Living not striving…

Random thoughts and daily adventures in my life

Wisdom Hunter October 28, 2009

Filed under: Book reviews — erikaivory @ 2:20 am
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I have two more books to share with you today.  I was very hesitant to take part in this book blog tour because one book, Shadow Government by Grant Jeffrey,  seemed so far out of my normal reading style, however…the other book that was offered with it is amazing.  I read the book Wisdom Hunter by Randall Arthur almost 10 years ago and Mark read it as well and it truly changed our perspective on church in general.  The book follows the journey of a pastor Jason Faircloth as he experiences incredible difficulty within his family that leads him to a crisis of belief and a hunt all over the globe for his granddaughter.  This book examines legalism and traditions within the church.

It caused Mark and I to wrestle through some incredibly hard issues regarding why we believe certain things and why we practice certain traditions.  It was tremendous in our growth ten years ago and it has been great revisiting it.  It is action packed and full of adventure, drama but also draws the reader into great personal reflection.  Mark actually had the chance to meet the author years ago and that meant a lot to him.  I would recommend any believer to read this book.  It is a quick read because you don’t want to put it down, but it keeps you thinking long after you are done.  It would also be a great read for someone skeptical about the church and a relationship with the Lord.  I truly cannot say enough good about it.

Now Shadow Government on the other hand… it truly may be a great book but I have not been able to get through the 2nd chapter.  It is so full of details and history regarding past and present political events and how the government is tracking us.  I just don’t care.  Call me awful, but I don’t.  I have many things that I am concerned with and aim to hopefully make a difference in the world around me but I just can’t wrap my mind around what the book is talking about.  So there you have it.  I can think of a few people, history buffs, government groupies that may LOVE this book.  If you want it email me and later than sooner I will get it to you:)

Check out more details on the books and the authors below.  You can purchase the books online here:

These Books were provided for review purposes by Random House and Water Brook Multnomah publishers.

Book: Shadow Government

Author: Grant Jeffrey


Security cameras, surveillance of private financial transactions, radio frequency spy chips hidden in consumer products, eavesdropping on e-mail correspondence and phone calls, and Internet tracking. No one is protected, and privacy is a thing of the past.

An ultra-secret global elite, functioning as a very real shadow government, controls technology, finance, international law, world trade, political power, and vast military capabilities. These unnamed, unrivaled leaders answer to no earthly authority, and they won’t stop until they control the world.

In Shadow Government, prophecy expert Grant Jeffrey removes the screen that, up to now, has hidden the work of these diabolical agents. Jeffrey reveals the biblical description of Satan’s global conquest and identifies the tools of technology that the Antichrist will use to rule the world.

Readers will have their eyes opened to the real power that is working behind the scenes to destroy America and merge it into the coming global government. Armed with this knowledge, readers will be equipped to face spiritual darkness with the light of prophetic truth.

Cover art:

Author Bio:

Grant R. Jeffrey is the internationally known prophecy researcher, Mideast expert, and author of Countdown to the Apocalypse, The New Temple and the Second Coming, The Next World War, and twenty other best-selling books. He is also the editor of the Prophecy Study Bible. His popular television program, Bible Prophecy Revealed, airs weekly on TBN. Jeffrey earned his master’s and PhD degrees from Louisiana Baptist University. He and his wife, Kaye, live in Toronto.

Book: Wisdom Hunter

Author: Randall Arthur

Dates: October 26th-30th


Pastor Jason Faircloth knows what he believes. His clear faith, in fact, is why he is one of the most prominent pastors in Atlanta. He relies on it to discipline his daughter, his wife, his church. He prays daily that others would come to see God’s ways as he does.

And it is about to cost him everything.

Groping for answers in the face of tragedy, Jason begins a search for the only family he has left: the granddaughter kept hidden from him. Soon he finds himself on an international adventure that will take him straight into the depths of his soul. He is determined not to fail again.

A fast-paced suspense novel rich in spiritual depth, Wisdom Hunter explores what it means to break free of Christian legalism—and discover why grace can mean the difference between life and death.

Cover art:

Author Bio:

Randall Arthur is the bestselling author of Jordan’s Crossing and Brotherhood of Betrayal. He and his wife have served as missionaries to Europe for over thirty years. From 1976 till 1998, he lived in Norway and Germany as a church planter. Since 2000, he has taken numerous missions teams from the United States on trips all over Europe. Arthur is also the founder of the AOK (Acts of Kindness) Bikers’ Fellowship, a group of men who enjoy the sport of motorcycling. He and his family live in Atlanta, Georgia.


Island Express October 25, 2009

Filed under: Random stuff — erikaivory @ 3:08 am
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I am not ashamed to say that on this blog recently I am a thief:)  I am stealing what I read and what touches me to share with you …and be honest, you like it!

A few summers in college I was part of a super fun and amazing team of summer missionaries called Island Express.  We spent 10 weeks on Hilton Head Island (I know, poor kids:) sharing Jesus with tourists and locals in a myriad of ways.  Some weeks we were counselors at a children’s daycamp, we taught sessions at a teen missions camp, we performed interpretive movement and vaudeville routines in the harbors on the Island and then would go into the crowd to witness to those watching, we visited lifeguards weekly bringing them cold drinks during the day and then hosting a barbecue once a week to establish relationships and invite them to attend a Bible study with us, we manned and performed at a Christian coffeehouse right on the beach during the weekends, the list goes on and on.  In the midst of tremendous busyness though we grew in the Lord, had a BLAST and formed some amazing lifelong friendships.  I was blessed to meet some truly incredible Christian young people from all over the country.

Well one of them is Amy Liddle and I have reconnected with her recently through Facebook and following her blog.  She recently gave birth to her fourth little one and she shares about True Love.  Isn’t it neat to see how God grows and develops people through the years?  When I new Amy we were both so young and fresh.  She was amazing then but I LOVE seeing her maturity and wisdom and sincerity as she has grown into a mother of four.  In this post Amy talks about the risks that loving requires us to take.  It can be scary sometimes.  Very real and refreshing.  So go check out this true and sincere take on love at .  And I must warn you, her new, sweet little Evan just might give you a touch of baby fever:)


Clay or wax? October 23, 2009

Filed under: Deep thoughts — erikaivory @ 4:35 pm
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I came upon this on another blog today and just thought I would share

“Hardened clay is brittle and easily damaged. If dropped, it can fracture into a thousand pieces… Dropped wax, it only bends from the pressure of the fall. Impressionable and pliable, it can quickly be remolded.

People are like that. People who are hardened in their resolve against God are brittle, their emotions are easily damaged. But those who bend to the will of God find perfect expression in however God molds them.

The same sun that hardens the clay, melts the wax. There is no change or variation in the sun itself. It’s just the way the clay or wax responds.

Trials and sufferings will harden some just like breakable clay, baking in resentment and bitterness. The same circumstances can melt others, teaching them endurance. The trials have no value or intrinsic meaning in themselves. It’s the way we respond to those trials that makes all the difference.” Joni E. Tada


Snapshots October 21, 2009

Filed under: Family Life — erikaivory @ 5:09 pm
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I am not a photographer, although I would love to be creatively inclined that way.  As I was wandering around today doing my motherly duties I kept noticing little snapshots that pointed out to me the wonderful gift that I am a mother to active, busy, messy little boys.  I kind of felt God nudging me to have a more grateful attitude.  Instead of sighing that again the weapons bin is dumped out…smiling that my boys love to make swords out of EVERYTHING and any game eventually becomes a competition.

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I really do want to be better about embracing this season instead of feeling overwhelmed that the toys will never stay picked up for more than 15 minutes and the bathroom constantly needs to be wiped down and the clothes hampers are never empty and the messes are made before I have time to clean up the last one and I continually seem to step on Legos, Tinker Toys and trip over footballs:)

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But this is what I prayed for and asked for!  And I get to stay home with them and be involved in all the aspects of their little lives!  Praise God for this wonderful season of make believe, and snuggles after bathtime and Saturdays full of ball games, and toothpaste on the counters and jelly fingerprints on the door and shoes being left outside and story books everywhere and sweet, sleepy kisses.  Thank you God for making me the mother of three precious little boys.  Please forgive my frustrated sighs and rolling of the eyes and overwhelmed feelings at times instead of lifting up thanks and praise to You!

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Warm and Fuzzy October 17, 2009

Filed under: Book reviews — erikaivory @ 2:14 am

Cindy Woodsmall does it again.  I just finished reading The Sound of Sleigh Bells by Woodsmall and it was delightful!  It is a short little book but full of rich characters and deep messages about forgiveness, healing and hope.  The setting is once again with the Amish which adds to the peace and charm of the book.  Woodsmall keeps a mystery held by one character to almost the end.  I love how in such a sort amount of writing she develops such amazing likable characters.  I really, really like her writing style.  It would make a great Christmas gift.  This book left me feeling warm and fuzzy.  I hope to run into Beth and Jonah again someday.

I have included below a summary of the book as well a bio of Woodsmall.  You can also purchase the book from the Random House website:

This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

Book: The Sound of Sleigh Bells

Author: Cindy Woodsmall


Beth Hertzler works alongside her beloved Aunt Lizzy in their dry goods store, and serving as contact of sorts between Amish craftsmen and Englischers who want to sell the Plain people’s wares. But remorse and loneliness still echo in her heart everyday as she still wears the dark garb, indicating mourning of her fiancé. When she discovers a large, intricately carved scene of Amish children playing in the snow, something deep inside Beth’s soul responds and she wants to help the unknown artist find homes for his work–including Lizzy’s dry goods store. But she doesn’t know if her bishop will approve of the gorgeous carving or deem it idolatry.

Lizzy sees the changes in her niece when Beth shows her the woodworking, and after Lizzy hunts down Jonah, the artist, she is all the more determined that Beth meets this man with the hands that create healing art. But it’s not that simple–will Lizzy’s elaborate plan to reintroduce her niece to love work? Will Jonah be able to offer Beth the sleigh ride she’s always dreamed of and a second chance at real love–or just more heartbreak?

Cover art:

The Sound of Sleigh Bells

Author Bio:

Cindy Woodsmall is the author of When the Heart Cries, When the Morning Comes, and The New York Times Best-Seller When the Soul Mends. Her ability to authentically capture the heart of her characters comes from her real-life connections with Amish Mennonite and Old Order Amish families. A mother of three sons and two daughters-in-law, Cindy lives in Georgia with her husband of thirty-one years.


The Many Faces of Eli October 16, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — erikaivory @ 2:27 am

I was looking through some pictures on my phone tonight and just thought I would share some silly pics that made me smile.  My boys crack me up.  Somehow I tend to catch Eli with my camera more quickly than my other two.  I guess partly because the other two are at school most of the day…(another post on that frustration another day).  So here you go:)


Eli making silly faces while in the doctor’s office waiting room.

On a after school Krispy Kreme date with mom

On an after school Krispy Kreme date with mom

He is a rock star that likes to dress up in his "wedding clothes"

He is a rock star that likes to dress up in his "wedding clothes"

Remember the two month period where he wore his baseball uniform every day?

Remember the two month period where he wore his baseball uniform every day?

His mad face!

His mad face!

And how could anyone resist THAT face?

And how could anyone resist THAT face?

Thanks for indulging me:)  Oh how I love that little man!


Yummo Butterscotch and Oatmeal

Filed under: Random stuff — erikaivory @ 2:14 am
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The other night we had been home all day and it was rainy and dreary and I was craving some butterscotch.  I picked some butterscotch chips up randomly a few weeks ago and have been trying to figure out what I was going to use them for.  I started searching cookbooks and online for a fun recipe and I found one!

Cowboy Cookies:)

They were quick and easy and oh so good!  They were super yum right out of the oven but they also were yummy the next day.  Don’t you hate when overnight cookies get dry and too crunchy?  Not these, they stayed chewy and moist.  So I thought I would pass on this easy recipe.  I hope you try them:)

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Cowboy Cookies

2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup margarine (I only had 1/4 cup so I substituted 1/4 cup crisco with 1/4 tsp salt)

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs

2 cups quick cooking oats

1 cup butterscotch chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

  2. In a medium bowl, cream margarine, oil, brown sugar, vanilla and white sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time. Gradually stir in the sifted ingredients until well blended. Mix in oats and butterscotch chips. Drop from a teaspoon onto ungreased cookie sheets.

  3. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in preheated oven, or until edges are golden. Let set up on the cookie sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.