Song of Redemption

Song of Redemption is the second book in the King series written by Lynn Austen. Like the first book in the series, I couldn’t put this book down and I will be starting the third book SOON. I love this book series! This book is all about the reign of Hezekiah, how he brought the tribe of Judah back to God…or at least tried to bring Judah back to God, and how the Assyrians marched against nations including Israel.

Three quotes that struck home with me in this book were:

  1. from page 26: “But how do I prepare for something like that?….You pray and you allow the Lord to be your strength. Remember – the Lord doesn’t GIVE you strength, Hezekiah. He IS your strength.” (emphasis mine)
  2. from page 108: “Unless you make up your mind to trust Him, you’ll never know that Yahweh is faithful.”
  3. from page 230: “Why don’t you stop feeling sorry for yourself and start trusting in God?”

I’m sure I will purchase (I’ve borrowed this series from my mom) and read this book again years from now and I will glean different nuggets of truth as I will be in a different place and have a different perspective at that time.


Lee Daniels’ The Butler

The Butler (2013) – I watched this movie yesterday with a friend. I wasn’t sure about it but it looked interesting so I’ve been wanting to see it. I’m glad I did. It was really good. It was a great reminder of where we have been as a nation and how far we’ve come. It’s hard to believe that the beginning of this movie was dated only a little over 50 years ago. A lot has changed in that short amount of time. This movie is a good reminder to keep us vigilant and keep these things from happening again. I would give this movie 4 stars and I would watch it again.

Gods and Kings

Gods and Kings by Lynn Austen was AMAZING!!! My mom read this entire series and told me for almost two years that it was really good and I needed to read it. I didn’t. I had a whole list of books I already wanted to read and didn’t really want to add anymore to my list until I had read some off my list. Last week, I sucked it up and started reading Gods and Kings. I am so glad I did.

This book is based on I Kings in the Bible and starts with Ahaz and his reign as King of Judah and ends with his son Hezekiah taking the throne. It also tells about Ahaz’s father and grandfather as well in flashbacks by Hezekiah’s maternal grandfather, Zechariah. It was a VERY interesting and easy read. I finished the entire 300+ pages in three or four days. It talks about Israel and how they turned from God to idolatry. It shows the consequences for turning to idols and it also shows God’s love for His people and reminds Israel of all He brought them out of and how He took care of them throughtout the years.

I have to admit reading the books of I and II Kings in the Bible is something I haven’t done. At least I haven’t read them all the way through. I’ve read some of the other books in the Bible but  I don’t think I’ve read through the two books of the Kings. Reading Gods and Kings has changed my mind on that and I will be reading both I and II Kings as soon as I finish reading this series of five books.

While reading this book, I felt as though I were having a “quiet time” with God the entire time. If this book were mine, I would have highlighted or underlined portions. Being that it wasn’t, I took a few notes and wrote quotes from the book into a notebook. Here are two of the quotes I wrote down that really touched me:

  1. “Yahweh doesn’t owe us an explanation for what He does. He’s sovereign over all….I don’t need to know why anymore.”
  2. “Belief in Yahweh doesn’t come with your mind….It comes with your heart. When you only believe in things you can see with your eyes and touch with your hands, it is idolatry….there’s no difference in God’s eyes. It’s all idolatry.”

This book really struck a chord with me and I’ve already started on the second book in the series which begins with Hezekiah’s reign. I might purchase a copy of this series so I can read it again and mark the books as I go. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did.

Alice Upside Down

Alice Upside Down (2007) – I watched this movie for 26 minutes and turned it off. It was predictable, but even after almost half an hour, the story really didn’t take off. One of these days I may turn it back on and try again but for now I guess I just wasn’t in the mood. What I watched so far was a girl whose mom passed away when she was very little being raised by her dad and older brother. She tends to wear boys clothes and day dreams…a LOT. She envisions her life a certain way but it never seems to work out. For now, I’d give this movie a 2. It was slow and I didn’t get very far into it so I can’t say that I liked it, but I didn’t hate it. I just wasn’t in the mood.

Rise of the Guardians

Rise of the Guardians (2012) – I LOVED this movie. I now OWN this movie! I’ve seen it at least twice (but only once this year). I gave it 5 stars. It has a great story line plus lots of humor. I LOVE when the Easter Bunny voiced by Hugh Jackman calls a little girl an “ankle biter” in his Australian accent…TWICE! Melts me EVERY time! This is a story about accepting yourself and finding your purpose…finding what’s at your heart. What’s not to like about this movie when it has Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, the Sandman, the Easter Bunny, and Jack Frost all with their own personalities all helping each other keep faith alive in the children of the world.


Battleship (2012) – I LOVE this movie and I now own it. I watch it every time it comes on TV and now I can watch it any time I want. I give this movie 4.5 stars only because it is a bit cheesy at times. It has GREAT special effects and fight sequences. It has a message about not giving up and doing what you can. It tells a story of a guy who is nothing but a screw up and how he finds the love of his life and steps up to the plate when he is needed to become the leader of a battleship being attacked by aliens. I love how it brings WWII vets into the storyline and honors them as well as asking for their help. If you are remotely patriotic I think you will enjoy this movie. I also love how they bring a small portion of the game into the movie…but you’ll have to see it, I won’t tell it here. =)

47 Ronin

47 Ronin (2013) – What an AWESOME movie! Some people dislike Keanu Reeves but I have no issues with him. He seems to fit every role he takes and this movie is no exception. What an amazing story! Keanu plays a boy that was on his own then brought to live with Samurai but he was never part of the Samurai and wasn’t trusted or included by anyone except the leader and his daughter. This movie shows how he won his place among the Samurai and how they all became Ronin (meaning “without a master”). I gave it 4.5 stars and will definitely own it when it comes out on Blu-Ray. ( I used this as my “f” letter in my A-Z movies)

Grown Ups 2

Grown Ups 2 (2013) – I gave this movie 4 stars. It was a funny movie. I liked it just as much as the first movie. It showed the men once they all moved back into town and it had them catching up with old friends and old frenemies. I would probably watch this movie again. It had some good story lines and some very good lessons. Taylor Lautner plays a role in this movie but I didn’t see him listed on IMDb for this movie at all which surprised me. Not sure this would be a good movie for preteens to watch which could be why they left TL off the list but I will never know for sure. Just checked again, and he IS listed as “other” and “non- credited”. Interesting.  (for my A-Z movies, this was my letter “g”)

Takedown Twenty

Last week, I finished reading Takedown Twenty by Janet Evanovich. Again, she is one of my favorite authors because she brings humor to her writing. There were times while reading this book that I laughed out loud and there were times that I had to read portions to my husband and he laughed with me. I have read all twenty books in this series which follows Stephanie Plum. She gets into a LOT of trouble, can’t keep a car to save her life (seriously she has had dump trucks fall on a car, cars exploded by bombs, cars shot at, and so much more), and her relationships with Lula, Ranger, and Morelli are enough fodder to keep this series going for a LONG time. I really want to know which man she chooses between the two and Grandma Mazur is a hoot and a half. I will forever love this series for light easy reading and a laugh…every time!