From the Library of CS Lewis Selections from Writers Who Influenced His Spiritual Journey

We all have our favorites, don’t we? Favorite food, music, entertainers, actors, and even writers. Well, for C. Lewis, the author of The Chronicles of Narnia had his set of influences as well. In his book, James Stuart Bell, along with assistance from Anthony Palmer Dawson, present the many writers, great thinkers, and philosophers who helped C. S. Lewis become the great writer and even more importantly, help him on his journey towards becoming a Christian.

I can really respect the fact that you have to learn from other points of view in order to come to your own conclusion about what is right and what is wrong. Writers such as J.R.R. Tolkien, helped Mr. Lewis with the imaginary creatures that were created in the Narnia series, others such as George MacDonald, a Scottish Congregationalist pastor,  helped further strengthen the proof that God does exist in his essay, “Proving the Unseen”  and Mr. Lewis’ own words, “baptized” his “imagination.”

From reading all of the essays and letters, and poems, one can definitely see the profound impact of the individuals on Mr. Lewis’ own “Spiritual Journey” and on his writing. I can tell how he got an interest in the honorable profession, with so many interesting thinkers and writers around him, who could blame him?

I congratulate Mr. Bell and Mr. Dawson for writing such as excellent book! 5 stars!!

I received this free copy from Waterbrook Press in exchange for reviewing it.

For more information: ( Author Bio included)

Read chapter one:



Monday Just Keeps Repeating Itself!

Wow, so far, I think Monday is trying very hard to hold on to the rest of week. For some reason, it has been a strange one at least until today. Exhausting is more like it. My brain already feels drained of usefulness and wants to go on vacation somewhere someone does all the work. Is there such a place where one doesn’t have to lift a finger? Hmm…let me know.

Tomorrow is Thursday and hopefully it will be better, must be better! Come on, Murphy, have some pity, will ya? I know your stickin laws and how sassy you can be, but do have to pick on all of  us? Do ya?  You just like to be difficult. Wonder if taking some deep breathes, and thinking about how another day is made available for us all by the hand of our most wonderful Father, will help?

And then there’s my dog, the funny looking, smush faced, boston terrier who always wants attention, sitting beside us staring as if to say, “Excuse me, I’m cute, pet me, and by the way nobody loves me.” Yeah right, Max. Maybe that’s why God put the animals down here on earth, not only for us to admire and learn about, but have as stress relievers, buddies, and family members, and okay, slumlords. He’s in charge, we humor Max. (Just don’t tell him)

The bright sun of new season introducing summer which I think has already arrived long before spring has left the building, is cheering some of us up. With all the new plants, the desire to get outside and enjoy all creation and spend time outside with others. Sweet ice tea, catching fireflies, running in the grass barefoot, staying up late talking and watching the stars, okay, so Wednesday wasn’t so bad and tomorrow won’t be either. Distraction is what I needed and I got it. Thank  you, God, you’re a great help!!

Just When You know Someone!

I’m not finished reading the book  yet, but I have made some surprising discoveries about an author that I didn’t know about in the past. Samuel Clemens or Mark Twain to most of us, the author of such books as you know, that adventuresome Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn to name a couple. That’s the guy. Well, seems the man was a very intlelligent in addition to being what I would call a smart aleck.

He was very well traveled, having lived in Europe and in various places in the United States such as California and New York. He never forgot his midwestern roots, in fact, the most famous characters were based on some of the antics of his childhood and some of the people he knew. So far I have read that of course, he would try to get his brother in trouble but those plans would backfire on him. Brotherly love, what can you say? Then again, his own children seemed to have inherited the gene of mischief from thier dad, as Mr. Twain writes about how they’d rat him out for his own bad behavior. How cool is that?

I also noticed that Mr. Twain was a caring human being, who reached out to others in need. He wanted to help where he could even with his staff whom he seemed to treat with great respect. You can tell he loved his family deeply, especially his wife and children. His wife was disabled for some time but he stayed with her and didn’t let that stop thier attraction to one another.

The book, “The Autobiography of Mark Twain”, written by the great writer himself, doesn’t follow a traditional path like most life stories do. He doesn’t start with I was born on… He writes what he wants whereever he wants and it all makes sense. There are headlines for the reader to understand what’s coming next and dates and some editing marks, which keeps it real. Whoever decided to publish this after Mr. Twain’s death, definitely respected his wishes. Every notation, picture of scrap paper, and actual order of how it was to be published is presented in great form.

Just like the author would want it. His way and it’s the right way, at least for him, the man, who brought a lot of taboo subjects to our attention, with humor and exaggeration and great storytelling. Mr. Clemens worked hard to get where he was, by writing for magazines and newspapers  which eventually afforded him the priviledge of meeting some very important individuals like General Grant and some presidents along the way.

I am not done with gianormous book yet, but when I am I will let everyone know the rest of the story, well, in his words, part 1. Now.. if you’ll excuse me, Mr. Twain and I need to  keep our reading date….

Just Doodling

Sometimes, it’s nice to just take a pen, colored pencil or whatever you have on hand and just draw whatever comes to mind. Today, I was thinking about that favorite activity that most of us like to do when the weather says we can: riding bicycles and hopping on a scooter. The idea of just taking off and riding down the street reminds me of when I was a kid, racing my bike up and down the street and to my friend’s house to play.

One step away from a motorcycle and a bit cheaper too, considering there’s no gas tank to fill. I can remember the banana seat bike I had, purple, ahem, in honor of my adoration of Donny Osmond. (For those of you who don’t know, he was a 70s heartthrob and part of the Osmond brothers band.) Purple was his favorite color and what better way to show that I was a fan. Definitely got use out of that bike. I have even done some searching online and noticed some refurbished ones and old pictures of banana seat bicycles. How cool is that.

But drawing one and adding others in the mix, at least my interpretation of the big wheel, tricycle and scooter, just felt good. Summer tends to make me go on autopilot and feel a bit more relaxed. Just makes sense to think about riding outside in the warm sun and checking out the scenery. Maybe going to someone’s house for a visit or some cool hangout spot. I have noticed that on warm, sunny, days, more  of us  are outside than in. The warm sun draw us out, asking us to enjoy that’s around us, to relax a while and let the mind wander.


What Character!

Driving downtown to a local eatery, I found myself drawn to my favorite sites: old buildings. They stand out like proud citizens, with lots of color and sturdiness and charm. Such intricate details on some that you just can’t help want to compliment the builder. That’s why I like going to places like Historic Fountain Square in downtown Indianapolis, In. You will find those old characters, the buildings that never came down, that are still standing.

The designs are interesting and tell a story from their past, maybe from many centuries ago and maybe from mid-century. Doesn’t matter, I love them all. And I like the area that is filled with artistic creations and soul and fun. The residents seem to want to take care of their corner of downtown, as construction is ongoing. Improvements I’m sure. Business is not hurting as I saw many still open and patrons coming and going.

But those structures that draw me to them, that make me want to stay and make a home out of them, so attractive with the brick and glass and lettering and even the names on the signs. The stories that each could tell if they had a voice, of who lived where and when and who owned a previous store front and what they sold.

The fountain, with its patina of green, that graces the middle of all the bustle of the area known as Fountain Square, seems to sum up the area quite nicely: Beautiful, colorful, and never fading away. Now to plan my next trip down there, as I saw other people’s memories in an antique shop…..

The Harvest of Grace, An Ada’s House Novel- A Review

Forgiveness is the first word that comes to mind when describing The Harvest of Grace, An Ada’s House Novel, by Cindy Woodsmall, which is part of a series of novels, this being the first one I have read. Forgiving those who have hurt you deeply and left scars of betrayal in your heart is very hard to do but yet that’s what the characters in Ms. Woodsmall’s novel are dealing with.

The main character, Sylvia Fisher, has left her family farm after learning that her younger sister, Becky is to become the wife her former fiancé, Elam. Against her father’s wishes, but yet with some conditions, she chooses to live on a farm with another Amish couple, Michael and Dora Blank. Their son Aaron arrives and the healing somehow begins for both Sylvia and Aragon and for his parents too.

Cara has to learn to forgive her father, Trevor for abandoning her in order to move on and have peace in her life. And as hard as it is for to do so, she actually finds the strength to say those incredibly difficult words to say,”I forgive you.”  Cara feels happier, lighter, and she can also understand her dad’s side of the story as he had his own struggles too.  Seems some of the church members had faith in Cara’s heart changing from unfeeling towards everyone but her daughter and brining her Dad into the picture certainly helped.

Forgiveness, easy to say but not easy to do. For some lessons on how, read Ms. Woodsmall’s novel, and see how one goes about the process and even though it’s a fighting battle, it’s well worth losing on the side of, “I forgive you.” That’s what God wants us to do, so we can be at peace not only with others but with ourselves.

I received this free copy from Waterbrook Press in exchange for reviewing it.

For more information (where to buy and publisher):

Author biography:

In the Spotlight

This is the “third son”, Max!

Going to the bank today, you’d thought the dog was the customer and my son was just there to drive him. We go in with Max, our Boston Terrier, or I as I call him, “my third son”, and the employees come over and start petting him. One guy brings a treat to him. I told him, he’s the dog’s new best friend. I think there’s a conspiracy among our pets. They  really do know how to make do what they want. Think about it.

If your pet wants to play, do they just sit there and hope you notice, I don’t think so. Max will bring his toy over to us and put it on our feet and then dare us to play tug of war with him. He thinks he’s in charge. We humor him. I tell people he’s the slumlord at our house, the one we pay the mortgage to. We just happen have his permission to live there with him.

Well, the reality is that he adopted our youngest son, Zachary. The next door neighbor traveled so much that he couldn’t take care of Max as well as he would have liked. Noticing the instant friendship between our son and his dog, he decided we should have the dog. (I firmly believe Max somehow made him do this) Max wanted new humans to live with. We are such suckers!! Oh well, we couldn’t resist the mushy, goofy face and his antics.

He’s kinda cute and boy is he ever entertaining. Walkie is one of the favored words in the house. Goes nuts when Zacharys says it. Just like he went beserk at the bank with out the attention, he just couldn’t be still. It was as if Max was saying, “Wow! Attention, this is cool! Can I have more, please?!” Goober.

To be honest, life with the furry fellow is  much sweeter and much funnier. We tend calm down quicker when those black ears are petted. Those big, buggy eyes that stare back and want more and then the  black body that snuggles beside us, well, that just takes the cake. Hey,  we have permission to share the chairs. Max said it was okay. Guess I know who’s going with us next time we go to the bank. Man, should we dress a little better this time or maybe put him in suit…..???