Saturday, January 10, 2015

Readjusting to Normal

Hello everyone! I hope you guys had an awesome New Year's Day!

Mine was pretty low key. We relaxed, had one last Nerf gun war, and said goodbye to most of our family.

That was sad. Now everyone is home, and I miss them all dearly.

So, I read a book for review for one of my new writer friends, and posted it on Amazon.

Of the Persecuted by Angie Brashear was a fantastic read, you guys! Here's the gist of what I wrote on Amazon:

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is a fantastic read. Beware - spoilers ahead!

The book starts with a noose around her neck. She's about to die when a handsome stranger catches her eye. Immediately she is drawn to the young man, experiencing a spiritual connection. In a blast of action, the stranger frees Laila, her brother, and a child. Laila's brother is tragically killed moments later. His dying command is that Laila follow the stranger because he will take care of her.

Laila follows the stranger to his refuge for fellow faithfuls. Lars Landre has many questions surrounding him, but one thing is clear. He is the Chosen, the one destined by the Maker to deliver faithfuls and fight the evil Rendow Clan. Lars, Laila, and the child - Finney - journey to the city protected by the Maker.

I like the author's style of writing, and I usually found Laila's inner thought process to be amusing. Lars and Laila have very obvious chemistry. Laila goes back and forth, thinking that she isn't good enough for Lars. Typical girl emotions, and while you wanted to tell her to stop being blind, it was very believable.

Laila battles with the inner desire for revenge throughout the book. When she finally face-to-face with her enemies, Laila has a change of heart. I really liked how the author handled this. Laila really let compassion and love from the Maker flow through her, and even attempted to witness to her enemies.

After devastating battle and loss, the book ends on a happy note. I loved when Laila and Lars got engaged. The scene was truly magical. This is the first book in a series. For anyone who feels like the book progressed on the slower side, please remember that this is the first book in a series. As such, it contains a lot of set up for future stories.

Bottom line: this is a great read! I would not hesitate to tell friends and family to pick up a copy. So now I'm telling you. Godly truths just gush from this book! And I love the cover! When I met Angie at the ACFW conference, she showed me her business card, and I just gushed over the cover. I love how she described the book, too. "A fantasy romance." Love that! If there's romance in a story, I am so there!

Let's talk machines. So have you guys seen these contraptions? I worked at a fast food restaurant for four years before I switched to my current day job at a dental office. There was a "remodel" while I worked there, and this was what head quarters deemed an acceptable new soda dispenser.

So far I've spotted them in Five Guy's chains and the Burger King franchise where I worked. However, I spotted this guy at a Wendy's when I was in the city.

Need a crash course? You wouldn't believe how many people couldn't operate this machine! And I don't mean the simple confused expression, before figuring it out two seconds later. The simple part was operating it. The hard part was managing the syrups, updates, and the insane amount of ice that thing needed to operate!

In case you've yet to run across this, here's how you use it. Put your drink on the tray, push back against the lever if you want ice. Basically, there are a bunch of drink brands on the screen like Coca-cola, Sprite, and Ginger-ale. You tap the drink you want. Then there are a bunch of flavor options, like Vanilla Coke or Cherry Coke. Tap the flavor you want, and then - this is the hard part - push the big PUSH button under the screen.

All my BK homies will find this amusing...or maybe annoying. This one's for you guys. ;)

So when this strange, space age machine overtakes your favorite food franchise, you'll know what to do. Unless of course, you already have experiences with this pain in the rear. If you live say, not in the middle of no where, then you might have tinkered around this this soda machine already.

Oh well.

So I've been thinking about last words a lot lately. I always think of my grandmother when I think about last words. On top of that, tomorrow is the anniversary of the death of another dear family member.

When I was sixteen, my grandmother went to be with Jesus. That was a really hard time for our family. She was the matriarchal glue that held the different fractions of our family together. When she passed away, some of my family even fell away from God...

The thing that haunts me the most is that I can't remember what I said to her. Did I say I love you? Thank you for everything you've done for me? See you later? The dog won't stop licking my pants? I don't have a clear memory...I just can't remember...

I don't say all of that to bum you out. I have a point.

Whilst thinking all of these deep and melancholy thoughts, Peter immediately sprang into my mind. I just couldn't stop thinking of Peter. He had assured Jesus, that he wouldn't deny Him. Those demon-free pigs would fly over the moon before he denied Him!

And yet...

He did deny Jesus. His last words to Jesus before His death were denial.

Don't you think that haunted him? It would have haunted every moment of every day if it was me! Peter did more then just deny his friend. He denied his Savior. So this is just my personal opinion based on what I see in the Bible, but I think a part of Peter was a little desperate for those horrid words not to be the last words between him and Jesus. I mean, the guy ran everywhere to try to be the first one to Jesus when Jesus was raised from the dead! I don't know about you, but I only run when I have to run, like when I'm being chased by a bear. Maybe if I have something really important to say.

Peter had something really important to say!

When Peter saw Jesus standing on the shore, he didn't think. He reacted. He jumped into that water just to get there quicker. This was the third time Jesus had revealed Himself to the disciples. When that soul-cleansing moment came, oh how it renewed him! All that other junk was washed away for good.

We can't always take back out last words. We don't always find closure. We can control what we say in the here and now. We can use words of love and affirmation. Most importantly, we can bless God.

What would your last words to God be? Yikes! That's a sobering thought. Have we even spoken to Him today? Did we bless Him, thank Him, or even tell Him we love Him lately? Do you remember the last words you said to the Lover of your soul?

"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer." Psalm 19:14

Make them good ones.

Well, that got real o'clock.

I pray you guys have good days ahead, blessed and full of joy. But even if they are not, I pray that you still bless others and live in the joy of the Lord.

See you guys on January 20th! And just to make you smile.

My brother got me this for Christmas!

Owl miss you! See you next time! Haha!

V. Joy Palmer

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