed home (vv. 22–23). One problem soon led to another, because Rebekah’s pregnancy was a difficult one: The babies in her womb were struggling with each other. The Hebrew word means “to crush or oppress,” suggesting that the fetal movements were not normal. Since Rebekah wondered if the Lord was trying to say something to her, she went to inquire. Isaac was fortunate to have a wife who not only knew how to pray, but who also wanted to understand God’s will for herself and her children.

In salvation history, the conception and birth of children is a divinely ordained event that has significant consequences. This was true of the birth of Isaac (chaps. 18, 21), the twelve sons of Jacob (29:30—30:24), Moses (Ex. 1—2), Samuel (1 Sam. 1—2), David (Ruth 4:17–22), and our Lord Jesus Christ (Gal. 4:4–5). Conception, birth, and death are divine appointments, not human accidents, a part of God’s wise and loving plan for His own people (Ps. 116:15; 139:13–16).

Imagine Rebekah’s surprise when she learned that the two children would struggle with each other all their lives! Each child would produce a nation, and these two nations (Edom and Israel) would compete, but the younger would master the older. Just as God had chosen Isaac, the second-born, and not Ishmael, the firstborn, so He chose Jacob, the second-born, and not Esau, the firstborn. That the younger son should rule the elder was contrary to human tradition and logic, but the sovereign God made the choice (Rom. 9:10–12), and God never makes a mistake.

A divided home (vv. 24–28). Esau probably means “hairy.” He also had the nickname “Edom,” which means “red,” referring to his red hair and the red lentil soup Jacob sold him (vv. 25, 30). The twin boys not only looked different but they also were different in personality. Esau

was a robust outdoorsman, who was a successful hunter, while Jacob was a “home boy.” You would think that Isaac would have favored Jacob, since both of them enjoyed domestic pursuits, but Jacob was Rebekah’s favorite. Rebekah was a hands-on mother who knew what was going on in the home and could contrive ways to get what she thought was best.

It’s unfortunate when homes are divided because parents and children put their own personal desires ahead of the will of God. Isaac enjoyed eating the tasty game that Esau brought home, a fact that would be important in later family history (chap. 27). Isaac, the quiet man, fulfilled his dreams in Esau, the courageous man, and apparently ignored the fact that his elder son was also a worldly man. Did Isaac know that Esau had forfeited his birthright? The record doesn’t tell us. But he did know that God had chosen the younger son over the elder son.

A friend of mine kept a card under the glass on his office desk that read: “Faith is living without scheming.” Jacob could have used that card. Before his birth, he had been divinely chosen to receive the birthright and the blessing; thus there was no need for him to scheme and take advantage of his brother. It’s likely that Jacob had already seen plenty of evidence that Esau didn’t care about spiritual things, an attitude that made Esau unfit to receive the blessing and accomplish God’s will. Perhaps Jacob and his mother had even discussed the matter.

The name “Jacob” comes from a Hebrew word (yaaqob) that means “may God protect,” but because it sounds like the words aqeb (“heel”) and aqab (“watch from behind” or “overtake”), his name became a nickname: “he grasps the heel” or “he deceives.” Before birth, Jacob and Esau had contended, and at birth, Jacob grasped his brother’s heel. This latter action was interpreted to mean that Jacob would trip up his brother and take advantage of him. The prediction proved true.

The fact that God had already determined to give the covenant blessings to Jacob didn’t absolve anybody in the family from their obligations to the Lord. They were all responsible for their actions, because divine sovereignty doesn’t destroy human responsibility. In fact, knowing that we’re the chosen of God means we have a greater responsibility to do His will.


True faith is always tested, either by temptations within us or trials around us (James 1:1–18), because a faith that can’t be tested can’t be trusted. God tests us to bring out the best in us, but Satan tempts us to bring out the worst in us. In one form or another, each new generation must experience the same tests as previous generations, if only to discover that the enemy doesn’t change and that human nature doesn’t improve. Abraham is mentioned eight times in this chapter, and you find the word “father” six times. Isaac was very much his father’s son. Abraham Lincoln was right: “We can not escape history.”

The temptation to run (vv. 1–6). When Abraham arrived in Canaan, he found a famine in the land and faced his first serious test of faith (12:10—13:4). His solution was to abandon the place God had chosen for him, the place of obedience, and to run to Egypt, thus establishing a bad example for his descendants who were prone to imitate him.5 The safest place in the world is in the will of God, for the will of God will never lead us where His grace can’t provide for us. Unbelief asks, “How can I get out of this,” while faith asks, “What can I get out of this?”

When Isaac faced the problem of a famine, he decided to go to Gerar, the capital city of the Philistines, and get help from Abimelech.6 Isaac and Rebekah were probably living at Beer Lahai Roi at that time (25:11), which means they traveled about seventy-five miles northeast to get to Gerar. Even after arriving in Gerar, Isaac and Rebekah may have been tempted to go south to Egypt, though God had warned them not to consider that possibility.

God permitted Isaac to remain in Philistia and promised to bless him. God had promised Abraham that his descendants would be greatly multiplied and one day would possess all those lands. Thus Isaac had a right to be there as long as God approved (12:2–3; 13:16; 15:5; 17:3–8; 22:15–18). God blessed Isaac for Abraham’s sake (25:5, 24), just as He has blessed believers today for the sake of Jesus Christ.

We can never successfully run away from trials, because God sees to it that His children learn the lessons of faith regardless of where they go. We can never grow in faith by running from difficulty, because “tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character” (Rom.

5:3–4 NKJV). Like David, we may wish we had “wings like a dove” so we could “fly away and be at rest” (Ps. 55:6 NKJV), but if we did, we’d always be doves when God wants us to “mount up with wings as eagles” (Isa. 40:31).

The temptation to lie (vv. 7–11). Isaac could flee from famine, but when he put himself into a situation that offered no escape, he had to turn to deception to protect himself. Abraham committed this same sin twice, once in Egypt (Gen. 12:14–20) and once in Philistia (chap. 20). Remember, faith is living without scheming, and telling lies seems to be one of humanity’s favorite ways to escape responsibility.

Isaac was asked about the woman who was with him and, like his father Abraham before him, he said she was his sister. But when Abimelech saw Isaac caressing Rebekah, he knew she was his wife. Why did Isaac lie? Because he was afraid his pagan host would kill him in order to obtain his beautiful wife. His lie was evidence of his unbelief, for if he had claimed the covenant promise when he prayed for children (25:21), why couldn’t he claim that same covenant promise to protect himself and his wife?

The English poet John Dryden wrote, “Truth is the foundation of all knowledge and the cement of all societies.” When people don’t keep their word, the foundations of society begin to shake and things start to fall apart. Happy homes, lasting friendships, thriving businesses, stable governments, and effective churches all depend on truth for their success. The American preacher Phillips Brooks said, “Truth is always strong, no matter how weak it looks; and falsehood is always weak, no matter how strong it looks.” Truth is cement; falsehood is whitewash.

When he found himself in difficulty, Isaac was tempted to run and to lie, and we face these same temptations today. Isaac succumbed to temptation and was found out. It’s a sad day when unconverted people like Abimelech publicly expose God’s servants for telling lies. What an embarrassment to the cause of truth!


Isaac inherited flocks and herds from his father, who had lived a nomadic life, but now the wealthy heir settled down and became a farmer, remaining in Gerar “a long time” (v. 8).

The blessing (vv. 12–14). Isaac and his neighbors had access to the same soil, and they depended on the same sunshine and rain, but Isaac’s harvests were greater than theirs, and his flocks and herds multiplied more abundantly. The secret? God kept His promise and blessed Isaac in all that he did (vv. 3–5). God would give a similar blessing to Jacob years later (chap. 31).

But Isaac was a deceiver! How could the Lord bless somebody who claimed to be a believer and yet deliberately lied to his unbelieving neighbors? Because God is always faithful to His covenant and keeps His promises (2 Tim. 2:11–13), and the only condition God attached to His promise of blessing was that Isaac remain in the land and not go to Egypt.

God also blessed Isaac because of Abraham’s life and faith (Gen. 26:5), just as He blesses us for the sake of Jesus Christ. We’ll never know until we get to heaven how many of our blessings have been “dividends” from the spiritual investments made by godly friends and family who have gone before.

The conflict (vv. 14–17). In spite of his material blessings, Isaac still suffered because of his lie, because the blessings he received brought burdens and battles to his life. Seeing his great wealth, the Philistines envied him and decided he was a threat to their safety. (A similar

situation would occur when the Jews multiplied in Egypt. See Ex. 1:8ff.)

“The blessing of the LORD makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it” (Prov. 10:22 NKJV). Had Isaac not lied about his wife, God would not have disciplined him but would have given him peace with his neighbors (Prov. 16:7). Because of his sin, however, Isaac’s material blessings

caused him trouble.

The Philistines tried to get Isaac to leave their land and settle elsewhere, and to encourage this they stopped up Abraham’s wells and deprived Isaac’s flocks and herds of the water they desperately needed. Water was a precious commodity in the Near East, and adequate wells were necessary if you were to succeed in the land. The crisis came when the king commanded Isaac to move away, and Isaac obeyed.

The search (vv. 18–22). No matter where Isaac journeyed, the enemy followed him and confiscated his father’s wells and also the new wells that Isaac’s servants dug. To find a well of “springing water” (v. 19) was a special blessing, for it guaranteed fresh water at all times, but the Philistines took that well, too. The names of the new wells that Isaac’s men dug reveal the

problems that he had with his neighbors, for Esek means “contention,” and Sitnah means “hatred.” But Rehoboth means “enlargement” because Isaac finally found a place where he was left alone and had room enough for his camp and his flocks and herds.

Whenever Abraham had a problem with people, he boldly confronted them and got the matter settled, whether it was his nephew Lot (13:5–18), the invading kings (chap. 14), Hagar and Ishmael (21:9ff.), or the Philistines (vv. 22ff.). But Isaac was a retiring man who wanted to avoid confrontation. Since he was a pilgrim, he could move his camp and be a peacemaker.

In every difficult situation of life, we must use discernment to know whether God wants us to be confronters like Abraham or peacemakers like Isaac, for God can bless and use both approaches. “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men” (Rom. 12:18 NKJV). Sometimes it isn’t possible, but at least we should try, and we must depend on the wisdom from above that is “pure” and “peaceable” (James 3:17).

Looking at Isaac’s experience from a spiritual point of view, we can learn an important lesson. In the Bible, wells sometimes symbolize blessings from the hand of the Lord (Gen. 16:14; 21:19; 49:22; Ex. 15:27; Num. 21:16–18; Prov. 5:15; 16:22; 18:4; Song 4:15; Isa. 12:3; John 4:14).9 The church keeps looking for something new, when all we need is to dig again the old wells of spiritual life that God’s people have depended on from the beginning—the Word of God, prayer, worship, faith, the power of the Spirit, sacrifice, and service—wells that we’ve allowed the enemy to fill up. Whenever there’s been a revival of spiritual power in the history of the church, it’s been because somebody has dug again the old wells so that God’s life-giving Spirit can be free to work.

The assurance (vv. 23–25). Beersheba was a very special place for Isaac, because there his father had entered into a covenant with the Philistine leaders (21:22ff.). Beersheba means “the well of the oath.” The Lord comes to us with His assuring Word just when we need encouragement (Acts 18:9–11; 23:11; 27:23–24; 2 Tim. 2:19). No matter who is against us, God is with us and for us (Gen. 28:15; 31:3; Rom. 8:31–39), and there’s no need for us to be afraid. In response to God’s gracious word of promise, Isaac built an altar and worshipped the Lord. He was ready to meet his adversaries.

Like his father Abraham, Isaac was identified by his tent and altar (Gen. 26:25; see also 12:7–8; 13:3–4, 18). Isaac was wealthy enough to be able to build himself a fine house, but his tent identified him as a pilgrim and stranger in the land (Heb. 11:8–10, 13–16). A fugitive is fleeing from home; a vagabond has no home; a stranger is away from home; but a pilgrim is heading home. The tent identified Isaac as a pilgrim, and the altar announced that he worshipped Jehovah and was heading to the heavenly kingdom.

Like Isaac, all who have trusted Jesus Christ are strangers in this world and pilgrims heading for a better world (1 Peter 1:1; 2:11). The body we live in is our tent; one day it will be taken down and we’ll go to the heavenly city (2 Cor. 5:1–8). Life here is brief and temporary, because this tent is fragile, but our glorified body will be ours for eternity (Phil. 3:20–21; 1 John 3:1–3). While we’re here on earth, let’s be sure we build the altar and give our witness that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world.

The agreement (vv. 26–33). Isaac’s strategy paid off, because the Philistine leaders came to him to settle the matter of the property rights (21:22ff.). Fortified by God’s promises, Isaac was much bolder in his approach, and he confronted the Philistines with their misdeeds. It’s worth noting that Isaac’s conduct during this conflict made a great impression on them, and they could tell that the Lord was richly blessing him. More important than possessing his wells was the privilege Isaac had of sharing his witness with his pagan neighbors. (For a contrasting situation, see 1 Cor. 6:1–8.)

Isaac and the leaders were able to reach an agreement. To seal the treaty, Isaac hosted a feast, for in that culture, to eat with others was to forge strong links of friendship and mutual support. That same day, Isaac’s servants found one of Abraham’s wells (Gen. 21:25–31) and opened it, and Isaac gave it the original name, Beersheba. “The well of the oath” now referred to Isaac’s treaty as well as Abraham’s.

More conflict (vv. 34–35). Isaac was at peace with his neighbors, but he had war at home. His worldly son Esau had married two heathen wives who caused grief to Isaac and Rebekah. (Later, just to provoke his parents, he married a third heathen wife. See 28:8–9.) In view of Esau’s sinful lifestyle, we wonder that Isaac wanted to give him the patriarchal blessing (chap. 27).

All of us would like to find our Rehoboth (enlargement) where we have plenty of room and no contention, but Isaac’s Rehoboth was found only after he endured conflict. It’s through difficulties that God enlarges us for the larger places He prepares for us. “Thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress” (Ps. 4:1). When the troubles of our hearts are enlarged and we trust God, then the Lord can enlarge us (25:17) and bring us “into a large place” (18:19). If we want room, we have to suffer, because that’s the only way we can grow and feel at home in the larger place God gives us when we’re ready for it.

©2010 Cook Communications Ministries. Be Authentic by Warren Wiersbe. Used with permission. May not be further reproduced. All rights reserved.

My Review
This is a first for me. I have never had the opportunity to read a Commentary by Warren Wiersbe before. I was very surprised to see that it is broken into sections, like chapters also, but subject. Each section/chapter has a section of Scripture that is covers:
(Just to give you an idea of some of the chapter/section titles.)
  1. Like Father, Like Son-Almost (Gen. 25-26)
  2. A Masterpiece in Pieces (Gen. 27-28)
  3. Discipline and Decisions (Gen. 29-31)
  4. Catching Up with Yesterday (Gen. 32-34)
  5. You Can Go Home Again (Gen. 35-36)
  6. Enter the Hero (Gen. 37)

Each section then has some study questions at the end. I am looking forward to using this in my study time. The subject "Be Authentic" is one that caught my eye. As a women and a mom, I often find myself trying to fit into the mold of what a Christian Mom should be, look like, act like, do. I am looking forward to getting more of the "BE" series to add to my families personal book collect. And these ones won't be just taking up space or collecting dust! They will come in handy for my kids also, as they soon will start a deeper study into the Bible as a homeschool class.

I've never seen or used a commentary that we so interactive and easy to read. Wiersbe writing is not as if he is talking down to you as a high and mighty Bible Scholar, but he is opening your eyes in a way that he wants to really share his knowledge of god's Word with you!

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*This book was provided by B&B Media free of charge in exchange for my honest review.
This did not sway my review and opinion of this book in anyway.

The Choice by Suzanne Woods Fisher

The Choice...available now!

With a vibrant, fresh style Suzanne Woods Fisher brings readers into the world of a young Amish woman torn between following the man she loves--or joining the community of faith that sustains her, even as she questions some of the decisions of her elders. Her choice begins a torrent of change for her and her family, including a marriage of convenience to silent Daniel Miller. Both bring broken hearts into their arrangement--and secrets that have been held too long. Filled with gentle romance, The Choice opens the world of the Amish--their strong communities, their simple life, and their willingness to put each other first. Combined with Fisher's exceptional gift for character development, this novel, the first in a series, is a welcome reminder that it is never too late to find your way back to God.

In no particular order, Suzanne Woods Fisher is a wife, mother, writer, lifelong student of the Bible, raiser of puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind, a gardener and a cook...the latter two with sporadic results. Suzanne has
loved to write since she was a young teen. After college, she started to write for magazines and became a contributing editor for Christian Parenting Today magazine. Her family moved to Hong Kong for four years, just as the internet was developing, and she continued to write articles in a 44-story high-rise apartment, sending manuscripts 7,000 miles away with a click of a key.

After returning from Hong Kong, Suzanne decided to give her first novel a try. For four and a half months, she worked on an antediluvian computer in a cramped laundry room. She didn't even tell her husband what she was up to. When the novel was completed, she told her family at dinner one night that she had written a book. "That's why there's no food in this house!" said her slightly insensitive sons.

Undaunted...Suzanne found a small royalty publisher for that book and wrote three more (all earned multiple). With help from an agent, she has five books currently under contract with Revell. On September 1st, Amish Peace: Simple Wisdom for a Complicated World, a non-fiction book of stories and examples about the Old Order Amish, will be released by Revell. The Choice, a novel about the Amish, will follow on January 1st.

Writing, for Suzanne, is a way to express a love of God and His word. With every book or article, she hopes readers get a sense of what faith really looks like in the daily grind. She hopes they realize that life can be hard, but God is good, and never to confuse the two.

Suzanne can be found on-line at: www.suzannewoodsfisher.com

This was the first "Amish" novel I have had the opportunity to read. Along with learning a lot about the Amish way of life (and being intrigued to do some research on this fascinating lifestyle) and was reminded of God's true love for me. The Choice also reminded how thankful I am that God allowed me to privilege of marrying for love; not because of an arrangement, because I needed a place to live or because I needed to get out of my parents home. God's hand print is all over my marriage, in a way only God could have written our love story.

I met my husband while I was a junior in high school. We met on the world wide web... 11 years ago, before it was socially acceptable and so common. After 2 years of writing and phone calls, god brought us together and the rest is history.

Carrie goes through some struggles in her life that I can never imagine facing. The first part of the books is packed with so much, I felt so overwhelmed for Carrie as the story began to unfold.

The remainder of the book progressed somewhat slowly but still keep my attention. I felt as if I was sitting at the humble table with Carrie, Emma, Yonnie and Mattie sharing a cup of coffee and being let into their intriguing culture and simple lives.

I am hoping that Suzanne will continue telling us more of what comes in the future for all these ladies, and let us know of the men that may come or go in their lives.

I was a little nervous about reading an Amish novel, but now after finding that they are just humble people living to please God in the way they feel is right, I am more likely to go on more journeys with these amazing people. I look forward to more by Suzanne and will definitely be waiting for the rest in the Lancaster County Secret series.

This was a good and quick read; as new secrets are exposed and new twists are revealed you'll go through points where you just can't put the book down and other points where you want to put the book down so you can reflect on the love God has for you and the blessings He has given you.

“Available January 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

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*This book was provided by Baker Publishing Group free of charge in exchange for my honest review. This did not sway my review and opinion of this book in anyway.

Brandilyn Collins Giveaway

Brandilyn Collins announces:

A New Year's Giveaway


Seatbelt SuspenseDecember Gift Basket

The New Year's giveway includes four books in one of Brandilyn Collins’ bestselling Seatbelt Suspense® series.

The 4 Kanner Lake books:
  • Violet Dawn
  • Coral Moon
  • Crimson Eve
  • Amber Morn

  • To enter go HERE!

    Entries must be received before midnight January 31st.
    The winner will be contacted via email for mailing instructions.
    Sorry but because of shipping costs, this contest is open to mainland US addresses only!

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    20 New-to-Me Challenge Updates

    IMG_0005-2-1-2-1.jpg picture by raaez

    Here is where I am at with the challenge after the first 31 days!

    I've been blessed to receive review copies of most of these titles. So my challenge has been a very inexpensive one--- Which is always nice! Each link will take you to my review of the book!

    1. Sweet By and By- Sara Evans
    2. Jenna's Cowboy- Sharon Gillenwater (Review 1/25/2010)
    3. Embracing Freedom by Susie Larson
    4. Miracles: A 52 Week Devotional
    5. The Choice by Sharon Gillenwater (Review 1/18/2010)

    Some of my New-To-Me Christian Authors TBR pile:
    • Tracey Bateman (Thirsty)
    • Lisa McKay (You Can Still Wear Cute Shoes)
    • Shawneda Marks (It's In My Blood)
    • Lisa Wingate (Never Say Never)
    • Jessica Adriel (Drawing Marissa)
    • Pastor Craig F. Caster (Parenting as a Ministry)
    • Marilyn Griffith (Songs of Deliverance) *READING NOW!
    • Stacy Hawkins Adams (Dreams that Won't Let Go)
    • Sarah Sundin (A Distant Melody)
    • Tricia Goyer (All Things Hidden)

    Leave a comment with a link to your progress on the challenge!
    What's on your TBR list?

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