Thursday, January 26, 2012

An invitation to dinner... with Jesus of Nazareth

A review for the book "Dinner with a Perfect Stranger" by David Gregory
Nick Cominsky thinks his buddies are pulling a fast one on him when the invitation arrives in the mail: A dinner with Jesus of Nazareth? Yeah, right. But curiosity gets the better of him and he decides to find out exactly what kind of joke his friends have come up with. What Nick wasn’t counting on was that this dinner was going to change his life.
 Walking into the restaurant, Nick is surprised to meet, not his colleagues, but “Jesus”, who claims that Nick’s buddies had nothing to do with the invitation. And Nick is surprised at how much this man knows about his personal life. Nick tries to test this Jesus, doubting that this man is actually who he says he is, but for everything Nick brings up, Jesus has an answer. And by the end of the dinner, Nick realizes that Jesus is really who he says he is.
 From the minute I turned the first page, I was pulled into the story. I didn’t want to stop reading. David Gregory writes in a way that makes it really real. This book is one you won’t want to miss.
 I received this book free from the publisher for this review. The opinions expressed here are my own. J
Please rank my review below:

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

January 24- Eye appointment, skiing, and iced cocoa recipe :-)

Today was a busy, though not terribly productive school-wise, day for me. I had an appointment at the eye doctor's at 9 this morning. Just a check-up since it's been a LONG time since I last had my eyes examined, and I was told that my eyesight is perfect! Good! :-) Dad had an eye check-up too and Mackenzie's new glasses lenses were in so she came with us. We ran a couple of errands, to Wal-Mart and Home Depot, on the way home and checked to make sure my grandmother's walkway was cleared.
This afternoon I decided go go skiing. The temperature was above freezing so it was slushy out, so I only skiied for about half an hour before coming back inside. When I came inside I decided to try a recipe that I saw on the back of the SwissMiss Hot Cocoa container.
   1 cup crushed ice
   2 tbsp (or 1 pkg) hot cocoa mix
   2/3 cup milk
Blend milk and hot cocoa mix in blender/food processer until foamy. Pour on top of ice.
My experience: I took ice cubes and put them through the food processer. I should have crushed them more (since I'm not someone who particularly cares for chewing ice cubes-unlike some of my siblings!). Next time I'll crush them until it's more of a slush. I found that 1 envelope of hot cocoa mix with the 2/3 cup milk made enough for both Mallory and me, but I did have to crush another cup of ice for hers. Anyway, I really liked it. That's what I'm going to start drinking when I come in from skiing and/or sledding and am too hot for cocoa.
Tonight Max and I are going to Youth Bible Study. We have it twice a month on Tuesday evenings. Our youth group is small, about 5-10 people on average right now, but it's nice to be able to get to know each person better than you would if there were 30 people. I'm going to be leaving for that in about 40 minutes, so I need to go and get ready before supper! Sometime this week my next review book should be coming in the mail, so pretty soon I will have another review to post.
 Thanks for reading!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

January 15, 2012

Hi! I thought I'd give an update on what I've been doing lately.
It was been COLD! This morning it was -2 degrees when we left for church. Brrrrrrrrr! Even with the "hot-air conditioning" in the van, we all had numb feet by the time we got to Lewiston. It's good that the church has heat, because we were sure ready for it when we got there.
I have been working on posting some book reviews. You can check them out in my 2 previous posts. If you rate them, I would be really appreciative! :-)
The weekend was busy. Miranda, Mackenzie, Mallory and I spent Friday night at our friends the Keeney's house. They have four girls whose company we enjoy so we had a lot of fun with them. Friday night we older girls actually stopped talking and went to sleep by about 11:30. Mallory slept with Kathryn in the guest room, and they were asleep by about 10:30. Neither of them is used to being up that late, and there were two little girls who were tired-out the next day :-)
We went sledding Saturday morning on the great sledding hill behind the Keeney's house. We also visited the goats and played "Kimp" in the morning. We made "crab" sandwiches for lunch (made out of crab-shaped homemade crescent rolls with olive eyes, celery or carrot legs, olive eyes, and tomato or pepper claws), which were really cute! The afternoon held more "Kimp", more sledding, wax-sticks, bead art, and beading crafts and helping with supper preparations. Dad, Mom, Max and Micah came for dinner, and we played some games afterwords.
This afternoon I worked on knitting a lace scarf. It's out of light blue yarn. I have about 2 feet left to knit on it.
Tonight we are going to Sunday night church. I'm looking forward to seeing some of my friends who will be there.

Friday, January 13, 2012

An Amazing Story of Life and Hope

The book "Life, In Spite of Me" is the amazing story of Kristen Anderson- a girl who survived suicide and went on to start a ministry that would save lives. The story starts out the night of Kristen's suicide attempt. Kristen was overwhelmed with hopelessness and her thought that if she killed herself, it would be over. She wouldn't hurt anymore.

The January night was cold. She felt the numbness not only in her body, but in her heart. She wanted to die, and the train was coming. She made her decision, and laid down on the tracks. Moments later as the train ran over her, Kristen could feel, through the pain, the wind and momentum of the train sucking her body up underneath the cars. She was sure that this was it. This was the end.
But it wasn't. She felt a stronger force, stronger than the wind or the suction of the train above her, pushing her body back down to the ground. Kristen would realize later that God intervened.

The story flashes back to Kristin's childhood. Her early childhood years were idyllic- she was a carefree little girl with loving parents, a big sister and brother. But things started going downhill when she was in 5th grade and her dad started struggling with depression. When she was in high school, her world continued to rock even more. Her grandmother died, her friend committed suicide, and she was raped. Kristen kept everything bottled up inside her, and she started having anxiety and stress-related problems. Seeing counselors didn't help. Medications from the doctor didn't help. Overwhelmed with feelings of hopelessness, guilt, and the feeling that she just wasn't good enough, Kristen decided to end it all. She laid down on the train tracks. Thirty-three freight cars ran over her at 55 miles per hour.

When the train stopped, Kristen realized that she wasn't dead. Ten feet away, she could see her legs lying on the ground where the train had severed them. She managed to get out from underneath the train and began to cry before blacking out.

Someone found her. Rescue workers rushed Kristen to the emergency room. Normally it would have taken 45 minutes. They blocked all the intersections between the train tracks and the hospital and made it in 8 minutes.

It wasn't certain that Kristen would survive, even in intensive care. Medically, her survival wasn't possible. She had lost eight pints of blood. Normally a person would die after losing five pints. But God worked a miracle. Kristen lived. After a week of intensive care she was moved into moderate care. In two months she was able to go back home.

During the weeks and months that followed, Kristen learned to cope without her legs. She went to physical therapy, but used a wheelchair because her prosthetics were very painful. But she was still trying to cope with depression.

On her first Sunday at church, a woman told Kristen that she should be glad her suicide attempt failed because she would have gone to hell when she died. Kristen had thought that she would go to heaven. She'd made mistakes, but she was a good person. Everyone knew that. But Kristen started wondering. What if the woman was right? Kristen knew she should have died when the train ran over her. It was a miracle that she survived. But she wanted to know: if she had died, where would she be?

Kristen had to know. She asked a friend of the family who was going to a Christian graduate school to become a pastor. Kindly and patiently, he explained to Kristen that just knowing about Jesus and knowing He's the son of God isn't enough. No one can go to Heaven unless he or she chooses to put their trust in Jesus Christ and accept His forgiveness. He showed Kristen those passages in the Bible.

Kristen knew she was a sinner. She realized that there was nothing she could do to become good enough for heaven unless she accepted the forgiveness that Jesus offered by dying to take the punishment for her sins. She realized that if she had died that night, she would not have gone to heaven because she had never asked Jesus to forgive her sins. Kristen also realized that God had kept her alive that night and given her a second chance to accept Jesus so she could spend eternity with Him. Later that night, Kristen asked Jesus to forgive her sins and to come into her life.

Her life changed from that day on. She still struggled with problems, but she had God's peace. Kristen gradually got off of her antidepressants and pain medication. She started sharing her story with girls in a therapy group at the hospital and began to feel God calling her to ministry. Her story was already impacting people. When she was baptized, her mother made the decision to follow Jesus. Kristen went to a church youth center ever week, and then starting leading a small group with high school freshman girls. She shared her story of God's amazing grace and impacted lots of teens.

Kristen decided to start Reaching You Ministries, a ministry to hurting teens. When she chose Bible college and ministry over a full-time working job, she thought she would have to give up on getting prosthetics that she could easily use, but God provided prosthetics for her in a really neat way through an acquaintance who was involved in an organization to provide prosthetics for people who couldn't afford them.

One day Kristen was on The Oprah Winfrey Show to tell her story. Later on, she received an email from a young man who was intending to kill himself that day. He had walked into the living room, gun in hand, to turn off the TV first. Reaching for the remote, he heard Kristen telling her story. He heard her talking about how Jesus changes lives, and that everyone is here for a reason. He decided then not to take his life.

God had kept Kristen alive that night for a reason. When the momentum of the train should have sucked her body up underneath the cars, He held her down. When she lost eight pints of blood, He kept her heart beating. He gave her a second chance at life and at salvation. God is using the story that Kristen was once ashamed to tell, to save countless lives and bring hope to many others.

I really enjoyed reading Kristen's story. It was very encouraging and inspiring to me.

I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah publishers in exchange for this review. I was not required to write a positive review, and the opinions expressed here are my own.

Book Review for "Praying For Your Future Husband" (by Robin Jones Gunn and Tricia Goyer)

"Definitely a must-read for all teenage girls!"
I am a 15-year-old girl who's been praying for my future husband for a while, and I found the insights in this book really inspiring, helpful, and encouraging. I appreciated the way Robin and Tricia shared their stories as well as the stories of girls who prayed specific things for their future husbands and how God answered. That was really cool. I am so glad I read this book as it explored different areas girls can pray for their future husbands- some that I'd never thought of before! Every young woman should read this book. And if you are single, I encourage you to be praying for your future spouse. Your prayers can make a profound impact on their life!
(end review)
(note from me:)
Okay, I'm not sure what went wrong, but I can't get something to work (I know, computer illiteracy on my part) so to rate my review you will (instead of being able to do it directly from my blog page) need to click here (or paste into your internet browser): This should bring you straight to where my review is posted on the WaterBrook Multnomah site. You can rate my review in about 10 seconds. If you could please rate my review, I would really appreciate it! :-) Thanks!

Monday, January 2, 2012

The beginning of my blog..

This morning I finally set up my blog. I have been wanting to set up a blog ever since I found out about WaterBrook Multnomah publisher's "Blogging for Books" program (I was really excited to find out about this program: they send you books of your choice for free if you write reviews for them). So ta-da, here is my new blog which I had fun creating with input from Mom. I will be peridically posting reviews on books I have read, and if you go onto my blog, you can rate my review (1 star = you don't think I did a good job at all, 5 stars = you think I did a great job writing the review, or any number of stars in between). When you rate my review, I get credit on the book site, so I would really appreciate it :-)
Till later~