Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Book Review: Jesus, Pure & Simple

I was not familiar with this author/pastor before receiving this book "Jesus, Pure & Simple" to review, though it seems he has written lots of books on variety of Christian topics. The book was good, nothing earthy-shattering, but good.

This book reminds the reader about what is most important in his/her relationship with Jesus -- simply Jesus, Himself. The author explains, "A pure and simple devotion to Christ...it's not about doing more or doing less. Becuase God created you in His image, the more you become like Jesus, the more you become the person you were created to be."

The author references a quote from Mother Teresea which I find powerful. She once said, "What we do is but a drop in the ocean, but without that drop, the ocean would be less." In Chapter 9, I found the author's differentiation between efficiency & effectiveness very challenging. He writes, "Being efficient is doing things right. Being effective is doing the right things."

The book is an easy read, very straight-forward. It reinforces a truth God has been teaching me, "Most of us do not need to hear more truths; we simply need to obey that which we already know." -- Del Fehsenfeld, Jr.

I was given a book from Bethany House for the purpose of this review; all opinions expressed are my own.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

RECIPE: Amusement Park Cornbread

I am not altogether sure why this is called 'amusement park' cornbread but I guess it really does not matter becasue it's delicious. In our house, cold weather means soups & stews and cornbread/cornbread muffins are always a welcome side dish. I made this recipe a few weeks ago with chili and loved the perfect combination of just-a-bit-crunchy cornmeal and sweetness, even without any honey on top.
2/3 cup white sugar (OR evaporated cane sugar, similar to white but slightly less refined)
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour (OR unbleached flour)
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1-1/4 cup cornmeal (grind/coarseness of your choice)

The recipe indicates to be baked in a lightly greased 8-inch skillet for 20-minutes. I choose to make these into muffins. I forgot to note how long I baked these muffins but you'll know when they're done because they will  be golden brown. Check at 15-minutes for sure, and then every 5 after that. If I make again, I will come back & update timing.

Anyway, onto the directions for mixing. In a large bowl, beat together sugar, salt, butter and vanilla until creamy. Stir in eggs, one at a time. In a seperate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and cornmeal. Stir flour mixture into egg mixture alternately with the milk. Beat well until blended.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Sitting at the Kids' Table

We had chili with friends at our hosue last weekend. One of the guests was this little lady. When I explained to the X-man that he & Alea were going to sit at the 'play' table for dinner because there was not room at the 'grown-up' table, his immediate reply was..."But, Mom, (voice laced with drama, always plenty of drama!)...it just makes me feel so married!" What sweet buddies these two are.

Childrens Museum Membership Pass

Blake & I received a Childrens Museum membership pass as a gift. It is so awesome! We -- well, more accurately Xander and I :) have already used it twice! While it is fun to explore the exhibits with friends, I took the X-man after school one day on a quiet afternoon, just the two of us. I am not naturally a get-down-on-the-floor-and-play kind of gal so it was fun for this mommy to have some help in getting silly & exploring together. Thanks g&g for the wonderful gift!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Book Review: The Breathe of Dawn

I had a hard time getting into this story, perhaps because I hadn’t read the first two books (written some 10 years ago), not realizing this book was the third in a series. As I continued thru the book, it became quite apparent I was missing pertinent background details which might have made the story more like-able.

I found the book suspenseful, the storyline kept me engaged in finding out the story's resolution BUT... I found the details about the asylum disturbing and, until the story's conclusion, not completely applicable. SIDE NOTE: Not recommended for young readers; adults only.

As far as character development, while Quinn & Morgan were likeable, they seemed quite unrealistic/unrelateable, even for a work of fiction. I am a new Kristen Heinzmann reader and not routinely a romantic suspense reader, so with those biases, I found this book just OKAY.

I was given a free copy of this book by Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review; all opinions expressed here are my own.