Category Archives: Book Review

If You Can Keep It, by Eric Metaxas – Listen Up!

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Happy-4th-of-July-Independence-Day-300x169Hello friends!  Can you believe it is July?  My head is still stuck in April and I honestly can’t believe May and June have flown by.  It was my intention to give you a super new recipe for the 4th of July but I changed my mind yesterday.  (For my readers from around the world, you may not be doing any celebrating this weekend, but in the USA we are celebrating Independence Day!  Independence Day, or more commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday to commemorate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on 4 July 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.)

Banana Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
Banana Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Yesterday I spent a good bit of time in the kitchen.  My good friend and neighbor Kathy is moving (boo-hoo) and I wanted to feed lunch to her moving crew.  Hearty ham, turkey, and cheese sandwiches were in order for the hungry bunch but I wanted to add a touch of homemade. I did this with a batch of fresh-out-of-the-oven chocolate chip bars (recipe coming) and  our favorite Banana Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting!

slice banana bread upclose

I didn’t use up all my old bananas with the Banana Bars and so I added two loaves of Brown Sugar Banana Bread to the morning activities! (If you’ve never used this recipe for banana bread – you must! It is wonderful.)

KC Bread

Now you are going to really understand what happens in my kitchen sometimes, when I tell you today was my turn to bring 5 loaves of fresh bread for visitors to our church — and so I had my kitchen work cut out for me!

I have several pastors that I listen to regularly, and so it has long been my habit to play their current online sermons or recordings when working in the kitchen.  A friend had told me that Eric Metaxas spoke at World Outreach Church in Murfreesboro, Tennessee on Father’s Day weekend.  I generally listen to the sermons from WOC and so I eagerly went searching to see if his recording was there.
It was!

Eric Metaxas  is an American author, speaker, and radio host. He is Eric Metaxasbest known for two biographies, Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery about William Wilberforce and Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy about Dietrich Bonhoeffer.   My husband, sous-chef dish-washing mom and I met him when he was in middle Tennessee after writing Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy.  (Which is excellent, highly recommended reading!)

I tell you all this to say when I listened to his presentation about his recently released book If You Can Keep It – The Forgotten Promise of American Liberty, I couldn’t help to think what a timely and appropriate message for our Independence Day weekend!

Click HERE —  I have attached the link so you can listen also!  I promise it is worth the time! But wait there’s more! Click to continue reading

Hot Cross Buns for Easter Dinner

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hot cross bun 2 dozen

Are you making Hot Cross buns tomorrow?  I plan to make them tomorrow afternoon for Sunday Easter dinner.  These buns are so delicious, fragrant and a beautiful addition to any Easter dinner table.  I posted the recipe last year on March 30, you can get the recipe here.

anditwasbeautiful coverI haven’t been blogging much this month.  Other life demands have kept me from this, one of my favorite past times.  My last blog post was a blog book tour for and it was beautiful.  

When the tour ended the publisher sent out a thank you email to all the blog writers who had participated.  I was stunned to see this quote of mine, as part of their email.

“From the beginning, this book is a real page-turner. Oh, it’s not filled with the super-sleuth heroin and a murder mystery to solve. It’s a page-turner because once I started reading Kara’s words about how Grace showed up in her life, I couldn’t get enough. Page after page she described the horrors of cancer and then she wrapped it all up in the love and compassion of friends, the strength she found in her hero, her husband, and finally the mercy and grace and love that she experienced from Jesus.”

If you missed the post you can read it here.  I am grateful to have the opportunity to share some of Kara’s words and thoughts.
But wait there’s more! Click to continue reading

and it was beautiful … by Kara Tippetts, Book Blog Tour

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anditwasbeautiful coverIn July of 2014 when my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, my friend LindaKaye sent me a message and said, “My daughter has a friend fighting breast cancer right now. You must go read her blog at http://www.mundanefaithfulness.com/”.

I did as LindaKaye suggested. I was captivated by Kara Tippets. What I didn’t know was that I had arrived in her world towards the end of her fight with breast cancer. Diagnosed in 2012 she had been writing and fighting for several years. Over the next 9 months, I followed her blog posts, I would write a comment here and there to encourage her and as she shared her hard, very hard life, I got to know her.

Kara Tippetts went Home to Jesus on March 22, 2015, after a long battle with breast cancer. Blythe Hunt wrote this on Kara’s blog the day she died.

Her well-known blog Mundane Faithfulness, where she originally posted about motherhood and living in kindness, became a blog about looking for God’s Grace to show up even in the hardest, messiest, ugliest places. It was a window into her life of chemo, church planting, spontaneous dance parties in the kitchen with her littles, her passion for Jason, her passion for those who don’t know Jesus, and her struggle to accept her growing cancer as God’s story for her life. Her self-described “mundane” life appeared anything but mundane to her readers who inevitably fell in love with her inviting, joyful personality and her love for and trust in Jesus; readers were attracted to her honesty, vulnerability, sense of humor, and simple faith. She never hesitated to share the hard moments, but she always pointed her readers—and herself—back to Jesus.

As the cancer spread, Kara courageously embraced her situation, trusting in a Sovereign God. She believed that cancer was not the point, but Jesus was; how she responded and trusted Christ in the midst of this hard was where she would find Grace. As Kara and her family processed what God was calling them to live out, she invited her community to join her journey through this seemingly impossible ordeal—how would she trust God in the midst of sickness? And then, how would she trust God in the midst of dying?

the hardest peace
In the fall of 2014, David C. Cook published her story, The Hardest Peace.

just show up kara tippetts
Just Show Up
, written with Jill Buteyn, came out on October 1, 2015.

And It Was Beautiful, was released on March 1, 2016.  and it was beautiful is Kara’s final book, celebrating life in the midst of the long good-bye. In a nutshell, this book is about living and dying well.

kara 20
But wait there’s more! Click to continue reading

Wicked Women of the Bible – 6 Week Study Begins Soon!

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There is always a way back to God. Wicked Women of the Bible

I am all signed up and am looking forward to the start of Ann Spangler’s new Bible study based on her book Wicked Women of the Bible!  This is a FREE Bible study which includes additional information and free printables.

Author Ann Spangler filmed a six-session online Bible study with Laurie McClure at the end of August.  FaithGateway has just posted it to their site so that people can sign up for the study which begins tomorrow, October 26.  Each Monday participants will receive an email with the new study for that week.

You may register here.

wicked-women-of-the-bible-obs-website-header-1600x600-96dpi

If you have the book, this is a no brainer to sign up for this FREE study.  If you haven’t gotten the book yet there is still time.  You can order from your favorite book seller or better yet go to your local Christian book store!

From FaithGateway, “Ann is an award-winning writer and the author of many bestselling books, including Praying the Names of God, Praying the Names of Jesus, and The One Year Devotions for Women. She is also coauthor of Women of the Bible and Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus. All of these are AMAZING books – Ann knows her Bible history and has the gift of a storyteller! In fact, Ann’s fascination with and love of Scripture have resulted in books that have opened the Bible to a wide range of readers. We know you will be blessed by her teaching!”

Be Blessed and Happy Reading,
~Catherine

 

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