Thursday, January 29, 2009

Blessed Indiana

On the sixth day God turned to the Archangel Gabriel and said:

'Today, I am going to create a land called Indiana.

It will be a land of outstanding natural beauty; a land of beautiful lakes full of fish. It shall have tall trees, flowing rivers, landscapes full of flowers, tall grass, beautiful blue skies, majestic eagles, forests full of many kinds of wildlife, rich farmland, wonderful people and they will be great at basketball' God continued, 'I shall make the land rich in resources so as to make the inhabitants prosper and they shall be known as friendly people who practice being 'Hoosier Nice' every day.'

'But Lord,' asked Gabriel, 'don't you think you are being too generous to these Hoosier's?'

'Not really,' replied God 'just wait and see the winters I am going to give them.'

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Quiz 2009!

Welcome to the new 2009 edition of getting to know your family and friends. Here is what you are supposed to do, and try not to be lame and spoil the fun. Change all the answers so that they apply to you. Then send this to a bunch of people you know, INCLUDING the person who sent it to you. Some of you may get this several times; that means you have lots of friends. The easiest way to do it is to hit 'forward' so you can change the answers or copy and paste. Have f un and be truthful! I want to see your answers!

1. What is your occupation right now? An unemployed author
2. What color are your socks right now? White
3. What are you listening to right now? "What Not to Wear" on TLC
4. What was the last thing that you ate? Mini Spaghettios
5. Can you drive a stick shift? Nope
6. Last person you spoke to on the phone? My mom
7. Do you like the person who sent this to you? Absolutely, love her to pieces
8. How old are you today? 22.
9. What is your favorite sport to watch on TV? Figure Skating
10. What is your favorite drink? Cherry coke
11. Have you ever dyed your hair? Yep, millions of times.
12. Favorite food? Spaghetti or pizza
13. What is the last movie you watched? "Bonhoeffer: Agent of Grace"
14. Favorite day of the year? Easter or Christmas
15. How do you vent anger? I cry.
16. What was your favorite toy as a child? My teddy bear. I still have him.
17. What is your favorite season? Spring
18. Cherries or Blueberries? Blueberries
19. Do you want your friends to e-mail you back? Sure.
20. Who is the most likely to respond? Don't know.
21. Who is least likely to respond? Don't know
22. Living arrangements? Parents, sister, aunt, Grace (the basset), Bingley and Garfield and Darcy (three tabby cats)
23. When was the last time you cried? Not sure, but I feel like crying now.
24. What is on the floor of your closet? You don't want to know and neither do I.
25. Who is the friend you have had the longest that you are sending to? My mom and dad, I've known them since the day I was born.
26. What did you do last night? Went to AWANA and helped out in the kitchen.
27. What are you most afraid of? The unknown
28. Plain, cheese, or spicy hamburger? Cheese with ketchup.
29. Favorite dog breed? I have a soft spot for Golden Retrievers. And Bassets.
30. Favorite day of the week? Sundays and Mondays
31. How many states have you lived in? One
32. Diamonds or pearls? Diamonds, but the style must be understated.
33. What is your favorite flower? Tulips and white roses

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Top Ten Predictions For 2009

1. The Bible will still have all the answers.

2. Prayer will still work.

3. The Holy Spirit will still move.

4. God will still inhabit the praises of His people.

5. There will still be God-annointed preaching.

6. There will still be singing of praise to God.

7. God will still pour out blessings upon His people.

8. There will still be room at the Cross.

9. Jesus will still love you.

10. Jesus will still save the lost.

God whispers in your soul and speaks to your mind. Sometimes when you don't have time to listen, He has to throw a brick at you. It's your choice:

Listen to the whisper, or wait for the brick.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Havah by Tosca Lee

A single decision has the power to unravel mankind.
Created, not born.
The world's first woman, without flaw until one fateful decision. Now all humanity must pay for the mistake.
From paradise to exile, from immortality to the death of Adam, experience the dawn of mankind through the eyes of Eve- the woman first known as Havah.

For those unfamiliar with Hebrew, Havah is the Hebrew name for the first woman ever created. A.k.a- Eve, as in Adam and Eve. And this is her story, and the story of the first family. I won’t outline the story; nine chances out of ten you’re probably already familiar with it. The creation, the first sin, the fall of mankind, the promise of an "enmity", the first sons born on earth, the first murder, etc… This is not your average Christian fiction; it’s edgy and different from most of what is out there. It begins with Havah waking up in Eden after God creates her and describes Adam’s excitement of having a helpmeet. Human anatomy is mentioned but not in great detail. Prior to the fall, Havah and Adam enjoy a perfect relationship and have no concerns about their welfare. I’m not sure if anyone else noticed, but while Havah and Adam lived in Eden they knew each other’s thoughts. I thought it was comical how after the fall, Havah was upset that Adam could no longer discern her thoughts. So the first woman expected the first man to read her mind too. Like couples in this day of age, the first couple had their share of troubles and throughout their several hundred-year relationship, they had their ins and outs. But unlike today they were on their own and had to learn how to fall in love over and over again. While I really liked "Havah" I think its one of those stories that should be rated PG-13, due to some of the content within the story.

The Shack: A Novel by William P. Young

Where tragedy confronts eternity.
What would you do if God sent you a note, asking you to meet Him at the shack where your daughter was murdered? That’s exactly what happened to Mackenzie Allan Phillips. But let’s backtrack a bit. The Phillips’ were the average family; a loving and devoted couple, three beautiful children. They believed in God, knew Him personally, went to church on Sundays and read the Bible regularly. The idyllic life is turned upside down when Mack and Nan’s daughter Missy is kidnapped and murdered. Actually, she is one of the victims of serial killer known as the Little Lady Killer. He targets little girls, kidnaps them and kills them. The FBI stumbles upon a shack, where there is blood on the floor. It is determined that the blood belonged to Missy and that she is dead. Three and a half years pass and the Phillips family is still struggling to come to terms with little Missy’s death. Nan is devout in her faith as ever; in fact, she constantly refers to God as "Papa." The oldest daughter is having difficulties though. And whatever faith Mack had before the murder is now lost.
That’s when Mack receives an unmarked envelope, with a note inside. The Author of the note asks Mack to meet Him in the very shack where Missy was murdered. At the bottom of the paper it’s signed, "Papa." Mack comes to the conclusion that "Papa" is actually God. He speaks to his friend Willie (who in fact is the author of this book) and the two discuss the possibility of God actually contacting him personally. While he is skeptical of God, on some level Mack’s curiosity piqued and he believes that God might be there. He waits until his wife and children are spending the weekend elsewhere when he takes off and travels to the remote shack. The bloodstain on the floor is still there, but God is nowhere to be found. Enraged, Mack destroys any object he can get a hold of. He steps outside briefly and the entire area is suddenly transformed into a little piece of heaven. When he goes back to the shack, a black woman answers the door, introducing herself as Elousia…a.k.a.- God. But it’s not just God the father who’s there, the whole Trinity is inside. God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are not what you imagine… as mentioned before God appears as a black woman, Jesus is an average looking guy clad in blue jeans and the Holy Spirit is a free spirit Asian woman.
Not to give away any of the great parts, I’ll leave it at that. "The Shack" is not your average Christian novel, actually it is the exact opposite of what I expected. I can’t recall any Scriptures in the novel, in fact at one point Jesus declares that He wasn’t a Christian, but that He is the answer. Mack is still devastated over his daughter’s death, and the Trinity encourages him to be open and honest about what he feels. Each of Them comforts him in Their own way. Neither of Them are taken back when Mack curses or explodes in anger. Each Member of the Trinity is endearing and left this reader feeling as though she has a deeper understanding of God. I smiled and cried as I read through Mark’s experiences. Many of my own questions that I didn’t even know that I had were answered. I find myself thinking back and snickering over certain incidents in the story, especially when Jesus is a butterfingers.
The author writes an introduction and then a little epilogue, insisting that he is merely ghostwriting the story of his friend. That his friend Mack’s daughter was kidnapped and murdered, his friend received a letter from "Papa" and that he did go to the shack and had a life changing experience there. Mack delved into a deeper relationship with Christ, discovered the location of Missy’s remains, and intended to witness to the Little Lady Killer. Whether this novel is true or not, doesn’t matter to me. I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone, as long as they keep in mind that this book is not for the faint at heart. I dare anyone to read this without walking away and feeling different. The story is heart wrenching, yet inspirational, even for those who don’t believe.

Irena Sendler

According to, this coming April, "Miss Irena's Children" will be featured on the Hallmark Hall of Fame. It is the story of Irena Sendler, the Polish social worker who was active in the Polish underground during World War II. Not only did she save the lives of 2,500 Jewish children by smuggling them out of the Warsaw ghetto, Irena was arrested for her acts, imprisoned and tortured by the Gestapo. The Polish resistance was able to bribe the authorities to release her and she spent the remainder of the war in hiding, but continued to rescue children from the Nazis' clutches. She was nominated for the Nobel Peace prize but lost to Al Gore and his slideshow on Global Warming. Irena died in 2007 at age 97. Anna Paquin is slated to star as Irena. More info in the coming months.

Director: John Kent Harrison (Pope John Paul II (2005), In Love and War (2001) (TV))
Writers: John Kent Harrison, Larry Spagnola
Filming Locations: Riga, Latvia

Anna Paquin ... Irena Sendler
Marcia Gay Harden ... Janina Sendler
Goran Visnjic ... Stephane
Michelle Dockery ... Eva Rozenfeld
Paul Freeman ... Monsignor Godlewski
Fiona Glascott ... Maria
Steve Speirs ... Piotr
Danny Webb ... Trojan
Scott Handy ... Michal Laski
Leigh Lawson ... Rabbi Rozenfeld
Iddo Goldberg ... Jacob Rozenfeld
Rebecca Night ... Danuta
Sofya Skya ... Mother
Rebecca Windheim ... Karolyna
Sakalas Uzdavinys ... Young Rabbi
Maja Ostaszewska ... Jadwiga
Krzysztof Pieczynski ... Dr. Janusz Korczak
Danuta Stenka ... Hannah Rozenfeld
Olga Boladz ... Zofia
Janis Reinis ... SS Officer
Sergejs Marcenko ... Jasio
Girts Krumins ... German Accountant
William Ellis ... Viktor
Elea Hofland ... Anna

Friday, January 2, 2009

The Apothecary’s Daughter by Julie Klassen

Lilly Haswell remembers everything- whether she wants to, or not...
Rated: 4 stars
In the village of Bedsley Priors, Lillian Haswell is known by all as the apothecary’s daughter; intelligent and dutiful; she assists her father in nearly every aspect of his profession. From growing herbs to prescribing certain remedies, to running errands for him. Mr. Haswell is full of regret that his son Charlie cannot follow in his footsteps, but young Charlie is a bit slow. Instead he must rely on his daughter. While Lilly has a knack of remembering everything and is gifted in the field of medicine, she dreams of traveling, seeing the world- but most of all, finding her mother. Years prior Mrs. Haswell left her husband and children, promising to return, however she never did. So when Lilly’s aunt and uncle invite her to stay in London with them, she believes that her dreams are becoming a reality. Nearly two years pass when she is called home. She finds her home in disarray, her father ill, her brother working elsewhere and their own little shop closed. Despite her yearning to go back to London, Lilly does her duty and works diligently to bring their apothecary’s shop back to it’s former glory. What follows, I never would have guess, but I’ll not spoil it for you.
After reading Klassen’s former novel, "Lady of Milkweed Manor" I was eagerly awaiting her next work and was not left disappointed. While I still prefer "Lady of Milkweed Manor," "The Apothecary’s Daughter" claimed my attention from morning to late afternoon, until I finished it. Lilly was an engaging heroine; bright and intelligent. The only disappointment that I felt was that her father hadn’t realized what a jewel he had for a daughter until almost the end. Of course one must keep in mind that this story is based in the Regency Era and that the medical profession was forbidden to women. I was completely surprised by the author’s choice in who Lilly ended up with. I was certain it would be once character and it turned out to be someone completely different. Another shock was the secrets behind Mrs. Haswell’s disappearance and Mr. Haswell’s own past. I promise you, like Klassen’s other book, you won’t finish this story without tears.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Random Quiz

1. What do you like most about winter? Christmas and my birthday.

2. Do you like the font Century Gothic? Not really, I prefer Courier New.

3. If you could excel at one sport, what would it be? Figure Skating.

4. Would you ever name an animal after another animal? No, Adam didn't.

5. What is your comfort food? Chocolate and anything sweet.

6. Do you like celery with peanut butter on it? Sure, who doesn't?

7. What are you listening to right now? "Elf."

8. Do you listen to Artie Shaw? Of course, swing/big band is awesome. Little known fact- as a young woman, Judy Garland was in love with him but he married Lana Turner instead.

9. Do you have any rubber ducks? I haven't had a rubber ducky since I was a little kid.

10. Ever saved an animal's life? No, but I've bottle fed some kittens. That was a unique and heartwarming expirience.

11. Bulbasaur, Charmander or Squirtle? Squirtle sounds funny, like a cross between a squirrel and a tirtle... squirtle.

12. Read any good books lately? No but I'm about to: "Havah" by Tosca Lee and "The Apothecary's Daughter" by Julie Klassen.

13. Why aren't you sleeping right now? Because I'm awake and typing on this computer.

14. Do you have a favourite pair of undies? Not really; underwear is underwear, as long as it's clean I'll wear it.

15. Ever buy boxers as a present for someone? I'm not the type that gives underwear as a present.

16. How many Asians are you friends with? I don't know, I haven't counted them recently.

17. How comfortable is your bed? Super comfy.

18. Is your parent's bed bigger than yours? You bet, we had a heck of a time getting it upstairs and through the hallway.

19. What are you thinking about right now? Books and stories, what else?

20. Do carrot sticks make a good snack? Yeah if they're aren't any sweets around.

21. Ever seen the movie Meet Me In St. Louis? Yeah, once, a few years ago. Got to love "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas!"

22. Isn't Michael J. Fox a dreamboat? No, he reminds me of Stuart Little.

23. What about Casablanca? Ever see that movie? No, looks cheesy to me.

24. Can you skateboard? No and you don't want me to.

25. How easy is it to annoy you? Depends on my mood or how my day went.

26. How many people did you hug today? A few.

27. Witness any random acts of kindness today? If only I got this quiz on December 30, that was my birthday. I felt like I had the day off; didn't have to do dishes or make dinner. It was relaxing.

28. What do you really want to buy? At Bob Evan's they have this small gift shop where there are these booklets that lists all kinds of events that occured the year you were born. I'd like to buy some from 1940 to 1945 because those are the years my novels take place.

29. The only place to find freedom is? In Jesus.

30. Is your laundry basket/hamper full? I hope not, I emptied it out earlier. Laundry is a never ending battle.