A Few Favorite Christmas Books

Hey!

I love finding and reading book lists. I like knowing what others are reading and what they might suggest for me to read. Beyond the biblical story of the birth of Jesus from Luke’s gospel, these books are a few of my favorite Christmas reads.

The poem, A Visit from St. Nicholas, by Clement Clarke Moore is more commonly referred to as Twas the Night Before Christmas or The Night Before Christmas. This selection is my favorite rendering of this poem because of the illustrations by Mary Engelbreit.

 

A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg is a heartwarming tale interwoven with faith about a newcomer to town, a young girl, and a redbird named Jack.

 

Two from Galilee by Marjorie Holmes is a lovely retelling of the birth of Jesus and the love story of Mary and Joseph.

 

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens: If you’re like me, you’ve probably seen this story told many ways in many movies. I first read it to discover whether the movies followed the book or not. Some do, some don’t. And like most movies and books, the book is a treat. Do yourself a favor and give it a try!

 

Christmas With Tucker by Greg Kincaid: I read this one last year and the story truly pulls at your heartstrings. Grab the kleenex box ahead of time.

 

Mitford Snowmen/Shepherds Abiding by Jan Karon

These short stories are a nice introduction to the town and residents of Mitford and a must for Mitford readers.

 

Happy reading!

Mimi

“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.'” Luke 2:10 NIV Bible

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My Favorite Things 2015

Hey!

One of my favorite link ups and posts to make all year is Melissa’s My Favorite Things. I love to see what others have shared and get some great recommendations for gift items for Christmas.

#1 Morningstar Farms Chipotle Black Bean Burgers

A favorite at our house and so quick to make! These burgers are great smashed up as burritos too.

#2 Roc Deep Wrinkle Serum

This serum has been a wonderful addition to my beauty regimen.

#3 Liverpool Sienna jean leggings

Super comfortable and when worn with a tunic, and not like the pic above, no one knows they’re not real deal jeans.

#4 Polar: A Photicular Book by Dan Kainen, Carol Kaufmann

Two other photicular books are available: Ocean and Safari. I have a sweet little niece who is going to get one of these for Christmas.

And last but not least …

#5 Off the Shelf.com is a great source for finding new books to read.

My Favorite Things from past years:

  1. 2014

  2. 2013

  3. 2012

Check out other bloggers favorites @320sycamorebog.com!

Blessings,

Mimi

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts …” Colossians 3:15 NIV Bible

A look back at October as November Slipped In

Hey!

November seems to have arrived for me quicker than usual. The holidays are just around the corner and I’m still trying to recuperate from the month long writing challenge. If you missed the posts from my #write31days writing challenge on Wisdom From the Animals, you can find all of them here.

October was filled with writing, reading, and teaching. I think, at last count, I was participating in four Bible studies. Obviously, God is working on me and knows I need constant surveillance!

On books, I’d recommend To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee which I reread and  For the Love: Fighting For Grace in a World of Impossible Standards by Jen Hatmaker. I really enjoyed both of these books.

For movies, my recommendations for old releases are The Good Lie about the lost boys of the Sudan starring Reese Witherspoon and The Big Year which is a comedy about amateur bird watchers and the competition to count the most species in a year starring Jack Black, Steve Martin and Owen Wilson. The best new release that we saw was The Martian starring Matt Damon and based on the book by Andy Weir. So excellent!

In the music category for October, I downloaded a lot of Andrew Peterson. I particularly like The Burning Edge of Dawn CD and Behold The Lamb of God CD. I’m pretty excited about Adele’s new music too.

We went to see our son at the end of the month. I was so glad to see my boy. I missed him. He is doing great and school is jam packed with study. He is pursuing his doctorate in Geographical Information Science from the University of Illinois. I have no idea what he does but I’m proud. His advisor is tops in the world in this field so I think he is getting the education he needs as well as an introduction to Chinese since his advisor and most of his doctoral candidate group is Chinese. We ate at some great restaurants in the Champaign/Urbana area and learned a lesson: Never-ever-under-any-circumstance book a hotel room just off campus on a Halloween weekend. Bad idea. 4am. Two nights in a row. Enough said.

Jack got his undergraduate degree from U of I so he was pretty excited to be on campus again. We took the Amtrak train with a sleeper car. An excellent way to travel. You do need earplugs since the train whistle blows at every intersection.

austin and jack

Delta spent almost 2 weeks with my parents in Arkansas. We affectionately refer to her time with them as doggie boot camp.

daddy and delta

That rundown concludes the days of October that fell like fall’s leaves and ushered in November so quickly I barely got a chance to notice.

Blessings,

Mimi

“Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12 NIV Bible

Wisdom From The Animals: Day 31

bird

Wisdom From The Animals: Day 31

Today is the last day in the #write31days writing challenge. I hope you’ve enjoyed this series. All month long, I’ve shared animal facts and biblical lessons that can be learned from each of these animals.The bird, above, is a hornbill and I thought this bird was perfect for Halloween. If you’d like to read the posts from the beginning, you can find them here.

“reject every kind of evil.” 1 Thessalonians 5:22

Throughout scripture, God instructs us to turn from evil. He commands that we leave evil attitudes, behaviors, and actions behind us and embrace those that honor and praise Him. We are to embrace and incorporate attitudes, behaviors, and actions of righteousness. While celebrating this spooky holiday and enjoying all the fun of dressing up and eating copious amounts of candy, remember that God loves you.

Happy Halloween!

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To view all of my posts from the 31 Days Writing Challenge 2015: Wisdom From The Animals, click on the icon above. I hope you’ll come back to visit over and over again. I’d love for you to follow me on the blog or any of my other social media sites. Thanks! 

Blessings,

Mimi

Wisdom From The Animals: Day 30

luna moth

Wisdom From The Animals:Day 30

Luna moths like my yard. I find them often resting against the side of the house. Recently, I learned that luna moths particularly like sweetgum trees which explains why I have so many of them because my yard is canopied by sweetgums.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21

I love books. I don’t dare count how many I own or my family might call me a hoarder. Insects are detrimental to books. They love the paper and glue. But, the treasures that are most important are those things I store in heaven. Acts, behaviors, and attitudes that have honored God or given Him praise and glory. These things can never been ruined since they are my spiritual acts of worship and given to God. My heart’s treasure is not found here on earth but in heaven with Him.

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To view all of my posts from the 31 Days Writing Challenge 2015: Wisdom From The Animals, click on the icon above. I hope you’ll come back to visit over and over again. I’d love for you to follow me on the blog or any of my other social media sites. Thanks! 

Blessings,

Mimi

Wisdom From The Animals: Day 29

koi

Wisdom From The Animals: Day 29

Koi were developed in Japan in the 1820s and are a variety of carp. In Japan, they are viewed as symbols of love and friendship. Koi come in many colors and can live well over one hundred years if the environment is favorable.

“‘Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!'” Luke 11:11-13

Jesus was teaching His disciples about prayer and told them a parable about a man who helped his friend only after his friend’s continued persistence. In the verse above, Jesus wanted them to see how loving the Father is in comparison. Our Father hears our prayers and answers them. Sometimes, those answers are not the ones that I want but God in His wisdom knows what is in my best interest. Other times, God answers my prayers in ways that I would never have imagined. I only need to come before Him praying in sincerity of heart and motive.

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To view all of my posts from the 31 Days Writing Challenge 2015: Wisdom From The Animals, click on the icon above. I hope you’ll come back to visit over and over again. I’d love for you to follow me on the blog or any of my other social media sites. Thanks! 

Blessings,

Mimi