Saturday, June 21, 2008

Oracles of Fire Book # 3- Last of the Nephilim by Bryan Davis

It’s no secret. Ask my family—I’ve been on pins and needles waiting for "Last of the Nephilim" to come out. It was a tortuous wait, but I wasn’t disappointed.

As I curled up on the couch and opened the crisp new pages, the world went away. I was swept into a land of ancient legend, history, fantasy, biblical truth, and adventure—all in one deliciously captivating book! As I immersed myself in the story, I was reminded of how much I love this new series, "Oracles of Fire." Mr. Davis has once again proven himself a superb writer and storyteller. I read far into the night, devouring page after page, not wanting to put it down. I had to discover what would happen to all the characters from the previous books (Yes, Bonnie and Billy return!).

Basically, the world is in jeopardy. Mardon (the son of King Nimrod) has found a way to join Earth and Hades and has also raised up an army of Nephilim. Second Eden is in trouble, as evil has entered. Every person there is in peril, as well as those on earth. Who can defeat them? Our familiar heroes! All the former dragons and their children are called to battle these ancient adversaries, once and for all.

I honestly cannot do this book (or this series) justice in one simple review (I'm not much of a "book reviewer"), but I can tell you this, don't let this one slip by. Not only is it worth your time, but it's absolutely worth your money. And not only will you walk away eagerly looking forward to book #4 ("Bones of Makaidos") but you will also find your faith invigorated, as you recall to mind that God can do amazing things through ordinary people—just like you and me.

Often, I avoid hardship, praying God will give me a path without pain or trials. But this book reminded me that God uses all things for our good and His glory; and that when Jesus calls me to do something, He will also give me the strength to accomplish it (Philippians 4:13).

I pray that along with enjoying a fascinating, well-written story, you will embrace this simple truth: God will equip you to accomplish whatever He calls you to do; and though your strength may fail, His never will.

You can buy "Last of the Nephilim" HERE.
You can read about the "Dragons In Our Midst" series HERE.
You can read about the "Oracles of Fire" series HERE.
You can buy all the books (and audio books) HERE.

June Hymn Sing/Fathers Day/Christa and Josh's Visit :-)

Hey Y'all!

So I thought I'd share a few photos from the Hymn Sing we have every month at the Degenhart's home (well, half of the hymn sing anyway, the other half meet at the Evans'). And also I added a few photos of Christa and Joshua's visit and our Father's Day celebration on Sunday evening! Enjoy!

In Christ Alone, Jessica

P.S. A Book review post coming soon!!!

Father's Day/Christa and Josh's Visit

This is a photo I took of my adorable nephew. Not only is he adorable, but he's sweet and well mannered as well! :-) Plus he's cuddly, which is absolutely a bonus! *happy sigh* I do so love babies!!!!

Melissa and Christa get a quick photo at work in the kitchen!

(For some reason the below photos turned out small and I can't get them bigger. Ah well. )

The cutest three year old of all time! :-D William holds up the card us kids bought Dad for Father's Day. It was hilarious, it played "Hail To the Chief" when you opened it! Too fun! We were going to get an Indiana Jones one that said something like this: "Outside: Dad you always manage to get us out of tight situations...Inside: (Indiana Jones theme plays) And you even do your own stunts!" But we didn't. :-D I thought it was pretty neat, though. :-D

Dad and Virginia Grace. (Dad got that hat for father's day. Isn't it cool? Gotta love hats in the McDonald family! *grin*)

William displays his smashing black eye. I told him he was a "black eyed pea" and he looked at me funny and said "No I'm not!" :-D Then I told him his black eye was cute and he said "No. It's like a bad guy." lol! He's so cute, he never ceases to brighten my day, that's for sure!
By the way, he got the black eye by accidental being run into with a bus by another child. :-)

Hymn Sing

All the girls at the Hymn Sing "Oo" and "Aa" over Joshua. :-)

The latest addition to the family! :-)

Susanna and I with Joshua, watching everyone set up. (supervising, really.) :-D

The chairs. Tiff's art. :-)

Peter and William look out across the think anyway. :-D

Caleb and Joshua! :-)

Mom says: "What did you say about my sunglasses??" :-D

Gabriel Degenhart did such a good job!! He got up and quoted the Shorter Catechism, question and answers 1-10 all by himself!!

And to close I've included a photo of Geneva Degenhart and Joshua Blanchard. Somehow, they don't look pleased with the situation. Ah well! :-D But aren't they adorable anyway?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Two Special Events in Two Special Days...

I have the most wonderful father in the world. No, he isn't perfect. And no, he hasn't marched into battle like William Wallace. He hasn't won a debate in the House of Commons like William Wilberforce and he’s never run for president. He hasn't even sailed the seven seas like Captain Jack Aubrey. But he has done something far greater. My father has raised a family (and still is!). He's trained his children. He's loved and cared for us. He's raised us in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. And that, in my mind, takes far greater courage than going into battle or braving any ocean.

My father knows that he can change the world, not by doing any of the “great” things that I mentioned, but by raising children for the glory of God. By changing the world, one family at a time.

My father has given up much for us and given much to us. He even has his own "Dad" quote - "Sharp's the word and quick's the action!" Perhaps not highly original, but hey, it works!

He makes us laugh when he sings those old songs he used to listen to. He helps us to love the Lord and instructs us in righteousness. He comforts us when we are sad or afraid.

I thank the Lord for giving me a father that loves and cares for me. I know there are fathers out there who have abandoned their children; and fathers who care nothing about their families. I pray those who have been forsaken remember that God is a father to the fatherless – and He will never leave us nor forsake us. There are also those whose fathers have gone to be with the Lord, and perhaps feel lonely this Fathers Day. I pray these friends have a happy Father's Day too, knowing their father is rejoicing in the presence of our Heavenly Father.

Let us remember to be thankful for our Heavenly Father – the one Who gave us our precious fathers to begin with!

I wish all fathers everywhere a Happy Father's Day today, and especially to my own father. Happy (belated) Father's Day, Dad!

Dad and Mom pose in front of the hot springs at Yellowstone National Park

Dad and I!

Dad and Caleb sporting new glasses!

Melissa and Dad at Mimi and Papa's house for Easter.

Dad and Caleb swimming at Adventure Bay in Houston.

Dad and I with Caleb.


But not only was it Fathers Day yesterday, but today is Abigail's birthday!

I can't believe that my little sister is already 10 years old. It makes me remember back to the days when I was 10, how I thought, and how I behaved...*sigh*
I remember when Abigail entered the world. She was so beautiful with her big eyes and long lashes, but not only that, she seemed to take in everything that went on around her. She would sit quietly and just watch everyone. She’ll always be my baby sister, although she's nearly a young lady.

Happy 10th Birthday, Abigail! I love you more than you'll ever know.

Dad and Abigail!

Abigail at Church on Easter Sunday.

Abigail and Grace running through the Texas Bluebonnets (and a few Indian Paintbrushes, scattered in there...)

Caleb and Abigail.

Abigail sporting her pacifier as we travel to Idaho in 2001.

Abigail and her big brother, James.

Abigail dances at her first ball.

Abigail on Saturday night as we celebrated her birthday with some friends. I think she really liked that new hat she got. :-)

P.S. Pictures from Christa and Joshua's visit are coming soon!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Random Photo

Josiah, Sierra and Lenna Candler along with Melissa, Caleb and I enjoying the best
Ice Cream in the South (or in the world, for that matter)- Blue Bell.


And I read the nuttiest thing in WORLD magazine today. Get this:

"Seeking some sort-any sort-of notoriety, a pair of San Francisco men possibly shook their way into Guinness World Records after Completing a marathon handshake 30 minutes longer than the previous record.
Kevin Whittaker and Cory Jens shook hands for nine and a half hours May 26 after flipping through the record book and searching for something they could best. Guinness only requires the two partners to clasp hands and move them up and down to fulfill the requirements of a handshake.
"I looked up what some of the weakest records were," Whittaker said. "I'm not going to break the 100-meter dash record, but I thought I could break this record."

Strange. *shakes head* The things people do nowadays...*goes to look and see what record I can break* :-)

God bless your week!!

In Christ Alone, Jessica

P.S. And THIS video (the second one) on Emil's blog made me laugh so hard!!!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

We're home!

Hello Y'all!

Well, here we are, home from our week trip through Tennessee and Arkansas! It was quite exciting to hit the road again (which we haven't seem to have done in a while...) and get another taste of conference traveling! :-D Here's a few photos of our week. Enjoy!

In Christ Alone,


P.S. Hope you don't mind, but they didn't end up loading in order. :-)

P.S.S. For whoever might be interested...THE NEW "ORACLES OF FIRE" BOOK 3 IS OUT!!!! :-D I'm THRILLED TO PIECES and I just wanted to make sure everyone knows, so that y'all can go buy the series for yourself and see why I'm so nuts about these books!!! :-) Here's the link to Mr. Davis' website: Dragons In Our Midst Believe me, you won't be disappointed!

And now for the pictures...

The Greene family invited us up to a cabin they rented for the conference on top of Mt. Nebo. The view outside their backyard was absolutely gorgeous! What an incredible example of God's handiwork!!
But the trip UP and DOWN the mountain was utterly terrifying! I can't even explain how the turns were, but I can say this, it was an 18% grade and the turns were shaped like V's going up! Yikes! But Indy got us up (our dear old faithful van we kindly named "Indefatigable".)!

"Liz On Top of the World"
(you 2005 Pride and Prejudice watchers should get this one...*grin*)

Caleb and a friend he met, Joshua W. It's funny because we discovered that Caleb and Joshua were born on the exact same day and year. And what's more is they have the names of the two spies in the Bible...Joshua and Caleb! :-D

Melissa and I on top of the world! :-)

Family Photo on top of Mt. Nebo!!! The view was stunning!

Tiff, William and I enjoying the hammock on the Greene's porch!

Tiff...."waitin' for m'deary..."
(sorry, I couldn't resist...*grin*)

Some of the "McD Kids" at the hotel we stayed at in Arkansas for one night.

Another one (except this time with Tiff in it.)

Hey! I didn't know that Colton Evans owned a restaurant! And a grill no less! Why didn't he tell us before? (Okay, I admit that's really cheesy, but I couldn't help myself. *grin*)

We encountered some incredibly scarily bad weather on our way to Pottsville, Arkansas. But we thankfully arrived safe and sound!

The little girls enjoyed meeting some new friends!

Dad speaking at his first session in Arkansas.

Rachel Draper, Mrs. Stouffer and Mom (the Patriarch's Wives) on Sunday afternoon, right before we left.

Isn't he adorable? This is Allen Draper. :-)

Mr. and Mrs. B.

We finally decided what to play! "Apples to Apples", of course. :-) It was quite fun and I had a lovely time. Hey, and it even inspired us to buy the game ourselves at Walmart two days later. :-)

My wonderful Father and Mother at the Lovett's house.

I managed to convince everyone that we needed to get a group photo and to my utter joy they obliged!! So here's the group we had for Saturday night's dinner!

T.J. and Rachel Draper

Dad and Mrs. B. enjoying fellowship at the Lovett's home.

Camille S., Laura B., Grace and Abigail.

Laura B. and Virginia Grace.

Here I am along with some of the other "young people" at the Lovett's house, trying to decide what to play, I believe. Sound familiar? :-)

William in his cowboy boots.

You wonder if they had fun? I think so. :-)

Abigail really enjoyed the Stouffer's kittens!

Mr. and Mrs. Lingo

Our van (and trailer) in Tennessee.

Dad unhitching the trailer in Tennessee!

I had to add this photo. Doesn't it just LOOK like the cover to a romance novel? Those yearning blue eyes and faded person (of the opposite gender) in the back ground (same yearning look)? Cracked me up... :-D

Melissa and I were ready to leave the house at 5:00am. :-) As you see, we're quite alone. :-) (actually, Caleb did come out to take out photo for us...)