writing

First Line Fridays -Flights of Fancy

First Line FridaysHere’s another First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books!  It’s a fun way to share good books and spread the love of words on the page.

Since I walk my dog twice a day to get his energy out, I have taken to checking out audiobooks from Hoopla (through my library). This week I am listening to Flights of Fancy by Jen Turano. So far it’s been a fun and witty read.

About the book:

Flights of Fancy_Jen Turano

Miss Isadora Delafield may be an heiress, but her life is far from carefree. When her mother begins pressuring her to marry an elderly and uncouth duke, she escapes from the high society world she’s always known and finds herself to be an unlikely candidate for a housekeeper position in rural Pennsylvania.

Mr. Ian MacKenzie is known for his savvy business sense and has built his reputation and fortune completely on his own merits. But when his adopted parents are in need of a new housekeeper and Isadora is thrown into his path, he’s unexpectedly charmed by her unconventional manner.

Neither Isadora nor Ian expected to find the other so intriguing, but when mysterious incidents on the farm and the truth of Isadora’s secret threaten those they love, they’ll have to set aside everything they thought they wanted for a chance at happy-ever-after.

First Line:

“Wonderful news, darling. I have it on good authority from none other than Mr. Ward McAllister that the Duke of Montrose has taken a special interest in you.”

flourishFirst Line Fridays_Hoarding BooksNow it’s your turn! Grab the nearest book (or the book you are reading) and share the first line in the comments. Then head over to Hoarding Books and check out the linky with more First Line participants. 

Have a great weekend!

Sherrinda Signature

 

devotionals, spiritual

Notorious Bad Judgment

dandelion-stevepb-pixabay
Photo by stevepb @ pixabay.com

We humans are notorious for having bad judgment.

Perhaps that is one of the reasons Jesus told the parable of the weeds. In Matthew 13, Jesus tells the story:

24 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.

27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’

28 “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.

“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’

29 “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”

36 Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”

37 He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man.38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.

40 “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil.42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.”

We have an enemy (the devil) who is trying to destroy what God is doing. He is the one who sows the weeds in the owner’s field. The owner’s servants ask if they should pull up the weeds. What is interesting is the owner’s response:

Nope, he says. Don’t pull up the weeds, because you might pull up the good wheat along with the weeds. 

Friends, we need to get off the throne of judgment, because we cannot judge intelligently. We cannot know a person’s heart.  Think about Peter and the three times he denied knowing Jesus. Had God judged Peter for that one night, well, let’s just say the rest of the story would be drastically altered.  Peter was definitely not a weed to be pulled and burned up in the fire.

Humans are notorious for their bad judgment. So often we elevate and celebrate a “devil”, believing they are good. And then we condemn and criticize a “good person”, believing they are a devil.  In the past, the norm has been to protect our self and community from evil at all costs. But so often we have failed in our judgments, abusing those who are powerless. We judge those who are “less than” and give leniency to those in power.

Friends, we need humility in the face of our mixed-up churches, our mixed-up world. 

We need to learn to live with the Spirit of God flowing through us, leading us to have compassion on those who need us to share His grace and mercy. 

Let’s not judge. Leave it to God. 

**This post is taken from the notes I took from John Ketchersid’s sermon 2/17/2019.

Sherrinda Signature

 

 

writing

First Line Fridays -The Deputy’s Holiday Family

First Line FridaysHere’s another First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books!  It’s a fun way to share good books and spread the love of words on the page.

I won this book from a Seekerville blog post by Mindy Obenhaus. While I haven’t read the book yet, it is next up in my TBR pile. It looks to be a fun holiday read:  The Deputy’s Holiday Family 

About the book:

thedeputysholidayfamily_mindyobenhaus

Lacie Collier is determined to give her niece, Kenzie, the best Christmas! But Lacie’s got her work cut out for her when they spend the holidays at her Christmas-averse mother’s home. With his focus on keeping his own mother’s holiday traditions alive, sheriff’s deputy Matt Stephens is surprised to see his old friend Lacie back in Ouray. He’s always regretted that their friendship became strained after he started dating her sister in high school. But it’s pure shock he experiences when he sees Kenzie, whose uncanny resemblance to Matt is undeniable. This Christmas will bring new memories for Lacie and Matt…if they can open themselves to the possibility of love.

First Line:

Coming home had never been so bittersweet.

flourishFirst Line Fridays_Hoarding BooksNow it’s your turn! Grab the nearest book (or the book you are reading) and share the first line in the comments. Then head over to Hoarding Books and check out the linky with more First Line participants. 

Have a great weekend!

Sherrinda Signature

 

writing

First Line Fridays – Walking Shoes by Lynne Gentry

First Line FridaysHere’s another First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books!  It’s a fun way to share good books and spread the love of words on the page.

I have had this book on my kindle for over a year and embarrassed I haven’t read it yet. I’ve been told it is fabulous. Given that it is about a preacher’s wife, I can’t wait to dig in and see how much of it I can relate to. 🙂 The book is Walking Shoes by Lynne Gentry.

About the book:

walking shoes by lynne gentry

Sooner or later everyone encounters a fork in the road. When Leona Harper crashes into tragedy, the shocked pastor’s wife is forced to summon her estranged children home. But parenting young adults in this nosy, small, southern town may prove more difficult than reinventing herself. Determined to give her broken family a shot at a second chance, Leona begins to put one foot in front of the other. Reconciliation and healing won’t come easy in this zany, trouble-filled, walk-through-grief adventure. Tear-jerking candor. Fast-paced humor. Hope in the darkness. Fans of Jan Karon, Ann B. Ross, and Philip Gulley will enjoy exploring the dusty town of Mt. Hope. Escape into this delicious Mt. Hope Southern Adventure.

First Line:

“Living in the parsonage is not for sissies.” Leona Harper’s husband planted a kiss on the top of her head. “If you want to wear fancy red shoes, wear ’em, darlin’.”

flourishFirst Line Fridays_Hoarding BooksNow it’s your turn! Grab the nearest book (or the book you are reading) and share the first line in the comments. Then head over to Hoarding Books and check out the linky with more First Line participants. 

Have a great weekend!

Sherrinda Signature

 

book review, giveaway

Review/Giveaway: My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge, Laurel’s Dream

A British Missionary Meets a Chilly Welcome in a Remote Appalachian Community. 

my heart belongs_blue ridge_pepper basham

About the book:

Laurel McAdams is well acquainted with trouble, but her dreams keep her hopeful that life can improve on her mountain in the Blue Ridge. Still, trouble does come in the form of an outsider.

Having failed his British father again, Jonathan Taylor joins his uncle’s missionary endeavors as a teacher in a two-room schoolhouse. Laurel feels compelled to protect the tenderhearted teacher from the harsh realities of Appalachian life, even while his stories of life outside the mountains pull at Laurel’s imagination.

Faced with parents angry over his teaching methods, Laurel’s father’s drunken rages, and bad news from England, will Jonathan leave and never return, or will he stay and let love bloom

Journey into North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains of 1918 where a young woman’s dreams are held captive by rugged landscape and long-held traditions.

My thoughts: 

Pepper Basham has done it again! While I love her contemporary “kissing books”, I was captivated by this story set in the Blue Ridge mountains, rich with Appalachian culture and lore. From the quaint Appalachian speech to the lusciously painted setting, each page drew me into a world I’d never experienced, yet came to love.

This is one of the sweetest love stories I’ve read in a long time. Laurel is tenderhearted and kind while being amazingly strong in the face of difficult circumstances. Her wisdom and spiritual insight combined with her innocent faith make her a compelling character that you grow to love and want to protect. Jonathan is not unlike Laurel in his good-natured personality and innate sense of right and wrong. He, like Laurel, is a kind soul who learns to love the foreign culture of the mountains even though he is like a fish out of water.

The growth of Laurel and Jonathan’s friendship is sweet and delicately blooms into a  beautiful love that satisfying and very swoon-worthy. Yes, Pepper writes kissing scenes that rivals that of Julie Lessman.

I highly recommend this book to any reader of historical romance. It’s rich in history and culture while giving a fantastic romance that will put a smile on your face.

flourish

I’m giving away a print copy of  My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge: Laurel’s Dream! If you would like to enter, please leave a comment below.  Giveaway ends Friday at midnight. Winner will be drawn using random.org. Only US citizens eligible.

If you can’t wait to get your hands on it, you can purchase a copy HERE.

UPDATE: Winner of My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge is:

Caryl Kane