... Even the worst heartaches can become heartstrings to God's hope, comfort, encouragement, joy, peace and love...

Welcome! As a fan of the cartoon character Maxine, I enjoy her witty remarks. But when I
read my blogs & other writing to her, she's not very responsive- even when I'm wearing my bunny slippers like hers! She just doesn't get it!
Although she's funnier than I am, I do pray that this site will bring encouragement to your day! I'd love to hear from you! Unlike Maxine, you can leave me a message via the Comments. Shalom, Connie


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Book 4 and Thanksliving

I am reading Around the World in Seventy-two days (2015, Ichthus Publications) by Nellie Bly*, who was a young reporter in 1889. She knew making connections was the key to getting home in 72 days. Therefore, limiting her luggage was essential.

She wrote, “Packing that hand-bag was the most difficult undertaking of my life; there was so much to go into such a little space.” Between that bag and her hand-satchel, she managed to pack all her necessities except for one dress, which she left behind.

On November 14th,1889 Nellie Bly left New York by ship heading for London.

As I contemplated how much easier that trip would be today with wheeled carry-ons, I began wondering what I would take. What is essential for a trip of 72 days? And for recording the journey?

My mind wandered. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day. What did the pilgrims pack for their trip to the new world and freedom from England’s rule?

Then my thoughts flew to Egypt of old. What did the women of Israel pack? There wasn’t even time to bake bread. No suitcases on wheels either. They could only take what could be carried across the Red Sea.

I checked Scripture. Exodus 13:18b tells us the Israelites were armed for battle. Thus the men wouldn’t be carrying household items or clothes to help the women. I can imagine the women and children carrying a bundle each. Maybe some unleavened bread, a pot, bowls, a wine sack, some cloth. But Scripture doesn’t include a list. Not even a clue… or does it?

Exodus 15:20-21 reads: 

Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women went out after her with tambourines and dancing.

“And Miriam sang to them: ‘Sing to the LORD, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea.’” (ESV)

All the women were prepared to give thanks, even if it meant leaving another item behind.

I have to admit, if I was escaping Pharaoh’s tyranny I don’t think my tambourine would come to mind. My keyboard is too large to take. But if Miriam came by to remind the other women and me, maybe a comb and piece of waxed paper could be my instrument.

Seriously, as I enjoy Thanksgiving Day with my family, we will be reflecting on our many blessings and, as the gramma, I will share Exodus 15 (above) to encourage my children and grandchildren not to wait, but to be prepared at all times to express their gratitude to God and others, who impact their lives. .. including each other.

BTW. There's an extra blessing for me! My youngest sister is driving here from UT! I haven’t seen her for several years.

Now back to reading Nellie Bly’s book.

Selah ~


 * Pen name for Elizabeth Cockran

Monday, November 07, 2016

BOOKS, Part 3- My Current Reading

One of the Few: A Marine Fighter Pilot's Reconnaissance of the Christian Worldview  by Jason B. Ladd

Note: I read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author.  All of the opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

In high school, my College English class required the reading many books. One on the list was awful; I just couldn’t read it. My teacher suggested I write why instead of the usual book review.

I found One of the Few difficult to finish. Here’s why:
  • ·         The military jargon distracted me as it was of no interest to me. At times I didn’t understand it.
  • ·         The writer’s style of flipping between his military life and his personal journey toward and with Christ Jesus was confusing.
  • ·         His desire to bring others to the same conclusion he made in eventually following the Lord was “preachy” at times and could turn off an unbeliever.
  • ·         Like many new writers, JL, as a Marine pilot, writes what he knows best- flying. My writing mentors say to know and follow the rules when writing before you break them. This may have helped his book to flow better.

This book wasn’t for me and that’s okay. I believe it has its own unique nichẻ for those with military connections or those interested in flying, It should be required reading for military chaplains.

 I do recommend it to those few who fit in the above nichẻ.

The Marines choose only a few… the best. I’m glad the author found Jesus Christ, who came for all and works best with our weaknesses. 

~ ~ ~

I have just finished the Biblical novel Noah by Ellen Gunderson Traylor. In A Note To the Reader, Traylor wrote:

"When I was asked to write a book on Noah, I had no idea that I would be opening myself up to a world of mystery and adventure such as is found on the following pages."

Her research and faithfulness to the Scriptures do indeed result in a reading adventure. 

Genesis 6-9, the basis for this novel, is a story of faith and obedience but leaves a multitude of questions with no answers. I know because I also did research that included over 40 resources. 

Traylor's novel is a 5-star book as a good read. For me, it fulfills my personal criteria: It must cause me to think in areas I haven't traveled before... it must stimulate my brain's little gray cells. Mostly, I thought how I would respond if I was there. Would my faith sustain me? Could I get along with Noah's family? How would I survive for over a year closed inside the ark? Even more basic- what factors would I consider when I heard Noah's warning? Would I believe him? Could I have been one of the righteous?

I loved meeting Traylor's gentle, compassionate Noah. 

"This is a story, not only of Noah's time, but in many ways of our own." Even more relevant since she wrote it in 1985. I highly recommend reading it. This reading journey may save your life.

What are you reading?


Tuesday, November 01, 2016

BOOKS, Part 7

Currently, I am reading Zebo written by my friend of 50+ years. I'll post a review later.

I just finished the eight book Bowers series by Steven James. Each title is a chess piece with the final book being Checkmate. If you like the mystery/crime genre, you'll love these.  

Also highly recommend is The Illuminator by Brenda Rickman Vantrease. In fact, I just got the audio version so I can enjoy it again while I knit. Then I'll start on Brenda's third book, The Heretic's Wife.

My To be Read books that are stacked by my recliner include those by Steven James (2), Jerry Jenkins (3 book series), Elizabeth George, Elizabeth Chadwick, James Patterson (3 book series), Diana Gabaldon (2), Donita Paul and ...

Len Bailey's Sherlock Holmes and the Needle's Eye is begging me to be next. It is unique... ten short stories fill the first 243 pages followed by Investigative Questions for each adventure. It combines my favorite genre and detective plus it is a Bible study. Can I ignore its siren call? I'll let you know.

What have books meant to your life? What ones are you reading? What are your three favorites?

Trivia Questions: Who wrote the book that became the basis for the broadway show Cats?



BOOKS, Part 2

Librarians love me, as they do all avid readers. 

As a child, I read ever book in my elementary school libraries
with exception of the reference books that couldn't be checked out. I got to read all new books first. 

In the summer I walked to the local branch library every week for an armload of books...about 5 miles each way.[No backpacks back then.] I was on the Teen Taskforce to assist in choosing the books for the Youth section at our new library.I helped to shelf thousands of books from the old library to the new building and was a tour guide on Grand Opening Day.

Since age 7, I read for enjoyment, to escape my troubled home life, to learn and to become a writer. King Arthur, Little House on the Praire and Grimm fairy tales were my first loves. 

As an adult, I traveled to Avalon- the longest book I could find- as I sat at my father's bedside while his struggle with cancer came to an end. Later I took a college course on Children's literature, which required the reading of over 50 books. Every week my son picked up 10-12 books from the bookmobile for me.

As a senior, I've read new books and gave feedback to the bookmobile librarian. I also took care of our retirement center's library for nearly 10 years.

Now, my health limits my activity.Yet it provides lots of time for reading. The internet offers truckloads of free and low-cost books. Thriftbooks.com is my favorite source for like-new books at 4/$12 with free shipping. Like Joe, my apartment is full of books.

I'll share what I'm reading in the next post. Meanwhile...

Selah, think on what books mean to you


BOOKS, Part 1- guest post

Today I e-mailed Joe: "I love it when your posts pop into my e-box. I wish I could write as concise as you do. As I read Books, I kept saying "me, too...ditto that..."

"In addition to your list, books have saved my life and my sanity. Through them, I escaped emotional abuse as a child.They saw me through rough times in my adult years. And they aren't judgemental 😀

"Thanks for sharing your wisdom through everyday things!"

 By Joseph J. Mazzella
      I have always loved to read ever since I was a child so it goes to say that my house is forever
full of books.  I have new books, old books, hardcovers, paperbacks, fiction, and nonfiction.  My
two tiny bookshelves are full of photo albums and scrapbooks.  I have three boxes of books in
my closet, two boxes of books on the floor of my bedroom, and a box of children’s books
waiting for my future grandchildren.  I have books stacked on the nightstand by my bed.  I have
several books including my old, black Bible on top of my desk.  I have even more books
including the two I wrote on top of the filing cabinet beside it.  I do try to keep the books from
building up by donating as many as I can to the local library but as soon as I donate a few I find
myself buying a few more.
     Books I find keep my mind young, my heart warm, and my soul bright.  They bring me
learning, laughter, and joy.  They connect me with the wisdom of the past and the new ideas of
the present.  They keep me moving on the right path as I journey through life.
     I have learned that people are a lot like books as well.  Some have bright and shiny covers but
don’t have very much to say inside of them.  Others are old and musky but so full of wisdom and
light that reading them can change your whole life.  One difference between books and people,
though, is that while a book can have an ending the writing inside of us goes on forever.
     Take care when writing the book of your own life then.  Fill it with God’s love for you.  Fill it
with your love for God.  Fill it with love for yourself, others, and this world.  Fill it with all the
wisdom you have learned, goodness you have done, kindness you have shared, and joy you have
spread.  Keep writing it every day too.  Make it everything you are and everything you want to be
and then open it to everyone.  I know it will be a wonderful read.

~ ~ ~

Selah_ think on this