Saturday, April 12, 2014

Book Review: A Fall of Marigolds


Author Susan Meissner is a pro at transporting you between two worlds, and you know, of course, that before the book ends, the worlds will intersect. Her intriguing plot twists and turns, however, keep you guessing until the last page. In this book, she weaves threads between a woman who witnessed the collapse of the World Trade Towers, which caused the death of her husband, and a woman who survived a century-earlier fire that took the life of a friend.

The stories connect through a scarf printed with marigolds, hence the title. Meissner’s novels always have something for readers to take away, and this one is no exception. The ethical dilemma faced by a nurse serving at Ellis Island Hospital will challenge your thinking.

This latest story by Meissner may well be my favorite, although I have thoroughly enjoyed each of her books that I've read. You cannot imagine the path she weaves between the centuries or the complexities that touch the lives of the main characters, Taryn and Clara.

A conversation with Susan Meissner and questions for discussion make this a good pick for book clubs. Meissner shares how she picked Ellis Island Hospital as an important setting after viewing a documentary film, "Forgotten Ellis Island." She also shares about her process of writing and what's next on her horizon. Interesting, to say the least. A good read--guaranteed!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Book Review: Double Vision: Seeing God in Everyday Life Through Devotions and Poetry


There’s no better way to start your day than with the rhythm of poetry and a brief devotional reading. That’s why Frances Gregory Pasch wrote this book. She is a pro at seeing God at work behind the scene and invites readers to catch glimpses of him as well through beautiful descriptive writing. Meant to be read a chapter a day for 30 days, each section includes a poem, a one-page reading focused on a scriptural passage, a prayer and a few lines where you can express your own thoughts on the topic. The book also includes a few pages of interesting eye facts such as “The human eye will focus on about fifty things per second.”

Frances is one of the 365 inspirational women in my own book Sisterhood of Faith, because she uses her gift of writing to encourage others through electronic and print publications. I know Frances personally, and she is as delightful and sincere in real life as she comes across on the printed page.

Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas gave Double Vision an attractive cover, and the book would make a great gift for Easter, Mother’s Day or any other occasion.


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

24 Ways to Connect With God in 24 Hours


Dear Friends,

Last month I wrote about having a quiet time with God each morning. This month I want to build on that by offering ideas on how to connect with God.
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1.      Read your Bible and hear God speak.
2.      Pray and let God listen.
3.      Take a walk in nature and praise God for the wonders of creation.
4.      Shoot arrow prayers as challenges arise.
5.      Pray for neighbors as you drive by their homes.
6.      Pray for your family whenever you pause by a stop light.
7.      Pick a symbol that reminds you of God and display it prominently.
8.      Pray for situations as you read the newspaper.
9.      Thank God for the morning as you arise.
10.  Thank God for health as you brush your teeth.
11.  Sing hymns or songs of praise as you shower or drive to work.
12.  Sit and meditate in a quiet place.
13.  Ask God for wisdom in establishing priorities as you plan your day.
14.  Thank God for your food.
15.  Pray for guidance and safety before leaving in your car.
16.  Pray for family members as you see their photos around your house.
17.  Attend worship on Sundays and pray for church staff weekdays.
18.  Listen to Christian radio.
19.  Watch Christian television.
20.  Call a lonely friend and pray with her/him on the phone.
21.  Thank God for your senses when you see a beautiful sunset, hear music, smell food or touch a baby’s face.
22.  Memorize scripture as you exercise.
23.  Evaluate your day as you go to bed and ask forgiveness for sins.
24.  Tell God your troubles as you fall asleep.

If you add just one of these to your daily routine, your life will be that much richer. Have a blessed month and add a comment to tell us of other ways you find to connect with God.

Shirley

April Engagements:
April 4, 6 p.m. – Friends of the Heart at Women’s Outreach Event at Calvary Independent Church, Harrisburg, PA.
April 9 – Shirley at Cape-Atlantic Christian Women's Club, Marmora, NJ.
April 10 – Shirley at Garden State CWC, Vineland, NJ.
April 26 - FOTH at Women's Retreat at Community Independent Bible Church, Little Meadows, PA.