Coffee Cake Days Book Review

Hello Thursday! 

Let me introduce to you a new book/short story. It is “Coffee Cake Days” by Amanda Tero my friend and fellow blogger.  Banner 01

In this dynamic short story, a young lady named Meg finds out how to balance her spiritual walk with the reality of the demands of daily life. Reading it, there were many instances where I could relate to the frustrations the character was facing and the reactions she was tempted to display when things don’t always go as you plan them in your mind. Amanda did a good job of portraying the interactions and relationships between siblings in the story, especially when it comes to dealing with younger siblings.

Readers will also easily relate the interruptions that regularly happen on a day to day basis in family life.

After reading the story, readers may ask themselves questions such as: how do you relate to your family? how do you react when things don’t go your way?, what do you consider your priorities? There are many Scripture references that weave into the story nicely showing how Meg, the character learns the most important lesson in her spiritual life. The story is a quick and easy read, enjoyable for ages 13- up.

Oh but don’t take my word for it! You can find the book over at Amanda’s website. Drop by and check it out, and share with your friends.

About the Author of Coffee Cake Days: Amanda Amanda Tero is a homeschool graduate whose desire is to provide God-honoring reading material. Her current projects include short stories and novels-in-progressWhen she was a young teenager, Amanda was obsessed with writing. However, the Lord helped her to realize that she was writing for her personal pleasures and purposes – not His.

For several years, she put away “pleasure writing” and wrote mainly Biblical articles for several years (which she still continues). She found the time of writing silence beneficial in gleaning from God’s Word and strengthening the focus of why she writes. Since 2013, the Lord directed her to begin writing fiction again. Her desire is to glorify and exalt God in all of her writing. She desires to challenge girls to focus on their relationship with God and grow in Him and His Word. If something she has written draws an individual into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ, it is worth it!

Website: http://www.amandatero.weebly.com

FaceBook: http://www.facebook.com/amandaterobooks

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/AmandaTero

Blog: http://www.withajoyfulnoise.blogspot.com

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From my little studio – a sample of handmade cards

Hello lovely readers!

It’s Memorial Day weekend, and that means a long weekend here in the United States. It kind of marks the beginning of summer, though ironically we’ve been having weather quite the contrary! In any case, this weekend will find me working long hours, not relaxing. That’s why I’m writing this blog post late at night :D

I wanted to give you a glimpse of handmade art from my little studio. I don’t have a studio per-se, just a bunch of art and craft supplies in different drawers and boxes in my room, and my school desk, but I like to call it a studio. It makes me feel more important and creative, ha, ha!

I like to combine drawing and sketches with card-making, so I practically make most of the cards for every occasion in my family. Even in last-minute situations when we may have unexpected guests or we need a ‘thank you’ card, my dad may say “quick, make a card for so and so!”  In fact, I don’t remember the last time I bought a card.

These cards are just a small sample I made over the course of several months for friends and family. I’ve been making a lot less than I used to do in the past just because as a student, I have less time to dedicate to creativity :/ But I always try to squeeze in a bit of time for that whenever I can.

Some cards are exact replicas of examples I saw online, others are my own creation or a combo.

 

handmade cardsFor Mother’s Day

 

handmade cardsFor a friend’s newborn baby

handmade cardsFor a friend’s birthday

handmade cards For another friend’s birthday

handmade cardsIn gratitude for a gift

handmade cardsFor a young friend’s birthday

Which card do you like best? 

Seven men of good reputation

Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business…
And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch (Acts 6:3,5). 

 

I’m almost done with the book of Acts. But when I read this chapter several weeks ago, and came across this passage, a few things stood out to me. The phrase, “choose seven men of good reputation“. The original word in Greek for good reputation is martureómeaning to give a good testimonyIn a practical sense, it means people whose lives are a testimony of a holy lifestyle. In the context of this passage in Acts, it probably also means the men they were choosing had been eye-witnesses or ear-witnesses to the life of Christ.  

Also, whenever I read a list of names in the Bible, I’m always curious to know the meaning of the names.  So I’m going to explore the names of these seven men and see what they each stand for. Knowing the meaning of the names will help form a type of mental profile of these seven men in the Biblical and historical text.

Some of the more popular names like Philip or Stephen, I already kind of knew, but it really enhances the text to know more about all the names or the background of what you are reading! 

~ The Seven Men of Good Reputation ~

Stephen– “crowned” 
Philip–  “lover of horses” 
Prochorus – “leader of the chorus” 
Nicanor – “conqueror”
Timon – “honorable” 
Parmenas – “abiding” 
Nicolas – “victor of the people” 

Now isn’t that so interesting! These were the names of the deacons in the first church. Who would’ve thought that Nicanor means “conqueror” for example, or Timon “honorable”? And there are so many names in the Bible that have intriguing meanings!

What are you favorite Biblical names? 

 

Sources:
http://biblehub.com/greek/3140.htm
http://biblegateway.com/
http://www.blueletterbible.org/

Unique Mother’s Day!

This post was a guest post I originally wrote on my friend Amanda’s blog.

If you are looking for some fun ways to make Mother’s Day more meaningful and memorable, this is the post for you! 

1. Potted fruit tree. Instead of the usual bouquet of flowers, surprise your mom a potted fruit tree! If you have several siblings, you can put your money together to get nice a tree. Buy a tree with her favorite fruit, or an exotic fruit. Some ideas are: citrus, cherry, fig, apricot, (or even avocado)… the options are endless. Add a nice big bow on the tree to make it extra special! She will have the tree throughout the years to remind her of you. If she’s not into fruit trees, a bonsai tree could be another idea. 

2. A photoshoot. Seems like everyone is into photography nowadays. There are photoshoots for every event imaginable: high school seniors, maternity, you name it. But we rarely see photoshoots of a mom, right? If you own a good camera, plan a photoshoot for your mom on Mother’s Day! Or hire someone to do a photoshoot of her. Then she can have some really professional and lovely pictures to keep and frame. You can even make it a multi-generational photoshoot of grandmother, mother, daughter etc! 

3. Take her to a flower field or botanical garden. If you live near a flower field or a botanical garden, spring is the best time to go visiting, and it’s a lovely way to spend Mother’s Day together! Or, if flowers are not her thing, take her fruit picking on a farm. Then you can make fruit jams, pies or preserves together with the fruit you picked! 

4. Print her recipes/photos into a book. Compile a collection of her best recipes, or photos of her life (from your birth to the present), and print it as a special book for her! Or you can have all your siblings put together “mom’s words of wisdom”, such as sayings that you always remember her repeating to you, and print it into a fun scrapbook with pictures of your life. It’s super easy to do with websites like Blurb, Shutterfly, Snapfish, or even local stores like Costco or Walmart. 

5. Cooking contest! Cook something and let Mom be the judge. Skip the restaurant crowds and do something special at home! Have everyone in your family cook a dish or bake a dessert, then present them to your mother and have her be the judge. Do not reveal who cooked which dish! Then have her give scores and awards/ribbons to the best dishes, and at the end, identify the cooks. To keep it simple, you can have a pie contest, everyone making a different type of pie. Or if you want a challenge, have each person cook one of your mom’s favorite dishes! 

 6. Surprise envelopes every hour! Have everyone in your family write special notes of appreciation, Mother’s Day cards, Bible verses, sweet memories, or words of encouragement and put them in separate envelopes. Tie the envelopes together in a bundle, and label each with the time she should open an envelop (example: open at 8:00 A.M., or at noon). Every hour that day, she can open a surprise envelope with a special note inside! You can add envelopes with little surprises like gift cards, tickets to a museum/amusement part etc.

7. Make it classy, go to a music hall! Let your mom experience something new this Mother’s Day! If she’s never been to a classical music concert, and she loves music, now is your chance to spoil her! If you live near a music hall, look up dates around Mother’s Day when there will be nice concerts with choirs, philharmonic orchestras or chamber music in your area. Before the concert you can visit a cafe, antique shop, or bakery for a treat! Of course, when it comes to a special outing, the options for fun adventures are abundant (horseback riding, kayaking, hunting, depending on what your mom enjoys doing ;)).

 

8. Mom interview. Get your family together and have everyone interview mom and videotape it. Make a list of questions in advance, such as “how did you imagine yourself as an adult?”, “what was the most exciting moment you remember as a child?” “who did you admire most when you were young?” “what advice would you give for….?” “what is the best advice you got from your parents….?” You can also look up ideas online. 

Hope this will get you bubbling with ideas for making Mother’s Day better than ever! 

What Mother’s Day traditions do you have?

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Midweek Music XIII: Hanging in there!

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I’m almost there people! It’s the last stretch of the semester!! That’s right-  only two weeks of finals, and then May 11th will be the day I can collect my frazzled brain cells together for a short break, before another round starts in the summer. Yep, the joy of summer term.

For now, I’m navigating through several due dates, and just completed a round of deadlines yesterday. There’s stuff like a group research project, presentation, more papers, research poster, exams, discussion boards and…yeah, you get the point. I’m hanging in there like those little ducklings.

Good news for you, I have fun posts planned to be up on the blog in my break (and after)!

Until then, here’s a song for the Midweek Music series that resonates with my situation now…Soon Ah Will Be Done! This is an old negro spiritual, performed so expressively and perfectly by the Master’s College Chorale. Enjoy!

*Comments or a note to say hello are appreciated during this time ;)

What do you see?

Can you take a guess at what this is?

That is the beauty and awe inspiring complexity of God’s design. It is the neuronal wiring of the human brain! The image is from the Human Connectome Project, and you can check out their website for more pictures and details.

When I first saw the images from this project, I nearly gasped- all I could say was “wow”.

And, you probably saw similar types of these amazing resin casts of blood vessel networks, on the web somewhere too!

Take a moment to praise your Creator for making you into such an amazing work of art, for giving you breath, making you into the image of God, and endowing you with strength to bring Him glory!

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness”
(Genesis 1:26)

I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
(Psalm 139:14)