Monday, October 31, 2011

Luther's 95 Theses Posted October 31, 1517

A replica of the 95 Theses in Schlosskirche, Wittenberg
According to the traditional account, Martin Luther posted his Ninety-Five Theses on the door of the castle church in Wittenberg, Germany—an event now seen as the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. Written in response to the selling of indulgences to pay for the rebuilding of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, the theses represented an implicit criticism of papal policy and aroused much controversy. (copied from "This Day in History")

The 95 Theses
Much was going on during this period of history in respect to Christiandom.  Controversary within and without the established church, the Roman Catholic Church.  Dissension over authority of the Pope.  Controversary and unrest over the practice of indulgences being sold as penance for one's sins.  Interpretation and availability of the written Bible to the peoples was forbidden and much desired by those of the non-laiety.

But of even more importance that any of these very important issues was the fact that Martin Luther began to espouse and preach justification by faith.  Not by indulgences.  Not by confession to a priest.  Not by anything other than faith in the saving grace of Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of man could a person be justified in the sight of God and have forgiveness for his or her sins.

"Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, "THE RIGHTEOUS MAN SHALL LIVE BY FAITH." Galatians 3:11-   "Now the just shall live by faith..." Hebrews 10:38

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Book Review: "My First Story of Christmas" by Tim Dowley - a book to treasure for years....

As a mother of 5 and grandmother to 13, I have read many, many books to children through the years.  When Moody Publishers sent me "My First Story of Christmas" by Tim Dowley and illustrated by Roger Langton, I felt joy and delight to be able to read, enjoy, and review it for adults of all ages who are looking for a book for that special child - be it their own child, a dear grandchild, or one to whom they simply wish to bring a bit of joy.

"My First Story of Christmas" is a brightly colored, artistically beautiful and pleasant book to look through and learn from.  The story of our Saviour's birth is told straight forward and holds true to the Biblical account and yet is in words and tone that very young children will understand and enjoy having read to them.  I also envision the young "reader" treasuring this as a book they can read themselves.

The book is sturdy.  That is something very important if you're expecting the book to last for several years as a family treasure.  The binding is good and pages strong.

Tim Dowley's telling of the story is greatly enhanced by the beautiful pictures by Roger Langton.  The drawings are simplistic yet definitive and colorful.  I like the references to Judea, King Herod, and Bethlehem for it gives real "place" to the story and enriches the learning experience. 

This will make a wonderful gift that will be appreciated by both adults and children.

ISBN-13: 978-0-8024-1758-9    ISBN-10: 0-8024-1758-2
Moody Publishers provided this book free of charge to me and I am not required to give a positive review.

Book Review: Wings of a Dream, by Anne Mateer

This romantic historical fiction book opens during World War I when Rebekah Hendricks' aviator sweetheart has entered the war effort as a flyer.  Rebekah leaves the uninspiring farm life she has grown up on to travel to Texas where she plans to care for her ailing aunt.  From this point on  she is caught up in the reality of life, death, circumstances, and faith.  She  learns through these difficulties and depends on new friends for support and guidance.  Anne Mateer has woven a splendid story centered around Rebekah's and a small town's tragedies during the Spanish Flu epidemic.  Mateer's character development is wonderful, and her telling of his historical period enhances the story-line beautifully.

ISBN 978-0-7642-0903-1
I received a copy of this book from Baker Publishing Group, BethanyHouse in exchange for my honest review.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Biography: Sherman-The Ruthless Victor (Book Review)

The Generals: Sherman
The Ruthless Victor,  By Agostino von Hassell and Ed Breslin
 ISBN-13: 9781595551337

I began reading Sherman-The Ruthless Victor as most Southerners are prone to do prejudiced toward and with disdain for a Union General who pursued a ruthless rampage of killing, burning, raping, and destroying the peoples and every step of Southern soil on which he and his Union soldiers trampled in his march to the sea aimed at subjugating the peoples of the South and as he continued marching into North Carolina and the surrender.  I finished still feeling that Sherman's war strategy was and still is inhumane and uncalled for.

I was saddened to learn that his childhood and approach into maturity was so riddled with lack of family continuity and strength.  His dependency and "beholdenment" to his step father who eventually becomes his father-in-law.  Sherman's background as portrayed in Sherman-The Ruthless Victor gives much insight into his early life and how it shapes his personality and need to succeed.  However, success eludes him at every turn.

The Civil War gave opportunity for Sherman to advance and potentially succeed.  Perhaps it is his drive and need to succeed that made him into the man he became and the ruthless invader he was.
pg. 114 - "Sherman prosecuted the remainder of the Union war effort with savage efficiency.  Rentless and unflinching, Grant pressed onward, practicing all-out war, a new kind of war, not the Napoleonic warfare taught at West Point .......   Sherman did likewise, adding even speedier features to Grant's strategy of constant forward aggression.  Sherman, however,despite the unprecedented mobility he brought to modern warfare, would cross a line, becoming almost feral as he implemented 'total war' and its gratuitous horrors."  (italics mine)
This small biography gives a good, clear historical overview of Sherman's life, events that shaped his life, and his resulting success as a General in the Union army.  It is indeed interesting to learn that Sherman's tactics have been studied by military strategists in several countries and have been adapted as military methodology.

If one enjoys history, this is a good read.  Not unduly long yet covers fairly comprehensively the life and events of the time of General Sherman.

I was given a copy of Sherman: The Ruthless Victor by Thomas Nelson Publishers to review as part of the BookSneeze program in exchange for an honest review.  I was not under obligation to give a positive review.  This book is one in a series, The Generals, published by Thomas Nelson.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Potato and Onion Pie

Over on the "coupon" forum, Have Coupons Will Travel, forum owner KellyMarie shared the following recipe.  She is well-known for being a wonderful cook, bargain hunter, super-couponer, mom, grandmother, and friend.  So I thought I'd share this with you all.  It looks like a wonderful dish to warm up your insides as the evenings become colder and we look for more substantial fare on our tables.

A hearty one-pot pie is an English favorite, perfect for a filling and affordable meal. This is an easy recipe for fall nights!

Makes 8 servings - Prep: 20 Cook: 50 Total: 70 minutes
¼ cup Lurpak® Unsalted butter
5 large potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
2 medium onions, peeled and thinly sliced
12 eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups grated Dofino® Havarti
½ cup milk
½ cup chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Baking pan: 10-cast iron skillet
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Melt the butter in the skillet and add the potatoes with the onions. Bake until tender and crisp, about 25 minutes.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, cheese, milk, parsley, salt, and pepper. Pour over the potato-onion mixture and return to the oven and continue baking until eggs are set, about 25 minutes. 
Click the "button" on my blog's sidebar and visit KellyMarie and the friendly folks there.  Now be sure you let me know if you like this recipe.  I'd love to share more with you from time to time, but I'd like responses, too.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Book Review: The Doctor's Lady by Jody Hedlund

This fictionalized story of Marcus and Narcissa Whitman, missionaries to the Nez Perce Indians in the Oregon Territory in 1836 and their journey to reach Oregon is fascinating and very close to the actual historical story of the real life couple, and a very good read. 

Priscilla White (the story's Narcissa Whitman) and Dr. Eli Ernest (the story's Marcus Whitman) are faced with the dilemma of not being able to fulfill their longing and calling by God to be missionaries because the mission board will not support single individuals.  They must be married.  A marriage of convenience is agreed to by the two and they embark on their journey.

Traveling with them is another missionary couple.  The gentleman is the refused suitor of Priscilla White who has married a sweet young missionary minded young lady.  The interaction of these two couples is interesting and adds poignancy to the story.

Author Jody Hedlund brings further historical authenticity to the story with her precise descriptions of the locales and the hardships entailed.  The trip is the historically true story of the first white women to cross the Continental Divide and travel into territory where no white woman has ever been able to go.

I found the tension between Priscilla and Eli realistic.  The book has emotions covering the spectrum of  fear, anxiety, anger, humor, joy, and love.  The book doesn't cover the entire lives of Priscilla and Eli, but it gets them started on the journey of life with this journey of a lifetime.

I highly recommend this book for those who enjoy historical fiction.

ISBN:  978-0-7642-0833-1 Historical Fiction,

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers and was not required to write a positive review.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Abigail's New Hope by Mary Ellis: Book Review

Abigail's New Hope is book 1 in the Wayne County Series of stories of the Amish.  Mary Ellis's writing surprised me in that it differs somewhat from that which I have come to expect in novels depicting the Amish.  While it conveys the simple, spirit lead life style of the Amish, it also shows their innate humanity, their faults, their fears, their failings, and their solutions to situations with which they come face to face.

A well-written story line features it's lead character, Abigail, who is a mother of two and wife of an Amish farmer.  Woven into the story are two other characters of note, Isaiah and Catherine.  Isaiah is a deaf/mute who lives on the family farm and Catherine is the sister of Abigail who comes to aid the family during their time of trial.

Abigail is a midwife serving the Amish community who is called out to a life and death situation that ends up in the sorrowful tale of death during childbirth and it further leads to disaster.  But we don't want to spoil the story for you.

Abigail's New Hope is a first read for me of the writing of Mary Ellis.  I hope to be able to grab more of her fine works to enjoy.

Harvest House Publishers, ISBN 9780736930093

Disclaimer:  I selected this book from the local library.  The review is my own and I was not solicited to give a favorable review.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

"Restless in Carolina" byTamara Leigh: Book Review

The title "Restless in Carolina" really appealed to me, a Southern lady, with a penchant for reading.  Getting into the book was easy as the writing style is relaxed and easy to read.  So it was a relaxing read.

Right off I saw that the key character, Bridget, is restless for several reasons.  She is a "Tree-huggin', animal-lovin'" individual who struggles with the grief of losing her husband at an early age.  She struggles, too, with a family whose interactions could be the fodder for a number of novels. 

Another key character is Bridget's Uncle Obadiah who is developing heart wrenching dementia but who also has lucid moments.  Uncle Obe has a heart's desire to right a wrong done in the past by his family before his dementia overtakes him.  "... the only proof  he requires is that of his troubled conscience." p.319   This is another cause of Bridget's restlessness.

Enter our third primary character who stirs Bridget's restlessness and.....  well, we'll let you read the story to learn how J.C. Dirk, a developer from Atlanta who is a man on the move developing green properties that have lead to his national recognition, and Bridget get acquainted and how it simply begets more restlessness for Bridget.

Enjoy your bit of Southern Carolina charm and life as author, Tamara Leigh, takes you into this world of charm and change, of fears and forgiveness.

I enjoyed this book and plan to pass it along for others to enjoy.  I recommend it for those of you who enjoy a good relaxing read and a bit of "happily ever after."

Restless in Carolina: A Novel is the third installment to Southern Discomfort series, a contemporary religious romance fiction series by Tamara Leigh. Published by Multnomah Books in July 19th 2011. 
ISBN-10: 1601421680   ISBN-13: 978-1601421685   

Restless in Carolina was provided free of charge to me by Multnomah Books and to review.  This review is my own opinion.