Monday, November 22, 2010

Blind Hope review


An unwanted dog. An emotional rescue.
Two lives forever changed.

Laurie's dreams had been shattered before she came to work at Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch—the ranch of rescued dreams—where broken horses and broken children encounter healing every day. In an attempt to soothe her aching soul, Laurie reached out to save a dog in need. And she soon began to realize that the dog was rescuing her.

An inspiring true story told through the engaging voice of Kim Meeder, Blind Hope reveals poignant life lessons Laurie experienced from her ailing, yet courageous canine friend. Despite the blindness of her dog—and her own heart—Laurie uncovered what she really needed most: authentic love, unconditional trust, and true acceptance, faults and all.

As Laurie and her dog, Mia, both learned to follow the lead of a master they couldn’t see, Laurie discovered the transforming power of God’s grace even for imperfect and selfish people—and she experienced a greater love than she had ever known.

“Love is a bridge that stands firm through difficulties and connects one heart directly to another, not because of how it looks, but because of what it is.” —Kim Meeder, Blind Hope

I LOVE Kim Meeder's books and her ranch. What amazing and inspirational stories that come out of her heart and the ranch. This is a must read. and DOG is GOD spelled backwards.

I was provide a copy of this book from Waterbrook Multnomah for review purposes

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Fasting for Aaron on Friday

I am going to FAST on Friday for Aaron and for his health- would you please consider standing with me and praying?

Tomorrow afternoon (Wednesday) some folks from church are coming over to pray over aaron and for aaron. We just want him healthy and this trend of illnesses/health issues to be gone. If you think about it can you pray tomorrow afternoon for aaron and for the church folks who are praying? I don’t know the time yet but will update you.

Below are emails I sent to our church prayer chain:

Last Wednesday morning we went to Children’s Hospital Seattle for more testing.

Aaron will be having a VFSS (Video fluoroscopic Swallowing Study). We met with the pulmonary clinic/drs at Children’s a few weeks ago and they think its a good idea to have this test done to see if there is a possibility food/liquids are going into this lungs when he eats/swallows.

He is now 21 months old and has been sick for 10 months straight only a short 8 week break June-august and mid August it started again.

He is on prevacid, 2 inhalers has had 3 chest xrays, 1 upper gi, 1 surgery, VCUG and tons of tests. I just want his body to be healed.

Marco and I are soooo tired, just mentally, emotionally, and physically. Every time we try to come to church on sunday sickness gets us. One sunday marco was so sick couldn't move and about 2pm that afternoon it was gone. I am sure its something bigger (spirit of isolation) keeping us away because we have been so isolated this past year.

If you could pray for this isolation thing to go away and for our relationships with friends and families to grow in leaps in bounds. Health Health Health- for healing and strength and protection for our family. Wisdom for the doctors and for what ever is going on with Aaron to be revealed and mystery solved so we can reduce medicines and get him healthy. Also if you are praying and hear anything for us could you let us know.

Update from the testing:

The swallowing study (xray) showed that he is building a pocket of fluids up over his airway so its possible he is aspirating but at that time of the testing he would trigger his muscles and swallow instead of all of it going into his lungs. He is now due to this on a liquid restricted diet which means anything and everything that is pour able/liquid needs to be thickened. We have a dietician assigned to us from Children's and Thickening stuff we have to use.

by thickening the liquids he has to work more and harder to get things down and he uses all his muscles which makes it go down the right pipe. where thinner liquids it appears he is lazier and allows them to go down both tubes.

recheck in 3 months.

later that day we had another dr appt and found out he has alot of food allergies.

Dairy or any product in dairy category was huge. Thankfully we had taken him off dairy in June due to the fact dairy creates alot of mucous. So we were giving him almond milk and coconut milk which he is highly allergic to hazelnut, soy, coconut and almonds. so now just rice milk.

there is something that is also making his face develop a rash. We can't figure out if its the prevacid(reflux med) or a food. so we are monitoring that closely to figure out what the trigger is.

He has been coughing a lot the past few days and tons of mucous so we are hoping in the next day or 2 his body will flush away all the cold/allergy stuff and coughing will go away now that we have removed the allergens.

The drs say in time he will probably out grow everything maybe by age 4 or 5.

there is more I am sure - it was a lot of stuff to process Wednesday and then phone calls with follow up appts and children's home care yesterday.

You wouldn't know he was sick- he is in daycare- running around- being cray but gets crabby and coughs. We just need his lungs healed.

11/14 Aaron wasn’t feeling well this morning and took a nap about 10/11 ish woke up with a fever and a gunky eye. After about an hour or so we decided to take him into Children’s Bellevue Urgent Care- well he has an ear infection and pink eye. His lungs sounded okay. His fever is about 100. He is on 2 different meds for ear infection and pink eye. This means no daycare and one of us need to stay home from work to be with him and care for him.

This is almost exactly to the week when we first started with all the ER visits- last year this time he had ear infection- pink eye and pneumonia. So we are praying and breaking this- no more!!!

Can we all just pray in agreement for his healing and his body to be restored to pure health.

Tonight 11/16 Really exciting news- Aaron was having a bad day not feeling well and not eating – we tried to get an appt with our ped dr but they were full so at 5pm we went to Children’s Bellevue Urgent care.

Aaron’s ear infection is gone. After 3 doses of antibiotics it’s gone. The dr said if it hadn’t been written in his record that he had one she wouldn’t have known because there were no signs.

His pink eye is looking great you can hardly see.

So Prayer is working and we are going to keep pressing in. As I know God can and will heal Aaron.

SMALL STRAWS IN A SOFT WIND by Marsha Burns -- 11/16/2010:

Be strong and do not lose heart. Refuse to give up. The enemy would have you to believe in hopelessness, but he will not succeed as long as you maintain your position of hope. Give him no ground. Take the time and make the effort to exercise your faith and to believe Me and know that I have heard your prayers, says the Lord.

2 Corinthians 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory

Friday, November 12, 2010

B&B Media Review: Jump Into a life of Further and Higher

Editorial Reviews
Product Description
Jump is a powerful guide to becoming a vehicle of compassion, reconciliation, and transformation in our world.
Life is all about jumps. We jump from high school to college, school to the professional world, dating to marriage. Each leap launches us to new levels.
Even though we can’t see what’s on the other side of the wall, our faith jumps are about trusting that God is there. We experience the liberation when we jump into the arms of our Savior, then into a church family, and then into a world desperately in need.
Efrem Smith presents fresh insights into how Christians can say yes to the jump that takes them deeper into a loving, devotional, intimate life with God.

About the Author
Efrem Smith uses motivational speaking, comedy, and preaching to equip people for a life of transformation. He is the Superintendent of the Pacific Southwest Conference for the Evangelical Covenant Church, and an Itinerant Speaker with Kingdom Building Ministries. He is a graduate of Saint John’s University and Luther Theological Seminary, and the author of Raising Up Young Heroes and The Hip-Hop Church. He and his family live in the Bay Area of California.

Smith tells of his own journey of faith, of a jump into connection with the body of Christ. Influenced by the writing of Dr. Martin Luther King and the nonviolence movement for civil rights, Smith's message for the individual and the church includes a strong emphasis on justice and reconciliation. He writes from a pastor's heart, with a vision for a multiethnic and multicultural emphasis on evangelism and discipleship immersed in compassion, mercy, and justice.

I was provided a copy of this book by Audra Jennings of B&B Media Group in exchange for my honest review here.

B&B Media Review: Nudge

Editorial Reviews
Product Description

Evangelism is about reaching out to others. Really? You think?

Brace yourself. In Nudge, author Leonard Sweet sets out to revolutionize our understanding of evangelism. He defines evangelism as “nudge” – awakening each other to the God who is already there. Sweet’s revolution promises to affect your encounters with others, as well as shaking the very roots of your own faith. So brace yourself.

About the Author
Leonard Sweet is the E. Stanley Jones Professor of Evangelism at Drew University and a Distinguished Visiting Professor at George Fox University, and a chief contributor to Sweet is the author of hundres of articles and numberous books, including The Gospel According to Starbucks, 11, So Beautiful, AquaChurch 2.0,and SoulTsunami. To learn more visit

"Nudge evangelism is the planting of seeds. With a motivation of love, nudges meet people in their context and nourish their souls in some way. As in Jesus' parable of the seeds, planting frees us to be extravagant in love, yet leaves the results for God to germinate and grow. Nudging is an open-ended enterprise God may undertake directly. God may use others, and time and circumstance to grow. Or God may even employ a continuing involvement from us. The main thing is that nudgers are free to love without consequences. Nudgers are free to invest in the lives of others through the generosity of life as a conduit of love from God...Nudge is a a call to evangelize life and to face death so others may live."

The first section of the book explores what it means to pay attention in order to both witness and to bear witness. The remainder of the book invites us to realize how God moves and speaks through each one of our senses. Sweet's playful, encylopedic presentation is meant to both spark our imaginations and provoke each one of us to action in our own context through word and silence, touch and taste, scent and sound.

Nudge is great news about the Good News. This is a rich, lovely, inspiring read - and one that connected me more fully to my own humanity, to the One who made me, and to the world he loves. Highly recommended.

I was provided a copy of Leonard Sweet's book Nudge: Awakening Each Other To The God Who's Already There by Audra Jennings of B&B Media Group in exchange for my honest review here.

Tyndale Review:"The Surprising Way to a Stronger Marriage"

Editorial Reviews
Product Description
The most significant act of love we can do for our spouse is the single act of taking personal responsibility—or “the power of one.” We cannot reach satisfaction in our marriage relationships if we don’t first look at ourselves and see where we need to change. Personal responsibility is the fuel that drives the actions of a healthy marriage.
Usually, each spouse blames the other for their problems; this attitude only leads down a path of unfulfilled expectations and heartache. But marriages can be transformed, literally overnight, when a husband or wife learns the power of one. By accepting personal responsibility for their own emotions and reactions, spouses can learn how to love their mates to the fullest and create a stronger marriage relationship—with the power of one.
From the Back Cover
Surprise! You don’t have to wait for a happier marriage. You can make a difference, beginning today—by changing yourself.
It takes two to tango, but the power of one can ignite a revolution in your relationship. By taking responsibility for your own emotions and reactions, you can improve your marriage, starting now.
In The Surprising Way to a Stronger Marriage, relationship experts Michael and Amy Smalley provide the tools to help you right-size your expectations about your mate . . . reboot your relationship with the Trillion-dollar Question . . . and communicate, validate, “lean in,” and forgive—even when your spouse doesn’t.
See how to make the tools work in Surprising Solution Scenarios. Apply the ideas to your marriage, using the study guide included. Discover how the power of one spouse, bolstered by the power of God and key principles from His Word, can change everything.
The Smalleys have seen these principles succeed, both in their Marriage Restoration Intensive program for couples on the brink of breakup and in their own relationship. Now you can watch them work in yours.
And we do mean now.

In The Surprising Way to a Stronger Marriage Michael and Amy Smalley recognize this and more. Through candidly sharing their own marital conflicts (sometimes humorous!) as well as the conflicts of some of their counseling clients, they encourage individuals to change their attitudes, which very well may change their marriages for the better.

I like this book and would recommend it to couples for a couple of reasons:

1. At 139 pages (plus a study guide in the back) it's easily read in a day or two. And since their are two people contributing it almost has a conversational feel. I liked having the point of view of both husband and wife.

2."We can't control what happens to us but we can control how we respond." The authors focus on what "you" can do in your marriage instead of blaming someone else (i.e. your spouse) for your unhappiness. They do a great job of guiding someone through forgiveness and disappointment in marriage and showing you how to respond in love (even in a hurtful situation) and work towards reconciliation.

Tyndale Publishers provided me a copy of this book for my opinion

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Wild Olive Tee- Giveaway
We will be giving away TWO Women of Faith Packages. Each package contains two Wild Olive tees of your choosing, and two Women of Faith tickets for their Over The Top Event in Hartford, CT on November 19th and 20th. Amie and Stefanie will be attending this conference, and we would love for you to join us there, representing Wild Olive!

AND, for those of you who don’t live close enough to attend the conference, we love you, too! So we are giving two more prize packages, each contains TWO Wild Olive tees, winner’s choice!

So there will be FOUR winners, announced Wednesday, November 10th. Entries close at midnight EST on Tuesday, November 9th, so get crackin’!

There are three ways to enter:

1. BLOG it. 5 entries. Write up a post about our Wild Olive/Women of Faith giveaway, including a link to this post, and also a bit about Wild Olive tees. Link up below and/or post a comment on our BLOG with a link to your blog letting us know you entered.

2. FACEBOOK it. 5 entries. Friend us on Facebook at Wild Olive, and become a fan of our Wild Olive Tees page, and do a post on your wall mentioning our Wild Olive/Women of Faith giveaway, including a link. Leave a comment here AND on our FB page letting us know you have entered.

3. TWEET it. 1 entry/tweet. Follow us on Twitter, and link to our giveaway post, and mention the WO/WOF giveaway. Only one tweet/day will counted as an entry.

When you leave your comment, PLEASE let us know which prize package you’d prefer: the WO/WOF package or Wild Olive package.

For more chances to win, tune in to the live stream on WYCM, 90.1 FM Christian Radio. They will be giving away FIVE WO/WOF Packages this week. The first giveaway will be during Judy’s evening show between 6-9pm tonight. There will also be giveaways during Stephan’s morning show between 7AM- 10 AM this week, so tune in!