Summer speeds by….. a review of a good book

Every year seems to be a little faster than the year before. I look at the calendar and am amazed that it is almost the end of August, it seemed like I was wishing winter away and now fall is quickly approaching. I have not written nearly as much as I had anticipated in the beginning of the year, but I am learning that life often does not go as we would like or expect, but choosing joy and working to enjoy the process of walking through life with  Jesus.

I love to read and one series of books I read over this winter and spring is Joel Rosenberg’s J.B. Collins series. If you have never read one of Joel’s book, I highly recommend them. They are excellently written and I was quickly engrossed into the story line.

I initially set out to read the newest book in the series: Without Warning and decided to full understand the story line I needed to read the first two books before I read it.

Without Warning is the third and last in the JB Collins series. Joel Rosenberg quickly recaps but does not spend a lot of time before the story quickly picks up and moves forward. While the book is a fictional book, it connects with the reader of our current geopolitical world. With each page turn, I was wondering how will this end, will it end with a happy ending, with the good guys winning? Without spoiling the ending I will say this, it didn’t end quite the way I thought it would, but the ending shows how God works in ways we would not imagine nor quite the way we would write our own story. Through out the book it is evident that Joel has done his research and is very knowledgeable in understanding the countries and players within the Middle East. I finished the book with a different perspective and understanding of the times we live in, the various tensions and the various players in the complex issues we are facing today. I didn’t want the story to end and yet the story comes to a close in a way that fits the story line well. This was a delightful book to read and one that I enjoyed immensely. I would recommend it for anyone who enjoys a good political mystery thriller. Thanks Tyndale Publishing for my complimentary copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

March 2017 Update on Stitchery and Reading

Two of my favorite ways to use my Fringe Hours, those extra minutes in my day that allow me to recharge and fill my cup before I continue pouring out, are reading and counted thread needlework.

Around Christmas 2016 I have finished Rocky Mountain Christmas by Marty Bell.
My current project I work on during appointments, is The Drawn Thread’s Alpine Garden…. It is slowly coming – here is the most current view of it.

I am working on a Puzzle Ball. This project has stretched my knowledge of specialty stitches.
Component One:
Component 2:

Over the past few months I have read a couple of books: The Great Divorce by CS Lewis. Living Forward. Twighlights Last Gleaming. I also had the pleasure of receiving a copy of From the Grave, a 40 Day Lent Devotional by A.W. Tozer from Moody Publishers in exchange for my review of the book. I want to take a few minutes and share my thoughts with you.

From the Grave is smaller than the your average size book, it is also hard back versus paper. I like the layout of the book. Each day is devotional in style, a verse followed by Tozer’s writing related to the daily scripture. I am a Tozer fan, I like his matter of fact writing style and that he simply addresses the topic at hand. In this Lent Devotional, what Tozer shares is timeless, it applies as much when he wrote it as it does to now. The progression of material presented each day is building towards the celebration of Easter. While this devotional is geared towards Lent and preparing us for Easter, I would go through this devotional any time during the year.

Devotionals can easily become check boxes on the list of daily to dos but when given time in one’s day it has the potential for impacting what one thinks about and applies during the course of the day.

I highly recommend this devotional book for next year’s season of Lent or if you are looking for a 40 day challenge. Thanks again Moody for an opportunity to read this book and review it.

Good Friday 2015 ….. the Fringe Hours of late, #fringehours

Lately it has been a season of starting a new job and working to keep balance, but what fringe hours I have had has been spent reading and stitching. (These are things completed over the past month)

Book One: The Leadership Handbook by John Maxwell
I enjoy reading and this Maxwell book was a good one to read thru.
Click Here for the Review of it

Book Two: The Pale Chef by Pete Evans
A cookbook for those on the Paleo Diet – has great photos and recipes. Review of it here

Book Three:  When Helping Hurts by Steve Corbett
This book was perspective changing. It helped my view on poverty alleviation, what works, what doesn’t work and how does that fit into the gospel message of Jesus.

The House that Love Built by Paula Vaughn is finished, just needs to be framed:









Started working on a project I had started a long time ago called Rocky Mountain Christmas by Bell
Photo before I started:







Current photo:









Happy Easter!


The Waterfall of Life…. my thoughts #fringehours

Our family enjoys going on adventures outside, this past weekend was no different. After church we hopped in the truck and proceeded to take a drive. With a few hours and a tank of gas you can drive around the canal area experiencing a variety of terrain, wildlife and landscape. The sun was shining and the wind was relatively calm. As we drove the sound was on our left, the waves hitting the shore and the ducks swimming against the current. We took a right and drove up the mountain and came to a small parking lot. When you cross the street and take a short hike you meet one of my favorite landscapes in nature – the waterfall. I have visited the fall at many different times through out the year. At times it is running fast and at other times its slow and steady.Feb2014HoodCanalPhoto3

When I quiet my soul and simply take in the sight I am reminded of God’s power, His might, and His creativity. The sermon this particular Sunday had been on how we can relieve stress by spending time with Jesus. The story of Mary and Martha and the famous verses – Martha Martha Martha, Mary has chosen what is best and it will not be taken away from her. (read about it here in Luke 10:38-42)

Looking at the waterfall and the change of terrain by the trees that had fallen. The smaller path of the rushing water because of the lower snow pack in the mountains a few simple truths resonated with me, including some from the sermon that day.

The scenery of the waterfall changes based on the weather. Our life changes based on activities, situations, relationships, responsibilities – different ways can impact the landscape of our life. Weather changes – it does not remain the same; it is the same way for our life. We have seasons. Sometimes those moments are quick like a thunderstorm and other times more long like Spring or Summer.

My youngest son was asking about the water asking where it came from if there was not a lot of snow melting. What we discussed was that the path of the water……seep out of the ground or melting snow to a stream to the landscape that cascades down a hill creating the waterfall to a fast moving stream over rocks maintaining momentum and then it calms but is moving fast and then you see the white rapids until it dumps into the large body of water. Just like our life. My life has had moments where it feels like I am being poured into drop by drop and then it is full gush of water.

Life can be like the path of the water. Water diverts to head a different direction for different reasons. Debris. Rocks. Sometimes huge logs. Other times its a small rock. Doesn’t take much to stop up the water or divert its path.


As we spend time with Jesus our ability to have something to give fills up. We fill up and pour out -if we are to low we have nothing to pour out or its piddly. We have to be filled up. Sometimes what it looks like is up in the mountain where you don’t realize that where the water is going is towards the waterfall. When we are filled up and have the right balance then the fall continues even when we have very little snow in the mountains. It takes consistent time with Jesus. Life doesn’t stop for us – we have to make sure that the time we spend with Him is quality, consistent and understand sometimes we may need more then at other times….because of what we are needing to pour out.Feb2014HoodCanalPhoto2


It is Friday so here is the latest photo of the WIP (work in progress) on The House that Love Built…..    WIPHouseThatLoveBuilt02272015Resources

The Sermon from Sunday

Update on the WIP (Work in Progress) …. its Friday

One of my hobbies is cross stitching, a type of needlework. It is amazing me to watch a blank canvas become a work of art. I recently finished a huge project that I had put down and picked up many times over the past 5 years. I have had the privilege to be on the launch team for the book The Fringe Hours by Jessica Turner and one of the biggest take aways for me was in how I can use my time to also invest in something I enjoy doing. My needlework is relaxing, enjoyable and I find it fun. Its been a great tool to keep my hands busy while I sit on the couch with my husband relaxing in the evening. The photo here is almost 3 weeks into the project by Paula Vaughn ~ The House that Love Built. I don’t think it will take me another 5 years to finish this one.


I am an avid reader and I love the Kindle App because it allows me to be reading in those few minutes I find here and there, waiting for kids or an appointment. So far since the beginning of the year I have finished 8 books and just recently this week finished Simplify by Bill Hybels and started two new books – People Raising and When Helping Hurts.

Excited to be joining up with others on the new Fringe Hours Link Up over at The  Mom Creative, sharing what I was able to accomplish during my Fringe Hours during the week.

~ Gail

%d bloggers like this: