Friday, April 29, 2011

New Book

When I got my Kindle at Christmas, I began to look at all the free books one could download. Lucky me, I was able to download many books and have been downloading many books for free. Little did I know that the books I was downloading were all TEMPORARILY free!!! Now I look at the list of free books weekly to see what is available.

Earlier this week, I was in the mood to read something new (I had started MANY books but none had quite captured my fancy). Something told me to try this one book that had become recommended by a friend and so I did....

I am not done with it yet...not quite half way done....but so far I am loving it!!

It takes place right around when Jesus dies. Pontious Pilate is up in arms because he had stood by while Jesus was crucified though he knew it to be wrong...his wife is suffering from nightmares.....and then the unthinkable happens.....Jesus' body disappears. Pilate and Herod Antipas fear revolt and they come up with a plan to find out where Jesus' body went.

That is all I will reveal...but I will say, I am really enjoying the book and so far would have to put it on my list of books I would recommend!!

Ok...I am finished!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Little House on the Prairie

Books have always played a huge part in my life. I have loved reading since I was very young and would devour anything I could get my hands on. Of course, you have heard me talk about this obsession with books for years....if you know me at all, anyway.

I have read every single Nancy Drew books...well, the original series, not the series they tried to come out with much later. I read all the Beverly Cleary books, too. What a gifted writer she was and I would read and re-read them. I also read Sweet Valley High, VC Andrews (sadly), Janette Oake, and many others.

I was so blessed, though, to have read the Little House on the Prairie books. I loved being transported to prairie days. I gobbled the books up and read them over and over and over again.

A double blessing, though, came in the form of a tv show. Oh, how I looked forward to watching this show each week...seeing the characters I had grown to know and love in action!!!

Melissa Gilbert as Laura just encompassed the little girl, half-pint. I remember my dad put a tv in my room just for this show (and so I would stop pestering him and his obsession with watching football). It was a little black and white tv, but that mattered little to me.

Throughout the years, I have watched this show with channels like TNT and TVLAND playing it. I have probably seen each episode countless times and can quote so many of the parts. My favorite storyline? Why, Almanzo and Laura's love story, of course!!

And now, thanks to dvd and netflix, I am watching this wonderful show from the very first until...maybe...the end (let's face it, the show took it all too far). Almost every episode brings tears to my eyes....and many of them cause those tears to fall!! I am barely on disc 2 of season 1. I just watched the episode where Laura befriends a little girl named Olga who was born with one leg shorter than the other....and Charles makes her a shoe that allows her to walk without a limp. Oh yeah, tears aplenty.

Matt laughs at me as I watch it...let him laugh. These books and this show are an important part of my childhood. I wonder what the real Laura Ingalls Wilder would think if she knew the impact her stories would have on even this newer generation?? Did you know there is curriculum based on these books?? I wonder if authors like Jeanette Oake and Beverly Lewis were inspired by her stories when they write their own prairie type books??

There are few American authors who have come close to the enduring legacy that this author has. Now, let me grab a tissue and watch this next episode called "Ma's Holiday". I love Netflix, I love Laura Ingalls Wilder, and I love Almanzo...err....I mean the whole Ingalls family.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Soul Surfer

A year ago, my daughter, Sierra, decided to read this book, Soul Surfer. We were in Half Price Books and she was looking for a book with substance. I came across this book and began to remember the news stories I saw about a girl, surfing in Hawaii, who got her arm bitten off by a shark. Sierra was pretty skeptical about the book, but decided to give it a try.

She loved it instantly. She found in Bethany Hamilton, a girl she could look up to. Her strong faith and convictions were a strong theme throughout the whole book. She listened to the same music Sierra listened to. She was active in her church. She practiced her faith in her everday life. I heard little about Bethany's harrowing experience with a shark, but heard a lot about Bethany herself.

Often we wonder why "bad" things happen to good people, and I think this is an example of why. Would we know about a teenage surfing girl and her daily walk of faith? I doubt it. Fact is, there are a lot of teenagers who do walk in faith everyday but it is the bad ones we hear about. But, you take a girl like Bethany Hamilton and you add in a freak incident like a shark biting off your arm, and all the sudden this girl is thrust into the limelight. This girl is now able to share her faith more openly.

It would've been so easy for her to have rejected Christ for allowing this tragic event to happen to her, but, instead, she seemingly grew closer to Christ through this storm. She did not allow this to crush her spirit, but, instead, she stood on her rock and proclaimed her devotion to Him.

I had the immense pleasure, this past weekend, of going to see the movie that was made about her story with my daughter.

It was so incredible and so inspiring. One of the things I loved about the movie was the shark attack seemed secondary to the will of a teenager who would not back down. She lost her arm and she, seemingly, did not break. Sure, she had her moments of emotional loss...but for the most part, she decided this was not going to bring her down.

I believe that all teenage girls should watch this movie, read this book, and look to Bethany Hamilton as a role model instead of the likes of Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, or any of those women.

Sierra sold her copy of Soul Surfer long ago. She has resolved that she must buy it again. She wants to have it on hand as a reminder of a girl who inspires her to live out her faith through all her trials.