snowfall effect

Sunday, 25 January 2015

WINTER'S RESPITE: IT'S ALL ABOUT TEA and READING!


Seasons of Reading
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Signups remain Open until end of Friday cst during A Winter's Respite Read-a-Thon.
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Coming off a 28 hr global readathon for a LibraryThing ReadaThing
in conjunction with National ReadaThon Day.
I enjoyed Saturday off with a couple great reads.  Both were lengthy and entirely different genres.
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Canadian author, Murray Pura writes at the top of his game in this family saga, 
The Danforths of Lancashire,
keeping me spellbound for the final installment of the trilogy.
LONDON DAWN amazed with gripping, well researched, historical battle scenes and the impact of war
that repeatedly tested the Danforth family's strength and character.  Loved it.  
Compelling WWII story replete with life, death, betrayal, and romance .
What I loved?  It was filled with Light in the midst of war's destruction.
Tears?  Definitely, yes.  Yet hope prevails.  
My heart remained captured by relationships and actions long after the cover closed.

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I also completed a long anticipated read of Brit author,  Vanessa Greene's
The VINTAGE TEACUP CLUB
At a car boot sale in Sussex, three very different women meet and fall for the same vintage teaset. They decide to share it -
and form a friendship that impacts their lives.


Jenny can't wait to marry Dan. Then, after years of silence, she hears from the woman who could shatter her dreams.
Maggie has put her broken heart behind her and is gearing up for the biggest event of her career - until she's forced to confront the past once more.
Alison seems to have it all: married to her childhood sweetheart, with two gorgeous daughters. But as tensions mount, she is pushed to breaking point.

Dealing with friendship and families, relationships and careers, life’s highs and lows, The Vintage Teacup Club is women's lit storytelling with plenty of surprises along the way.


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Prior to the National Readathon Day, I posted for MizB's new book/blog meme
SHARE WHAT YOU KNOW [ S.W.Y.K.]
Click to link to the topic I chose - sourcing eBooks
to which I also added sources for audiobooks.
If you'd like to know or if you'd like to S.W.Y.K., please let us know!
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Another completed book ?  An unexpected book reserve I found 
awaiting me at the library,
FINDING FATHER CHRISTMAS
A charming story of finding unexpected love at Christmas, I was pleased it came available.
[Even if  one Christmas is past and another 11 months ahead!]
A poignant Christmas novella about a young woman, daughter of a deceassed actress, desperate for a place to belong, who finds herself in London a few days before Christmas, looking for the father she never knew.

Miranda Carson's search for her father takes a turn she never expected when she finds herself in London with only a few feeble clues to who he might be. Unexpectedly welcomed into a family that doesn't recognize her, and to whom she's quickly growing attached, she faces a terrible decision.  Should she reveal her true identity and destroy their idyllic image of their father?  Or should she carry the truth home with her to San Francisco and remain alone in this world?  
Whatever choice she makes during this London Christmas will forever change the future for both herself and the family she isn’t ready to leave.  Lyrical writing unique characters, and a well-crafted story kept me entranced and easily led me on to part 2, Engaging Father Christmas.
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I also completed last week's anticipated read of 
The DAUGHTER OF HIGHLAND HALL by Carrie Turansky.
Book 2 in the Edwardian Brides series
This novel is set in 1912, giving insights to the conflicting thought and changes in society of that era.  Familial conflicts
vie with our protagonist's heart and expectations of society
as she develops strength of character to withstand
the course her aunt has determined for Katherine's future.
Excellent journey from self -focus to other-focus
filled with struggles and danger in the travels
revealed in this picture of  England's contrast between
poor and wealthy. 
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What am I anticipating for #WintersRespite ReadaThon?
Several books I've been wanting to get to from library reserves,
including Stephanie Barron's newest [and though its Christmas, its just in] 
so I must read now that it's available ...
JANE AND THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

Christmas Eve, 1814: Jane Austen has been invited to spend the holiday with family and friends at The Vyne, the gorgeous ancestral home of the wealthy and politically prominent Chute family. As the year fades and friends begin to gather beneath the mistletoe for the twelve days of Christmas festivities, Jane and her circle are in a celebratory mood:Mansfield Park is selling nicely; Napoleon has been banished to Elba; British forces have seized Washington, DC; and on Christmas Eve, John Quincy Adams signs the Treaty of Ghent, which will end a war nobody in England really wanted.

Jane, however, discovers holiday cheer is fleeting. One of the Yuletide revelers dies in a tragic accident, which Jane immediately views with suspicion. If the accident was in fact murder, the killer is one of Jane’s fellow snow-bound guests. With clues scattered amidst cleverly crafted charades, dark secrets coming to light during parlor games, and old friendships returning to haunt the Christmas parties, whom can Jane trust to help her discover the truth and stop the killer from striking again?
 

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I also hope to complete at least one of the audios as posted for last week's MONDAY READING.
ANNE OF THE ISLAND by Canadian author,  L.M. Montgomery
Anne leaves Green Gables and her work as a teacher in Avonlea to pursue her original dream (which she gave up in Anne of Green Gables) of taking further education at Redmond College in Nova Scotia. Gilbert Blythe and Charlie Sloane enroll as well, as does Anne's friend from Queen's Academy, Priscilla Grant. During her first week of school, Anne befriends Philippa Gordon, a beautiful girl whose frivolous ways charm her. Philippa also happens to be from Anne's birthplace of Bolingbroke, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Narrated by Colleen Winton [as the first 2 books in this series by Post Hypnotic Press]
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Emailed today with a lovely surprise as Winner of BRENTWOOD'S WARD
by Michelle Griep
Published just 3 weeks ago, I am thrilled to have this on its way in the post to me!.  Thank you, Kav.  [Best Reads Blog]
Hoping to have it in time for #WintersRespite ReadThon...
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Place an unpolished lawman named Nicholas Brentwood as guardian over a spoiled, pompous beauty named Emily Payne and what do you get? More trouble than Brentwood bargains for. 
She is determined to find a husband this season. 
He just wants the large fee her father will pay him to help his ailing sister. 
After a series of dire mishaps, both their desires are thwarted, but each discovers that no matter what, God is in charge.




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Received in this weekend's post -

Margaret Feinberg's Feb 3rd release ~
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FIGHT BACK WITH JOY
Celebrate More, Regret Less, Stare Down Your Greatest Fears.

Diagnosed with cancer a year ago,
I'm thinking Margaret's thoughts on JoY
will be worth discovering.
I look forward to the exploration!
Storytelling with unexpected humour
and imaginative responses to life's battles.





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Jenn at Should Be Reading's Musing Monday random question asks -
Give a list of 4 books you read last year that you’d recommend to others — and why.
How would you respond?
Tough question when last year's total came in at 130 reads!
Here are 4 I'd recommend :

Born of Persuasion by Jessica Dotta - audio version especially as the narrator, Amanda McKnight adds incredible realism with her Brit accents.  The suspense of this historical romance is edge of seat intensity.
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A Lady's Honor by Laurie Alice Eakes - whose writing keeps me glued to the pages
from opening to ending.  National Reader's Choice Award for Best Regency novel
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For fellow Jane Austen fans - The Persuasion of Miss Jane Austen by Shannon Winslow
who knew how to keep a secret and surprise this reader with an ending of delight.
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Death By The Book by Julianna Deering
A winsome, debonair sleuth with the personality to win readers and skills to solve extreme murder cases all set in the English countryside... What more could I ask?


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That pretty much wraps up my week's reading past, present and upcoming.
What's on your reading list ?

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Find more at Michelle's #WintersRespite Readathon signup list,
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Sheila's Book Journey for Monday's What Are You Reading? * MizB's Musing Mondays ,
Ramona's Book Nook  *  Literacy Musing Mondays * Audio Walkers 
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Shared With :

* Mom's Small Victories *
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FIND MORE FHC on PINTEREST | TWITTER | GOOGLE+ | GOODREADS | FACEBOOK | NETWORKED BLOGS | LIBRARYTHING


Saturday, 24 January 2015

#TIMETOREAD: NATIONAL READATHON DAY 24.1.15


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Today's the day!  Another boost in making #timetoread 
and making some of those long awaited stories finally read !
I chose to participate in LibraryThing's  global version including a worldwide
reading timeframe.  My reading began at 5 pm on Friday and will continue throughout Saturday.
First book on my weekend reading? 
LONDON DAWN, authored by Canadian, Murray Pura.
Concluding the trilogy of The Danforths of Lancashire, this book dealt with the Danforths'
various involvements in the resulting WWII to which book 2 had alluded.
No disappointments here.  Pura's historical research, characters and depictions are
engaging.  Having finished it early this a.m., I remain emotionally invested.
Highly recommended.
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Continuing my reading today , I anticipate another novel or
if my eyes tire, turning on an audio book...
I'll be sure to let you know!
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Book 2 ?

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Vanessa Greene's 1st in her teacup series - THE VINTAGE TEACUP CLUB
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How's your weekend #timetoread shaping up....?

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Next up - #Winter's Respite Readathon
Jan 26 - Feb 1.15


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Signups Open 
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Wednesday, 21 January 2015

SHARE WHAT YOU KNOW [S.W.Y.K.] : eBOOKS 21.1.15


Wednesday's New Blog Meme:
SHARE WHAT YOU KNOW

[created and hosted by Miz B of Should Be Reading ]
who asks us to share 3 tips on one of the topics below, OR 
3 tips on a different topic that you know well and feel others would benefit from!

This week’s topics:* Where to find eBooks online *• Links to your favorite blogging tools• Blogging for profit• Coming up with new content for your blog
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I'm Jumping in on the first topic
Where to Find eBooks Online

Outside of the well known designated retail purchase sites 
I find ebooks at ChristianBook , links to inspy 'on sale' + 'Free' 
via Gospel eBooksKobo ebooks, BN, and Indigo.

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One ebook source coming to mind is directly from publishers' websites.
I've noticed many offer ebooks and  excerpts as gifts for readers to sample and hopefully 
win over new readers.
Their monthly newsletters often include author and title giveaway promos, along with
new releases, book and bookclub intros of authors works in all genres.
Here's a minute number of eg   Choc Lit, LoveReading, Rosetta Books
Destiny Image Publishers, Moody Collective, Baker Publishing Group
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Another option?  Purchase Direct from author websites.
Signing up for author email subscriptions often includes an intro to their work via the gift
of some item of their writing - eg enovella, writing tips or an ebook
Helpful informed decision whether or not this author is as promo'd on many publicity sites.
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Audio books are an entirely different book option I will include here
as the access is often  included on other retail book sites,
 Book Depository carries audiobooks - [Thanks for your orders that support FHC ]-
and NO delivery charge or minimum purchase required!
Some specific audiobook distributors in addition?
downpour, oasis audio, christianaudio [offers 1 free audiobook/month]
post hypnotic press
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Free audiobooks available at ambling books, LibriVox, are 2 sources coming to mind.

Libraries have wide selection of ebooks and audiobooks -
Overdrive and Hoopla their main providers - wherever you are, you can
check online library catalogs for titles you're interested in accessing.
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If you're interested in more than just reading enjoyment,
there is the reviewing avenue for ebook access.
Many publishers make their authors' new releases or upcoming releases available
in exchange for your commitment to public reviews within a time frame,
on your blog as well as multiple retail sites and creating buzz for the book/author.  
[Check FHC's sidebar for several review company opps]
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LibraryThing offers a monthly list of books/ebooks, available for signing up with requests 
of books/ebooks in your interest area at Early Reviewers 
Check publisher sites for review commitments before going into overload !
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Publishers also make ebooks available for publicity tours via blogs.
You may note their contact details on many book blogs hosting a particular title during
a designated blog tour promoting a new release and author on a week or month long 
schedule of blog appearances.
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Giveaways are another way to find ebooks and entering the contest may add to your
collection.  Goodreads have several book groups directed at book/ebook giveaways,
some blogs have weekly draws and linkys offering the option to signup giveaway offers.
I have a Pinterest board designated specifically for Book/ebook Giveaways HERE 
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I look forward to hearing your suggestions and recommendations in comments.
There may be entirely new options we haven't yet discovered.
I'll update my info as I find more sources and as you offer links.
Thanks for sharing!
and 
Thanks to MizB for creating today's S.W.Y.K. chat 
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Shared With:
* Thursday Fav Things *
* Little Things Thursday *
* Weekend Wind Down *
* Inspire Me Monday *

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Monday, 19 January 2015

MONDAY's READING WONDERLAND 19.1.15



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What a wonderland of reading we really do have.
So many great book choices.  And two Readathons to propel the reading.
Saturday's #timetoread National Readathon Day from noon to 4 p.m.cst
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has been taken up as a challenge by a few of us on LibraryThing to make it global,
so participants will be able to read from noon to 4 around the world.
And anyone can join any other readers in their time slot - def fun -
extending the reading  commitment for those who wish.
Here are all the details to help you decide and/or participate 
plus time zone converter
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Quickly followed by Michelle's #WintersRespite Readathon,
January 26th to February 1st
an annual event for this reader, signups are open.
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What I'm anticipating ?

Getting into more audiobooks!
RA and RSI in my hands effecting my pc time, so if I can get my reading done in audio
I'm healthier for it.  My lineup?

Finley Sinclair is not your typical eighteen year old. She’s witty, tough, and driven. With an upcoming interview at the Manhattan music conservatory, Finley needs to compose her audition piece. But her creativity disappeared with the death of her older brother, Will.
She decides to study abroad in Ireland so she can follow Will’s travel journal. It’s the place he felt closest to God, and she’s hopeful being there will help her make peace over losing him. So she agrees to an exchange program and boards the plane.
Beckett Rush, teen heartthrob and Hollywood bad boy, is flying to Ireland to finish filming his latest vampire movie. On the flight, he meets Finley. She’s the one girl who seems immune to his charm. Undeterred, Beckett convinces her to be his assistant in exchange for his help as a tour guide.
Once in Ireland, Finley starts to break down. The loss of her brother and the pressure of school, her audition, and whatever it is that is happening between her and Beckett, leads her to a new and dangerous vice. When is God going to show up for her in this emerald paradise?  Author Jenny B Jones / Narrator Jeannie Stith / Oasis Audio


Available in print from Thomas Nelson



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Anne of the Island - Authored by Lucy Maude Montgomery
A fav Canadian author's classic series - I reviewed Anne of Green Gables audiobook HERE
and Anne of Avonlea HERE - all audiobooks by the same publisher and narrator, Colleen Winton.
Anne leaves Green Gables and her work as a teacher in Avonlea to pursue her original dream (which she gave up in Anne of Green Gables) of taking further education at Redmond College in Nova Scotia.

Gilbert Blythe and Charlie Sloane enroll as well, as does Anne's friend from Queen's Academy, Priscilla Grant.

During her first week of school, Anne befriends Philippa Gordon, a beautiful girl whose frivolous ways charm her. Philippa also happens to be from Anne's birthplace- Bolingbroke, Nova Scotia.
Audio clip and info at Post Hypnotic Press
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Currently reading ?

Strong-willed and beautiful, debutante Katherine Ramsey feels ready to take the London social season by storm, and she must. Her family estate, Highland Hall, has been passed to older male cousin Sir William Ramsey, and her only means of securing her future is to make a strong debut and find a proper husband. With her all-knowing and meddling aunt as a guide, Katherine is certain to attract suitors at the lavish gatherings, sparkling with Great Britain’s elite.
 When a shocking family scandal sidelines Katherine, forcing her out of the social spotlight, she keeps a low profile, volunteering with the poor in London’s East End. Here Katherine feels free from her predictable future, and even more so as a friendship with medical student Jonathan Foster deepens and her faith in God grows. But when Katherine is courted anew by a man of wealth and position, dreams of the life she always thought she wanted surface again. Torn between tradition and the stirrings in her heart for a different path, she must decide whom she can trust and love—and if she will choose a life serving others over one where she is served. -author Carrie Turansky more info at Random House

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Last Week?


Finished Agatha Christie's Harlequin Tea Set -
It includes an additional story to the same short story collection as
While the Light Lasts  
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Such an amazingly good story. 5*s from me.
When Noah Wesley heard the faint sound outside the door of his remote Alaskan mountain cabin during a violent nighttime blizzard, it was no less than the voice of God that urged him to take a closer look, soon to discover his snow angel.

Unconscious and more than half frozen to death, her name, as Noah would later learn after boldly saving her life, was Elizabeth, a beautiful young woman, fragile yet fierce, and intent on discovering gold like so many others in that region during the late 1800s.  Excellent descriptions of the fight to get to the Klondike and terrain were eye opening insights into an unexplored part of history for me  .  
Why Elizabeth was so drawn to the gold, and why she would chase it even through a pounding storm that no man would dare face, was a secret to be shared with no one else.  Made for fascinating reading.

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Victoria Connelly is known for her light writing hand adept at humour and romantic stories.  Beautiful descriptions of this Greek Island inspires thoughts of warm getaways and holiday adventures.
A week on the sunny Greek island of Kethos is just what Alice Archer needs, even if she has to put up with her difficult sister. Stella’s tantrums and diva-like demands are a fair price to pay for crystal-clear waters, blue skies and white clifftop villas.

When Alice meets Milo, a handsome gardener at the Villa Argenti, for the first time she suddenly feels beautiful, alluring and confident. But is it just holiday magic or will the irresistible pull between Alice and Milo survive against all odds?
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And of course...
Finished the fabulous Raleigh Harmon series audio by Sibella Giorello!
Gripping suspense.  5*s






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How was your week?
Our above 0 degree weather has been a marvellous interlude!
Happily went out for groceries and a library run to pick up my reserved books and dvds.
Lots of choices on hand and perfect for the blog Library Challenges.
Adding my reading at 
Book Journey  * Monday Musings * Book Nook * Literacy Musing Mondays * Home Matters
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Have a great Reading / Listening week!
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Sunday, 18 January 2015

SACRED SPACE: #SONGSonSUNDAYS 18.1.15


Welcome to Sacred Space

Taking time out to renew and refresh 
God is speaking.  To us.  To me. 
  What do I hear?
Where in my life do I encounter God?
Where can I be with God?

Yeshua Jesus invites us to "Come and see..."

Begin today with acknowledging 
God's Presence
surrounding me
around me, within me, deep within my being
Freedom
Reminding myself God has things to teach me,
I ask for the grace to hear and allow them to change me.
Awareness
Where am I with God?  With others?
Is there gratitude?  I give thanks.
Something for which I'm sorry?  I ask and receive forgiveness.
The Word
I read the Word of God slowly, a few times over as I listen to what God is saying to me.
Mark 2. 23-28
One Sabbath day as Jesus was walking through some grainfields, his disciples began breaking off heads of grain to eat.  But the Pharisees said to Jesus, “Look, why are they breaking the law by harvesting grain on the Sabbath?”
Jesus said to them, “Haven’t you ever read in the Scriptures what David did when he and his companions were hungry?  He went into the house of God (during the days when Abiathar was high priest) and broke the law by eating the sacred loaves of bread that only the priests are allowed to eat. He also gave some to his companions.”
 Then Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord, even over the Sabbath!”
Reflection
What feelings are rising within me as I pray and reflect on God's Word?
I imagine Yeshua Jesus sitting with me, beside me,
and I open my heart to hear Him.
The Pharisees conscientiously believe that observing the rules is what God asks of them.
Their be-all / end-all rule of life.
Yeshua Jesus knows God does not want to make our lives more difficult and does not impose arbitrary rules on us.  For Him, the be-all / end-all is the law of love.
Do I believe in a God who wants only what is good for me?
Am I able to talk to Yeshua Jesus about this?
What rules govern my life?
Would people who know me say that I follow the law of love?
What does Yeshua Jesus say to me...?

Conclusion
The Lord bless us and keep us.  The Lord make His face shine on us and be gracious to us.
The Lord look upon us with favour and grant us peace.  Amen.
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#SONGSonSUNDAYS

Two Jesus Culture videos on today's theme -
ONE THING REMAINS
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and ROOFTOPS
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May God be blessed!
[ and you ] 
this day 
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Today's  #SONGSonSUNDAYS is open for your links in comments.
If you post to a blog, please include the FHC post link to allow others to connect.
~ Thanks for being part of today's Sacred Space ~

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SHARED WITH ~

*The Weekend Brew * Still Saturday * Little Things Thursday * Fav Things Thursday *

Friday, 16 January 2015

SKYWATCH 16.1.15


Skywatch 

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Adding a Canadian Prairie Friday morning sky to today's global display HERE and HERE
Praiseworthy artistry! I was stunned at the beauty,
which was changing faster than I could find live batteries!.
  Waking to the gorgeous depth and colour had me running for the camera.
"there is no one like God,
riding through the heavens to help you,
riding on the clouds in his majesty."
Deuteronomy 33.26
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-18 C degrees on Friday 8 a.m. January 16.15
EnJoy the choice photos posted each week and add yours. 
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Serenity
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Scripture and Snapshot


Photo Memes

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Tuesday, 13 January 2015

WONDER FILLED WEDNESDAY ! 14.1.15





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We're to have a day's break in the -30 C weather we've been having.
Can.Not.Wait.
Hoping to head out to pick up my library reserves being held,
[for the next reading reprieve]
and to re-stock my tea supply !

Gratitude makes the perfect response in the midst of things out of control
[and whatever weather you're having!]

Have a WONDER-FILLED day !



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Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. 
It turns what we have into enough, and more.
It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, 

confusion to clarity.
It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, 

a stranger into a friend. 
Gratitude makes sense of our past, 
brings peace for today,
and creates a vision for tomorrow.

~ Melodie Beattie




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SHARED WITH ~
* Thursday Little Things * 3DLessons4Life *
* Create with Joy WW * Wake Up Wednesday *
* Sincerely, Paula's No Rules Party *
* Coffee and Conversation *
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