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Saturday, October 2, 2010

Movie Review....(because I want to)

I use to work part-time at Barnes & Noble...which is like a junk food junkie working in a food establishment. Anyway, one of my co-workers (I adored him like a son) told me I would love this movie. I just couldn't spend the money at the time, but never forgot I wanted to see it.

I checked it out from the library last week and made the time to watch it today.

WHAT A FABULOUS MOVIE; he was RIGHT! Of course, I cried at the end! Very moving/thought provoking...

Between a Rock and a Grace Place by Carol Kent

What an amazing book of courage, honesty and faith! I found myself relating with parts of Carol's story and literally feeling her pain as I read her son's story. I also have an adult son and can sympathise with how life can be/feel when your child makes decisions you don't necessarily agree with. No matter the outcome, the experience can be painful for everyone that loves him/her. Like Carol, I never gave up or turned my back on my son; I prayed and cried and prayed and cried and allowed God and other people to help my son (when I couldn't). As much as I would have liked to be the ONE to help make everything perfect for his life (because that's what a mom's suppose to do, right?), there are times when all I could do for him was serve as an example of Christ's love and pray for God to work in his life in any way HE saw fit. It is so much easier said than done!

I have recently been blessed to get involved with a local jail ministry (still in the beginning stages), in an effort to show Christ's love. We are ALL sinners and ALL fall short-and we all deserve HIS amazing Love! The message MUST be shared with everyone!

I would encourage everyone to purchase a copy of this book; especially if you have an adult child. Carol is a fabulous role model for every one of us!

Questions/Answers from Carol Kent

Tell us about the Christmas gift you received. How did it help you to find grace in the middle of a seemingly hopeless situation?

Two weeks before Christmas our doorbell rang at 9:15 p.m. It was dark outside and by the time my husband, Gene, joined me at the front door, we were surprised to find no one there. It was already dark, but my eyes fell on a large, exquisitely wrapped gift. The card on top said, “Mom.” Initially, it felt like a bad joke. Nine years earlier our son, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy had been arrested for murdering his wife’s first husband and he was in prison serving a life-without-the-possibility-of-parole sentence.

However, I am a “Mom” and the package was left on my doorstep, so I opened it. The note appeared to be in my son’s unique handwriting. The note expressed his deep love for me and his gratefulness for what I had done to help him since his arrest. He said a “friend” had helped him deliver the surprise. Opening the box, I discovered a gorgeous russet-colored silk jacket—and it fit me perfectly.

That night I discovered something new about God and something I had forgotten about myself. He loves to interject divine surprises into our lives. His timing is always perfect, but it had been a while since I had been surprised by joy, wonder, and grace in the middle of one of the tight spots of life.

What are “grace places,” and how can hurting people in need find them?

All of us experience tight spots when life turns out differently from our dream. When we face the overwhelming obstacles of life, we can experience the last thing we ever expect—the sweet spot of grace. Grace places have a variety of forms, but some include:

•Receiving love when we don’t deserve it
•Finding safety in the middle of a fearful and uncertain experience
•Being comforted by friends and family (people who are extensions of God’s love)
•Experiencing the embrace of God when we have run out of strength and courage
“Grace means the free, unmerited, unexpected love of God, and all the benefits, delights, and comforts which flow from it.” (R.P.C. Hanson)

How important are contentment and gratitude in finding grace and peace?

My son, Jason, is teaching me that I need to choose contentment and thanksgiving in all things. As an inmate in a maximum-security prison, all of his personal items must fit in one small one-foot-high and one-and a half-feet-deep and two-and-a half feet long steel lockbox. He has learned to live comfortably with very little, which brings him a surprising sense of peace.

When I was visiting him one weekend I asked how he holds on to hope in the middle of a life-without-the-possibility-of-parole sentence. He said, “Mom, I have a gratitude list. Whenever the clouds of depression try to discouragement, I get out a piece of paper and write down everything I have to be thankful for. I’m thankful I have two parents who will be my advocates for as long as they live. The average number of years a lifer gets visits is five years and then no one comes anymore. I’m also thankful I can be a missionary on a compound that houses up to 1,700 men.” I’m learning from Jason that I find contentment when I choose to be thankful and when I invest my time in helping other people.

What are some unexpected gestures of kindness you’ve received in the past, and how did they help you through difficult times?

A couple of years ago Jason’s appendix ruptured and he was rushed from the prison to a civilian hospital. Gene and I were not allowed to know where he was and I prayed for someone to care for him as a mother would. He had two armed guards in his room at all times. Nurse Betty was assigned to Jason’s care. She treated him with respect and extraordinary care—and I knew she was a direct answer to my prayers.

A group of people who called themselves our “Stretcher Bearers” received an e-mailed monthly update on how to help with our needs. We were blessed with meals, cards, and financial gifts, often just before we needed extra funds for the next legal payment. These amazing people waited with us for two and a half years through seven postponements of the trial.

How has your definition of adventure changed over the years, and why is it important to retain adventure in your life, despite your situation?

True adventure is seeing the potential of living for things that matter in the middle of your current circumstances. We had the adventure of launching a nonprofit organization that helps to empower our son to facilitate classes by having books and DVD teaching series sent to the prison. We also have the adventure of reaching out to other people who are in crisis, which brings purpose and deep meaning to our lives.

There is a theme of surprise throughout the book. What is one of the greatest surprises you’ve had?

The powerful story of Tammy Wilson and Matthew Ben Rodriguez is in this book. Tammy contacted me after I spoke at an event she attended because my son is incarcerated in the same prison where Matt, the man who killed her mother thirteen years ago is incarcerated. She had been praying for someone to lead Matt to Christ and asked if Jason would try to meet him. It turned out that Jason and Matt were already friends and this amazing story is one of forgiveness, redemption, and restoration that can only be explained in the supernatural dimension.

Between a Rock and a Grace Place releases 10 years after your son, Jason, was sentenced to life in a maximum security prison and includes excerpts from Jason’s letters. Can you tell us how he’s doing now?

He has just taken his 8th group of men through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University Course and he will be facilitating a biblical counseling class on marriage and family this fall. He has a prayer group of twelve inmates who fast and pray for the needs of each other and their families. Prison is a depressing, dark, and sad place, but Jason is living for things that will outlast him.

When you received news about Jason’s clemency hearing being denied, how did you respond?

I wailed like a baby, sobbed, felt angry, hurt, and disappointed in God. Then we saw Jason a day after this devastating news. He was calm and very much at peace. He hugged me as I wept and said, “Mom, this case isn’t about having the best attorney or about having the favor of Florida’s top executive political leaders. If I am ever allowed to walk in freedom in this lifetime, it will be because God miraculously opened a door that was closed.” My son helps me to develop an eternal perspective and that day he comforted me.
What advice do you have for those who are stuck between a rock and a grace place?

In the middle of your own hurt reach out to someone else who needs help worse than you do. When you involve yourself in meeting the needs of others, you discover an unexpected freedom on the inside. Corrie ten Boom once said, “What did you do today that only a Christian would have done?”

As a result of your journey, you and your husband have founded the nonprofit organization Speak Up for Hope. What are the goals of the organization, and how can people get involved?

Our vision: To help inmates and their families adjust to their new normal.

Our mission: We exist to provide hope to inmates and their families through encouragement and resources.

Please go to for a list of practical ways individuals, churches, and organizations can help with specific projects. Our goal is to live out the truth of Prov. 31:8-9: “Speak up for the people who have no voice, for the rights of all the down-and-outers. Speak out for justice. Stand up for the poor and destitute!”

Where may we connect with you further or to purchase a copy of Between a Rock and a Grace Place?

I would love for you to visit my web site at, browse through the various events and other resources available. You may also join me on my Facebook page,

A complimentary copy of this book was provided to me as a blog tour host by Zondervan in exchange for posting this interview on my blog. Please visit Christian Speaker Services at for more information about blog tour management services.

Her Daughter's Dream by Francine Rivers

When I had the opportunity to write a blog on Francine Rivers' latest novel, I entered as quickly as I could; knowing there would be tons of entries! I was blessed to be chosen as one of the lucky few and was extremely grateful! What no one knew was that I had never read any Francine Rivers' books. It wasn't because I dislike her work, it was strictly due to the fact she writes fiction novels. In my precious little time to read, I always choose Christian non-fiction books; I always felt I shouldn't waste time on pretend stories, where I wouldn't learn/grow in any way. I was unbelievably surprised when I read Her Mother's Dream (in preparation for the second book and to read/write my blog review). I had NO IDEA there was so much TRUTH to be found in Christian fiction.

Even though this story may be false, it could easily be REAL! So many women/daughters go through life upset with one another-due to pride, lack of communication, and fear of the loss of respect from their children. When I was 18 years old, both my mother and father passed away (ten months apart). Prior to my mom's death, I was so thankful I spent so much time with her. At night, I would run upstairs so my mom could tell me all about her life. She would share her faith, strength, hope, and encouragement; and when she died unexpectedly, I suffered no guilt or anger (only tremendous sadness over losing my best friend - and angry with God for taking her from me).

After reading these two books, I ran to the bookstore and purchased TWO more Francine Rivers' novels and I can't wait to get started...but be prepared, you won't want to put them down!

Questions/Answers from Francine Rivers
How has exploring the relationship between your mother and grandmother helped you understand yourself?

This is a question I would love readers to ask themselves at the end of Her Mother’s Hope. I realized early in the story that I have many of my grandmother and mother’s character traits, both good and bad. They both had tempers. So do I. They both had low self-esteem. I’m always striving to “measure up”. They both chose spouses who respected them. So did I. Both women had strong faith and servants’ hearts, something they encouraged in me. My mother extended grace to others -- a trait I want to cultivate to the end of my days. By holding onto her anger, Grandma lacked the peace and joy she could have had in her last years. I tend to relive past hurts. Writing about Marta made me decide to let go, forgive and move on. For whatever reason, Grandma couldn’t and missed out on so much joy in her last years. Sometimes people deeply hurt as children take offense where none was intended. Holding a grudge causes suffering, especially for the one who won’t let go. Jesus said to forgive one another as He has forgiven us. Forgiveness frees us, even if the other person refuses to join in the process of reconciliation. As I examine my own life, I see how much I’ve been forgiven. How can I not extend God’s grace to others? The best way to experience the fullness of God’s presence in my life is to surrender it to Him. And in that surrender, we are made more complete and joy-filled.

Mother-daughter relationships are often complicated and fraught with emotional land mines. What was your approach to exploring the complexity of those relationships in a fictional setting?

Questions, lots of questions! Every time I told someone I was working on a book about mother-daughter relationships, people wanted to share their family stories. As I wrote Her Mother’s Hope, I wanted readers to see through each woman’s eyes, and understand how the past shaped each in the way she responded to her mother. Hildemara doesn’t believe her mother loves her, but it is out of Marta’s pain and loss that tough-love techniques were forged. Marta wants to strengthen her daughter for whatever lies ahead. Sometimes what we view as rejection can actually be an act of sacrificial love. We seldom know the experiences that shaped our mothers, the deep hurts, traumatic events, broken relationships. I hope women who read this book will want to share those things with one another.

Writing a novel is not for the faint of heart. What was the most difficult part of writing this family saga? What came the most naturally to you?

The most difficult part of writing any novel is getting out of my own way. I have to get rid of preconceived notions about themes and characters and plot. The first draft of this novel came in at over 1000 pages and was too biographical. I wanted the story to shift back and forth from present to past, trying to show what happened to create the rifts and valleys between Hildemara, Carolyn and May Flower Dawn. I was too cautious, too afraid to harm to my grandmother and mother’s memory.

A wonderful editor wrote me an insightful letter in which she listed what she wanted to know about each of the characters. Her letter got my creative juices flowing. She helped me look at the story in a new way. I set the first manuscript aside and started over. I found it better to move from one generation to the next in a linear story. This time the characters followed my grandmother and mother’s timeline, but took on a life of their own. They became unique individuals rather than the shadow of real people.

After readers finish this series what do you want them to remember? What questions and feelings do you want it to provoke on a spiritual and emotional level?

I hope and pray readers who have had difficult relationships with their mothers or daughters will let go of the pain and anger and allow God to work in their lives. God can work all things together for good for those who trust and love Him. Following Jesus’ example changes the way we see people. It changes the way we relate to one another. Even when the chasm is too deep to cross, we can decide to forgive. Some people wear grievances like a dirty coat. With God’s strength, we can strip it off and be free. When people finish reading Her Daughter’s Dream, I hope they will want to extend God’s grace and forgiveness. I hope they will tear down their walls and use their life experiences to begin building a bridge.

Who do you see as the audience for this story, and does that differ from your previous readership?

I am fortunate to work with Tyndale House. If a writer does well in one genre, publishers encourage the writer to continue in the same genre. Tyndale has given me the freedom to go wherever the story leads. I have done historical as well as contemporary. This two-part saga was intended to be one LONG book. Splitting the story into two parts made it more affordable for readers, and eliminated the need to delete entire sections. Hopefully, both women and men will enjoy Her Mother’s Hope and Her Daughter’s Dream. Men play a strong role in the lives of all four primary characters: Marta, Hildemara Rose, Carolyn and May Flower Dawn. And both books have much to do with faith, how it presents itself, how it grows, often under difficult circumstances and in unexpected ways.

Where may we connect with you further or to purchase a copy of HER DAUGHTER'S DREAM?

I would love for you to visit my web site at, browse through the various events and other resources available, as well as sign up for my mailing list. You may also join me on my Facebook page:

About the Author

Francine Rivers began her literary career at the University of Nevada, Reno, where she graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in English and journalism. From 1976 to 1985, she had a successful writing career in the general market, and her books were highly acclaimed by readers and reviewers. Although raised in a religious home, Francine did not truly encounter Christ until later in life, when she was already a wife, a mother of three, and an established romance novelist.

Shortly after becoming a born-again Christian in 1986, Francine wrote Redeeming Love as her statement of faith. First published by Bantam Books and then re-released by Multnomah Publishers in the mid-1990s, this retelling of the biblical story of Gomer and Hosea, set during the time of the California Gold Rush, is now considered by many to be a classic work of Christian fiction. Redeeming Love continues to be one of the Christian Booksellers Association's top-selling titles, and it has held a spot on the Christian best-seller list for nearly a decade.

Since Redeeming Love, Francine has published numerous novels with Christian themes—all best sellers—and she has continued to win both industry acclaim and reader loyalty around the globe. Her Christian novels have been awarded or nominated for numerous honors, including the RITA Award, the Christy Award, the ECPA Gold Medallion, and the Holt Medallion in Honor of Outstanding Literary Talent. In 1997, after winning her third RITA Award for inspirational fiction, Francine was inducted into the Romance Writers of America's Hall of Fame. Francine's novels have been translated into over 20 different languages, and she enjoys best-seller status in many foreign countries, including Germany, the Netherlands, and South Africa.

Francine and her husband, Rick, live in northern California and enjoy time spent with their three grown children and taking every opportunity to spoil their grandchildren. Francine uses her writing to draw closer to the Lord, and she desires that through her work she might worship and praise Jesus for all He has done and is doing in her life.

If you're interested, there are four copies of this book being given away by CSS at: and

A complimentary copy of this book was provided to me as a blog tour host by the Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for posting this interview on my blog. Please visit Christian Speaker Services at for more information about blog tour management services.


I'm not quite sure why I wait until THE DAY I am scheduled to post a blog or book review, but I think it has something to do with reviewing in my mind (over and over again) my view of what the writer is communicating/the thought I want to get across, prior to posting. Now, don't think I write these quickly, because that simply is NOT the case. As a matter of fact, I write - review - change - review - confirm - THEN POST! I am extremely excited about my numerous posts today because I am truly inspired by all three! Please be on the lookout-all coming today!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Recent Photos - I just had to share!

Thankful Thursday

I have been watching a fabulous lady’s blog and was excited to see she had established a weekly “column”, which I thought was a really neat idea. So, Wendy, this is because of you! See Wendy’s blog here:

I will be posting articles each Thursday on people that I am thankful for in this amazing journey called life! I have previously posted my appreciation for each one of my children – but OFTEN forget to thank my spouse! His name is Chris – and he is an amazing man! I was blessed by meeting him on June 30, 1995 – at his father’s retirement ceremony. There was no doubt our meeting was destined by God – as I wasn’t initially invited to the celebration, but asked by another very special man, as his wife was called out of town (Thank you forever John Baker!). To make a long story short, our first official date was on the 4th of July and as they say, the rest is history (which is interesting-since the 4th of July was a day of historical importance for our country too!).

He proposed to me on July 12th, 1996 (DURING hurricane Bertha-of all places, ON BUCKROE BEATH – yes, you guessed it – torrential downpours and all) and we were wed exactly 3 months later (it worked with the fall football schedule - clearly HIS decision not mine) on October 12th, 1996. As a result of our union, we have two beautiful daughters – Brooke (turned 13 on August 7th) and Kristina (turned 11 on June 23rd). Pictured above on the first day of school this year! Aren’t they beautiful?

Although life is not a fairy tale (which is what I initially thought it would be, thanks to the Brady Bunch), I am blessed beyond measure! He has been the most amazing gift; in ways too numerous to explain.

Picture of Christopher to come in the near future….(I don’t mind telling you, he’s one good looking man too!)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The One Year Book of Encouragement by Harold Myra

Although I have had this book for several weeks and have read/pondered numerous entries, I still feel unprepared to write this blog. However, I have a feeling I won’t feel prepared after 365 days of daily reading. This is an amazing book that I, NO DOUBT, will be reading daily for years to come.

I enjoy reading numerous devotional books: Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost for His Highest, Max Lucado’s Grace for the Moment, Henry and Richard Blackaby’s Experiencing God Day by Day, to name a few. But I must confess The One Year Book of Encouragement by Harold Myra will be placed near the top of the list of readings/recommendations to friends!

This devotional of encouragement is compiled of “Scriptural Wisdom” from numerous Christian pastors, missionaries, and Spiritual leaders that were once (and remain) inspirations to Christians everywhere. The author provides his guidance for our use of this resource: “Start with today’s date, or start anywhere. Read and pray through the daily devotions, or read several entries when you have the time. Personally, I mark the ones that hit home and copy quotes to carry with me. These challenges and prayers are for life as we meet it, in all its challenges, in all its opportunities, in all its wonder and race from the loving Father.”

A few days ago I read these words from Thomas A Kempis: “if we keep the hour of our death always in mind and daily prepare ourselves to die, then we are blessed.” I am reminded of the wisdom of my mother-we are not promised one more day on this earth, we must live as if today is the last-show love to everyone (including strangers and those who dislike you), apologize for any wrong-doing on your part (even when it’s difficult and uncomfortable), tell your family and friends what they mean to you, go to bed each night with no regrets.

Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Check out this contest.....


Philippa Gregory - 'The White Queen' - Giveaway & Review
Royal families hold the title of being the precursor to reality entertainment. These infamous courts provide more melodrama and intrigue than chivalry and decorum. Regardless of their high station, morality takes a back seat to murder, incest and betrayal. Power is the asset that all strive to cultivate. The characters in Philippa Gregory's The White Queen are taken from the bloody battle for the crown in the Cousins' War, a.k.a. the War of the Roses. A civil war which tears 15th century England apart when the Plantagenet family splits into the rival factors of Lancaster (the red rose) and York (the white rose). The book's heroine is Elizabeth Woodville, the wife of York king, Edward IV. Her riveting story is deserving of a full-length novel. From whore to witch and everything in between, she is a woman whose many faceted personality defies categorization.

God forbid a royal marry for love. Like a modern day Princess Diana, Elizabeth is an English commoner without massive fortune or titled family. She meets Edward while begging on the side of the road. Her beauty is enough to stop him in his tracks. They exchange vows in a secret ceremony. When they go public, the kingdom's gossip mill goes into overdrive. Why would a king reject an advantageous alliance with one of the princesses of Europe for a nobody who has nothing to offer? The only plausible explanation? Witchcraft, of course. She tricked him into it with her mystical allures and diabolical enchantments.

Claiming to be the descendant of a goddess doesn't help. Melusina is the inspiration behind the tale of The Little Mermaid. The half woman/half fish desires to keep her dual identity from her husband who nevertheless discovers her secret ultimately resulting in rejection and separation. Elizabeth is a firm believer in her fabled ancestry. [Melusina] is the ancestress of the royal house of Burgundy, and we, her descendants, still try to walk in the paths of men, and sometimes we too find the way unbearably hard. Her position as Queen of England leads to similar conflicting emotions between what it means to be a mother versus what is required to be a monarch.

Edward seizes power from the sainted Lancaster king, Henry VI eventually being accused of his predecessor's murder. Elizabeth, as the usurping queen, has a tenuous hold on power. Her mother, Jacquetta, goes even further stating, "It is a battle to the death. This is what it means to be Queen of England. The road you have chosen will mean that you have to spend your life scheming and fighting. Our task, as your family, is to make sure you win." Yet Elizabeth can't help but revel in her new position. "I become a new being, one above mortals, only one step below angels, beloved and elect of heaven. Half the kingdom may hate [my family] but now I have made us so powerful that I do not care."

However, the love match isn't all bliss. Elizabeth turns a blind eye to her husband's notorious philandering. "Edward's whoring doesn't trouble me. He is the king, he can take his pleasures where he wants. And I am the queen, and he will always come home to me. Everyone knows that." Edward does not try to hide his infidelity, in fact, he boasts about his excessive virility. "I have a score of whores, perhaps hundreds. I hope that no woman can resist me." In fact, he is so consumed by desire he frequently summons Elizabeth with the command, "Bed, Wife."

With shades of the Clintons, Elizabeth seeks to hang onto the throne even without Edward at her side. Despite her humble beginnings, she is determined not to lose what she gained through her advantageous marriage. But there are those who question Elizabeth's priorities including her own daughter. "I think we are cursed. I blame you and my father for bringing us into the world and putting us here, in the grip of ambition, and yet not holding strongly enough to power to make it right for us. You love the crown more than your children (i.e. the unresolved fate of the princes in the Tower - were they murdered, hidden?)."

Gregory hits her stride when she depicts Elizabeth debating her life as queen with her mother, Jacquetta; her brother, Anthony and her daughter, Elizabeth. The scenes of dialogue illustrate a woman grappling with what is right in a world that does not play by a set of rules. The narrative falters when Elizabeth is depicting conjuring storms or scheming for influence while in sanctuary. The book is heavy in explanatory exposition and could have moved at a faster pace if it did not follow such a rigid time line. Some moments that occurred during Elizabeth's life could have been told with a brief chapter introduction instead of pages of battlefield play-by-play.

Overall, love at first sight ends with heartbreak in the Tower.

The White Queen by Philippa Gregory is available for $14.99 at and at

A complimentary review copy was provided by Simon & Schuster.

Check it out here:

Romans 6....

Oh my goodness-I haven't been doing as well the past couple of weeks with my Romans memorization. In part, due to family responsibilities; but also a tad overwhelmed/tired/over committed. I truly enjoy when life is going along smooth and I can live each day on track, the regular routine, enjoying serenity, etc.....but sometimes it just doesn't work out that way.

I remain blessed and will NOT give up - I'll be back Romans...don't give up on me (or think I've forgotten about you)!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Why God Matters...Book Review

As a novice book blogger (not sure at what point I’ll consider myself “experienced/an expert”), I enjoy reading other people’s posts prior to writing my own review of a book. The reason isn’t to confirm my opinion – that decision has already been confirmed - but to review what they have to say in the event I want to add MORE to my post. In this instance, I am extremely happy I did.
There were several reasons I was drawn to request Why God Matters - How to Recognize Him in Daily Life by Karina Lumbert Fabian and Deacon Steven Lumbert. First, I was raised in the Catholic faith by the most amazing Christian mother you could ever meet. Second, God is a HUGE part of my daily life and I love reading books about Him and how I might be able to grow even closer to Him! Third, I currently attend a Church of Christ (as an adult) and wanted to see if perhaps I missed something while attending the Catholic Church (although extremely young when I left the faith-more to come on this below). Fourth, and last, I love to read books that require me to reach outside my “normal/everyday” circumstance and learn/grow my world of understanding as I know it today.
After reading this book, I realize I missed a tremendous amount of the Catholic Church history/faith/beliefs leaving the Church as an 18 year old child (I am not trying to say that all 18 year olds are children-however, I WAS!). The circumstances surrounding my departure are considerably opposite to the outcome of chapter 5 in this book. There was a time (a VERY LONG TIME) I would have been bitter after reading this chapter: titled “Out of the Depths of Despair”. I would have been extremely angry that God HEARD his prayer and from all aspects I could see and grasp, He must not have heard MINE! I had to consider “what had I done in my life that HE chose NOT to answer my prayers”. Thank God He is so patient, forgiving, and sovereign (now that word took a VERY LONG TIME for me to get my arms around) and allowed me to wander IN the depths of despair and ultimately, return to Him (although it took me about 10 years)! And to be able to say now – Deacon Steve-I am extremely happy all worked well for you!
Just after I turned 18 years old, my mother suffered a massive heart attack. My mother was my world-although she wasn’t what I consider beautiful, she was the most amazing woman I had ever met. She was kind to everyone, never had anything negative to say about anyone or anything-simply extraordinary. She passed away, in the coronary care unit, a few shorts days later. Followed by my father’s determined effort to find out what was causing the pain he had been suffering for years – which turned out to be cancer-and after a valiant fight, passed away 10 months later.
My entire life had been spent in Church. Raised by a mother that adored God: taught to pray, attend mass, thank Him for EVERYTHING we had, see His hand in everything, and attend all the ceremonial services in our Catholic Church; well where was HE when I needed Him? The following years (about ten of them), I spent wandering. But I must say – I KNOW He never left! I felt HIS footprints in MY sand-even while we were traveling! And I want to tell Karina – NEVER give up hope (and I’m sure you won’t)! I read that one of your children is questioning his faith. I am here to tell you that they can’t forget what they were taught as children. As the old sayings goes-you can run, but you can’t hide! He is in control and will never leave nor forsake you! He is in complete control and has a unique plan for you – that takes time to unwind. Years later, He placed me in an apartment that passed a Catholic Church – there was no other way in or out without passing that Church! I KNEW I had to take my son (I was a parent by that time). I knew He had to be raised in the Church. He had to know God and I had to return to Him! The next twenty years are history (as they say). I have been so blessed by Him and reminded that He IS and WAS there for me and always will be. What would I do without my absolute BEST friend?
My son made the decision to wander -and oh my gosh, I cried and cried – and yes, I prayed and prayed! Two years ago my answer came (Thank you God!) and my son returned to his beliefs! I remain grateful for his decision and know I could not be the one to make it for him. All I could do was pray and allow others and His Holy Spirit to work in my son’s life. He did!
Back to the book-I truly enjoyed the short chapters, the Scripture references (I can never get too much for His Word) and the Catechism references. The Catechism is something I remember nothing about. I will spend some time in the future (thanks to the Internet) researching this Catechism and analyzing my own belief next to that of the Catholic Church.
I want to thank Tribute books for allowing me to post a review on this book and for providing a paper copy for my use. I still haven’t come around to the “on-line” reading of today. There’s just something about holding the pages in your hand and highlighting/writing in the margins.
I would encourage you to visit the following links and join the world of these amazing leaders. I have already done the same.
Book website:

Karina Fabian Facebook:

Karina Fabian Twitter:

Karina Fabian Blog:

Tribute Books website:

Tribute Books Facebook:

Tribute Books Twitter: