Monday, October 31, 2011

The Christian Daughters Role

{Written by Bethany Ann}
In today's culture young ladies do not really know what to do with their single years. The world tells them that they need a steady job, boyfriend, and that shouldn't listen to their parents. So many teen- aged girls have done this and their lives have been damaged because of their decisions. So here is the question "What’s a Christian girl to do?”


~*~

First off, we must realize that by living according to the Holy Bible, instead of the world, we are being different. We are turning from the world's way, and looking to Jesus Christ for guidance and instruction. But we must know that turning from the world's way and by living according to the Bible is commanded in the Holy Bible: "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve of what God's will is-His good, pleasing, and perfect will. Romans 12:2" So here are some things that every Christian daughter should be according to the Word of God::

A Strong Pillar :: 
In Psalms 144:12 it tells us what daughters should be... "and our daughters will be like pillars carved to adorn a palace.” What is a pillar? The Webster's New World Dictionary tells us that a pillar is "a structure used as a support or monument; a main support of something". This means that we are supposed to be there for our family. There are a number of ways that we can be a pillar in our home. Here are some ideas:

• By babysitting for your Mom so that she can go to the store, rest, etc.

• Pray for your family!

• Help clean your home and make it an enjoyable place to be!

• Invest in your siblings.

Preparing For the Future ::
One thing that is very important to do as a daughter is to prepare to be a wife and mother. And what is a better way to learn and practice than in your home?! "So I counsel the women to marry, to have children and to manage their homes. 1 Timothy 5:14" We can use our single years wisely by learning things like cooking, sewing, cleaning, organizing things, and other such things that we will need to know in order to keep a family going. In Titus 2:4-5 we learn that the older women (usually this is our mothers) should teach the younger women to "love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, busy at home, to be kind and to be subject to their husbands." So here are some ways to practice this:

"Love their husbands" We can prepare by loving and serving our fathers! Greet him when he gets home from work, give him some water after a hard days work, obey him, and ask him what you can do to make his life easier! One way that I have been able to serve my father is by making him breakfast every morning before he goes to work.

"Love their Children" We can prepare by loving our siblings. Spend time with them, help them with their schoolwork, play a game with them, let them be a part of your activities etc. Most people consider children as a burden, but if we desire to have children when we get married, then what is a better way to prepare for this calling than to prepare through our siblings!

"Self-Controlled and Pure" We can do this by giving your heart to your father and no one else. Staying pure both spiritually and physically takes much self-control! And being pure means that you save your "first everything" and your heart for your husband. It is often very hard, but I have spoken to mothers and Titus 2 women who have told me that when they were younger they did not save their heart for their husband, and they have told me that they greatly regret it! But mothers who did save their heart for their husband have told me that they deeply encourage me to do it as well and that they do not have any regrets in this area!

"Busy at Home" This means that instead of being away from home (working, being with friends, doing activities on your own etc.) that you are at home. Here is a good example: the other day I got a job opportunity to babysit outside my home. I could have easily made a lot of spending money but I chose not to take the job because the hours were just too long. I didn't want to be away from my family, and I need to be helping my family babysit instead of helping others, not to say that I can't ever help someone occasionally. But I did not feel it to be God's calling for me right now in my life.

Having a Deep Personal Relationship with Jesus Christ ::
"An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord's affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord both in body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world-how she can please her husband. 1 Corinthians 7:34" As single ladies we are called to be devoted to God. This verse is telling us that we need to study God's word and have a deep personal relationship now and that we shouldn’t wait another minute! We do not need to wait until we feel ready, because we must use every spare minute that we can, because when we are married we will have many more responsibilities than we do now. We can grow with God now by having a regular devotion time with Him, memorizing scripture, and by praying and serving others through Him. But we must do it now, while we have the precious time.

I pray that these things which I have learned would help and encourage you in your walk with Jesus Christ. Keep pressing towards the goal of Jesus Christ, dear sisters in the Lord, I promise that you will not regret it! I would love to hear from you!

Because HE Lives Again,
Bethany
___________
end note :: the winner of the giveaway is TM! Congratulations!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Call to Radiance :: November Feature {please read}

Today, Bethany and I are so very pleased to give our lovely readers a little glimpse of what is to come during the month of November, here at Royal Daughters of the King. Many changes are to be made, and we would be ever so appreciative if you would indeed take this moment to read our thoughts ::


Firstly, I am in the midst of creating new attire for our site. Bethany and I have both agreed that the current look, although beautiful, detracts from what we are trying to portray here. Thus, over the month of November, we will be working on a completely new design. So please pray that all goes well in this area. We are hoping that not only will our look attract new visitors to our ministry, but that it would also make your visit here even more pleasant. We are seeking for the beauty of simplicity in this area. 


While I have decided to take on re-fashioning our atmosphere here at Royal Daughter of the King, I find that it is necessary to forgo all other posts for a time. It simply cannot be done. A true princess never can spend to much time clicking away on a computer. smile. Especially a princess who has given her life to serving the King of Kings. Thus, as Bethany and I were talking of the November Program just days ago, we found that for the month of November, it was essential to come up with a completely different program for our readers to go by. Today, we are so pleased to give you readers an explanation as to what we have planned ::


Our November program will consist of one post {during December, we shall once again take up busier monthly programs}. While this may seem like a great decline, Bethany and I have agreed that this indeed will be the perfect opportunity to give us a little time to breath, and catch up on other tasks, but more importantly this post will signify the beginning of a month-long challenge for all of our royal readers to participate in! Please read the below details if you are interested in joining.


On November first, Royal Daughter of the King will be hosting their very first Call to Radiance Challenge! After much thought and prayer, we decided that this months challenge would be on Scripture Memorization. While many girls today have a heart for following Jesus, and desire to serve Him, often times memorizing His love letter is not on the priority list. However, we believe that hiding the words of the Lord within our hearts is an extremely important employment, one which is often times undermentioned. 

Why is memorizing the word of God important? When we take the time to memorize Gods word, we receive multiple blessings -- blessings which last a lifetime. Along with memorizing comes studying. Memorizing is just another way to delve deeply within the word of God, and come to know His heart better. Not only this, but once we have his words stored up within our hearts, they will be engraved thereon for our entire lifetime. Never to be erased. What an amazing gift this is.

How will memorizing God's word have an impact on my life? When we memorize the word of God, we will acquire many lovely blessings. Firstly, we will have His word constantly at our fingertips. When talking with friends, or writing posts, letters, etc, we will be able to use the best resource -- God's Word -- as a foundation for what we are illustrating. Another wonderful blessing that comes along with scripture memorization is an enriched relationship with Jesus. I think of His word as a love letter to me. When I have it memorized, I am all the more ready to praise His name at any moment of the day, shouting out the words of truth. Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, when we memorize Gods word, we are putting on armor. And armor that will ward off the fiery darts from the Evil One. 

Our Challenge to You | Today, we welcome you ladies to consider joining our Scripture Memorization Challenge which will begin on November First. Our challenge to you is to memorize a verse {or more} a day during the entire month of November. On November First, a chart will be provided to help keep you on track, and record your verses. As we near the end of the month, all charts must be emailed to us, with the completed info on it. For all those who participate in the challenge, a special prize will be rewarded to them. 

{more details and info on the prize will be shared Nov. 1st} 


Meanwhile, we ask that if you plan to participate, please take a moment to let Bethany and I know, providing us with your email by our contact form HERE. This way, we can contact you throughout the month, with words of encouragement, and recommended verses. What a beautiful way to get to know each other through the love of Christ, no? We pray you will be able to participate as we strive to answer God's calling, 

A Call to Radiance.
___________________

Abundant Blessings,
| Bethany Ann & Johanna Rose |

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Royal Council :: Scripture Memorization

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Miss Shiloh {of End of the Matter Blog}::
Throughout the Bible we are commanded to hide God’s Word in our hearts. It is very important for Christians to memorize Scripture because there may come a day when our Bibles will be taken away from us and we will need to recall the Word of God. It is also important to meditate and memorize Scripture so we will be able to remember it through out our daily lives.

During trying times and trials we can memorize verses that will encourage us to be strong and of a good courage (Joshua 1:9), to wait upon the Lord (Isaiah 30:18), and to rest in the center of God’s will (Romans 12:2). In joyous times we are to rejoice in the Lord. 1 Chronicles 16:9 tells us to sing psalms to the Lord. It says, "Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him, talk ye of all his wondrous works." Memorizing Scripture will also help us when the devil, our greatest enemy, tries to tempt us as children of the Most High. We are commanded to memorize Scripture because of this very fact. Psalm 119:11 says, "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee." Later in Psalm 119 in verse 105 we read: "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." Even through a dark night when we realize that we don’t know where we are headed the Lord is there and His word is a light to us. We need to memorize and hide God’s Word in our hearts.

Pinned ImageYes, but how?

Sometimes memorizing scripture can seem harder then memorizing a song or a scene from a movie. I believe that this is because Satan is working against us. He doesn’t want us to have the Bible hidden away in our hearts. So, with this in mind, we need to work harder and store God’s Word in our hearts even more so. Here are some ideas that may help you with memorizing Scripture…

1) Write your Bible verse(s) on a 4x6” card and bring it with your everywhere you go. When you are outside working pull it out of your pocket and memorize a few lines or when you are waiting in line at the store work on it there too.

2) Record yourself saying your verses out-loud then throughout the day play your recording and listen to it over and over again.

3) Make up a tune and sing your Bible verses or find a hymn that fits with your chosen scriptures.

4) Do hand motions while you repeat your verses. These could be Sign Language or just your own motions which help you remember.

5) Find a pattern in the Bible verse. This could be like remembering how many “when thous” are in Deuteronomy 6:7: "And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up."

6) Memorize with your siblings and take turns quizzing one another. Or get together with a close friend and encourage one another along.

7) Memorize Scripture as a family. My family recently finished memorizing the Ten Commandments. As a family we memorized one verse at a time during dinner time and recited it together. Sometimes our father leaves out a word or a line and we fill them in with the correct word or line.

Memorization can be a challenge, but it’s something the Lord has command Christians to do! I pray that each and every one of you will continue to press on and work on storing more of God’s Word in your heart day by day. So, that we might each be able to say, “With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee" (Psalm 119:10-11).

Press On Dear Sisters!
Shiloh
{Note: This article was going to be published in Hearts for God magazine (formerly Bethany's self-published magazine)to before it was printed the magazine went out of print. So we have decided to share it here for your use. Thanks!}

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Miss Bethany Ann ::
To be completely honest, I've been struggling with my Scripture memorization here lately. I've found that it isn't the memorization part that I am having problems with, it's the self-discipline to stop what I'm doing, sit down and devote some time to hiding God's word in my heart. So often there are a hundred other things I'd rather be doing. watching a good movie, spending time on the computer, reading a book, sewing, taking photography, doing a puzzle, and the list goes on! But I've found that when i do decide to memorize the word of God that I am blessed!

This year, I was blessed to be able to memorize the book of 1st Peter with my sister. We completed it within a couple months and I'm so glad that I've made that investment. While we did memorize the whole book I must add that we truly only only the first chapter by heart {knowing it without error, etc}. Memorization often takes time but it's worth it! At first I was excited to be able to memorize such a large portion of the Scriptures, but then I thought "What? i can't do this! it's 5 whole chapters! 100 + verses! How can I fit that in my head?" but then I remembered a sweet pen-pal of mine who memorizes all of 2 Corinthians {11 chapters, I believe} so I realized that truly "All things are possible with God"!

There are times when memorizing large portions of Scripture is important, but sometimes memorizing small verses at a time, slowly will give us the most benefit. I often like to take verses from character traits I'm working on and memorize those. Or if I'm struggling in a certain area such as keeping my thoughts pure, i memorize verses for my defence so I can use them when I'm in need. No matter how much you memorize the important part is to just do it! It takes a bit of self-control to say "no" to self and actually memorize a verse or two each day. But we must not let the devil bring us down! Just like having devotions every day and not just every once in a while is important, so is memorizing Scripture often.

There are many different ways you can memorize, but I've found that this method works best for me. Johanna shared it with me recently during one of our phone calls and it has made memorizing Scripture so much easier for me! What you do is you read over the verses  a couple times to get it in your head. This is were you "semi-memorize it" as Miss Johanna put it. :D Then you think of each word, or say it aloud very slowly, taking noticed on the bigger more important words. If you are memorizing Psalm 119:1 then it would go like this: "Your WORD have I HID in my HEART, that I might not SIN against you." Then you take those words and meditate on them so you can remember then when quoting the verse. It could look something like this:  "WORD, the Word of god, the words of His mouth, holy, precious, etc" This way when you are going over the verse, it makes it easier to remember the words. Now is the part that helps me the most: you write down the first letter in each word of the verse. Like this: Y W H I H I M H T I M N S A Y Now you've got a "help" for in case you can't remember a word, but don't want to look at the verse and ruin it. I've found this part to be SO helpful!

One other method I've used before goes like this: you write down the verse on paper or on a black board. You say the verse aloud once and then erase or mark out one word so you cannot see it. You then say the verse again and when you come to the word you marked out, try and remember it. Continue to do this until you have marked out all the words in the verse and remember it all without looking at the page or board.

One thing that is helpful when finding a method that works for you is to know what kind of memory you have. My sister Ashley has a photographic memory, so she has to see the words in order until your able to remember them. For those with this kind of memory, it might help to make memory verse cards and print them of place them were you will see them often. You could also make or find a computer screens with Scripture on it!


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Miss Johanna Rose ::
Scripture memorization is a very important occupation, which I believe is crucial to implement into our lives. Not only will memorizing scripture enable us to defeat the Enemy's most unexpected darts of temptation, but also many verses serve as a wonderful reminder of the loving-kindness of Jesus Christ. Here are a few of my memorizing tips ::

  • First select a verse that truly speaks to your heart; one that truly applies to your life, and will encourage your throughout the day.
  • Once a verse is selected, read through it three times -- enunciating the words extremely clearly, and drawn out. This helps the brain to remember the words better.
  • After you have read it through three times, analyze the verse. For example, I recently memorized 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, which says, "Rejoice Always, Pray without Ceasing, in everything Give Thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." To analyze, I would say to myself OUT LOUD, "What do I need to do in all circumstances? Rejoice. What do I do when I am in trouble, or am thankful, or just need to talk? Pray. What should I do no matter what happens? Give Thanks. Why is this important? Why do I need to do these things? Because it is the will of God. Who is God? Christ Jesus." While this may seem very odd ladies, it truly helps to remember the verse clearly.
  • Read the verse out loud once again, in a normal way. :-D
  • Now, write the verse out once on a card. On the other side of the card write down the first letter of each word in order. 
  • The verse should be pretty much memorized now! Use the card (the side with the letters) as a prompt if you get stuck!
  • Review the verse the next day -- it should be fully memorized now!
May the Lord bless you as you strive to hide His words within your heart!

Blessings,
~Johanna

Monday, October 24, 2011

Spending {quality} Time with Jesus | Part Two

{written by Johanna Rose}
{perhaps you would enjoy reading part one first?}


While spending time with Jesus can often times come easy to us by way making it a routine, making each and every morning a time of quality learning and growth can be, at times, an extreme challenge. Why? As I discussed in part one, our world is full of distractions. In part one I talked of the importance of not foregoing our devotions and time with Jesus on the alter of worldly tasks. But today I am here to stress the importance of this in a different aspect. 

Have you ever risen, and dutifully performed your devotions, yet you feel as if the time you spent wasn't quality? It didn't fill you with the peace and joy that you were seeking after? The words seemed as bare and dry as a desert? I have. So many times I was there in the body, yet my spirit was elsewhere. My purpose in doing them was to merely say I had done my devotions that day, yet ... had I truly done them? Had I truly focused on them, and gleaned wisdom from the precious words? I am afraid that often times the answers is no. Not because I was foregoing my devotions in order to accomplish more in a day, but rather because my mind wandered aimlessly and was more focused on what I had to do that upcoming day, rather then focusing on the holy word. 


How can we, as daughter of Christ, set aside worldly distractions, in order to attain a sufficiency of joy and peace to bring us through the upcoming day? While it seems so hard for me to keep focused on the word at certain points of business in my life, I find that the days in which I failed to do so were some of the hardest and most joyless of my life. I have realized the truth in that; if I draw close to the Lord, he will not fail to draw close to me. | James 4:8 |

Over the past few months I have found it to be especially hard to take time out of my day, and rest it at the foot of the cross. So many worldly distractions come between my focusing on Jesus. There is always an abundance of tasks to be done. Yet, over the past few months I have realized that without the joy of Christ in my heart, each day is pointless monotony. 


So what makes morning devotions a time in which we can truly glean blessings from above? How can we attain setting all other thoughts aside, and completely focusing on The Love of our life? While my dearest friend Bethany, who is also my accountability partner in scripture reading, would tell you, I am certainly no expert; recently the Lord has tremendously blessed me with the key to amazingly blessed devotions. Today, I feel so unworthy, yet led to share with you a few ways to make your devotions full of His presence ::


Prayer | One of most amazing tools that a Christian will ever have, yet sadly is so loath to use. When I first embarked upon doing devotions daily, I found that prayers were a thing which I just rushed through, trying to move on to the seemingly more important occupations. However, I began to see how fruitless my devotions were becoming without it. Think of it this way girls: if we were going out on a one-on-one date with the Love of our lives, wouldn't we want to spend time talking with him? I certainly would! It is just so in that, if we truly want to know the heart of our Savior, we need to talk to Him ... and give Him time to talk to us. I have to say that prayer is the most important time during your devotions, certainly not the time we should cut! I exhort you ladies begin each of your devotions with at least 15 minutes of time spent talking with Jesus. It will truly have a huge impact on your devotions, and will give you a tremendous opportunity to share your heart with him, ask forgiveness, ask for guidance throughout the upcoming day, and to pray blessings upon your family and friends, as well as ask the Lord to share with you wisdom as you read through His holy word.  


Reading | Next to prayer, spending an extensive amount of time delving into the word of God is extremely important for growing in your relationship with your Savior. Each and ever word within the pages of the holy scriptures was inspired by God. Often times I have found myself rushing through it however, in order to either 'get more accomplished' or in order to catch up on my read-your-bible-in-a-year plan. However, once again, when we do this we will completely miss the point of why we are doing devotions. When you find yourself rushing through, ask your self why you are there. Pray for the Lord to give you a refreshed spirit of focus, and look for verses that you can apply to your own life at the time. I encourage you to spend nearly 30-45 minutes withing the precious word of God. During this time, always have a pen on hand so you may underline, or mark the verses which truly spoke to your heart that morning. Not only will this make you more alert and attentive to catch verses, but it will also provide strength and refreshment on those days in which you can review these specific verses. 


Memorizing | Girls, while it may not seem as an important use of our time now, know that it will be some of the most wisely spent moments, when looking back from future years. In the book of 1 Corinthians, in chapter one verse thirty-four, it talks of how an unmarried woman cares for things of the Lord; yet a married woman cares about pleasing her husband. At first, this verse made no sense to me, as it seemingly referred to how, if I was married, I wouldn't care about the things of the Lord any more. Yet, after studying it more, I began to realize the more in depth meaning. You see, when we are married, we will not have much time to spend on studying the word of God -- not nearly as much time as we do now, when we are young. This is why it is so very important to memorize these precious words now. For, when we are in the midst of trials in the years to come, we will have the comfort of Gods words hidden within our hearts to strengthen us, and give us joy. I try to spend 15 minutes nearing the end of my devotions to memorize scripture which spoke to me that morning. Currently, I have a little journal-type book in which I write all of the verses I have memorized. Won't it be wonderful to have an entire book of memorized verses to look back upon one day? I will be sharing more tips on how to memorize in an upcoming post. But today, I want to encourage you to not give up on doing it. It is very important.

More Prayer | Again, prayer is one of the best uses of our time. When closing out devotions, always remember to ask the Lord's blessing and guidance upon your day! It will truly make a difference.

May the Lord bless you, as we strive together to spend quality time with Him
each and every day of our lives!

Blessings, 
| Johanna Rose |

Friday, October 21, 2011

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Book Reviews

Note: Recently us girls have been discussing how we feel it is important to review all kinds of books, and not only those that we find wholesome and those that we recommend so that girls can have a good understanding of a book before they read it. We have decided to now start to review all books-those that we would and also would not recommend in hopes that these reviews will serve you well in your reading experiences. If you have any question or if you have a title of a book you'd like to see reviewed then please contact us through our contact page. Thank you!
~Bethany Ann & Johanna Rose

The Silent GovernessThe Silent Governess
By Julie Klassen
{Review by Bethany Ann}

Description {From Christian Book Distributors}:

Believing herself guilty of a crime, Olivia Keene flees her home, eventually stumbling upon a grand estate where an elaborate celebration is in progress. But all is not as joyous as it seems.

Lord Bradley has just learned a terrible secret, which, if exposed, will change his life forever. When he glimpses a figure on the grounds, he fears a spy or thief has overheard his devastating news. He is stunned to discover the intruder is a scrap of a woman with her throat badly injured. Fearing she will spread his secret, he gives the girl a post and confines her to his estate. As Olivia and Lord Bradley's secrets catch up with them, will their hidden pasts ruin their hope of finding love?

I had read Julie Klassen's works before and was interested in reading this one so I got it at the library. The story though good, had some things that I didn't really appreciate, most importantly violence, drinking/gambling scenes {when she is with her father at the bar} and one their was the language of "What the devil". After the 10th or so chapter I decided not to finish reading the book. I mainly choose this because of the things I just mentioned, and the fact that there were two scenes were a man who worked at the mansion with her was forcibly kissing her and putting her in difficult situations {He obviously liked her whereas she did not like him}. Thought the story was interesting it was a bit over what I thought appropriate. I did not get very far into the book, so I cannot say that I know much about how it turns out in the end. If you don't feel comfortable reading violence scenes {were she was running away and found a bunch of men in the woods who were ready to hurt her and also another scene were a man harms her so badly that she is unable to speak for a few days} then you would probably not want to read this book. I could give it 2 out of 5 stars {considering the portion of the book I read}. If you have any questions then please let me know!


The Preacher's Bride
The Preacher's Bride
By Jody Hedlun
{Review by Bethany Ann}

Description {From Christian Book Distributors} :

In 1650s England, a young Puritan maiden is on a mission to save the baby of her newly widowed preacher--whether her assistance is wanted or not. Always ready to help those in need, Elizabeth ignores John's protests of her aid. She's even willing to risk her lone marriage prospect to help the little family.

Yet Elizabeth's new role as nanny takes a dangerous turn when John's boldness from the pulpit makes him a target of political and religious leaders. As the preacher's enemies become desperate to silence him, they draw Elizabeth into a deadly web of deception. Finding herself in more danger than she ever bargained for, she's more determined than ever to save the child--and man--she's come to love.

I read this book a while back and thoroughly enjoyed it! It was very clean, although their was a bit on romance at the en of the book once she is married. It's a thicker book-a 300 page-er and I read it in only three days-it was that interesting! :D This was the first of Jody's books that I have read {I hope to read her newest book The Doctors Lady once it arrives at our local library! :D} and was very impressed. The only two "uncomfortable" scenes were one scene were a servant girl was beaten in public {Out of 5 starts I give it a 3 1/2 (5 being the worst)  for the violence and detail} and a few romance scenes once she is married {They were a bit more that I was used to so I give the romance part a 4 as far as intensity goes}. I was very pleasantly surprised at the end of the book to find that it was a slightly fictionalized story of the life of a famous person from our past and it surprised me to know that these things really did happen to this person. {If you do read this book then you must wait to find out the persons name or it'll ruin the surprise for you! :D}. I definitely enjoyed it and would recommend it, though girls who have not read as much romance novels in the past might want to be careful, but overall I love it. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

The Amish Midwife, Women of Lancaster County Series #1The Amish Midwife
By Mindy Starns Clark
& Leslie Gould
{Review by Bethany Ann}

Description {From Christian Book Distributors}:

A carved box with two locks of hair, the title to property in Switzerland, and a burning desire to learn about her biological family lead nurse midwife Lexie Jaeger from Oregon to Pennsylvania. There Lexie pledges to help her biological Aunt Melia, a lay midwife who has been charged with manslaughter after an Amish client and her baby die. Lexie always knew she was adopted, and when she finally meets her birth grandmother, she feels she has come home-until secrets begin to unravel.secrets that could tear her birth family apart.

Lexie learns the true meaning of the Pennsylvania Dutch word demut, which means "to let be" as she changes from a woman who wants to control everything to a woman who depends on God.

I had been interested in reading this book for a while since my  friend had told me she enjoyed it so I got it and read it very quickly! Although there are obviously a few birthing scenes, it's not as many as you would think as the main part of the story revolves around the midwife and her past. The few birthing scenes that were in the book were not at all too descriptive and very appropriate {I'd give those scenes 2 out of 5 stars as far as details and such}. Although there is a bit of romance at the ed, it is not much and I'd give the romance 3 out of 5 stars. I overall enjoyed it as it was Amish book were I learned lots of neat things about the Amish' way of life. Plus it was very interesting and suspenseful and so I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone interested a clean midwife/Amish read and for someone who enjoys interesting suspenseful stories. I give it 4 out of 5 stars!
God's HandmaidenGod's Handmaiden
By Gilbert Morriss
{Review by Bethany Ann}

Description {From Christian Book Distributors}:

In service to the noble Wingate family since her teens, Gervase Howard is now the assistant housekeeper---and smitten with the eldest son. But Davis Wingate loves another, and when he announces his engagement, Gervase accepts a position elsewhere with Florence Nightingale. Years later, an "accident" brings Gervase back to the injured Davis---and danger. 352 pages, softcover from Zondervan.

I really enjoyed this book as it had a nice Jane Eyer theme and was also involved with Florence Nightingale. The only cons I can remember reading was a bit of romance, but not a bunch, I'd give it a 2 or 3 out of 5. It was very suspenseful  and also had lots of historical things and was overall a neat story, one I enjoyed. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Note: All the above books that I have reviewed, I found through my local library. ~Bethany


The Hobbit
by J.R.R. Tolkien 
{Review by Johanna Rose}


My Overview | I was captivated by Tolkien’s fascinating tale which entailed hobbits, wizards, dwarfs, elves, dragons and many more mystical creatures.

In the mystical land of The Shire, the story begins within a hole in the ground, where therein dwells a hobbit. Although this particular little hobbit has no wish for anything to change, and abhors the thought of any kind of an adventure, it would seem that fate, or perhaps a wizard, has plans for him. The tale takes off, as the hobbit is swept into a full-fledged adventure, along with a powerful wizard, and thirteen dwarfs. The plot revolves around this small party of travelers, and the many dangers and trials which they must face. But through it all they prevail, and finally reach their journeys end; the Misty Mountains. It is here, when the story reaches its climax as the party of travelers seeks to take that life of Smaug, a bad-hearted dragon, and regain the treasure which was stolen so many years ago.

Our hero is no monarch nor is he a powerful wizard; nor is he, yet, a person of great wealth, strength or wisdom. Rather, he is a small, ordinary hobbit. Bilbo Baggins lives in a hole in the hill – “Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit hole, and that means comfort.” {Taken from ‘The Hobbit’, chapter one} Hobbits love comfort above all things, and Mr. Baggins is no exception. In truth, when first embarking upon this magical tale, readers will find that Bilbo is just a commonplace hobbit. He is happy and contented with his pleasant hole in the ground, and abhors the thought of change above all things. However, as the pages begin to turn throughout ‘The Hobbit’, winds of change are to knock at his lovely green door, leaving the mark of adventure. And very soon, Bilbo finds that he has been chosen as the ‘Lucky-Number’, that is the fourteenth addition to a small party. And together, they set out on a tremendous adventure. When first embarking upon his journey, Bilbo has strong doubts about whether he is the right one for such a large task, or whether he will even make it back to his little hole in the ground alive. However, as the story draws on, Bilbo finds that he has more courage and skill then he has ever dreamed of, and discovers that even a little hobbit can make a difference in the world. As the plot draws on, readers will find that Bilbo is a wonderfully Round character, in that there is much more to discover about this little hobbit then what is observed upon first sight.

Pros | While the adventures portrayed in this story are surely mere fantasy, I could easily gather that there are undertone morals which Tolkien masterfully portrays, such as: conquering fear, working together, learning to trust, and overcoming greed. As the story draws to an end, I could deduce that Tolkien was also alluding to how in order to profess goodness within our lives, we must first destroy the evil which abides around and within us. It is an inspiring implication, which left me with a refreshed sense of goodness and victory against evil forces.

Cons | This is a tale that revolves around magical adventures. Thus, much magic is what the plot revolves arround. Yet, Tolkien abstains from the portrayal of dark magic. 

My Overall Thoughts | I absolutely loved it! Now one of my favorite books.

My Rating :: |five out of five stars|

Shane 
by Jack Schaefer
{Review by Johanna Rose}


My Overview | "Call me Shane." Swiftly and silently a lone rider gallops along the horizon. Although the afternoon sun glimmers intensely, this anxious outsider brings a penetrating chill. A distinct sense of change lingers in the tranquil breeze, as this man advances toward the farm of the Starrett’s. Beneath his calm and pensive visage, the blue eyes pierced the air with a troubled gaze. Anxiously, they search the surrounding sights, while his slim figure stood erect, with an unmovable tension. He was, “Mysterious. But more than that. Dangerous."

In the year 1949, Jack Schaefer’s first novel, Shane, was published. Although Schaefer was a man who never traversed the West, Shane quickly became known as one of the best Western novels of all time, and one of the most popular books of the 20th century. The author masterfully employs suspense and mystery to generate apprehension in the minds of his readers by combining a mysterious character and a dangerous plot.

While Shane seems to be both gentle and honorable, beneath his gentleness lies a troubled conscience. His past is unknown: “He would never speak of it, not in any way at all. Even his name remained mysterious. Just Shane. Nothing Else.” As the story advances, the author expertly captures the curiosity of readers when he reveals that, “Shane carried no gun.” Later, however, Shane is provoked to pick up this dangerous tool, and displays astonishing gunman skill: “Belt and holster and gun… These were not things he was wearing or carrying. They were part of him, part of the man, of the full sum of the integrate force that was Shane” As the author continues to develop Shane’s character, readers feel increasingly anxious as Shane’s secretive past surfaces.

Moreover, the treacherous plot heightens suspense. Joe Starrett lives on a homestead farm with his wife and son. They have poured their entire life into their property, but now they face a bleak predicament. Mr. Fletcher, a greedy landowner, forcefully gives the ranchers an ultimatum: move out or else. Anxiety and suspense build as the reader realizes that this man cares not if his maneuvers cost others their livelihood, their home, or even their life.

Finally, Shane exposes his violent nature to defend his friends from certain death. And one evening, he decides to take matters into his own hands, “Father was looking fixedly at him, ‘No, Shane. It won’t do. Even your thinking of it is the finest thing any man ever did for me. But I won’t let you. It’s my stand. Fletcher’s making his play against me … It’s my business.’ ‘There is where you’re wrong, Joe,’ Shane said gently. ‘This is my business. My kind of business.’” The anticipation of the final duel brings readers to a height of apprehension and suspense, initiating thrilling sensations as to how the tale will end.

| note all excerpts taken from Shane by Jack Schaefer |

Pros | This is an amazing book which quickly captured my full attention. It is the story of Shane, a man who has a mysterious yet obviously horrible past -- he is a killer. Yet, I loved how his character was that of a man trying to change. Shane uses self control in choosing not to act hastily. That is, until he is forced too. He has a gentle, and quite nature. Yet there is more. Behind his gentleness lies a deadly nature. 

Cons | There is nothing absolutely negative in this book. However I will say that there are a few 'bar' scenes, one of which made me wince out loud because of the description given. It wasn't graphic, yet the way Schaefer describes the incident does make the scene ... shall we say ... come to life. 

My Overall Thoughts | Throughout this remarkable story, I was quickly captivated by the way Schaefer keeps Shane in a shadow of mystery. He creates intrigue by revealing small details about this secretive man, and by developing a thrilling plot. This is truly a story full of intensifying suspense, and elusive mystery, resulting in an astounding Western. I absolutely loved it.

My Rating :: |five out of five stars|

Monday, October 17, 2011

Encouraging Others Through Letter Writing

I just love it when I receive a letter, don't you?! The joy of receiving a handwritten letter from a dear friend is so exciting! But doesn't it make the letter all the more special when you are encouraged and strengthen in you faith by that letter?

I have often received such letters, for which I am very grateful. The beauty of encouraging others in their faith through uplifting words and advice is so unique and this world is deeply lacking young ladies who are thinking of a bigger purpose in letter writing than just to getting to know others.

Sometimes when I write a reply to letters I forget just how important it is to encourage other girls to grow in Christ, especially younger girls! There are days were I will get a letter in the mail from a dear friend, and though I am happy to receive it, sometimes I forget, and take for granted the fact that I can write letters for the glory of God and for the encouragement of others. There are times when I have written letters that had no spiritual encouragement at all...now as I look back, this is very sad that I did not use that letter to the glory of Jesus Christ! I could have used all those letters to glorify God and encourage others, but instead filled the letter with things that only interested me. I have been deeply encouraged and my faith has strengthened, thanks to the encouragement of godly pen-pals. I am so blessed to be able to write to other girls around the world and must remember to use that for the Lord's glory and their encouragement!

We need to use these opportunities to the best of our ability, girls! When you get a letter in the mail, consider it a opportunity to encourage others and to strengthen them in their faith! Consider it a joy, dear sisters, to be able to encourage others, both physically and spiritually!!! Think of ideas for ways you can encourage your pen-pal in the Lord. One thing I thought of recently is to write on the back of the envelope "Have you spent time with Jesus today? If not then please do so before opening me!" this way you are encouraging your friend to spend quality time with the Lord! Another neat way to encourage sisters in the Lord is to use LOTS of Scripture in your letters! :D Also, write back and forth about what the Lord has been teaching you as well as were you've been reading from in your Bible or what verses are memorizing and why there special to you. Also, remember to ask for any specific prayer request your friend might have. This was you can encourage her through prayer!

Can you remember the last letter you wrote? What filled most of the page's? Was it something that will encourage the young lady that received it? Did you include Scripture in that letter? What did you write about? Did the letter overall glorify God and encourage your friend? Have you ever thought about how since you are already paying money in postage to mail the letter; doesn't it make since to make the most of that money you spent on the postage and write it to the best of your ability to encourage others? If you don't use the letter for God's glory, or to encourage the young lady whom you were writing, then of what profit will the letter be? Of what eternal value does it hold?

Below are some pointers that I've found to be helpful when writing letters.

Favim.com-1926_large• Start your letter with a nice greeting such as "Greeting in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ! I pray that your day is full of joy and that you are delighting in our Savior this day!"
• When writing a letter back, look through the letter you received and take note of any questions your friend wrote that you should answer back. Now you can ask her your questions!

• When writing always be sure and use your best handwriting and spell everything correctly. Sometimes it helps to have a dictionary close by in case if you need to double check on how a word is spelled.

• Remember to be descriptive! Instead of writing "Today we planted our garden" write “Today we started the endeavor of growing our own food. We planed cucumbers, tomatoes, cantaloupe, squash and strawberries. I love gardening because its a great opportunity to _________" It always is more enjoyable to know details!

• To add a nice touch to your letter have a sweet closing such as "Always remember that Jesus loves you and that you are his very own precious jewel! Remember to sparkle brightly for Him!" or "May the Lord fill the remainder of your day with sunshine and blessing! I'm praying for you and I'm so glad that were friends!"

• Use pretty stationary! The Kings Blooming Rose has a lovely selection of stationary’s that have Scripture on them HERE {when visiting this link scroll down until you see the stationary sets}.

• When purchasing stamps, get the pretty ones! I've found rose stamps and well as ones with flowers and such designs.

• Remember when writing longer letters or those with heavier or thicker "goodies" take it by the post office and make sure you have enough postage or add another stamp to make sure it will get to your friends mailbox!

Here are some ideas for making your next letter you send to be a memorable one by adding little goodies!

• Add lavender petals, one friend sent some lavender seeds along with her letter and it smelled so good when opened! A hair pin or pony tail

• A homemade bookmark

• If your friend likes to cross stitch then send some embroidery floss

• A tea bag, lemonade packet or a hot cocoa mix in the winter

• A index card with a Scripture verse, decorate it with scrap booking paper and stickers

• Stationary or stickers

• A homemade necklace or bracelet

• Flower, vegetable, etc seeds during the planting season
• A stick of gum

• Pictures of you and your family

May you be blessed and bless others as you take this "ministry" opportunity to write encouraging letters to others!
Blessings,
Bethany Ann

Friday, October 14, 2011

Home Is Where The Heart Is

Today for our Home Is Were The Heart Is post, we diecided to share with you some neat homemade soap recipe links! Please enjoy! ~Bethany Ann & Johanna Rose

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Monthly Interview :: With Miss Olivia


Miss Olivia

Royal Daughters of the King :: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? How did you come to know Jesus?

Miss Olivia :: Hello sisters in Christ!  First, I want you to know how thankful, honored and blessed I am to be asked to do an interview on Royal Daughters of the King blog!  But, I feel unworthy to do this interview, as I am far from being the young lady God wants me to be, but I pray that this will be a blessing and an encouragement to you all.

  My name is Olivia Fontes, and I am 16 years old.  I live in beautiful Southern California with my wonderful parents and siblings.  My Dad is a Commercial Real Estate Appraiser and a Commercial Broker, and my Mom is a homemaker.  I am the oldest of four children.  I teach piano (The Olivia Fontes Piano Studio) and have been publishing a children's magazine for 4 1/2 years.  I am a CNHP, Certified Natural Health Professional, along with my Mom, and we will be taking classes early next year to become Loomis Digestive Health Specialists, LDHS.  My desire is to be a wife and mom. I also have a love for natural remedies, and pray that someday I may have the opportunity to serve my family as well as others in being learned and skilled in this area.

Miss Olivia with her Mom and Daddy
When I was a very young girl, my Mom read to me (with some parts omitted), the Little House on the Prairie Series by Laura Ingalls.  Mary talked about being a Christian, and I told my Mom that I wanted to be a Christian too.  We prayed together, and whether or not that's genuinely when I became a Christian or not, I don't know.  Despite my parents diligent training, I had a very strong will and was disobedient many times.  I was unloving and unkind to my sister.  Between 9-11 years old, I "didn't have peace".  God was working on my heart and revealing my sin to me.  I became a genuine Christian about 12 years old.  He continues to change me into the image of Christ!  I am so thankful for the cleansing blood of Jesus!  When I was 14, I was baptized by my Dad on Easter Sunday!

Okay, some more about me...  Personality...I am very bubbly, energetic, very impressionable, fun loving and somewhat prank loving.  I get lots of great ideas in my head, I am a daydreamer, I love to laugh and smile, and at times will go off on a whim!  :)  One word to describe me is a word in Romanian or German, and it's the word "√Član".  Look it up!  It means "with youthful enthusiasm, bubbly".  ...Things I like to do are read my Bible, go to church, write letters, daydream, sleep, eat pizza and ice cream, read, do my magazine (Joy Children's magazine), sing, act out scenes from a book/movie, teach and play piano, piano competitions, work on speech and Apologetics, digital video editing, watch home videos and a few selected movies, visit with friends, email, learn about health.  I have some difficulty with cooking and baking, I'm not athletic, nor good at swimming.

Royal Daughters of the King :: Being the oldest, how are some of the ways you encourage your younger siblings in the Lord?

Miss Olivia's little Brother, Sammy
Miss Olivia :: Well...I try to be a good example to them.  One of the ways I do this is by respectfully answering and obeying my parents.  I encourage them to do the same.  I readily admit my wrong doing and ask for forgiveness of any sin I may commit.  My Mother taught me to dress modestly and to guard our eyes; in turn, I help her to train my younger sisters and brother to do that.

Royal Daughters of the King :: What are a few ways you help your mother around the home?

Miss Olivia :: Oh, no!!! I need to work on this!!!  Well, I do have daily kitchen duties and wash my own laundry.  There are times when my mother has me do specific things.  I need to be more diligent with my time so I can be more available to help.

Royal Daughters of the King :: How do you attain keeping your heart pure and focused on the Lord?

Miss Olivia :: I just got my purity ring from my Dad for my 16th birthday.  He, as well as the Lord, has my heart and I am under his authority.  I've been working on this lately.  I  pray, read the Bible, think of good thoughts (Phil. 4:8), meditate on godly character, and look at godly, encouraging blogs.  :)  I also read devotional books like A Young Woman After God's Own Heart by Elizabeth George.  I want to be a Proverbs 31 woman.  Knowing that man's primary purpose is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever, helps keep my focus on the Lord.

Royal Daughters of the King :: Have you ever felt the hand of the Lord upon your life? In what way?

Miss Olivia :: Well, God saved me!  Also, when I was was two, I punctured my eardrum.  The surgeon put a patch on my eardrum. Two weeks later, at a check up for my eardrum, the doctor looked in both ears and said, " Which ear was it?"!  The Lord had healed me, and the doctor couldn't tell which ear it was that had the eardrum punctured!

Miss Olivia's Sister, Emma
Royal Daughters of the King :: What are some of the guidelines you look to when pursuing worthy friendships?

Miss Olivia :: God and my parent's guidelines, and the following quote from A Young Woman After God's Own Heart by Elizabeth George.  "There seems to be three kinds of people in life--those who pull you down, those who pull you along and those who pull you up. Based on these three kinds of people, I strongly believe that your best friends should be Christians.  ...Your best friends should be strong, like minded Christians who help you think your best thoughts, do your noblest deed, and be your finest self."


Royal Daughters of the King :: What is your life scripture passage and why?

Miss Olivia :: I don't really have a life scripture verse, but, dear ladies, I will share one of my favorite verses with you.

 Let no one despise your youth, 
but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, 
in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 
| 1 Timothy 4:12 |

This is one of my favorite verses because it is so encouraging especially to young people, like me.  Also, just because we are young, doesn't mean that God does not have high expectations!

Royal Daughters of the King :: What are a few of your most enjoyable pass-times?

Miss Olivia :: Besides what I already mentioned in the first question, I like vacations!

Royal Daughters of the King :: Is there anything you would share with us in closing?

Miss Olivia's lil' Sister
Miss Olivia :: I want to challenge myself and you dear ladies to live a full life glorifying and honoring to our Lord!  Also, I want to challenge us to grow closer to the Lord, to read His Word faithfully, trust in Him, and be a blessing to all.  I hope and pray that you have been blessed by this interview.  Thank you Bethany and Johanna for this wonderful opportunity to be interviewed!  Keep following Christ!
-Olivia Joy Fontes