Monday, May 16, 2011
New book recommendation! Rachel included a recipe...see below and enjoy!
Here's the scoop on the book from Rachel, amazing author and ACFW conference worship leader. Don't miss this great read!
Dining with Joy by Rachel Hauck
Thanks for having me today!
I’m no genius in the kitchen, but my heroine, Joy Ballard, finds herself doing a job she can’t do for all the right reasons. She’s a cooking show host who can’t cook!
When I started this book, that premise got a good laugh from those who heard it. Then, I’d ask, “But what’s that story about?”
The person would shrug. “I don’t know.”
“Yeah, me neither.”
I had to ask a lot of questions about what a woman hosts a cooking show when she can’t so much as fry eggs. I didn’t want an insincere, lying heroine. She’s not a manipulator or conniver.
Joy simply found herself filling a job she was asked to do – by her father. She was great in front of the camera. Just not behind the stove.
Not long ago, I stood on stage at church with my worship team praying before the service started. Head back, eyes close, I said in my heart, “Lord, help us. You have to help me. I’m so weak in leading worship. I cannot do it without You.”
While I’m a decent singer, and I can lead the people to worship Jesus, I’m not a musician. I’m not one who can skillfully bring the band and the worship sound together. And until I found myself with a “starting over” band, I never realized how gaping this weakness was for me.
A few days later, I was thinking of all the great worship leaders, singers and musicians. Of great writers. And I just felt weak and inadequate in the two main callings of my life.
Again, I went to the Lord. “Why can’t You find a good worship leader for church? Why can’t you help me be a more successful writer? I see people who are good at what they do, succeeding.”
This is what He said to me. “… most people won’t give me their weaknesses.”
I was stopped cold. I understood that a lot of times God invites us on a journey to participate with Him in some aspect of our lives or others, but because we are not good at that thing, or because we are weak with fear or shame or whatever, we say no.
It’s in our weaknesses His strength is manifest. God is not looking for mighty men and women, He’s looking for weak men and women in which HE can show His might.
Don’t misunderstand, God loves excellence, skill and devotion. While leading worship practices, I have to be excellent as I can be to bring the team and songs together.
I’ll never have a recording or national ministry as a worship leader, but for our little church in Florida, I’m God’s girl. For now.
That, in some ways, is Joy’s journey. She said yes to her father’s desire.
Can we say “Yes?” to our Father’s desire for us? Offer Him all of our strengths AND weaknesses? He’s more than willing to overcome.
In my story, Joy’s secret is revealed and takes a pretty good tumble, but love is waiting to catch her. In the form of cowboy chef and hero, Luke Redmond.
Sigh… Love wins.
One of the things Joy discovers along the way his her father’s banana bread recipe. It’s delish!
Here it is:
Charles Ballard’s Banana Bread
From Connie Spangler
1 3/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1t. baking soda
3 mashed ripe bananas
1/2 cup oil (I use canola)
1/4 cup plus 1 T. buttermilk
1/2 cup choc. chips
1/2 cup p.butter chips
In a large bowl stir together flour, sugars, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. In another bowl, combine eggs, bananas, oil, buttermilk and vanilla. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until moistened. Fold in chips. Pour into a greased 9-in. x 3-in. loaf pan. Bake at 325 for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until it tests done. Cool on a rack 10 minutes before removing from pan.
Tips for baking banana bread:
DON'T over mix the batter, just until moistened. Banana bread is always best if after its cooled to wrap up and serve the next day.
Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and writes books from the second floor of what she calls her “turret tower.” A gift from the Lord. Besides “Dining with Joy,” Rachel has written fourteen other novels. Also out is “Softly and Tenderly” which Rachel wrote with country artist, Sara Evans.
Visit her web site here.
Monday, May 02, 2011
Here's a new book by Angela Hunt that I am recommending for you. This is very poignant and one you won't want to miss.
About the book:
The Fine Art of Insincerity
Three Southern sisters with nine marriages between them — and more looming on the horizon – travel to St. Simons Island to empty their late grandmother’s house. Ginger, the eldest, wonders if she’s the only one who hasn’t inherited what their family calls “the Grandma Gene”— the tendency to enjoy the casualness of courtship more than the intimacy of marriage. Could it be that her sisters are fated to serially marry, just like their seven-times wed grandmother, Lillian Irene Harper Winslow Goldstein Carey James Bobrinski Gordon George? It takes a “girls only” weekend, closing up Grandma’s memory-filled beach cottage for the last time, for the sisters to unpack their family baggage, examine their relationship DNA, and discover the true legacy their much-marrying grandmother left behind.
The Fine Art of Insincerity is a stunning masterpiece. I was pulled into the lives of Ginger, Pennyroyal and Rosemary--sisters touched by tragedy, coping in their own ways. So real, so powerful. Pull out the tissues! This one will make you cry, laugh, and smile. I recommend it highly. --Traci DePree, author of The Lake Emily series
“Only Angela Hunt could write a relationship novel that’s a page-turner! As one of three sisters, I can promise you this: Ginger, Penny, and Rose Lawrence ring very true indeed. Their flaws and strengths make them different, yet their shared experiences and tender feelings make them family. From one crisis to the next, the Lawrence sisters are pulled apart, then knit back together, taking me right along with them. I worried about Ginger one moment, then Penny, and always Rose—a sure sign of a good novel, engaging both mind and heart. Come spend the weekend in coastal Georgia with three women who clean house in more ways than one!”
Liz Curtis Higgs, best-selling author of Here Burns My Candle
THE FINE ART OF INSINCERITY
“You can’t tell your sisters,” my grandmother once told me, “what I’m about to tell you.”
I listened, eyes big, heart open wide.
“Of all my grandchildren—” her hands spread as if to encompass a crowd infinitely larger than myself and my two siblings—“you’re my favorite.”
Then her arms enfolded me and I breathed in the scents of Shalimar and talcum powder as my face pressed the crepey softness of her cheek.
My grandmother married seven times, but not until I hit age ten or eleven did I realize that her accomplishment wasn’t necessarily praiseworthy. When Grandmother’s last husband died on her eighty-third birthday, she mentioned the possibility of marrying again, but I put my foot down and told her no more weddings. I suspect my edict suited her fine, because Grandmom always liked flirting better than marrying.
Later, one of the nurses at the home mentioned that my grandmother exhibited a charming personality quirk—“Perpetual Childhood Disorder,” she called it. PCD, all too common among elderly patients with dementia.
But Grandmother didn’t have dementia, and she had exhibited symptoms of PCD all her life. Though I didn’t know how to describe it in my younger years, I used to consider it a really fine quality.
During the summers when Daddy shipped me and my sisters off to Grandmom’s house, she used to wait until Rose and Penny were absorbed in their games, then she would call me into the blue bedroom upstairs. Sometimes she’d let me sort through the glass beaded “earbobs” in her jewelry box. Sometimes she’d sing to me. Sometimes she’d pull her lace-trimmed hanky from her pocketbook, fold it in half twice, and tell me the story of the well-dressed woman who sat on a bench and fell over backward. Then she’d flip her folded hankie and gleefully lift the woman’s skirt and petticoat, exposing two beribboned legs.
No matter how large her audience, the woman knew how to entertain.
I perched on the edge of the big iron bed and listened to her songs and stories, her earbobs clipped to the tender lobes of my ears, enduring the painful pinch because Grandmother said a woman had to suffer before she could be beautiful. Before I pulled off the torturous earbobs and left the room, she would draw me close and swear that out of all the girls in the world, I was the one she loved most.
Not until years later did I learn that she drew my sisters aside in the same way. I suppose she wanted to make sure we motherless girls knew we were treasured. But in those moments, I always felt truly special.
And for far too long, I believed her.
© 2012 by Angela Hunt, used by permission. Do not reprint without permission. For more information, visit www.angelahuntbooks.com
Order Angie's book here.
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