Tuesday, November 26, 2013


I spent a good couple of hours today doing my Christmas card prep.  My process involves going through my contacts list and sending out text messages to people that I would love to send Christmas cards to.  It involves putting stamps on letters, making sure that I even have enough books of stamps, and creating some semblance of organization as I write out address after address.

It's funny who and how you send your Christmas cards.  As addresses start coming in, I put aside cards within envelopes that are labeled, "Mom & Dad," "Shari & Steve," "Grandma & Grandpa," etc. Then I innately hunt down names of people who I absolutely want them to know that I'm thinking about them.  Not that I don't care about the 50+ people and families that will receive a card, but there's something about placing a stamp on that envelope that literally seals the deal.  In that moment I'm looking for the people that I value so much in my life because, "I'm just a phone call away" isn't just a saying.  They're the people who are not just friends, but family.  In my flurry of addressing cards and placing stamps, that stamp symbolizes that my family's love would be sent to that person.  That he or she or they would absolutely be receiving a Christmas card because I love them.

You didn't think it would get that deep?  Well I took it there.

It's at that moment that you realize as you're scrolling through texts and contacts of the many people who you haven't spoken with in forever, that people once valued in your life aren't really part of your life anymore.  They are the people who you spent so much time with, yet never speak to anymore.  I'm specifically thinking of many of my sorority sisters.  After my senior year, I lost contact with so many of them.  I don't live in the Midwest anymore because of the military, so visits back to Wisconsin are difficult and I simply don't see people.  It's amazing to see how that much of a difference will separate those who care and those who don't and I don't think it's a bad thing.  It's sad to think that relationships that were so much fun are no longer kept but that happens.  I'm realizing that as I get older, many of those friendships will flicker out.  I also realize that the friendships and the people that I care so much about are the ones who are telling me that they're looking at airfare out to Montana or are surprising me with cards, letters, and care packages in the mail.  I'm learning that it's good to briefly mourn those fleeting friendships but to value the ones that will last a lifetime.

If you liked this post, share it with others! If you feel particularly moved by it, leave a comment because I love feedback and discussion. Social media links are provided below and thanks for reading!
 photo signature_zpsc0b51015.jpg

I May Be a Friend of the World

real meaning of Christmas
Not that I've committed adultery or anything but I've been thinking of that concept of being a friend of the world for awhile now.  In one of my small group Bible studies, a lady brought up how she thinks that the movement of tolerance is causing us to be less-Godly people.  That definitely struck a nerve with me.  The topic of being a friend of the world versus being invested in God has been circulating through this specific small group and it's caused me to think on that so much in terms of my relationship with God.

"You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God," James 4:4

Well shit, am I an enemy of God because I care about tolerance? I certainly don't think so.  I don't think that being gay is a lifestyle because I know that's just another human being, many of whom are close friends of mine.  It's just another person who has feelings, emotions, cares, struggles, and sacrifices.  Do I think that a culture that surrounds hyper sexuality and the degradation of women is terrible and unGodly?  Definitely.  However, I do think that there needs to be more open discussion and conversation about sex because people have no idea what they're talking about or understanding what birth control does.  I think we need to be encouraging our young men (and young women) to be better people.  Do all of these things make me more of a friend of the world.  It just might.  I certainly don't want to be an enemy to the Lord but after so much praying, I truly know that God doesn't care that I support certain things because I see the good in people.  Now you may disagree with me on that on so many levels, but at this point, I'm not going to struggle with that.  I try to be a good person, follow scripture, and spread love.  That's it.  I talk about my relationship with God on my blog and other social media accounts but I certainly don't mean to shove religion down others' throats.  If people are interested, I love to save a seat in church so that they always feel welcome.

I recently discovered that many Christians don't celebrate Halloween because they relate it to devil worship.  I grew up very Catholic and had never heard of that.  I also come from a culture that celebrates Day of the Dead in the Philippines.  Aspects of Halloween, dressing up, celebrating our ancestors, candy, whatever- I just simply don't equate that to devil worship.  I love Halloween. I think it's so much fun and is completely innocent.  If you don't celebrate it, I have no qualms with that but I will be frank in saying that its origins come from various sources and often times relate to poverty and entertainment. 

I've seen folks choose not to celebrate Christmas with the idea of Santa or even silly things like Elf on the Shelf because they believe it doesn't truly celebrate the meaning of the holiday.  Maybe they're right, however, some of my happiest memories are of Christmases filled with Christmas decorations, presents, and goodwill.  My family was able to dually celebrate with gifts and instill in me the understanding of what it means to share that with others and to understand why we give gifts.  The fact that my parents went out of their way to make sure we got a letter back from Santa on Christmas morning was something that I cherish.  I know that my children will have the character of Santa and Elf on the Shelf and the Christmas mouse or whomever in their lives.

Maybe these things make me more a friend of the world, but I can guarantee you that I will continue to do my best to be a good person and to share that with others.   

If you liked this post, share it with others! If you feel particularly moved by it, leave a comment because I love feedback and discussion. Social media links are provided below and thanks for reading!
 photo signature_zpsc0b51015.jpg

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Raising Money for the Philippines


If you don't happen to know me all that well, or are new to my blog, I'm half Filipino.  I was born in the Philippines and was raised there for a few years before we moved to the States.  I haven't been back but I still have several family members who live there.  I'm sure many of you have seen countless news reports and images of the damage that recent typhoon did to the Philippine Islands.  The damage didn't forget my family and it was days until my mom heard from her brothers and sisters.  Having been a little kid when I left, understanding that type of worry is different than what my mom went through.  She finally received a phone call from my Aunt Lea and my family is fine.  However, their homes went through a lot of damage.  My mom created an ornament fundraiser to help raise money and I'm selling the above prints (without "kimberlyersk1ne on them) ;).  Proceeds will go to my Aunt Lea's family to help reconstruct their roof.  If you're interested, you can leave a comment with your e-mail on this post or on my Instagram account.  From there, I will send you a PayPal invoice and then the download.  

How do downloads work? Once you've paid, I will send you the file.  You can print it at home or take it to a local print shop like Staples, Kinkos, etc. and have it printed to fit whatever you may need it for.  By doing that, you can have it printed in a matte or gloss and even on cardstock.  

Thanks for your support and please let me know if you have any questions! :)    

If you liked this post, share it with others! If you feel particularly moved by it, leave a comment because I love feedback and discussion. Social media links are provided below and thanks for reading!
 photo signature_zpsc0b51015.jpg

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Literary Junkies November 2013: The Storyteller

Pink Heels Pink Truck1) What are you currently reading? Tell us about it!
Just wrapped up Jodi Picoult's "The Storyteller" and it was an amazing read. The overall story is about a young woman named Sage who comes from a Jewish family but doesn't really connect with her faith. It isn't until she meets an elderly German man does she realize exactly how important her family's history and the Jewish culture is in her identity. It was one book that I didn't guess the ending until it was happening. Such a great read!
Now I've moved onto "The Bone Season" and "The Valley of Amazement." I saw a ton of reviews on "The Bone Season" and how the author is in her early 20's and being compared to J.K. Rowling with a series that may be as popular as Harry Potter. I like the book so far but I don't think it will have the wide set appeal that the Harry Potter series had on a global level. With "The Valley of Amazement," I have been a huge fan of Amy Tan since I read "The Joy Luck Club." I'm incredibly excited to get started on her latest book.

2) How many books have you read this year? Do you set reading goals for yourself?
So far 18. I originally started off with a goal of 30, which may still be attainable but for some reason it got changed to 50 on Goodreads. Not thinking that's quite possibly at the moment but who knows, anything could happen.

3) What do you think are the best and worst book-to-movie/TV show adaptations?
This definitely got me thinking. Earlier this year, there was a series based on the Bible and I thought they did a phenomenal job. I think any person, whether they identified with Christianity or not, could really appreciate how the director and producers put the series together. People were even saying that the show had a hot Jesus. That's Hollywood for ya.

I am always so cautious about going to see book-to-movie adaptations because if I love a book, the movie could just kill it. For example, I love "The Fault in Our Stars" but since I really just adore the characters, I hope that the actors in the upcoming movie will be able to convey them.

4) What is the first line of your favorite book?
This is a story about a man named Eddie and it begins at the end, with Eddie dying in the sun. It might seem strange to start a story with an ending. But all endings are also beginnings. We just don't know it at the time.

5) What's your favorite quote from a book?
Variations of this quote, "Older men declare war. But it is the youth that must fight and die" (Herbert Hoover) and "I'm fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in" (George McGovern), have been cycling through my mind the past couple of weeks. It's not my favorite book quote yet, but I'm trying to create a story with this as the main focus. I'm actually really excited about it.

If you liked this post, share it with others! If you feel particularly moved by it, leave a comment because I love feedback and discussion. Social media links are provided below and thanks for reading!
 photo signature_zpsc0b51015.jpg

Monday, November 18, 2013

Book Deliciousness


I just took the BookBrowse personality quiz and here were my results:

Your responses showed you fitting into two different groups - the involved reader and the eclectic reader.

You don't just love to read books, you love to read about books. For you, half the fun of reading is the thrill of the chase - discovering new books and authors, and discussing your finds with others.

You read for entertainment but also to expand your mind. You're open to new ideas and new writers, and are not wedded to a particular genre or to a limited range of authors. 

I love to read, as you may have noticed with me being one of the co-hosts of the holiday book exchange, but I really do have a passion for finding a new book and taking in everything it has to offer.

Having trouble starting a conversation with your book partner? Recommend this survey and fill it out yourself :)

Find an empty list of the questions here.

1. What book are you reading right now? – I just finished The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult and I loved it! I'm also halfway through the Divergent series and I can't wait to see the movies.

2. What will you read next? – I have a crazy amount of books to read and right now I'm tackling The Bone Season.  I just picked up The Emperor of Maladies and The Valley of Amazement.  I can't wait to read both :)

3. What was your favorite childhood book? –I loved The Babysitter's Club series! My aunt found a ton of them at a book sale, so my cousin and I read through almost all of them.

4. What were your reading habits like as a kid? – I adored reading and I still do.  For middle school, I went to a charter school that was kiddy-corner from one of my town's public libraries.  Instead of having a school library, we would just take a weekly trip to that library and it was awesome.  The librarians would recommend books and I basically devoured every read that I had from there.  Those were some of my favorite memories.

5. How many books do you have checked out from the library? – I have several that are long overdue but I have a habit of checking them out from the base library since there aren't fees.  It's a bad habit but with my job, which I'll use as an excuse here, I completely lose track of time and days.

6. What books do you have on hold at the library? –I have a couple that are actually ready now for digital download. Digital library books are pretty sweet.

7. Do you have a bad book habit? – I am rather impulsive when it comes to book purchases.  I used to spend a ton of money on my Amazon Prime account because the books are significantly better priced than bookstores. I also used to reward myself with good training rides by visiting a local used bookstore that also sold new books.

8. Do you read one book at a time, or several? – Several :)

9. What is your favorite book you’ve read this year? –I really loved The Storyteller and Bloom.

10. What is your least favorite book you’ve read this year? - The Devil Has No Mother, I thought it was simply awful.

11. What is your reading comfort zone? – Best-sellers

12. How often do you read outside of your comfort zone? – I venture all over the place due to books being best-sellers.  Earlier this year, I read more chick lit and I really enjoyed it.

13. What is your favorite place to read? –Probably while I'm on alert. It's nice to take a mental break from my job.

14. Do you lend out books? – Yes, but I'm not really a fan of it.  I've never been good at sharing...unless it's food.

15. Do you dog-ear books? – Yes but I try to avoid it.  Dust jackets make great impromptu bookmarks.

16. Do you write in the margins of books? –Occasionally, especially if the book offers great bits of advice or wonderful quotes that moved me.

17. What makes you love a book? – If I can't stop reading it or I feel enamored with it.  A great read is hard for me to put down and so easy for me to pick right back up.

18. What will inspire you to recommend a book? – If I think the book is really good and if I can give some background as to why I think a particular person will like it.

19. What is the one book you will always recommend to everyone? – Off of the top of my head, The Five People You Meet in Heaven.  That book had me crying.

20. Is there a book you love that nobody else seems to? – This is kind of reverse, I think so many people love The Alchemist but I really only liked it. 

21. Do you read while you are: Eating? Taking a bath? Watching TV? Listening to music? On the computer? On the bus? –I like reading to take mental breaks, whether it's my deputy sleep shift while on alert and I love reading while I'm flying.

22. What is your favorite genre to read? –Historical fiction and young adult are pretty good, but I also really enjoy non-fiction.

23. What genre do you rarely read, but wish you read more of? –I'm not sure, I tend to jump around genres.

24. What is your favorite biography? – I think I prefer memoirs, as I can't think of a biography off of the top of my head. Bloom, I thought, was pretty phenomenal. 

25. What is your favorite non-fiction? - I really enjoy a wide-range of non-fiction books.
26. Have you ever read a self-help book? –I've read Christian books covering being a better wife and having a better marriage.

27. What is your favorite reading snack? –Cold glass of water

28. What is the most inspirational book you’ve read this year?The Art of Racing in the Rain- I love my dogs but it opened my mind to the idea of how they intake my life and what goes on it.

29. Are there any books that have been ruined for you by all the hype?The Alchemist was pretty good but I felt like the story kept having a lull to it and after awhile I felt like the general

30. How often do you agree with critics about a book? – That depends. I really enjoy Oprah's book recommendations but sometimes her website doesn't give you any meat to it.  They'll give you the first couple lines out of a book and claim it to be remarkable.  At that point, all I have are a couple of sentences.

31. How do you feel about giving negative reviews? –I think it's important to give an honest review.  I recently reviewed The Devil Has No Mother and it really wasn't a book for me.  If you read the reviews, all people say is that "this is a great book for Christians." I 100% disagreed with that.  I thought the book was so far from what God's intention was for people that it would scare people away from God rather than bring them closer.  Honest book reviews are important because I would rather not waste my time and if I'm going to try a new genre, I want it to be a quality story.

32. What book are you most intimidated to begin?Gone with the Wind, I love the movie but I always pick up the thick volume and can never seem to tackle it.

33. What book are you most likely to take on vacation with you? –Any book! I love my Kindle Fire and it's perfect for traveling :)

34. What is the longest you have gone without reading? – When I first got into missiles. I was reading technical orders and not really for fun.

35. What is a book that you just couldn’t finish? – The third book in the 50 Shades series, it was awful.

36. What is the most money you have spent on books at one time? – I recently spent $37 on two hardcover books, like a couple of days ago.

37. How often do you skim through a book before reading it? –I don't really do that.

38. Do you keep books or give them away once you’ve read them? – KEEP.

39. Are there any books that you’ve been avoiding, or refuse to read? –I avoided The Storyteller but I really loved it so I'm glad that my bookclub was reading it so I could participate.

40. What is a book you didn’t expect to like, but did?The Storyteller was pretty darn phenomenal.  I think I had been avoiding it because I didn't really know the plot or anything and I thought it was another book churned out to appease the masses.  It actually has a great plot and I would definitely recommend others reading it.

41. What is your favorite guilt-free pleasure reading? – Chick lit with clumsy female characters. I love a solid happy ending.

42. What reading materials are in your bathroom right now? –A lot of make-up product labels I suppose.

43. What book do you most remember reading for school?Frankenstein, Wuthering Heights, The Great Gatsby, The Joy Luck Club, Their Eyes Were Watching God, The Scarlet Letter, etc.

44. What was the last book that you couldn’t put down until you finished it?The Storyteller

45. What book is (physically) closest to you right now? – My Kindle Fire

46. What is your favorite book series? – Harry Potter, The Hunger Games

47. What is the longest book you’ve ever read? Shortest?

48. Who is your favorite book character? –Leo from The Storyteller, Four from Divergent

49. Who is favorite author? – Amy Tan and so many others

50. What is your favorite book?The Great Gatsby, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, Redeeming Love

 Check out this fun Photo-a-Day with Book Soulmates!

If you liked this post, share it with others! If you feel particularly moved by it, leave a comment because I love feedback and discussion. Social media links are provided below and thanks for reading!
 photo signature_zpsc0b51015.jpg

Monday, November 11, 2013

Why God Put Me in Montana


Before I came to Montana I was so excited for the new adventure.  I had never been to Montana or anything remotely close to "big sky country" and I felt like I was going to come across something so wonderful and memorable.  

When I first got here, I was sorely disappointed.  

That's not to say that Montana isn't beautiful, because it is.  It's so beautiful that on some of my alerts, I'll be driving out to the sites and my breath is still taken away by the landscape. There are mountains that will truly floor you just to see God's wonder and rolling hills that you can only dream of.  However, that wasn't Great Falls.

Man oh man I struggled and sometimes I still do.  Driving into the town, you could have seen my morale go shooting down a slide.  The "busiest road in Montana" otherwise known as 10th here has so many businesses that haven't seen a renovation in years.  Driving through, it seemed well, dirty and definitely not kept.  I soon discovered that to leave the town, cities like Missoula and Bozeman were three or more hours away.  Yikes!

All of this contributed to how I decided to shape my attitude.  It definitely wasn't a good one.  I found myself missing home so much that it would put me into the worst moods.  I missed my family and friends.  I missed being able to pick up some Chipotle or visit Marshall's to pick up a new outfit.  I missed going to Hilldale Mall in Madison and having all of my favorite things there.  I missed mega-Target.

I realized that it would be four+ miserable years if I continued with this.  So I slowly began the process of changing my outlook.  I knew that my church community was going to help so much in the process.  Instead of holding back, I started joining small groups and Bible studies.  I felt the Lord challenging me to reach out and develop my relationship with Christ.  It was one of the best decisions I ever made because I am obsessed with my small groups.  I have met so many amazing people who have taught me things about the world and about myself.  All of this from a community that I originally thought was "too small town."  I then started volunteering more and I currently volunteer with a Girl Scouts group as they practice to compete in a robotics competition.  Never did I ever think I would be doing this but my background in advertisement and public relations made me an ideal candidate to become a coach.  Now I'm working with girls to build their confidence, their public speaking skills, and to hopefully help them win.  

So why did God send me to Montana?

He sent me to Montana for several reasons.  The most obvious is that Malmstrom AFB is here and the nuclear mission needed more missileers.  He sent me through Air Force ROTC because he knew my passion, dedication, and gratefulness to this country would make me a good officer.  He also understood that I would work my ass off to be the best officer I could be.  

The Lord sent me to Montana because I needed to break out of my comfort zone.  I needed a space to work on my marriage that had been so unconventional from the start.  For the first time, Ryan and I were living together instead of being separated by deployments, orders, or distance.  We needed a space to figure out how he other worked, what upset us, what brought us joy, and for us to have the time to build on a beautiful life together.

The Lord sent me to Montana because he knew that I needed to help others but at the same time be humbled.  When I first got here, I thought I was better than this city.  I had a college education from one of the best schools in the world and I couldn't understand why this place didn't want to be more progressive.  I needed to be humbled because many of the folks here are intelligent, kind, and care more for others than themselves.  I was leaving the selfishness that I had recently lived in.  It was a place of young people almost needing to go out to the bars to fulfill their need for human interaction and an attempt at relationships.  That need to feel wanted because you were young and beautiful and alcohol made everyone social.  The need to be so materialistic and buy whatever you felt compelled to purchase because the 30+ short dresses in my closet weren't enough.

So the Lord put in a place where there were few stores and instead, replaced the amount of shopping opportunities with just wonderful people who needed me and I needed them.  The Lord put in a place where everything that was sort of similar to my college experience was hours and hours away.  I needed to become a better person here first and learn to help build up my community.  

I need to fall in love with Great Falls.

It didn't just stop there.  I needed to be humbled about myself and that despite being a young person, I am just human.  Instead of being naturally good at everything, I had to spend hours and hours everyday studying in a career field that has rocked my confidence to the core.  I gained weight to realize that despite being 23, I still had a woman's body that would naturally gain weight in areas that made fitting into my old clothes nearly impossible.  I was forced to give up clothes filled with memories that really didn't fit but to also purchase new ones to make me feel confident in having hips and curves.  I had to learn that despite my natural athletic ability, I was going to have to work my ass off (literally) but to also learn to love my new shape.

The Lord sent me to Montana for many reasons but I know the Lord sent me here because I needed to build a relationship with Him.  I had so badly wanted that in college and struggled.  I let so many contributing factors, especially my failing relationships with guys, contribute to how I felt about myself.  I became a friend to myself instead of a friend of the Lord.  When Ryan came into my  life I knew that this was the start of a journey that God, HIMSELF, was guiding because He knew that I needed this so badly.

God put me in Great Falls so that I would have the time, space, and opportunity to become a better person.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Bread Not Cake

I came across this verse and it touched me to the core.
How incredibly true and accurate is this?

If you're a Christian, you are given a tool to help reinforce your faith, trust, and understanding and yet how many times have I missed out on my opportunity to celebrate in God's word everyday?

Without a Bible study group, everything gets prioritized in front of sitting with my Bible and journaling.

Recently, as in the past month or so, I've started following more Instagram/Bloggers who are awesome at sitting down with their Bibles everyday and some even journal.  To see their faith celebrated on something as simple as social media, inspires me to be better about sitting down and enjoying God's word as my daily bread.


Thankful for community and the impact it has on my life. Thankful for the Word and the encouragement that these hard times are for His glory. They are to serve as an avenue for me to point to Him.
Blogger from Bloom the Blog


Our pastor talked about "defining moments" today in church, asking us to think about our character and what we will do to define those moments when they come our way. I was reminded of my freshman year in college when my roommate had a cardiac arrest in our room. In a moments time, my life was changed forever as I was reminded how precious life is. Thankfully (and only by God's grace!) my roommate was okay after a few days.
  Blogger from Michaela Noelle Designs

Soaking up the word this morning with my HUSBAND💛💛💛 #omgihaveahusband

Always ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ #unfailinglove #reading #Bible #GodsWord #GodsTime #PerfectLove
This morning, take a moment to write down some of the things you think are important factors of His love language. Then DO them. Not out of obligation. Not because our actions save us. But simply because we love Him. #shereadstruth
(best way for me to overcome heartache is to make someone else smile. Stay tuned......... My stomach is in my throat....coffee spilled all over my devotional doodles journal. Every original picture ruined with a huge coffee stain. I won't let this get the best of me though. As much as I want to throw in the towel, I'll use it as God saying....create MORE, and I shall use you more!
Starting my writing day by reading "Girls With Swords" by Lisa Bevere (highly recommend!). And I have to ask - is our generation of women going to be known as being too scared of God's Word to read it? Can we please NOT be? Could we be the generation that was terrified to be unarmed? Could we be the generation of women who feel the weight and necessity to use the Sword of the Spirit to being light and life to our world?

Isn't this incredible and so beautiful? All of these women journaling, creating graphics and simply being awesome to celebrate God's word!

It inspired me to create a little inspirational chart to help you focus your daily prayers and Bible study.  I know in my heart that I need to focus more on my daily prayer and sitting down with a Bible.  I always find so much encouragement from God's love and grace and I want to share that with others but I need to sit down and focus on that aspect of me first.

Free Download
Free Download!

What inspires you to take in your daily bread?
If you liked this post, share it with others! If you feel particularly moved by it, leave a comment because I love feedback and discussion. Social media links are provided below and thanks for reading!
 photo signature_zpsc0b51015.jpg

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Kim's Wishlist

With my birthday and Christmas all in the same month, I've made wishlists ever since I was a little kid.  Of course when I was a wee one, they were pages long and quite ridiculous.  My lists may still be ridiculous and maybe even unrealistic (especially that Louis Vuitton bag) but I like to make them =]

\\ John Maxwell Leadership Bible //
I've had my eye on this Bible for the past month and I really want a copy.  I love having different variations of the Bible and through friends on Instagram, I've loved what they've shared from this specific one.

\\Bible tabs//
I actually could use a couple sets of these for my different Bibles.  It's just one of those things that I haven't gotten around to purchasing.

\\Bible covers//
Not pictured but kind along the same lines as the Bible tabs- I would love to have Bible covers for my Bibles.

\\Erin Condren Planner//
I really enjoy the 2012-2013 planner and would love to get a 2014 one!

\\Louis Vuitton Bag//
I've had my eye on this specific one for a long time but at $800+ I highly doubt I'll be getting this anytime soon but a girl can dream ;)

\\Magazine Subscriptions//
Magazines and hard copies of books are my favorite things to bring with me on alerts.

\\Sideways Cross Necklace in Silver//
I have so many sideways cross necklaces but they're cheaply made and I would love to own one that I can wear all the time without it tarnishing or the paint wearing away.

\\Morganite Ring//
I think I've told Ryan this a dozen times, but I would like to own a Morganite ring at some point.  A Morganite is a special stone discovered by the creator of Chase Bank.  I think they're lovely and I have a favorite Etsy shop that's based out of L.A. that makes custom jewelry like this ring.

\\Silhouette Cameo//
I haven't used my Cricut in so long and I think it's mainly because I'm so limited with my cartridges.  I'd like to get a Silhouette Cameo to continue with my scrapbooking.

\\Running shoes//
I sure could use a new pair and my vibrams have been used for over a year which I'm pretty sure is a big no-no but $100 shoes are $100 that I don't have or need to save for lol :

If you liked this post, share it with others! If you feel particularly moved by it, leave a comment because I love feedback and discussion. Social media links are provided below and thanks for reading!
 photo signature_zpsc0b51015.jpg

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Book Review: The Devil Has No Mother by Nicky Cruz

In exchange for my honest review, I was given three copies of Nicky Cruz's book by the publisher.  Additional copies have been given to others who may have been interested in the overall concept of the book.

One of my favorite things about my blog, specifically, is the opportunity to review books.  I love getting e-mails from publishers asking if I would be interested in reviewing new authors and I hope that one day this can continue to expand.  Nicky Cruz's book The Devil Has No Mother covers, in depth, examples today of how the devil tries to intercept God's attempts in creating and showing the good in people.  

When I first was asked to review the book, I think I was under the impression that it would be more along the lines of Nicky Cruz's book Run Baby Run, which focuses on Cruz's earlier life as a gang leader and what caused him to turn to Christ.  That in itself sounds incredibly inspirational.  However, The Devil Has No Mother is not that.  

I actually had a difficult time reading it because I prefer a different style of Christian book.  The overall tone is very dark and within good reason because the emphasis of the book is to declare that the devil is evil and scary.  Cruz grew up in a family that practiced witchcraft style beliefs and that may have also contributed to the darker tone of the book and why he emphasizes so much evil in the devil.  However, the overall book felt very much like a giant scare tactic and I had recently heard a sermon about how this type of rhetoric often scares away people who are interested in being Christians or are "baby Christians."  I could see why because I was immediately turned off from the book by several chapters that Cruz had put together.   

Although the devil is an evil entity, I think why many Christians turn to God is because he is an all-loving God and He is the light of the world.  TDHNM felt very much like 256 pages of judgment and was not the type of Christian book for me.  One chapter focused solely on books and television programs today.  It was very obvious that Cruz had never watched or read any of these programs and at one point he admonished the Harry Potter book series as saying that it encouraged children to practice sorcery.  Although people may disagree with me, I love Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling's books have encouraged so much literacy and a love for reading around the world.  I grew up with the books, as did many other people my age, and it is something I hold as a dear memory from my childhood and one that I did not choose to practice sorcery with.  He also spoke against shows like The Vampire Diaries and True Blood because they're vampires.  Although I think Cruz may have some good points on why these shows are not necessarily appropriate for children, since they're highly sexualized, I think he discredits Christians for being able to separate fact and fiction.

I think one of the saddest points of the book was how this mentality has influenced his family.  One of his daughters, a psychologist, had asked him if the faults of their ancestors who practiced witchcraft were going to influence their relationship with God in the future.  That was actually more tactful than what was said in the book.  It basically was are we going to burn in Hell because our ancestors practiced black magic?  Throughout the book and reading Cruz's story, all I thought was that there is so much history behind Cruz's family.  He grew up in Puerto Rico and that type of spirituality was reminiscent of the culture.  I was more fascinated in those stories than most aspects of the book.  Of course he said no but what concerned me was that his daughter, in her later 20's, had to ask that question.  I obviously am not part of his family nor grew up in it but I think there is something to say about raising your family in fear versus understanding the love of God.

With all of that said, this book was not my cup of tea.  You may enjoy this or recommend this for people who are questioning the extent of the devil's evilness, but it was not the type of Christian book that I would recommend.  Instead of leaving it as a discussion of the devil, Cruz injected judgment of other people on every single page and it kind of felt like he went from one extreme of being a gang leader to the other of judging everyone on their sins, despite the fact that we are imperfect people.

I am so excited to review a Bible study that I have and I think many of my readers will definitely enjoy the next Christian book review I have up :)

If you liked this post, share it with others! If you feel particularly moved by it, leave a comment because I love feedback and discussion. Social media links are provided below and thanks for reading!
 photo signature_zpsc0b51015.jpg