Saturday, April 30, 2016

Counted with the Stars by Connilyn Cossette: Book Review and Giveaway...


A Story of Love, Desperation, and Hope During a Great Biblical Epoch

Sold into slavery by her father and forsaken by the man she was supposed to marry, young Egyptian Kiya must serve a mistress who takes pleasure in her humiliation. When terrifying plagues strike Egypt, Kiya is in the middle of it all.

To save her older brother and escape the bonds of slavery, Kiya flees with the Hebrews during the Great Exodus. She finds herself utterly dependent on a fearsome God she's only just beginning to learn about, and in love with a man who despises her people. With everything she's ever known swept away, will Kiya turn back toward Egypt or surrender her life and her future to Yahweh?

My Review
I was blessed to be able to be an advanced reader for this beautiful debut by Connilyn Cossette

I devoured it within days and even stayed up way past my bed time. ;-)

I highly recommend this tale and can see that Connilyn Cossette put a lot of hard work and heart into her story. I felt like I was in Egypt traveling right beside Kiya through her trails, finding true love and learning of Yahweh. I even learned some neat Egyptian history.

I LOVED this book and the only bad thing I can stay about it, is that I felt like the very end was a little rushed... it could be because I didn't want it to end.

I would recommend this beautiful tale to mature readers due to some topics that would not be appropriate to younger readers so I give it a PG-13 rating ( it mentions a few times about rape and has a few heavy war scenes. That kinda makes it sound like a really bad read, but I promise you it's not. It is indeed Christian, just not for kids.)

I cannot wait for book two, Shadow of the Storm coming this October.

Because I liked this book so much, I’m doing a GIVEAWAY! This will be for a paper back version and will be only available to those in the U.S.
Winner will be picked next Saturday May 7th.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Love Revolution: Anonymous Love...

Authentic beauty is not based on what we’re wearing or how we look, it flows out of our hearts and is a form of worship of our King. This beauty grows when we open our eyes to the hurting souls around us—our neighbors, our co-workers, our friends, our spouses, our children—and ask, “What can I do today to show them the love of Jesus?” The simplest act, even a kind word, is the first step toward a radiant beauty that will endear us in the eyes of the One who matters most.

Love/Dare Challenge Five:
Lets start August of with a burst of fun... how about a random act of kindness. I've had this couple on my heart for the last month and I want to treat them to a night out at the movies and I don't want them to know it's from me. So my challenge is to surprise someone with some kind of kindness. It could be homemade cookies or a small gift-card. Have fun with it, but make it anonymous. Write them a little note and tell them to pass the kindness on... maybe it will never end. ;-)

I give you a new commandment: that you should love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too should love one another. By this shall all [men] know that you are My disciples, if you love one another [if you keep on showing love among yourselves]. - John 13:34-35

I need your help (YES that means YOU) because love can’t stay silent…

Lately there has been a lot of talk about “Love”. What is Love? Everywhere we turn there is something about “Love Wins” but is it really love or something else?

I’ve been aching to do this for some time, but I can’t do this alone. Dare to Love?

Join me in the Love Revolution every week and feel free to share your stories and ideas in the comment section below or email me at ryanheart89@comcast.net
Let's not just talk about love, let's practice real love.
For some, the only love they will ever see, will be from you. You will be their glimpse of God. What an awesome privilege and responsibility. As Christians we are His hands and feet, and sometimes His smile!

First Love Dare... What is Love?

Second Love Dare... Saying I Love You.

Third Love Dare... Another Chance.

Fourth Love Dare... Love in Action 

Fifth Love Dare... Anonymous Love...

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Love Revolution: Love in Action...

Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave the way open for [God’s] wrath; for it is written, Vengeance is Mine, I will repay (requite), says the Lord.
But if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him drink; for by so doing you will heap
burning coals upon his head.
Do not let yourself be overcome by evil, but overcome (master) evil with good.
~ Romans 12:19-21

Have you seen the movie, The Count of Monte Cristo? It's one that most people really enjoy. I've seen it a few times and considered it a pretty good movie, even recommended it, yet one thing has always been sort of a downer for me, something that I rooted for in the movie, but shouldn't have. In case you haven't seen the movie here is a short synopsis on it...

The Count of Monte Cristo' is a remake of the Alexander Dumas tale by the same name. Dantes, a sailor who is falsely accused of treason by his best friend Fernand, who wants Dantes' girlfriend Mercedes for himself. Dantes is imprisoned on the island prison of Chateau d'If for 13 years, where he plots revenge against those who betrayed him. With the help of another prisoner, he escapes the island and proceeds to transform himself into the wealthy Count of Monte Cristo as part of his plan to exact revenge.

The entire movie is about betrayal and exacting revenge. During the time that Dantes is in prison there are five words carved on his prison cell walls, "God Will Give Me Justice " He carves them in deeper during the 13 years he stayed in this horrible prison, as if he were etching them into his brain, yet sadly he didn't understand them.

Dantes seems to get everything he could ever want when he becomes the Count of Monte Cristo, yet he is not pleased until he kills his friend that betrayed him.

We all have been betrayed by someone in our life that we trusted and loved. I was homeschooled during my high-school years, yet I went through some painful high-school drama from a girl that said some mean lies about my family and I. Too many people believed her lies and it greatly hurt. I wanted revenge against this pain. She had taken friends away from me and made me and my family into something we were not. This was a trying time, yet as crazy as this might sound, I am glad for it all. I learned to overcome evil, with love. This girl was a sad and miserable person... I didn't want to become like her. So I treated her with kindness and love.

When we exact revenge we become like the ones who gave it... nothing good comes out it... only more sorrow.

Joyce Meyer says it in a nice way, "But you don't know what was done to me," people say when trying to excuse their bitterness, resentment, and unforgiveness. Based on what the Bible says, it really does not matter how great the offense was. We serve a God Who is greater, and if we will handle the offense in the right way, He will bring us justice and recompense when we allow Him to do so.

In Isaiah 61: 7 the Lord promises us, "Instead of your {former} shame you shall have a twofold recompense." A recompense is a reward. It is a payback for past hurts. It is like worker's compensation. The Lord once told me, "Joyce, you work for Me, and as long as you do, if you get hurt on the job, I will pay you back."

Jesus taught us that we are to forgive those who hurt us, pray for those who spitefully use us, and
bless those who curse us. That is hard. But there is something harder: being full of hatred, bitterness,
and resentment.

God will give you justice. It might not be what you expect, but in the end it will be better than you could of imagined. That is if you trust Him to...

Love/Dare Challenge Four:
We all have someone in our life that is unkind and treats us poorly. This week try to show some love towards them. Instead of being irritated when they treat you poorly, repay it with kindness. Continue to smile, love them like Jesus would. You might just be surprised in the end... a foe could possible turn into a friend. Please know I'm not saying to do this to someone that is a danger to you; such as an abuser, in that case, pray for them, because it will be good and healing for you.


I give you a new commandment: that you should love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too should love one another. By this shall all [men] know that you are My disciples, if you love one another [if you keep on showing love among yourselves]. - John 13:34-35

I need your help (YES that means YOU) because love can’t stay silent…

Lately there has been a lot of talk about “Love”. What is Love? Everywhere we turn there is something about “Love Wins” but is it really love or something else?

I’ve been aching to do this for some time, but I can’t do this alone. Dare to Love?

Join me in the Love Revolution every week and feel free to share your stories and ideas in the comment section below or email me at ryanheart89@comcast.net
Let's not just talk about love, let's practice real love.
For some, the only love they will ever see, will be from you. You will be their glimpse of God. What an awesome privilege and responsibility. As Christians we are His hands and feet, and sometimes His smile!


Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Love Revolution: Another Chance...

Since by your obedience to the Truth through the [Holy ] Spirit you have purified your hearts for the sincere affection of the brethren, [see that you] love one another fervently from a pure heart .
~1 Peter 1:22

Now we all have heard and perhaps said the phrase, "First impressions are lasting impressions." You do usually remember the first time meeting someone. You remember if they were nice, rude, grumpy, happy... you get my point. First impressions are important, but they shouldn't be the last impression.

I know without a doubt that I've given bad first impressions of myself. Through the majority of my teenage years, I was painfully shy. I'm sure I gave the impression of being snotty, when in reality I was very self-conscious of myself and I didn't really "fit-in". Teenage years can be brutal!

Have you ever seen the movie or read the book, Pride and Prejudice? A pretty good story on first impressions. There is a character in it called, Mr Darcy. When you are first introduced to him, you right away dislike him, but by the end of the movie, you love him. Don't lose the chance of really getting to know someone because they gave a poor first impression of themselves.

I once had a job interview that I had to do online. After giving all my information and past history I had to take a one hundred question psych test... I guess the grocery store really didn't want to hire any crazy people. Knowing that I should hear back in a few short days for an in person interview, I waited, believing I would be called. A week and a half went by, so I gave them a call, thinking my application didn't go through. To my surprise they informed me that I failed the psych test and did not qualify for an in person interview. Ya. that was awkward! Looking at this now it's kinda funny that a silly test would judge and tell who I am... I wonder how many questions I was allowed to fail. I wasn't really given a chance to show who I truly was. Sometimes like this test we quickly judge others and pass them up. Everyone is worth a try... even if they fail a psych test ;-)


Love/Dare Challenge Three:

Is there someone you should give another chance?
Is there someone you would like to give another impression of yourself to?
I dare you this week to personally give someone another chance, whether it be of yourself or them. Here is a good start, invite them to join you for lunch, or even more casual coffee/tea or ice-cream.

I give you a new commandment: that you should love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too should love one another. By this shall all [men] know that you are My disciples, if you love one another [if you keep on showing love among yourselves]. - John 13:34-35

I need your help (YES that means YOU) because love can’t stay silent…

Lately there has been a lot of talk about “Love”. What is Love? Everywhere we turn there is something about “Love Wins” but is it really love or something else?

I’ve been aching to do this for some time, but I can’t do this alone. Dare to Love?

Join me in the Love Revolution every week and feel free to share your stories and ideas in the comment section below or email me at ryanheart89@comcast.net
Let's not just talk about love, let's practice real love.
For some, the only love they will ever see, will be from you. You will be their glimpse of God. What an awesome privilege and responsibility. As Christians we are His hands and feet, and sometimes His smile!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Love Revolution: Saying I love you...

Last week I started what I'm calling a Love Revolution. Every Monday I'll be posting a Love/Dare, a challenge to show some honest love. Take a look at last weeks challenge here, Love? What is it?

A few years ago my mom and I had to take our dog Wyatt (who was a puppy at the time), to an emergency vet visit. Poor Wyatt's eyes and face quickly swelled up that morning and gave us quite a scare. The vet was not able to see us until mid-afternoon. We could tell that little Wyatt was in great pain, but there was nothing we could do, but give him some comfort, with gentle words and soft petting.

Sadly, my family and I struggled with Wyatt for the first year we had him. It was what I felt a "love and hate" relationship with him... more of a hate with me. He's full blown Australian Shepherd  ... Google that, and you'll see what we dealt with. Too much energy, scary smarts, with a mix of... crazy. Marley and Me, looked mild compared to him.

During this scary incident though, I realized how much I actually loved him. How much I truly cared for him. How much sorrow filled my heart, at the thought of something really bad happening to him.

I hear too many people say how they rarely hear or say the words "I Love You" to the ones they care about. Don't let an opportunity of saying, I Love You, ever pass you by. There is no such thing of ever saying it too much, but there is such a thing of saying it too little or sadly not getting another chance to.

I love my church, where total strangers and friends hug you (I'm not a huge fan of it, but I'm getting better ;-)) and freely say I love you. There is something powerful in these three words.

Love/Dare Challenge Two…
Tell someone that you haven’t told in a while that you love them. Let them know how much they mean to you. If you can’t in person, give them a call. Don’t wait… tomorrow is never promised.

I give you a new commandment: that you should love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too should love one another. By this shall all [men] know that you are My disciples, if you love one another [if you keep on showing love among yourselves]. - John 13:34-35

I need your help (YES that means YOU) because love can’t stay silent…

Lately there has been a lot of talk about “Love”. What is Love? Everywhere we turn there is something about “Love Wins” but is it really love or something else?

I’ve been aching to do this for some time, but I can’t do this alone. Dare to Love?

Join me in the Love Revolution every week and feel free to share your stories and ideas in the comment section below or email me at ryanheart89@comcast.net
Let's not just talk about love, let's practice real love.
For some, the only love they will ever see, will be from you. You will be their glimpse of God. What an awesome privilege and responsibility. As Christians we are His hands and feet, and sometimes His smile!