Monday, September 20, 2021

A Book Review and Give-Away!

 


They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. ~Acts 2:42

For those of you who have followed my blog for a while, you know that I don't do many book reviews.  That is because an author's words and writing style must sincerely resonate in my heart before I can, in good conscience, recommend a book to others, knowing they are in for a rewarding read.

Cheryl E. Smith's latest book, Homespun Devotions - Volume One, more than meets that criteria.  It goes above and beyond!

This collection of devotional readings is penned from Cheryl's own life experiences with family, friend, colleagues, and most importantly, how her love for the Lord colors all her relationships.  Her down-to-earth, personal recollections are inspiring and insightful, and when you read them, you feel like you are in the presence of a long-time friend, who is always glad to see you, and ever willing to open her heart to you over a cup of coffee and honest conversation.

How did Cheryl come to write this book?  I'll let her explain in her own words:

When I began blogging, my dream was to write a book called Homespun Devotions.  Over the years, I have come to long for the Dream Giver more than the dream.  The publishing of this book is the Dream Giver handing me my dream.

If you're searching for the perfect devotional book to add to your daily study of God's Word, look no further than this perfect gem.  Best of all, Cheryl is giving a copy of Homespun Devotions away to one lucky person who leaves a comment here on Meditations of My Heart.  Such a deal!

Comments qualifying for the give-away must be submitted here no later than Tuesday, September 27th.  I will announce the winner on the following Friday.

My hope and prayer for all of you who don't win the drawing is that you will order Cheryl's book, one for yourself, and one to give to a friend.  It is guaranteed to be a gift they will cherish.

About the Author -


Cheryl E. Smith is the author of the book Biblical Minimalism: Following Jesus from a Life of Abundance to a More Abundant Life.  She blogs at www.Biblical Minimalism.com, where she writes about minimalism from a Biblical perspective, and www.HomespunDevotions.com, where she writes devotionals and conducts "Inner Views."  She loves to spend time with her husband and son in the mountains, sing and play bluegrass music, and write.

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Family Fun!

 


He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction. ~Malachi 4:6

We've heard it said, time and time again, that family is everything.  So true!  When God created us in His own image, it was His command that we should be fruitful and multiply, with children being our future, to carry on His commandments concerning how we live lives that glorify Him both in the present, and in the generations to come.

So, when my daughter, Sarah, sends these photos to me, my heart sings and rejoices that this family is staying strong, loving one another, and enjoying time together in God's splendid creation.  They are visiting Umstead State Park, which is practically in their backyard, where they now live in Raleigh, North Carolina.  Let's join them for this adventure, shall we?


Virginia


Savannah


Alexandra


Finn!


Clowning around!



Sarah and Virginia - She sure loves her Mommy!


Snaggle-toothed Alexandra and Mommy


Savannah with Finn and Daddy


My beautiful daughter and her husband, John

I'm so thankful for the ways in which Sarah and John care so deeply for one another, and are teaching their precious girls to appreciate and honor all the gifts the Lord has given to them.  My prayer is that the family will continue to grow in love for God and for one another.

Amen.

Monday, September 13, 2021

Count It All as Loss

 


Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will be told in memory of her. ~Mark 14:9

The photo above depicts garbage bags filled with clothes that my husband, Danny, and I plan to donate to Goodwill.  Yes, we've spent the last several days down at Mom's house in Oxford, attempting to clean out all the closets brimming with clothes, shoes, purses, and other items worthy of a give-away.  And as many bags as you see here, half that many are assigned to the throw-away category.  That's how worn and unusable they are.

We end up with this much only because my mother couldn't bear to part with Dad's possessions after he passed in 2014.  Of course, she did give items of clothing to my son, Daniel, who was the same size at the time, but the rest stayed hidden away as if awaiting his coming back to life.

It breaks my heart just as much to have to donate Dad's belongings, including a spanking-new tuxedo outfit, as it does my mom's.  I feel like I'm experiencing his passing all over again.

While I go through closets, drawers and a large armoire that we would like to have, Danny tackles two cedar chests, and collects and organizes DVDs/VCR recordings so that my brother, Bill, can determine what he wishes to keep or throw away.  He also gathers up the hangars the clothes hung on to donate to a dry cleaner.


I remember my Mom asking me years ago what one thing I would like to have of hers once she passes.  Of course, I didn't like to hear her talk like that, even though the reality is inevitable.  I tell her I want this sweater knitted by my father's sister, Mary Jane.


If you look closely, you can see the coffee stains on it.  I'm hoping that with some treatment and tender loving care, I can restore the sweater to its original integrity.

Pouring through all these many items evokes memories that will ever remain with me.  Exhausted and overwhelmed after a day of purging, this poem comes to be.

The house stands too empty without her

Yet rife with tangible objects, clutter

Shelves and drawers, closets overflow

Call for hands to cull and just let go

Worldly items, count it all as loss

Memories, the treasure not to toss

There is no earthly treasure that can take the place of precious memories.  May we, like the woman who anointed the feet of Jesus, do for others in this life as unselfishly and lovingly as she did for the One who saves our souls, not our possessions.

Lord, help me, help us all, to let go of what doesn't matter in the eternal perspective.

Amen.

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Lost and Found

 


Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it. ~Matthew 10:39


It is in the losing that we find

It is in the finding, we become

In becoming, we begin to see

All that God has yearned for us to be

Amen

Monday, September 6, 2021

Vacation Time!

 


Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. ~Matthew 11:28

All of us need time for rest and relaxation in order to stay balanced, mentally, physically and spiritually.  That's why I'm so glad that my daughter, Sarah, son-in-law, John, and the three girls were able to join John's parents and his sister's family for a week's vacation at Corolla Beach in North Carolina.

Let's join them there, shall we?


John, Sarah, Virginia, Savannah, and Alexandra



Enjoying the pool!


L to R:  Virginia, Alexandra and Savannah




Fun at the beach!


Virginia with her Aunt Susan.  Can you see the family resemblance?  I sure can!


A bit hazy, but here's the whole gang.  Susan's husband, Rantz, took this shot of parents, Paul and Karen, Susan, and cousins Griffin and Edie.


The kids really hit it off.  So did Finn and Murphy!




Yes, there are many more photos I could share, but I think this last one of Savannah sums up the marvelous time they all had.



Sheer joy!

I do hope this photo-journal post has lifted your spirits today, my friends.  And remember, when you need a break from this wearisome world laden with burdens, run to Jesus.  He will always, always give you rest.

Amen!

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Inner Views and a Give-Away!

 


Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:  If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.  But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.  Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.  But how can one keep warm alone? ~Ecclesiastes 4: 9-12

What would any of us do without our friends?  I didn't know on that day I met Cheryl at Homespun Devotions in Blogland that friends are exactly what we would become.  So, when Cheryl approached me to do an Inner View with her on her blog, I was delighted beyond measure.

Many of my readers here are new ones, and you may not yet be acquainted with my novels, or know much about me.  For both new and forever readers here, Cheryl offers and in-depth interview with me, which includes memories of my childhood and the life experiences which shaped the writing of The Glade Series and Adventures in The Glade.  To read this inner view, visit Cheryl's blog here!

Best of all, if you leave Cheryl a comment, you will be automatically entered to win all the novels in The Glade Serie and Adventures in The Glade!  Already have copies?  Enter again anyway!  You can always bless someone else with some wholesome, Christian-themed stories.

While you're there, please share this blog to your social media feeds, and sign up to receive Homespun Devotions in your inbox.  I guarantee that Cheryl will soon become your friend, too!

Love and blessings to all!

A Book Review and Give-Away!

  They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. ~Acts 2:42 For those of y...