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Showing posts from December, 2013

12 Steps to Becoming a More Organized Woman (Updated and Revised) by Lane P. Jordan

The book 12 Steps to Becoming a More Organized Woman (Practical Tips for Managing Your Home and Your Family) by Lane P. Jordan is the type of book you keep on the bookshelf to read and re-read regularly. To say it plainly - I really like this book! Lane is genuine and she is very skilled at offering solid advice that is do-able, aligns with God's Word, and covers pretty much every area of a woman's life.

This updated edition deals with things in our lives that really were not an issue in the early '90's. Smart phones? Facebook? Twitter? All things I use daily (even when writing this book review) but unheard of not so long ago...unless you attended Harvard, then you know what Facebook really is.

In many ways the need to be more organized is more important for women today than ever before. We're tempted with time consumers all day long, every single day. And where our time goes, our days go, our relationships go, our homes go, our lives go. Organizing your life is …

Perfumed Letters by Robin T. Smith

The book Perfumed Letters (written by Robin T. Smith) came wrapped in a gift bag, with a hand-written note from the author. That was a pleasant surprise - not the way a book usually arrives in my mailbox! 
Perfumed Letters isn't a terribly long book, and is very easy to read. The author's writing style is genuine, as if she's talking to a close friend. Robin truly knows God's Word and is able to apply it to different life situations with seeming ease. Her analogy of a variety of perfumes is a good way to compare and contrast Godly attributes in a woman to those that are worldly in nature. 
Perfumed Letters, to me, is a book aimed at moving women toward maturity in Christ. Moving beyond simply being content with salvation (sometimes referred to as fire insurance). An example of the kind of things the author challenges her readers with include a question posed on page 18 that reads, "Do you still handle conflict and problems the same way you did as a seventeen-year-o…

The Perfect Score Project - Uncovering the Secrets of the SAT by Debbie Stier

The Perfect Score Project by Debbie Stier is a fascinating book (borne out of a fascinating plan!) - 281 pages, 20 chapters of SAT prep information wrapped in the true story of a mom who took the SAT seven times while working to encourage her son to do his best rather then settling for mediocrity. Is that novel, or what?!? You don't have the opportunity to read about this type of undertaking every day; needless to say, I was very interested in Debbie's story.

The Perfect Score Project is an informative, well-written book that makes the reader feel right at home as soon as you turn to page 1. Each chapter has "info boxes" that contain valuable tidbits to help your student get the most from their SAT preparation ~ so no worries that this book just tells Debbie Stier's tale of taking a difficult standardized test over and over again. Nope, the book doesn't just tell her tale, it gives loads of excellent information that moms of high-school students can use.

Here …

A Fair Warning...

This brief post is to inform my blog followers that I'm about to post several book reviews in a row. I'm hammering them out, as I've had time to do some reading during our Christmas break and I'm going to post the reviews while the content is fresh in my mind.

That was my PSA regarding the coming onslaught of book reviews...consider yourselves warned!


Day 293 done :)

Jan L. Burt
author of The Homeschooling Mothers Bible Study

Samson ~ A Savior Will Rise by Shawn Hoffman

Have you ever glanced over a book's cover, quickly read it's description, and thought you understood what the book was about? But then as you read the book, you found it contained much more than you ever imagined? That's basically what happened to me with the book Samson ~ A Savior Will Rise by Shawn Hoffman.

The book is based on true events that took place in Auschwitz during WWII. In great, heart-breaking detail Samson describes life in the camp for a Jewish boxer who was "recruited" to participate in weekly entertainment for the officers at Auschwitz, including Rudolf Hoss and Josef Mengele. While the book contains facts about many different people who endured life (and death) at Auschwitz, the author compiles multiple true events into the life of one man, Samson Abrams, and his family. It is a riveting read, one of the best books I have ever read...but it is in no way an easy read. Think you know all about the Nazis? You don't. Certain you have a complet…

Be a Homeschooling Mother Who Enjoys Christmas

Here we are, a few short days away from Christmas. In all likelihood, you have already finished your lessons and are in the midst of your Christmas break. And perhaps you are also struggling to enjoy the blessings of the season.

For many of us, and for a variety of reasons, Christmas can be overwhelming and stressful. In light of all the Facebook posts, Tweets, and blogs that have already addressed the need to slow down and relax and enjoy this time of year, I'll keep this short and sweet.

Here's my one piece of advice for you this Christmas ~

I have absolutely no advice...I'll simply encourage you to give yourself permission to enjoy yourself right where you're at this Christmas. 


That's it - there's my profound wisdom for all who are having a rough go of things this December. Give yourself permission to ENJOY your life. You might just be surprised at the way God blesses you when you let yourself be fully at rest in Him.

Lord bless you this Christmas!

Day 291 do…

Ministering to Problem People in Your Church (What to Do With Well-Intentioned Dragons) by Marshall Shelley

The book Ministering to Problem People in Your Church by Marshall Shelley was written primarily for pastors and others in full-time ministry. It's filled with real life stories of struggles that happen within the church, and aims to help those in ministry cope with difficult situations in a manner that leaves no room for bitterness.

At least, that's what I choose to believe this book is aiming to accomplish. Of course I knew from the title alone that this was not going to be an easy read. The subject matter is heart-breaking and could even be discouraging - but I expected that. What I didn't expect was to feel so "at-odds" with the author's demeanor toward the "problem people" whose "problems" are shared in the book. I do not think that they ought to be referred to as "dragons".  Um, excuse me? Dragons? I thought it was a name that might fit those who were attempting to cause a church split or who weren't believers in Jesus …

Can A Little Change Make A Big Difference?

So I recently went to see my eye doctor. Praise the Lord, all the news was good and my prescription had only changed a little teeny bit. My 17-year-old daughter also had her eye exam at the same time, and I let her lead the charge on picking out our new frames. She choose red Ray-Bans and they are adorable on her! And she helped me settle on a pair of deep purple Oakleys. Let me just say, deep purple + Oakley =  me a bit outside my comfort zone.

Well most people who know me well have told me they like the Oakleys. And I really like them, too. They're fun and as I'm not getting any younger, I figure my days of young eye wear are numbered. May as well enjoy fun glasses while I still can, right?!?

Turns out I've noticed a little something weird now that I have these deep purple Oakleys stuck on my face all day long. Something I really did not expect. People treat me differently now. Not people that I know ~ but people at the grocery store or the bank or the drive-thru and so …

Knowing God By Name ~ A Girlfriends In God Faith Adventure (Sharon Jaynes, Gwen Smith, Mary Southerland)

You may have heard of Girlfriends In God (GIG). The 3 women who make up the GIG team write devotions, speak at conferences, and generally encourage women to walk closely with the Lord.The book Knowing God By Name ~ A Girlfirends In God Faith Adventure draws from the hearts of Sharon, Gwen and Mary to form an 8-week devotional & Bible study resource.

I hate to admit this...but when I first began reading Knowing God by Name, I did not really like it. Don't get me wrong - I was excited to do a book review on a devotional with a focus on the Names of God. But the first several pages just didn't jump out at me...and I kind of figured I'd finish reading the book for the review, not for my own spiritual growth. Uh-hum, well, uh, yeah...I was completely wrong. Knowing God By Name is not only a terrific devotional that I will read and re-read throughout the coming years; it is also an excellent Bible study and would be a great addition to any small group.

The difficulty in wr…

Take a DEEP Breath...It Is, Indeed, December

It sounds so cliche to say something along the lines of, "Can you believe how quickly this year has flown by?" or "How can it be December already?"  And yet here I am wondering how on earth the year 2013 could possibly be drawing to a close.

Maybe because we have temperatures in the 50s today here in Kansas, or perhaps because Thanksgiving fell later on the calender than it usually does (leaving fewer days before Christmas), or maybe it's just that I'm in my forties and I life moves faster than it used to. Whatever the reason, I feel like this Christmas season could come and go before I even have a chance to worship the Lord who was born in order that He might die for us. I do not want that to happen. So I'm doing things a bit differently this year.

We do not have our tree up yet. Or our outdoor decorations. That's kind of a rarity for our house. But we traded the time we would have normally spent decorating for time spent with our entire family whi…