Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Loving Luther - Book Review

A happy hello to you, 
friends, readers, and sweet followers!
Long time no chat and for that I am truly sorry.
You may have noticed things have been a little quiet around here. . .
life has been rather busy and unfortunately,
I have not been able to write any posts or visit your lovely blogs.
Thank you for your patience, my friends.
I will be "back up and running" very soon.
Until then, please know that you are greatly appreciated
and thought of often.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Loving Luther - Book Review

Germany, 1505
In the dark of night, 
Katharina von Bora says the bravest good-bye a six-year-old can muster 
and walks away as the heavy convent gate closes behind her.

Though the cold walls offer no comfort,
Katharina soon finds herself calling the convent her home. 
God, her father. 
This, her life. 
She takes her vows—a choice more practical than pious—
but in time, a seed of discontent is planted 
by the smuggled writings of a rebellious excommunicated priest named Martin Luther. 
Their message? 
That Katharina is subject to God, and no one else. 
Could the Lord truly desire more for her than this life of servitude?

In her first true step of faith, 
Katharina leaves the only life she has ever known. 
But the freedom she has craved comes with a price, 
and she finds she has traded one life of isolation for another. 
Without the security of the convent walls or a family of her own, 
Katharina must trust in both the God who saved her 
and the man who paved a way for rescue. 
Luther’s friends are quick to offer shelter, 
but Katharina longs for all Luther has promised: 
a home, a husband, perhaps even the chance to fall in love.

My Thoughts
I have always enjoyed Allison Pittman's writings
and once again she weaves a tale that is rich in history.
Because of the limited resources and information on Katharina von Bora,
Allison had to "fill in the blanks" concerning Katharina's life.
The author painted a picture. . .
a beautiful and inspiring picture. . . 
of a woman who is considered one of the most important participants 
of the Reformation. 
Katharina played a role in helping to define Protestant family life 
and she helped set the tone for clergy marriages.

"Do you know when I first heard your voice?"
Not from the confessional,
and not in that day in Togau,
when you asked about the women.
Not the sounds you make when you speak,
but your voice?
It was months before.
Years, even, when I held a scrap of paper with your writing.
'The Freedom of a Christian.'"
{Loving Luther - pg. 398}

The characters are courageous, bold, dauntless, and valiant
in the face of persecution all for the Lord Jesus Christ.
They are willing to do whatever it takes to make sure God's Truth
is proclaimed among the people.
Loving Luther goes deep into the history of the Reformation.

Read Loving Luther, my friends.
You will be inspired, encouraged, and emboldened
when you read about Martin Luther, Katharina von Bora,
and what the believers faced in the 1500's.
A five star book!

** I was given a free copy of this book from Tyndale Publishers for an honest review.
All thoughts are my own. No other compensation was received. **

About the Author
Award winning author Allison Pittman, 
a high-school English teacher who also serves 
as director of the theater arts group at her church. 
She is also the co-president of a dynamic Christian writers group in the Texas area, 
where she makes her home with her husband and their three boys.
Favorite Bible Verse: 
Lamentations 3:22-23 -
Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, 
for his compassions never fail. 
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

An Inconvenient Beauty - Book Review

Griffith, Duke of Riverton, likes order, logic, and control, 
and he naturally applies this rational approach to his search for a bride. 
He's certain Miss Frederica St. Claire is the perfect wife for him, 
but while Frederica is strangely elusive, 
he can't seem to stop running into her stunningly beautiful cousin, 
Miss Isabella Breckenridge.

Isabella should be enjoying her society debut, 
but with her family in difficult circumstances, 
her uncle will only help them if she'll use her beauty 
to assist him in his political aims. 
Already uncomfortable with this agreement, 
the more she comes to know Griffith, 
the more she wishes to be free of her unfortunate obligation.

Will Griffith and Isabella be able to set aside their pride 
and face their fears in time to find their own happily-ever-after?

My Thoughts
Let me just say that I am still smiling
after reading the last page of this book.
It's sweet, it's humorous, it's captivating, and yes,
it's ever so endearing.
An Inconvenient Beauty 
is one of those stories that gives you a nice, warm feeling.
It's a story that will make you sigh with happiness.
Sounds cheesy, I know, 
but sometimes a book like that is just what you need.

When I requested this book to review
I was not aware that it was the 4th and final book in the Hawthorne House Series.
Yes, I should have paid closer attention when requesting this book
since I am one of those that likes to begin a series at the beginning.
With that being said, I did not have any trouble following along
and while it was apparent that several characters from the previous books were mentioned
it was not hard to connect the dots.
In all honesty I think An Inconvenient Beauty could be read as a stand alone.
But I will say that Kristi Ann Hunter is a very talented author
and by reading this book she has motivated or rather inspired me
to read the entire series.

The characters were flawless,
the history of the Regency Era was spot on,
and the Christian aspect was presented beautifully.
An Inconvenient Beauty is an all-around lovely book.

** I was given a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers for an honest review.
All thoughts and opinions are my own. No other compensation was received. **

About the Author
Kristi Ann Hunter graduated from Georgia Tech 
with a degree in computer science but always knew she wanted to write. 
Kristi is the author of the Hawthorne House series 
and a 2016 RITA Award winner and Christy Award finalist. 
She lives with her husband and three children in Georgia. 
Find her online at www.kristiannhunter.com

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Cutlery Pockets

The fondest memories are made
when gathered around the table.

My dear friends,
today I have a fun little project just for you. . .
cutlery pockets/silverware holders, whatever you want to call them.
These charming little pockets are a delight to whip up
and they will add the sweetest touch to your next dinner party.
And wouldn't they be lovely to use during the holidays?
You could tuck some extra gifts inside 
like a packet of hot cocoa, a bookmark, a candy cane, 
and whatever else you can think of,
and give the pockets away to each dinner guest.
How fun would that be!

Let's get started, shall we. . .

You will need:

fabric {I made this set with a bundle of 4 fat quarters}

batting or fusible fleece {whatever floats your boat}

sewing machine, thread, measuring tools, and all that jazz,

embellishments {if you so choose}

For one pocket you will need to cut two pieces of fabric that are
4 1/2-inches x 10 1/2-inches.

For the pocket you will need to cut one piece that measures
4 1/2-inches x 12-inches.
Fold the strip of fabric in half and press with an iron.

Iron on the fusible fleece to the backside 
of the front piece of fabric.

Place the pocket onto the top piece of fabric 
like so. . .

Now place the second piece of fabric right side down
on the pocket and other piece of fabric
and pin into place.

Sew along the edges with a 1/4-inch seam allowance.
Leave a small opening to turn right side out.

Turn right side our
and press with an iron.
Top stitch along all four edges.

Now have fun embellishing!
As you can see
I added coordinating fabric flowers to mine.
Four of them have fabric rosettes in the center
and the other four have sparkly buttons.

Be creative, my friends! 
Add lace and satin trim.
Don't be afraid to go with some bling!

Now simply tuck a fabric napkin inside the pocket
along with your silverware.

Place these sweet cutlery pockets beside china plates
and you're all ready to go for your next dinner party.

Dinner is better
when we eat together.

Thank you for visiting, lovely friends.
Have a glorious day!

If you like these particular pockets
you can find them in my ETSY SHOP.

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Thy Word Is Like A Garden, Lord

For the child of God,
the daily reading of the Scriptures
is the nourishment to the soul.
- Kenneth W. Osbeck -

Thy Word is like a garden, Lord, with flowers bright and fair;
And every one who seeks may pluck a lovely cluster there.
Thy Word is like a deep, deep mine; and jewels rich and rare
Are hidden in its mighty depths for every searcher there.

Thy Word is like a starry host: a thousand rays of light
Are seen to guide the traveler and make his pathway bright.
Thy Word is like an armory, where soldiers may repair;
And find, for life’s long battle day, all needful weapons there.

O may I love Thy precious Word, may I explore the mine,
May I its fragrant flowers glean, may light upon me shine!
O may I find my armor there! Thy Word my trusty sword,
I’ll learn to fight with every foe the battle of the Lord.
- Edwin Hodder -

How sweet are thy words unto my taste! 
yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Through thy precepts I get understanding: 
therefore I hate every false way.
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, 
and a light unto my path.
- Psalm 119: 103 - 105 -

Open my eyes that I may see 
wonderful things in Your law.
 - Psalm 119:18 -

Search the scriptures; 
for in them ye think ye have eternal life: 
and they are they which testify of me.
- John 5:39 -

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 perfect, 
thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
- 2 Timothy 3:16-17 -

The Bible's value has been described in many ways-
as the traveler's map, 
the pilgrim's staff,
the pilot's compass,
the soldier's sword,
and the Christian's charter.

Read it to be wise,
believe it to be safe,
and practice it to be holy.
Read it slowly, frequently, and prayerfully.
It is a mine of wealth,
a paradise of glory,
and a river of pleasure.
- Unknown -

Have a blessed Lord's Day, friends!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Coffee Cake Banana Muffins

SUGAR. . .

Hello, friends!
Today I have an oh-so-tasty coffee cake banana muffin recipe.
The crumb topping adds just the right amount of sweetness
to the traditional banana bread recipe.

3-4 medium or large bananas
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp sour cream {or Greek yogurt}

Crumb Topping
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter, cold

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 
Place cupcake liners in a cupcake pan
{I got 18 muffins out of this recipe}

For the muffins. . .
In a small bowl, 
mash bananas, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and ground cinnamon.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
Add in eggs and beat until mixed.
To the wet ingredients, sift in flour, baking soda, and salt.
Stir until just combined. 
Add in sour cream and stir.
Pour in mashed bananas
and mix until combined.

For the tasty crumb topping. . .
Combine cinnamon, flour, and brown sugar. 
Cut in butter with a pastry cutter
and mix until the topping looks like coarse crumbs. 
Sprinkle coating evenly over the batter in both pans.
Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean 
with just a few moist crumbs stuck to it.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes
and then move to a wire cooling rack.


Kindness is like sugar,
it makes life taste a little sweeter.

As always, 
it's a real delight to have you pop in for a visit.
Have a most wonderful day, friends!

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