A Chocolate Life by Nebraska author Deb Burma!
"A chocolate life brings sweet morsels of joy and bitter nuggets of pain. Some days are light and smooth; others are dark and lumpy. No matter what, God sustains us with grace in Christ. Wrapped in forgiveness, the Holy Spirit fills us with sweet faith in our Savior."
Nine of Deb's favorite chocolate recipes are included! YUM!
Treasured; A 30-Day Devotional Journey by Deb Burma
The small size of Treasured; A 30-Day Devotional Journey and Beautiful Feet; A 30-Day Devotional Journey is misleading. Author Deb Burma makes every word count; each short devotion is packed with thought, encouragement, and inspiration. The format of the books means I can stick one in my purse or work bag and quickly read a devotion any time I have a few minutes—although I will also want to take time to really meditate on the messages later.
The theme of Treasured is that God values each of us beyond what we can imagine.
reminds us that God sees us as precious and priceless; He sought us and claims us to be His own. During our faith lives we are being transformed in Christ as coal is transformed into a diamond. Burma
Beautiful Feet; A 30-Day Devotional Journey by Deb Burma
In Beautiful Feet
encourages us to spend time every day taking a closer look at our feet, and the feet of those around us. She reminds us that Christ walks beside us, and urges us to learn (and follow) what the Lord is calling our feet to do. Burma
Through devotions including A Map for Your Path, Calloused, and Make Tracks! you’ll be prompted to look inside yourself and your circumstances and apply God’s Word to your life, and to spread it to others.
She Makes it Look Easy
By Marybeth Whalen
Review by Shelly Burke, Editor and Publisher
She Makes it Look Easy is not a typical “everything-works-out-perfectly-in-the-end” Christian novel. The book delves into the lives of three families and the impacts of the choices husbands and wives make. You might find yourself shocked to find that some of the outwardly “perfect” Christian characters make very bad choices…and you might find yourself closely identifying with several of the characters as well.
I was immediately drawn into the lives of the characters in She Makes it Look Easy. The story is told from the alternating views of the central characters, Justine and Ariel. Justine Miller makes it all look “easy” with her perfectly clean home, perfectly groomed children, and perfectly organized life. Under the “perfect,” however, are dark motives and desires.
Ariel Baxter’s family is “moving on up” when they move into
, an upscale neighborhood. Justine quickly introduces herself to her new neighbor Ariel and offers to help Ariel organize her life. Soon, however, Ariel suspects that Justine has motives beyond helping a new friend. When she delves deeper into Justine’s actions she discovers a secret that Justine has been keeping. Essex Falls
Justine and Ariel both face difficult choices, and you’ll be wondering until the final chapter if they’ll do the right thing.
by Marla Cilley
Review by Shelly Burke
Sink Reflections is one of my favorite books about organization and housekeeping. Sink Reflections starts by exploring the emotional reasons behind clutter and disorganization. As well as how to manage clutter and chaos, readers will learn how to get their lives in order.
Cilley tells readers that “Your home did not get dirty in a day and it is not going to get clean overnight.” She encourages “baby steps”—the first one being to simply clean the kitchen sink. She takes readers step-by-step through the process so even people with piles of dirty dishes will succeed—and be motivated to continue.
Her book is full of lists to first declutter, and then clean rooms and areas of the home. Her ideas are simple and quick to implement; cleaning a “hot spot” for 15 minutes, for example, or going through the house on a “27 Fling Boogie” in which the reader collects, as fast as possible, 27 items throughout the house to be thrown away.
Once a home is decluttered, readers are encouraged to start a Control Journal of home cleaning routines, which are outlined in the book.
Cilley also encourages readers to take care of themselves by getting enough rest, exercise, and doing things they enjoy.
The Fly Lady (Cilley’s nickname, because she is a fly-fisher) website is full of great information, encouragement, and Fly Lady products (www.flylady.net). The book and website are full of information; don’t get overwhelmed, just work at your own pace and you’ll be surprised at how much better you feel about your home in a very short time.
In Search of the
Mountain of God
By Robert Cornuke and David Halbrook
In Search of the
is the real-life adventure of two men who set out to find the “real” Mountain of God Mount Sinai. Popular wisdom says is in Mt. Sinai , but based on Biblical clues, Cornuke and Halbrook believe it’s in Egypt . Saudi Arabia
Jabal al Lawz, the mountain the authors speculate is the real
, is a restricted archeological site and surrounded by a 15-ft tall fence and armed guards. Despite this deterrent and the risks of travel and work in the desert, the men were able to identify many Biblical landmarks, including altars, a cave, ancient springs of sweet water, and sacred markers around the mountain as they traced the path the Israelites took after their escape from Mt. Sinai . Egypt
During their adventure the men repeatedly entered forbidden land, climbed a mountain in the middle of the night, and were captured by the Saudi police. Through it all they compared what they saw to what the Bible says, and one of the authors concluded that God and His word are absolutely, undeniably true.
I Used to Be So Organized; Help for Reclaiming Order and Peace
By Glynnis Whitwer
Review by Shelly Burke, Editor
Author Glynnis Whitwer readily admits that although she’s written a book about “reclaiming order and peace” in her life, she doesn’t always succeed in doing that in her life.
In Section One of I Used to Be So Organized, Whitwer examines the many reasons for disorganization, rushed days, forgotten lunches, lost items, and “to-do’s” that are never completed. She points out that along with the positive aspects of technology like cell phones, internet access, and instant messaging, this technology has raised peoples’ expectations of responding to everyone, immediately, and given a sense of urgency to almost everything. This sense of urgency makes it hard to identify what is truly important and can lead to information overload and a sense of anxiety. In later chapters she gives practical hints for managing technology—not allowing it to manage the reader’s life.
She points out that God gave us two areas of life to manage; our time and our resources. She says, “Since it all came from God, it makes sense to care more about what he thinks than about what anyone else thinks. Otherwise, we are fractured, trying to please everyone, and searching for purpose.
Declaring whom you follow drives your life. It defines your purpose, establishes your goals, and gives you guidelines for how you spend your time and money.”
Whitwer spends several chapters sharing how, through an unexpected move, having three children (after struggling with infertility), another move, and struggling with low self-esteem, she finally discovered peace by changing her (unrealistic) expectations and defining priorities by following God and the priorities He has for her. These chapters aren’t typical of a book about organization, but they lay a foundation for how the reader can determine what she should really be concentrating on. These are the chapters that I found the most helpful.
Section Three: Jump Start for the Seriously Overwhelmed tells readers how to Simplify Your Schedule First, Remove the Clutter, and gives advice about Where to Start. Section Four; Simple Steps to Creating Order then goes through topics of time management, setting up a home office, and organization for different rooms in the house.
Whitwer ends her book by again encouraging us to “keep it real” by looking to God and the Bible for guidance.
Whitwer is a writer for Proverbs 31 Ministries. She is also writes online devotions for Encouragement for Today. To learn more about Proverbs 31 Ministries and order “I Used to be So Organized” go to www.proverbs31.org.