July 31, 2012

The Measure of Katie Calloway

Have you ever seen a pair of shoes hanging from a telephone wire?

Well in the 1800's when a logger lost his life on the river, his fellow loggers would hang his boots on a nearby tree so others would know and pay their respects to him.

This is one of the many fascinating things I learnt about loggers and their lives from reading this novel which takes place right after the Civil War has ended.

This is the story of Katie Calloway, an abused woman who flees Georgia with her little brother and finds work in a north woods Michigan lumber camp. Here she finds works as the camp cook.

The harshness of camp life is portrayed well in Katie's everyday routine as cook. Waking hours before the men (2 AM!) to get breakfast ready, to staying up late preparing for the next. I don't think I could have ever done it!

I found this photo online of a logging camp cook shanty. Looks very well organized and clean!

This book was packed with information about life in a logging camp mingled with the people who lived it. There are a few twists and turns that kept it going, as well as new character's added throughout which I loved and felt brought more interest to the story.

The author says here of her inspiration for this book:

"Many years ago, while visiting a museum in Michigan, I saw an old photo of loggers gathered in front of a cook shanty. In the midst of these tough-looking men stood the camp cook - a sweet-faced young woman with her hands folded inside her apron. as my family wandered off, I stood mesmerized by the photo, wondering about the girl, wishing I knew her story, trying to imagine her life. That photo began my love affair with the history of Michigan lumbering and was the kernel from which this story grew."

Here is another picture I found of two female cooks in front of their cook shanty. It's probably not the same picture that inspired the author, Serena Miller, but inspirational non-the-less. Isn't the long horn, they called the loggers into eat, great? It reminds me of when I was little. My mum used to call us in for dinner by ringing a cow bell! :) 

I really enjoyed this novel and learnt a lot about the logger camp life. This was not an easy life. These loggers and cooks worked hard and survived hardships most of us will only read about.

I'm glad I had the opportunity to read about them, and because I live in a house made of wood, I now have a greater appreciation for what they did.

July 25, 2012

5 books on my future reading list

In His Steps

Written over a hundred years ago, this book is still moving people, now that's what you call a classic. : )

Revell has just put out a new edition and describes it here: 

"When Rev. Henry Maxwell asked the members of his small church to pledge not to do anything, whether significant or mundane, without first asking themselves the question "What would Jesus do?" he had no idea what the next year would bring. Neither did those who agreed to this seemingly easy task. One by one, their lives would change. But what they never anticipated was how their entire town would be affected."

From Across the Ancient Waters

I haven't read a Michael Phillips novel for years. I loved his Scottish 'Stonewycke' trilogy, which he co-wrote with Judith Pella. So when I saw his newest one, with this gorgeous cover , I wanted to pick it up. : )

It's set in a small village in Wales where a young rebellious boy is sent to live with his uncle. There he befriends a young girl. Years later he returns and is faced with this young girl all grown up.

I don't think I've read any novels set in Wales so I excited to start this story and learn a little history as well.

This is the first book in a two part series. The second book, 'The Treasure of the Celtic Triangle' comes out this August.


I just recently started this one. A friend of mine invited me to a book club this fall (yeah!) and this is the next book on their reading list.

I don't know much about Bonhoeffer, so I'm excited to get into this biography. What I do know is he was a pastor and a double agent. What an unusual combination!

He apparently stood up to Hitler and Nazism during WW2 and was later martyred for it. I'm pretty sure there is going to be a lot of great German history and theological topics in this book, which I'm looking forward to learning.

I think this will be a great book for discussion, to ponder, and to reflect on.

Firefly Island

I love everything about this cover! The lake, the trees. the meadow, the  blowing breeze and the woman walking in her bare feet, holding hands with the one she loves. Amazon describes it here:

After a whirlwind romance, Mallory is hopelessly in love with two men--fortunately, they're related. Daniel Everson and his little boy, Nick, are a package deal, and Mallory suddenly can't imagine her future without them.
Mallory couldn't be more shocked when Daniel asks her to marry him, move to Texas, and form a family with him and motherless Nick. The idea is both thrilling and terrifying.

Mallory takes a leap of faith and begins a sweet, mishap-filled journey into ranch living, Moses Lake society, and a marriage that at times reminds her of the mail-order-bride stories. But despite the wild adventure of her new life, she discovers secrets and questions beneath her rosy new life. Can she find answers on Firefly Island, a little chunk of property just off the lakeshore, where mysterious lights glisten at night?

I've never read anything by Lisa Wingate, so I'm looking forward to this story which sounds wonderful. It comes out in February 2013.

On Asking God Why

Do you ever want to question God? That's what this book is all about. The back cover says :

"Throughout On Asking God Why, you are encouraged to question your Father in heaven and allow yourself to trust Him without reserve, because in Him you will find every answer."

I found this book in the used section of my local christian book store and was so excited when I got home and opened it. There on the front page Elizabeth Elliot had signed it! This will definitely be a keeper I will cherish!

July 23, 2012

Quote of the Week

"The woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam, not made out of his head to rule over him, not out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved."
                                           Matthew Henry

July 21, 2012

And the Winner is...

The winner of my 'Petra' giveaway is...


Congratulations Beth!! I will be contacting you by e-mail soon.

Hope you enjoy this amazing book! : )

July 18, 2012

The Poor

Years ago I read a book by John Piper called "Don't Waste your Life" and in it he quotes B.B. Warfield on our attitudes towards the poor. It was one of those thought-provoking quotes that really stuck with me and I often reread it. Here it is:

Three objections and answers to helping the poor:

Objection 1: My money is my own

Answer: Christ might have said, 'My blood is my own, my life is my own.'...then where should we have been?

Objection 2:  The poor are undeserving

Answer: Christ might have said, 'They are wicked rebels...shall I lay down my life for these? I will give to the good angels.' But no, he left the 99 and came after the lost. He gave his blood for the undeserving.

Objection 3: The poor may abuse it

Answer: Christ might have said the same; yea, with far greater truth.

This following story is about Oswald Chambers and a drunken man. I thought I'd share it again because it goes so well with the above quote.

"One evening, walking back to his lodgings after conducting a League meeting, he was accosted by a drunken man asking for money. Chambers listened intently to the man's story, then told him, 'Man, I believe your story is all lies, but my Master tells me to give to everyone that asks, so there is my last shilling.' After putting the coin into the man's hand, Chambers noticed that it was not a shilling but half a crown worth two and a half times more. It didn't matter. 'there you are' he told the man, 'the Lord bless you.' 

When Oswald's hostess heard this story, she chided him for being foolish.

'I believe beggars are sent to test our faith.' Chambers replied earnestly. 'My duty is plain-to obey the command of God and give to everyone that asks. What the recipient may do with it is not my concern.' As the woman shook her head in disbelief, Oswald added with a twinkle, 'Besides, the Lord always gives double for all I give away.' The next morning Chambers received a letter enclosing a gift from a person who was bedridden and could not come to hear him preach. The gift was three times what he had given the drunken man the night before."

"Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back." Luke 6:30

July 16, 2012

Petra Giveaway!

Author Tracy Higley recently had a promotion for book bloggers to receive 4 of her novels for only $4.00! 

I could hardly wait for them to arrive and now I'm so excited to read them!

But since I already own and read 'Petra'  I thought I'd give away my new copy.  : )

Check out my thoughts here: Petra

To enter you only need to be a follower of this blog and leave a comment with your e-mail.

I will announce the winner on Saturday, July 21st.

Open internationally

Happy Reading!

July 13, 2012

My Daughters Bookshelves

Both my daughters love to read. They didn't always and they often would say to me, 'Mom how can you read so much!' As I was vacuuming their rooms the other day I noticed how many books they had! They were everywhere! I think they may be turning into me!  :) 

There is nothing more satisfying to a mom who reads, then to see their child read a book they themselves loved. One of the first books I recommended to my 20 year old daughter was 'Crazy Love' by Francis Chan. I was sooo excited that she wanted to read it! (Can you tell I loved the book? )  

Well she also loved it and we had some great discussion on it. She has since read many books I've suggested.  :)

My 16 year old daughter finally read, 'The Healer's Apprentice' by Melanie Dickerson, which I'd been trying to get her to read for ages. I knew she'd love it because of her love of fairy tales. It's such a great fiction read based on the story of Sleeping Beauty with a spiritual warfare twist.

And guess what...she loved it and is lending it to a friend! :)

She also really loves Robin Jones Gunn's 'Christy Miller' series, which has had a great impact on her. So much so that she even mentioned the series when she got baptized recently!

Thank-you Robin Jones Gunn for your Godly influence through your books!

One thing I've tried to teach my kids is, that other than the Bible, all books are written by fallible people, whether christian or not. We need to test all things, even in books. And to learn to take what is good from a book and leave what isn't. I pray they remember that and always turn to God's Word first and foremost.

"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work."    2 Timothy 3:16-17

I am so thankful we have the privilege and freedom to read and study God's Word! And that we can pass that on to our children.

July 11, 2012

The Wedding Dress

This was such a beautiful story. I loved how the author intertwined this one wedding dress through the lives of four different women and through four different time periods.

Emily from 1912, Mary Grace from 1939, Hillary from 1968 and Charlotte from today, 2012.

I loved so much about this book. I especially loved the characters. Emily who stood up for what she believed in, Mary Grace for not being afraid to share her faith, Hillary who has the courage to face her fears and Charlotte who finally accepts the dreams God has for her. I found the relationships within the story, believably real and heartwarming.

I'm one of those readers who loves to read the author's notes at the back of a novel before I get started. I find the notes bring more depth to the story.

Here's Rachel Hauck's author note:

"As I prayed over this book, I began to see the wedding dress as a symbol for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It never wears out. It fits everyone who tries it on. It doesn't need to be altered. and it's always in style.

The truth and love of Jesus is alive today. It is for everyone. Whether you've been hindered through culture or family like Emily, or gifted with the Gospel like Mary Grace, or wounded like Hillary, or lost and looking for redemption like Charlotte, Jesus provides the healing and answer we are all looking for. He is the way, the truth, and the life. Not for a select few. But for each one of us.

For you."

This captured my attention! I can't explain in words how this applies to the book. You really have to read the whole thing through to understand what she's talking about...and if you do, I think you'll find it's beautiful.

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes"                                                                                      Romans 1:16

July 6, 2012


Have you ever pondered the vastness of the universe? The wonder and awe of creation? How science is full of order and laws?

This book had me looking out the window and up to the skies ALOT. : ) Thinking about God and how great and majestic He is.

"The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork."   Psalm 19:1

I love that feeling of exhilaration when I look at the stars and this book reminded me of that again.

One of the authors, Louie Giglio says here:

"...everyone, everywhere at some point in life has gazed into the night sky and felt a sense of wonder. That's what this book is about."

There are hundreds of billions of stars out there. Author Matt Redman says here:

"Astronomers now believe there to be more stars in the visible universe (what we know to be there) than there are grains of sand on all of the world's beaches and deserts. As it turns out, we're even smaller than we thought we were. And our creator God is far mightier than we ever imagined Him to be."

A Spiral Galaxy
He goes on to say:

"The newest evidence suggests that there are somewhere between one hundred and two hundred billion galaxies in the universe, each of them containing hundreds of billions of stars. And as most scientists agree, there still seems to be no end in sight."

 Matt Redman goes on to say in the next chapter:

"These incomparable and unfathomable wonders above tell us of a God who is quite simply...indescribable."

The incredible thing is , is that God knows all his creation by name. Everything He has created has purpose and He loves it all.

"Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing." Isaiah 40:26

'Not one is missing'...Wow, how great is our God!

I loved all the scripture they used in this book and how it ties in so perfectly with science. They quote the astrophysicist, Paul Davies:

"The equations of physics have in them incredible simplicity, elegance and beauty."

There is order and laws in science. Everything God created works together. If one thing is off, everything goes off. If the sun were just a little closer, or if the earth turned a little differently life would not be sustainable.

"For by  him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things were created through him and for him."
And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together." Col. 1:16-17

The Milky Way

The authors also examine how the God of all, sees us on this little blue speck called earth. What Louie Giglio writes here really stirred my heart. Oh how loved we are:

"If you look closely enough at the pale blue dot, you'll find, besides a busy roadway, just outside a small city, on a hot and searing afternoon thousands of years ago, a cross that still looms ever so large in history and eternity. On this cross hung not just one of us, but God Himself in human flesh - the originator of the vast universe who engulfs us by giving His life for us all. 

His name?

Jesus - the name itself meaning He would save His people from their sins. For love Jesus chose to come to this 'mote of dust' embodying God's indelible proclamation: 'I love you.' How amazing that, on this tiny cosmic speck, His incomprehensible death provided a covering for our fallenness, His resurrection life bridging the way back to the arms of our Maker."

Matt Redman continues these thoughts in another chapter:

"How could it be that the One who spoke these epic galaxies into being lavishes His love on the likes of you and me? The all-powerful hands of the Maker became the nail-pierced hands of the Savior. He who is everything, made Himself nothing."

So much to ponder and reflect on.

I really loved this book. I read it on my e-reader and would love to get a hard copy.

I found my e-reader didn't do justice to the pictures it shared, but if you go to this link you can see all the pictures in full color...Beautiful!  God's Indescribable Creation

"Indescribable" by Chris Tomlin:

July 3, 2012

Quote of the Week

"Faith is not conjuring up, through an act of your will, a sense of certainty that something is going to happen.

No, it is recognizing God's promise as an actual fact, believing it is true, rejoicing in the knowledge of the truth, and then simply resting because God said it."                                                                                                     A.B. Simpson

This quote meant so much to me. We are often fooled by the world's definition of faith... "through an act of your will" We hear it everyday in the media, in self-help books, through motivational speakers, Talk TV has been teaching it for years, but it's a lie.  We are not God.

Real faith is taking God at His Word. Trusting Him. It has nothing to do with us. He alone is the great I AM. His promises are true and we can rest in Him and rejoice in it!

"Glory in His holy name; Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the LORD!" Psalm 105:3

"Love...rejoices in the truth" 1 Cor. 13:6