Book Review~ Bonjour! Let’s Learn French

I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.

What I liked most about this book was the free downloadable audio version which includes how to pronounce French words in the book.  There is also a read-along, which may encourage children to study on their own.

If you buy this book, and download all of the activity sheets, and read the tips for parents, your child will learn French, basic French, easily, if you study along with him or her.  Or even just sit in the room with them while they listen and read along.  There’s even a good lesson on how to paint the impressionist technique!  Also, in the back of the book, there is a list of words introduced in the book, organized by chapter.  All in all, it’s a thorough basic French course for your child. (or even beginner adults!)

What I liked least about this book was the difficulty I had in navigating the website. I’m a grandma, so maybe that has a lot to do with it, but eventually I figured out what to do at polyglotkidz.com.

Judy Martialay did a great job:

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The Hidden Side by Heidi Chiavaroli

First of all, I liked the intelligent writing of Heidi. If you read this book, you’re going to have to pay attention to the words, not just skim and speed read. Mrs. Chiavaroli does have a gift, a talent from God for writing interesting historical fiction. The book was very interesting, and even grippingly suspenseful at some points. Gritty, even. Part of the story revolves around a school shooting.

There were 2 rape scenes in this book, so be forewarned. She mentions Chris Tomlin as a Christian musician. In my opinion, he’s not. Christian Contemporary Music has successfully watered down most worship into carnality and idolatry. This book, in my opinion, could present a stronger, firmer Christian perspective than what it does.

Now, if God gives you a talent, and you tell people you’re a good Christian, shouldn’t you use that talent to glorify Him as much as possible? In my opinion, I think the author, in her own way, was trying her best to present all 3 main stories, and sub-stories, in a good way, but I must say I didn’t like the shaky morality in her book, and, her philosophy of no moral absolutes was easily recognized through her book. Each character hid behind a facade, and the fiance of the hanged Nathan Hale, Mercy, was the one who rationalized her lies more adamantly than Natalie, the mother of Chris and Maelynn.

I can’t say her book was uplifting spiritually, and some of the factors that helped me come to this conclusion were: some of the character’s rationalizing of habitual, lifestyle lies, her mention of Yoga (!) and “vibes”, which are both evil, and so foreign to true Christianity that it should not be used in conjunction with Christianity. So, vibes and yoga, were strikes against it, then she mentioned the movie, The Patriot, which should NEVER be in the video library of ANY serious, born again Christian. The Patriot has graphic violence, and that, my friend, is something Jesus does not condone ANYWHERE in a Christian’s life. Also, one of her characters had gone through a horrible ordeal, and she has the woman thinking the Word of God might be lies. Blasphemy! Jesus says: Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

The thing that bothers me MOST about this book is, it’s marketed as being CHRISTIAN Historical Fiction. If Mrs. Chiavaroli had sold this book under secular, non-Christian advertising, I’d have no problem with it.
She won an ACFW Genesis award. What’s ACFW? https://www.acfw.com/about ~ “ACFW’s mission is to advance Christian Fiction by inspiring writers to join with God in the creative process, training them in the craft, and educating them in the publishing industry.”

In my opinion, this is not a Christian book, it’s a secular book. No where in the bible does God condone lying, or worshiping other gods, (Hinduism, et al.) which is what yoga is. To make one of the main characters practice yoga is inconsistent with pure Christianity.  I was dismayed to see these things presented in a good light.

I did like her story about Natalie, Mike, Chris, and Maelynn. It brought up a good point: parents are sometimes CLUELESS and in denial about their teens, which can lead to all kinds of sin and disaster. She took a heavy subject, and at least brought some awareness of the problems that contribute to tragedies like that in families.

Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.


 

Abby Roach, the Spoon Lady

I was playing a word game with someone, and I had to link some word to “spoon”, so I remembered my dad kind of playing the spoons when I was a little girl.  So…I looked on You Tube, and found this amazing musician.  Abby the Spoon Lady plays in North Carolina, “busking”.  Busking means you play or entertain in public, for money.  Her story is very interesting, and I’m giving ya’ll a link to it, below, plus a couple of wonderful music videos of Abby’s.  ENJOY!

Abby’s Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/AbbyTheSpoonLady/

 

Abby’s story:  https://www.citizen-times.com/story/life/2014/11/13/living-portrait-series-spoon-lady/18982245/

Weather Wonders!

[22] And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch forth thine hand toward heaven, that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt, upon man, and upon beast, and upon every herb of the field, throughout the land of Egypt.
[23] And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven: and the LORD sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground; and the LORD rained hail upon the land of Egypt.
[24] So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation.
[25] And the hail smote throughout all the land of Egypt all that was in the field, both man and beast; and the hail smote every herb of the field, and brake every tree of the field.
[26] Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, was there no hail.

I like to use a global weather program called Ventusky.com and today, just for something different to do, I looked at wave heights around the world.  Was I surprised!  Up north, between Canada and England, there’s a place that looks like it’s impossible to navigate a ship through.  Today, it has 32 foot waves!  Look!

You can discover what the weather for your area will be like, up to 9 days  ahead of time.  Snow, waves, wind speeds, temperatures, many choices.   I used this last year during hurricane season, to see what the predictions were for my area.

Look at how fast the winds are going, high up over the world: 

JOB 28: [23] God understandeth the way thereof, and he knoweth the place thereof.
[24] For he looketh to the ends of the earth, and seeth under the whole heaven;
[25] To make the weight for the winds; and he weigheth the waters by measure.
[26] When he made a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder:
[27] Then did he see it, and declare it; he prepared it, yea, and searched it out.
[28] And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.

A Dangerous Legacy~ an introduction to moral relativism?

Book Review for A Dangerous Legacy, author Elizabeth Camden

This was an interesting, well-written historical fiction novel. Elizabeth Camden truly has a
gift from GOD for writing books that will absorb the attention of the reader. The story takes place in New York City, in 1903, and Mrs. Camden has done her research to provide her patrons with plenty of details,
intriguing plots, and engrossing characters. I did, for about half the time, enjoy reading A Dangerous Legacy, but I have to say some things about several events presented by the author in her novel, which I disagree with.

First of all, Camden’s  fans know she has won a Christy award, which is given to authors of Christian novels that portray excellence, imagination, and creativity in Christian writing.  So, naturally, readers will trust this book to be good and decent.  Which is one of the very reasons why I chose to read this book.
Mrs. Camden has won the RITA award for a book she wrote under the Inspirational Romance category,
which is fine, but I’m wondering if she is straying away, far away, from Christian romance in general, based on this book’s story?

Examples: The main characters, Lucy Drake and her brother Nick, are busy illegally installing water pumps and valves that bring water to apartment renters, making it easier for them to have water in their homes. The installation is phrased as “not technically legal”.
An excuse is given to the reader for this infraction of the law, under the heading of Christianity. False teachings, IMO.  Morality is not a neutral concept.
Another example: Lucy is a telegrapher, and her brother spliced a single wire into the Western Union cables, therefore Lucy is able to eavesdrop on private transmissions of another person. The author outright acknowledged in the book, via Lucy’s thoughts, that it’s illegal,and her characters, Lucy and Nick, know they could end up in jail.

They KEPT breaking the law ANYWAYS.
Christian ethics? Not on your life! This was just wrong. If you’re going to write this kind of novel, please don’t call it Christian.
Another example, which really disheartened me, and made me decide to write this review: Lucy and Nick hire a “slick” lawyer to draw up papers that basically propose extortion.

What does God say in the bible about extortion? 1 Corinthians 6:10 [9] Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
[10] Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

“Technically”, the protagonists did NOT commit extortion, but the reader is swept up and along in the
confusing muddle  of “what if they do?” Lucy and Nick were prepared to extort money, in case the person they were threatening didn’t give in to their demands.   Morality is not relative.  Extortion presented as she did, is still immoral.
In conclusion, I can not recommend this book as a Christian book. Not in any way, shape, or form. Perhaps Mrs. Camden will apply Christian rules to her future books, and  stay with bible morals as outlined in the bible, not as presented by MORAL RELATIVISM.

The other thing that bothers me is, because of the ethical dilemmas she presented in her book, she might actually cause another Christian to stumble, it is a possibility!
I’ll browse through her follow-up book, but with healthy skepticism.

I give this book a thumbs-down as a Christian historical fiction novel.

Maintaining Good Works

[58] Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

Do Christians know what the work of the Lord is?  What is our labour in the Lord?  If we bring this subject up, we are sometimes accused of being a promoter of works-based salvation. Or we’re called “legalists”.  What does JESUS CHRIST tell his followers to DO?  Yes, DO!   We’re supposed to DO something, GOOD WORKS!

Why do so many preachers and pastors gloss over or completely ignore expounding on works, for Christians?  WHY?  It’s a shame, and bad preaching.  Look at all these bible verse about WORKS:  Titus 3:14 – And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.

Titus 3:8 – [This is] a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.
Matthew 5:16 – Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Hebrews 6:10 – For God [is] not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.

 

James 2: [14] What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
[15] If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
[16] And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
[17] Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
[18] Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
[19] Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
[20] But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

Titus 2:7 – In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine [shewing] uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,

Hebrews 13:21 – Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom [be] glory for ever and ever. Amen.

good works2

Most people in churches don’t have any idea about what good works and doing God’s will  involves.  They don’t actually want to do anything, they just want to sit in church and be passive.  Lukewarm.  Don’t make waves.  Be quiet and go with the flow.  Don’t investigate any ideas presented to you, and NEVER be different from the average Christian.  Fit in and don’t offend.  Hogwash!

Jesus and Your Sins

Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane

And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

 

[67] Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands,

John.19

[1] Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him.
[2] And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe,
[3] And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands.

[16] For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.
[17] I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.
[18] They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.

He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered.

He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.

Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

[11] And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
[12] His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
[13] And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
[14] And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
[15] And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
[16] And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

[8] But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
[9] That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
[10] For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
[11] For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
[12] For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
[13] For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

HEAD LICE! OH NOOOO!

Our local news station ran a story tonight about head lice, and products available to get rid of them.

I speak as a mom and grandmother who has tried everything available, almost,
to get rid of nasty head lice on my kids and grandkids. The pesticides in the kits DO NOT WORK, because the comb they give is useless.  Combing through the hair is of utmost importance.

Now, I was desperate to find something to get rid of the lice, and I researched many sites online, and finally found the National Pediculosis’s website, and they sell a fantastic comb called the LICE MEISTER.
Here: https://www.schoolhealth.com/npa-licemeister-combs
Yes, it’s about 16 dollars, but so will the cost of application after useless application of the liquids in
the kits you buy at the store. And, you only need the comb, NOTHING else. Nothing!

Here is a picture of it, and it gets rid of all nits, eggs, and lice.

SOME Home Depots, Walmarts, Targets, and Amazon do sell Lice Meister combs,too.

My granddaughter had a pretty bad case of head lice several years ago, so I got this comb, and got
every single nit and louse out of her long, thick chestnut brown hair. We didn’t have to cut her hair, or
use any pesticides on it. Just the comb.
The school nurse inspected her hair and couldn’t find ANY nits, eggs, or lice. Praise JESUS!
Head lice are not a problem only with lower class people.  ANYONE can get them, in the right situation

It’s an amazing product, and you don’t have to leave home to use it.

Here’s a good video about how to detect head lice~ Only 3 minutes long:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/head-lice/symptoms-causes/syc-20356180

 

Book Review: In Places Hidden

Mystery! Romance! Political corruption, deception, wealth, poverty, a tear-jerker, Christian historical fiction has been exceeded in quality by this novel! Tracie Peterson has set the bar higher, and I’m so excited to tell you a little about her book, “In Places Hidden”, Golden Gate Secrets book 1.  The cover art is BEAUTIFUL, too!


The 3 characters you meet first are Camri, Judith, and Kenzie. Camri irritated me as I read each new chapter. Camri is self-centered, without much Godly wisdom, and inconsiderate of other’s desires and opinions about matters. One might even say she’s haughty. Judith is from a poor family, an only child, but very much a woman with good manners and an easy going personality. Kenzie is middle-class, her upbringing was both easy and hard work, helping her dad in his shop. Kenzie is recovering from a humiliating rejection from her fiance.

Each woman matures and their personalities develop into deeper, more meaningful characters. I liked that a lot.
I liked the sermon preached at Caleb’s church in San Francisco. The preacher said the Jews hoped for a fierce Messiah who would set them free, and set everything right again, but they did not expect their King to show up as Jesus. Jesus DID set all who will trust in Him, free, and He does make everything right again. When Jesus returns, he will be fierce and full of fury and judgement. Look up and hope for His blessed appearing, for at that time we will be truly set free and live eternally in Heaven with God the Father, and Jesus his only begotten Son the Savior.

Romans 10:9-13;  John 3:16-21


The exchanges between Patrick and Camri are amusing to watch, as she demurs and then slowly begins to
see her faults and work through her pride. We all have that hurdle to jump, and Tracie Peterson adeptly
arranges the story, to open readers towards self-examination in my opinion.

The candy factory job is a whole story unto itself, and the characters involved are colorful, interesting, and
sometimes provide risible enjoyment. I found myself smiling and chuckling at some of the situations.
George Lake at work is like a crazed twittering sparrow.


Political machinations, corruption, and one person’s trust in another vaporizing with new questions and
more factors to consider. The twists and turns of the plot will draw you in and capture you.

I’ve enjoyed reading EVERY chapter of this book so far!

Book Review: The Women of Catawba

Hilda Stahl is a new Christian historical fiction author to me, but apparently she has been around for a long time.  She writes several genres, but the book I read was historical Christian fiction.  Now, I know a lot of women like her books, but I have to say WOC was stilted, rather overly dramatic.  I DID like the book, don’t get me wrong, the references to Jesus, God and the bible were excellent, and well-placed!  I liked the plot, and the 3 women whose lives ended up being intertwined were interesting and the development of several complex ideas was carried out successfully.  From Amazon.com:  the story of 5 courageous women and their fight to build a plantation home in the raw wilderness of South Carolina. Set in post-Revolutionary War days, Women of Catawba is an inspiring story of men and women whose faith, strength, and capacity to love are tested to the limit.  If you’re a Christian, you will most likely like this book.  I’ve read other reviews of it, and I think I want to read the second in her series of Women of Catawba.  From what I understand, The Winds of Catawba was written by her daughter.  Interesting!

Here’s a link to Goodreads, for a list of the books she wrote: https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/190267.Hilda_Stahl

Most of her books were for children, and teens, but the Women of Catawba was for adult women.  I’m looking forward to reading more of her novels.

This is a short bio on her, which I found on Google search:  Hilda Stahl was born and raised in the Nebraska sandhills. As a Young teen she attended Bible college, where she met her husband, Norman. They raised their seven children in Michigan, where she lived until her death in 1993. When Hilda was a young mother with three children, she saw an ad in a magazine for a correspondence course in writing. She took the test, passed it, and soon fell in love with writing. She wrote whenever she had free time, and eventually began to sell her work. The first Elizabeth Gail book, The Mystery at the Johnson Farm, was made into a movie in 1989. It was a real dream come true for Hilda. She wanted her books and their message of God’s love and power to reach and help people all over the world.

Product details

  • Paperback: 235 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson Inc (January 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0840750803
  • ISBN-13: 978-0840750808
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces