Sunday, November 19, 2017

Come, Thou Fount Of Every Blessing

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
praise Him, all creatures here below;
praise Him above, ye heav'nly host;
praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
- Thomas Ken -

Come, thou Fount of every blessing, 
tune my heart to sing thy grace; 
streams of mercy, never ceasing, 
call for songs of loudest praise. 
Teach me some melodious sonnet, 
sung by flaming tongues above. 
Praise the mount! I'm fixed upon it, 
mount of thy redeeming love. 

Here I raise mine Ebenezer; 
hither by thy help I'm come; 
and I hope, by thy good pleasure, 
safely to arrive at home. 
Jesus sought me when a stranger, 
wandering from the fold of God; 
he, to rescue me from danger, 
interposed his precious blood. 

O to grace how great a debtor 
daily I'm constrained to be! 
Let thy goodness, like a fetter, 
bind my wandering heart to thee. 
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, 
prone to leave the God I love; 
here's my heart, O take and seal it, 
seal it for thy courts above.
- Robert Robinson -

LORD, you are my God; 
I will exalt you and praise your name, 
for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, 
things planned long ago.
- Isaiah 25:1 -

During his early years, Robert Robinson, 
the author of Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing,
lived in London, where he mixed with a notorious gang of hoodlums
and led a life of debauchery.
At the age of seventeen he attended a meeting 
where the noted evangelist George Whitefield was preaching.
Robinson went for the purpose of "scoffing at those poor, deluded Methodists"
and ended up professing faith in Christ as his Savior.
Soon he felt called to preach the gospel
and subsequently became the pastor of a rather large Baptist church 
in Cambridge, England.
- Kenneth W. Osbeck - Amazing Grace -

Blessed be the Lord, 
who daily loadeth us with benefits,
 even the God of our salvation. 
- Psalm 68:19 -

Our blessings are great and many, my friends.
Let us praise the Lord today and every day 
for His amazing presence in our lives.

May you and yours have a beautiful Thanksgiving week.
I am thankful for you!
Love and hugs!

Friday, November 17, 2017

Love Held Captive - Book Review

After the War Between the States, 
a Confederate officer longs to heal the heart of a beautiful woman—
but first he’ll have to right the wrongs that were done to her.
Major Ethan Kelly has never been able to absolve himself of the guilt he feels 
for raiding a woman’s home shortly before he was taken prisoner during the Civil War. 
He is struggling to get through each day 
until he once again crosses paths with Lizbeth Barclay—
the very woman he is trying to forget.

Life after the war is not much different 
for former Captain Devin Monroe until he meets Julianne VanFleet. 
He knows she is the woman he’s been waiting for, 
but he struggles to come to terms with the sacrifices she made to survive the war.

When Ethan and Devin discover that their former colonel, 
Adam Bushnell, is responsible for both Lizbeth’s and Julianne’s pain, 
they call on their former fellow soldiers to hunt him down. 
As the men band together to earn the trust of the women they love, 
Lizbeth and Julianne seek the justice they deserve in a country longing to heal.

My Thoughts
Well, my friends, I have to be honest with you. . .
Love Held Captive has unfortunately not held my attention captive.
I have had this book sitting by my beside for a couple of months
and every time I pick it up to read it's all I can do to make it through a few pages.
I read the first two books in this series and they were good,
but this one was just not my cup of tea.

I felt some of the characters and their motives were unsavory,
or to put it another way,
the foundation of the story revolved around unnecessary sordid details.
It also seemed like there was a lot of information crammed into the book.
The storyline follows Major Ethan and Captain Devin
and it bounced back and forth between the two way too much.
I did not enjoy following the characters
as I felt like I had to continually keep track of every little detail 
in order to keep up with the story.

This review is based on me and my personal preferences.
There are many positive reviews for this book on the CBD website
and while I did not care for it you might enjoy it.
We are not all the same and our reading tastes vary.

You can find my reviews for the first two books by clicking on the links below:

I have read several books by Shelley Shephard Gray that have been wonderful
so it makes me sad to write this kind of review for one of her books.

 ** I was given a complimentary copy of this book 
from BookLook Bloggers for an honest review. 
All thoughts are my own and no other compensation was received. **

About the Author
Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, 
a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, 
and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. 
She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, 
bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town's bike trail.  
Find Shelley on her website:

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Brown Butter Bars

Count the memories. . .
not the calories.

The holidays are upon us, my friends,
and that means the joy of baking. . .
hours upon hours of baking!
I have shared in the past that I have a sweet tooth
and oh, how I love my sugary treats!
I try not to make desserts too often,
but around the holidays I thoroughly enjoy being in the kitchen.

My son kicked off the holiday season with these amazing brown butter bars.
He was going through my cookbooks and found this tasty recipe.
So one afternoon he and I whipped up these oh-so-good treats
and after just one bite I knew I had to share the recipe with you.
Brown sugar, butter, milk chocolate, and pecans. . .
four ingredients that will have your guests asking for more.

The recipe is from the cookbook
Cookies in the Clouds - High Altitude Baking
by Vera Dawson


1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
8 tablespoons {1 stick} unsalted butter
pinch of salt
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup flour
6 ounces milk chocolate
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Line an 8 x 8-inch pan with nonstick aluminum foil
or with regular foil and grease well.
Extend the foil several inches over two sides of the pan
to use as handles when removing the baked bars.

Put the brown sugar in a large bowl
and stir briefly to lighten and separate.
Set aside.

Cut up the butter and place in a small saucepan
over low heat.
Swirl the pan or stir occasionally;
watch carefully as it melts.
It will sizzle, the solids and fats with separate,
and it will turn a light golden color
and have a nutty, toasty smell.
It takes about 4 to 6 minutes to go through these stages.
When the butter has lightly browned
{don't burn it},
remove it from the stove and pour it over the brown sugar.
Add the pinch of salt and stir until combined.

Combine the egg and vanilla in a small bowl
and add it to the butter-sugar combination,
beat until smooth.
Add the flour and gently stir just until it disappears.
Don't over mix!
Pour the batter into the prepared pan
and smooth the top.
Bake for about 15-20 minutes, 
or until the top is set and shiny.
When a tester is inserted into the middle is should come out clean.
If the batter develops shoulders
{sides puff up and are higher than the middle},
open the oven door and gently press them down with the back of a spoon or spatula.
Take care that you don't over bake these;
you want them chewy, not dry.

Remove the pan from the oven;
sprinkle with milk chocolate pieces
{I used chocolate chips}.
Place the pan back in the oven for a minute or two
to soften the chocolate.
Remove the pan and spread the chocolate all over the top of the bars.
Sprinkle the pecans evenly over the warm chocolate.
Let the pan cool for about 15 minutes on a rack.
Using the foil handles,
remove the slab from the pan and place it on the cooling rack.
Cut into bars once it has completely cooled.

The bars, stored airtight, will keep for about three days
at cool room temperature.
They also freeze well.

Bless the food before us,
the family beside us,
the love between us.

It's always a pleasure to have you visit
and please know that your comments never cease 
to bring a smile to my face.
You, my dear friends and followers,
are a sweet blessing!

Once again I want to thank everyone 
for participating in the 11th Tea Cup and Mug Exchange.
The reveal last week was an absolute delight
and I greatly enjoyed seeing the tea cup and mug loveliness
that all of you received.
I appreciate the time all of you took to take photos of your goodies,
and many thanks to you ladies who shared the event on your blogs.


Please enjoy 25% off your order of $20.00 or more plus free USA shipping
at my Etsy shop Rose Petal Blessings.
This offer is for a limited time only.

I just listed some fun handmade gift baskets.
All you need to do is add tissue paper and your gift is ready to give.

And one last thing. . .
I'm joining Karina from Merciful Moments
this year for her Christmas Ornament Exchange.

My dear friends and followers,
you are more than welcome to join as well.
Registration ends soon so hop on over to Karina's blog
and learn more about this fun event:

* * * * * * *

You might find me sharing this post 
at these lovely parties.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

11th Tea Cup & Mug Exchange Reveal

Coffee, tea, and friends
make the perfect blend.

Hello and welcome, sweet friends,
to the 11th Tea Cup and Mug Exchange reveal.
Today is the day we get to oooh and aaah 
over the  tea cup and mug loveliness sent around the globe.
You will find this post is filled with photos from participants who don't have blogs
and at the end of the post there is a link-up for the women who do have blogs.
I hope you enjoy your visit and please,
take your time in viewing all of this delightfulness. . .
simply relax and soak it in.

Before we begin, I want to express my gratitude
to all of you ladies who participated in the 11th Exchange.
There were 211 of participants this time
and many were from England, Scotland, Malaysia, Australia,
New Zealand, Greece, Spain, South Africa, Canada, USA, 
and even the Czech Republic.
All of you make this event more special and beautiful.
You are a unique and precious group of ladies 
and it's an honor to be able to host this exchange for you.
Thank you for simply being YOU!

One last thing before we jump into the photos.
I host a giveaway for the participants
and usually it's a gift card to Teavana.
Well, I just found out that Teavana no longer offers gift cards
so I did an Etsy gift card instead.

The winner of the $25.00 Etsy gift card is. . .

Olivia Bell

Congratulations, dear lady!
You will receive an email with the gift card number.

let us pour ourselves a cup of tea, coffee, cocoa, or cider,
grab a sweet treat, and enjoy the pictures. . . 

Tea. . .
is like a warm hug.

To Susanna - From Kelly-Anne

To Cate - From Kaye

To Jacqueline - From Sandy

To Mary - From Ronny

To Joanne - From Dawn

To Ashleigh - From Keary

To Elizabeth - From Joann

To Diane - From Georgette

To Lyn - From Lily

To Hana - From Lacey

To Marina - From Linda

To Deb - From Jacqueline

To Susan - From June

To Anna - From Hannah

To Lilian - From Tina

To Olivia - From Rachel

To June - From Patricia

To Claudia - From Sarah

To Carol - From Cheryl

To Dana - From Jeanie

To Tricia - From Kaye

To Dixie - From Debbie

To Elisabeth - From Callie

To Susan - From Elizabeth

To June - From Rose

To Ruth - From Valentina

To Abigail - From Martha

To Georgette - From Sheri

To Brenda - From Jeannie

To Olivia - From Pamela

To June - From Patricia

To Colletta - From Angela

To Nina - From Sandra

To Peta - From Belle

To Belle - From Cate

To LeAnna - From Anna

To Susan - From Judith

To Karen - From Jody

To Diana - From Patricia

To Lynn - From Lisa

To Cheryl - From Lynn

To Linda - From Lorrie

To Jennifer - From Susan

To Sharon - From Rebekah

To Rose - From Amy

To Sarah - From Jaclyn

To Jaclyn - From Skyeler

To Patricia - From Lisa

To Peyton - From Ashley

To Rebekah - From Diane

To Emily - From Elisabeth

To Dawn - From Glenna

To Amy - From Pamela

To Heidi - From Mary Anne

To Mal - From Hana

To Sheri - From Ana

To Jeanie - From Susan

To Adaline - From Kimberley

To Joelle - From Sarah

To Sam - From Carol

To Anne - From Dana

To Kristine - From Joelle

To Judy - From June

To Pamela M. - From Karen

To Gillian - From Joanne

To Judith - From Sharron

To Valentina - From Mary Ellen

To Kaitlyn - From Elizabeth

To Yelizveta - From Grace

To Jan - From Rebekah

To Sarah - From Jaclyn

To Tammy - From Carol

To Debra - From Sam

To Glenna - From Sharon

To Jody - From Anne

To Janae - From Emily

To Emily - From Elizabeth

To Patricia - From Marina

To Sharron - From Linda

To Lisa - From Dixie

To Martha - From Tricia

To Anne - From Deborah

To Susan - From Shelly

To Kimberley - From Shelly

To Carrie - From Dana

To Ellie - From Sam

To Pattie - From Bonnie

To Sandra - From Jeanne

To Pamela - From Lynn

To Jeanie - From Debbie

To Debbie - From Ella

To Karen - From Glenda

To Emily - From Anna

To Sam - From Peg

To Kaitlyn - From Jan

To Anna - From Sam
{mug pictured separately}

To Adaline - From Cassandra

To Allison - From Pamela

To Lynn - From Jeannie

To Sofia - From Lauren

To Sofia - From Claudia

To Deborah - From Danielle

To Barbara - From Mary

To Irene - From Emily

To Sylvia - From Rachel

To Judith - From Sharon

To Jessica - From Elizabeth

To Marina - From Heidi

To Bonnie - From Allison

To Danielle - From Maggie

To Cheryl - From Jo

To Rosalyn - From Lily

To Ivana - From Rosalyn

To Rebekka - From Kimberley

To Alena - From Keary

To Regine - From Angela

To Dana - From Sandy

To Jan - From Cindy

To Glenna - From Marina

To Jody - From Patti

To Janae - From Jessica

To Kayla - From Kaitlyn

To Maggie - From Kayla

To Sharron - From Glenna

To Carrie - From Dana

To Joanne - From Adeline

Again, many, many thanks to all of you ladies
for making the 11th Tea Cup and Mug Exchange extra special.

For those of you who have blogs
please link up your reveal post below.
You will notice the link-up is in word form only
and no picture will show up.

If you would like to sign up for an email notification 
for the next Tea Cup and Mug Exchange 
simply click on the link below:
I will email you 
when the time arrives for the next exchange.

If you want to receive weekly notifications from my blog 
you can sign up by clicking on the link below:

As for the next exchange. . .
it may or may not be in the spring.
As many of you know
I was intending on hosting this event only once a year,
but with so many sweet ladies enjoying the exchange
I may have to keep hosting it twice a year,
once in the spring and once in the fall.
We shall just have to see what happens when spring arrives.
You can stay updated by signing up for the weekly notifications from my blog
or by signing up for the exchange email notification.

Have a blessed day, dear friends!
Love and hugs to you!

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