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Monthly Archives: November 2010

Photo of the Day: Fall Harvest

Even the birds celebrated Thanksgiving in this bird bath!

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Posted by on November 30, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

Book Review: Adopted Ed

The Adopted Ed website states, “This simple and beautifully illustrated story is about an adopted little boy and his journey through his early years. Sensitive and likable, we’re with Eddie the moment he learns he’s adopted. At school when he is teased by bullies about being adopted, his mom coaches him through the situation, which ultimately sets the course of his life with personal empowerment. Over time, Eddie feels a strong “void” and becomes curious about his biological parents, which ultimately leads him to find out more. ADOPTED ED concludes with a section of famous people who were adopted.”

When I was given the opportunity to review this book by Darren Maddern from the One2One Network, I jumped at the chance. For those of you who regularly read my blog, you know that I have a brother who is adopted. Because of this, adoption is very near and dear to my heart.

When I received the book, I noticed right off that the character of Ed looks a lot like Jimmy Neutron. The illustrations, done by Erin Fusco, are vivid in color and precious to look at. The book appears to be geared toward children under 10, probably around the age of 8 or younger based on the look.

There are things about this book that I liked and things I didn’t. I love that the book was done in rhyme. It lends a sweet, sing-song quality to it. I liked that Ed’s parents told him he was adopted. I liked that the author shows how Ed had a normal childhood. I appreciated that Ed was upset at being picked on for being different and that his mom told him how special he was because he was adopted. I also liked that the last page of the book tells who some famous adopted people are.

I did not like that it states, “But while in his mother, a decision was made. He was to be adopted and by new parents be raised.” The reason I did not like this was because the reasons for giving a child up for adoption are not as simple as making the decision and since those reasons are not simple, it almost makes it look like the author is stating that he child was not wanted; again, not always true and not a simple thing.

I definitely did not like that Ed went back to school after talking with his mother and told the bully, “My parents chose me! Yours were stuck with you!”, for two reasons…1. usually this does not make a bully back down; in fact, I would bet this would make the bully even more mad and he would beat the poor kid up; 2. I don’t like the idea of condoning being mean or rude to someone, whether it’s true or not. No kid should be made to feel that they are not wanted, either by bullying an adopted kid or telling a bully that their parents were stuck with him.

Finally, I did not like that the book talks about having a void about not knowing who the birth parents are; how he needed answers. I don’t think this was appropriate for this book because the book seemed to be geared toward younger children. Most children do not experience that need to know their birth parents until they are much older. Another reason I had a problem with this section is based on a conversation with my mother. Because my brother is adopted, I asked my mother to read this book as well. She was quick to tell me that she did not want my brother to read this book, mostly because of this part about having a void because Ed did not know who his birth parents were. Her explanation for this was that my brother would then wonder if he is supposed to feel a void and that if he doesn’t, is something wrong with him? This would become a sticking point for him and cause him anxiety he did not need. You see, as soon as my brother was able to understand, my parents told him about being adopted, about his birth mom and about choosing him. He has accepted our family as his own and has never had that void to know more (at least not yet). I wholeheartedly agree with my mother. I think that this section is something that is geared toward adolescence or beyond and is not appropriate for the age group that the book appears to be geared toward. However, I will acknowledge that this is the way our family feels. This is not necessarily how every family will feel about this book.

Overall the book, Adopted Ed was cute, but the wording needed to be geared more toward the age group to which is appears to target. I strongly encourage families to read this book off the shelf in the store before purchasing to ensure that it is something that you would want your adopted child to read. This book will not be right for all families, but may be exactly what another family needs.

 
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Posted by on November 30, 2010 in Reviews, Uncategorized

 

Fellowship of Believers

I have to say that I am typically a loner. I prefer to be alone or hang out with my family than to be in a group of people. I get nervous in groups of people and tend to be a wallflower because of it. But God says in Scriputre,

And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. ~Hebrews 10:25

In this Scripture, and others, God tells that we should not forsake the fellowship of others; that we need the fellowship of other believers. Fellow believers encourage us, lift us up in prayer, are there for us when we fall or when we are hurting…so many things that fellowship with believers brings to our lives! When we have fellowship with other believers, we are more likely to stand strong in God’s word than we are to follow the world’s view.

This year a good group of people, with whom we worshiped with at a previous church, came together to start a new work. We were all hurt in our last church, some very badly, and have been trying to heal. as a fellowship, we are healing together. We know where we have all been and we are working toward having a body of Christ that follows Scripture this time instead of religion. It’s been sweet to be a part of this new work. I am gaining new friends and finding out that people I might never have spoken to before are some of the sweetest people I could have ever met.

So, I am slowly moving my way away from the wall to be a part of the Fellowship of Believers and I have to say that it’s kind of nice!

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On another note of fellowship…

This was our dinner table for Thanksgiving. It was such a good Thanksgiving and the fellowship with my family, my mother especially, was so sweet!

This post has been part of the blog carnival: Fellowship over at Bridget Chumbley’s site. To read more posts on Fellowship, head on over to http://www.bridgetchumbley.com/
 
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Posted by on November 30, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

Photo of the Day: He cuts off the vine

"He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more." ~John 15:2

 

 
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Posted by on November 29, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

Book Review: Out Live Your Life by Max Lucado

These are difficult days in our world’s history. 1.75 billion people are desperately poor, natural disasters are gouging entire nations, and economic uncertainty still reigns across the globe. But you and I have been given an opportunity to make a big difference. What if we did? What if we rocked the world with hope? Infiltrated all corners with God’s love and life? We are created by a great God to do great works. He invites us to outlive our lives, not just in heaven, but here on earth. Let’s live our lives in such a way that the world will be glad we did. (from the Thomas Nelson Website)

You may sit there and think, but I’m just an ordinary person, how can I do anything special to make a real difference in this world?

Out Live Your Life shows people the small things that they can do to create a big difference in this world and thereby outlive their lives (be remembered). From chapters titled “Open Your Door; Open Your Heart” to “Do Good Quietly” and “Calling Mr. Pot Roast”, Max Lucado discusses ways that you can Out Live Your Life.

To be honest, when I first received this book, I assumed that it would be about sponsoring children or helping build wells in third world countries. Those things are all well and good, but I don’t have the money to do that and when I read articles about that, I am usually left feeling guilty that I can’t and wishing that I could.

What I quickly found out was that this book is so much more than sponsoring, this book is about ways, big and small, that you can outlive your life; make a difference in this world and be remembered by someone. One of the first things that Max Lucado says is “No one else has your version.” He is talking about the life you are living now. No one else in this world was given your version of this life. You are the only one who can live it.

You may be thinking, “So what? I may be the only one to live this version, but I’m a nobody in the grand scheme of things. I am not equipped to make a difference. I am just a mother; farmer; teacher; blue-collar worker.” To this Max has a great answer, one that I have always believed in…

God doesn’t qualify the equipped. He qualifies the called.

God doesn’t care who you are…the simple farmer; the kid on the street who doesn’t know how to read; the mother who is up to her eyeballs in kids and laundry and meals…God just cares that He called you and that you are willing to hear His call!

This book is full of good things like that! It talks about pride, willingness, teamwork, encouragement. And at the end of each chapter is a Scripture and a prayer. One of my favorite prayers in the book is

O Lord, where did I see you yesterday…and didn’t recognize you? Where will I encounter you today…and fail to identify you? O my Father, give me eyes to see, a heart to respond, and hands and feet to serve you wherever you encounter me! Transform me, Lord, by your Spirit into a servant of Christ, who delights to meet the needs of those around me. Make me a billboard of your grace, a living advertisement for the riches of your compassion. I long to hear you say to me one day, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” And I pray that today I would be that faithful servant who does well at doing good. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

That is how the book ends. But Max Lucado doesn’t leave you there. A discussion and Action Guide is included at the end of the book. This section of the book gives you things to think about and some ideas for action on your part for each chapter.

I really enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it to anyone I know!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
 
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Posted by on November 29, 2010 in Reviews, Uncategorized

 

Photo of the Day:Ecclesiates 3:2

 

"A time to be born and a time to die." ~Ecclesiates 3:2

 

 

 
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Posted by on November 26, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

Photo of the Day: Happy Thanksgiving!

 
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Posted by on November 25, 2010 in Uncategorized