Friday, October 2, 2015

Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe Book Review

Today I am reviewing the book  Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe   by Max Lucado.    I recently finished this  very fun book, and I enjoyed it so much I wanted to share it with all of you.

This is such a fun story.    It took me a little while to get into it, but once I did, I couldn't put the book down.    The story revolves around Chelsea Chambers,  her children,  Manny  (her very clumsy, cheerful, and interesting employee), and her husband.    It takes place in the cafe that she inherited from her mom.    It is a story filled with faith, redemption, prayer, and so much more.    This is the first  fiction story that I have read by Max Lucado, and this  was just so fun.    For all of you bloggers out there, the cafe has a blog called the God Blog. 

The story starts with Chelsea  making her cupcakes and other pastries, and serving coffee to her  customers.   She then hires Manny as to help here and all kinds of miracles start happening.   The cafe needs some serious revamping if it is going to make it, and that is what they set out to do. While reading this book, I felt like I was there with them going through everything that they were going through.   

It is a fun, fast paced book, that I think that you will enjoy.   I hope that  you will get it and read it soon.   Let me know what you think.  I always love hearing from you.

Have a great week.

Here is a synopsis of the book from the publisher:

   What if you could ask God anything? What would you ask? And how would He answer?

Chelsea Chambers is on her own. After a public split from her NFL superstar husband, Chelsea takes a bold step out of the limelight and behind the counter of the Higher Grounds Café, an old-fashioned coffee shop in dire need of reinvention. But when her courage, expert planning, and out-of-this-world cupcakes fail to pay the bills, this newly single mom finds herself desperate for help. Better yet, a miracle.
Then a curious stranger lands at Chelsea’s door, and with him, an even more curious string of events. Soon, customers are flocking to the Higher Grounds Café, and not just for the cupcakes and cappuccino. They’ve come for the internet connection to the divine. Now the café has become the go-to place for people in search of answers to life’s biggest questions.
When a catastrophe strikes and her ex comes calling, Chelsea begins to wonder if the whole universe is conspiring against her quest to make it on her own. After a shocking discovery opens her eyes to the unseen world around her, Chelsea finds the courage to ask God a question of her own. Heaven answers in a most unexpected way.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Captive Movie Review

Well, as I promised,  I am reviewing the movie Captive.  
I explained yesterday that this movie was directed by our  friend Jerry Jameson.  He has been directing since  1971.  He started working in the studios in the early 60's and literally worked his way up to director.   

He was a close friend of my parents and one of my dad's best friends.   He spent an afternoon helping us out with my dad the week before my dad passed away, and his wife Sally stayed with my dad the day he died until they took him from the house.   He has been a consistent figure in my life since I was a kid.   His children were the same age as me and we were very good friends, staying at each others houses all of the time.  So I not only knew him as a friend of my parents, but also as my friends'  dad.   

As a grown woman I became friends  with Jerry and his wife Sally, also.   I truly love them both.  We have been rooting for him with this movie for years, and I am so  very happy for him that this movie came to fruition.  

I don't tell you about movies unless I think they are important and relevant, and the  movie Captive is just that.    It is a true story that takes place in Atlanta, Georgia in 2005.   As I told you yesterday the lead characters are  Brian Nichols  played by David Oyelowo and  Ashley Smith played by  Kate Mara.   

The movie is based on Ashley Smith's book An Unlikely Angel.   It is the story of a young woman, Ashley Smith,  being taken hostage by an escape rapist Brian Nichols.   Brian Nichols is accused of rape, and he escapes jail, killing 4 people, and then taking Ashley Smith hostage.   He holds her hostage for about 7 hours, and then lets her go after she reads  The Purpose Driven Life   by Rick Warren to him.   Ashley was a meth addict and received the book from someone in her Celebrate Recovery program.   The book changed both of their lives that night .    

This movie is truly a story of redemption.   The cast is amazingly talented.   It has been described as a faith based film, but it is much more then that.    This movie  really speaks to a part of all of us, that hopes to be forgiven for the mistakes that we have made.    It is a  movie that shows the  gritty, dirty side of life, and how even that can be survived.    How we can come out even better  on the other side.

Please go and see this wonderful movie, you will not be disappointed.    Also,  stay after to watch the Gail King's interview  with the cast and real life  Ashley Smith.

Have a great week.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Captive Movie Review to Come

I have not seen the movie Captive yet, I am going to see it tonight before it leaves the theaters.  I am asking all of you to do the same.

This movie was directed by a very close family friend Jerry Jameson.  It  is a true story  based on the  a book called The  Unlikely Angel written by Ashley Smith, a young woman who was kidnapped and held hostage by her captor, Brian Nichols.  Ashley Smith is played by  Kate Mara and Brian Nichols is played by David Oyelowo (he won the academy award for best actor this year for playing Dr. Martin Luther King in Selma.

This movie has a great message, and I am hoping that we can support it before it  is gone from the theaters.

Here are some links to the reviews for the  movie, and  I will write a review about it tomorrow.  Please take the time to go and see this movie.  There are too few of these movies made today that make it to  theaters, so we need to support them when  they come out.  I will also be seeing War Room tomorrow , and will review that movie later this week.

Thank you so much for being here today.


‘Captive’ reflects faith-bases films shift to grittier, non-preachy plots

NY Daily News | 13 SEPTEMBER 2015
David Oyelowo was very sensitive about glamorizing violence in his newest film, ‘Captive’

Getty Images | 14 SEPTEMBER 2015

Star News Online | 16 SEPTEMBER 2015
Pint-size actress makes mark on silver screen

David Oyelowo on new movie “Captive” and Emmy bid

‘Captive turns David Oyelowo into a killer

Variety | 15 SEPTEMBER 2015
David Oyelowo, Kate Mara and Ashley Smith Talk ‘Captive’ and Seeing Others ‘Through the Eyes of Christ’

The View | 15 SEPTEMBER 2015
David Oyelowo on the ‘The View’: Talks about New Film ‘Captive’

Katie Couric | 14 SEPTEMBER 2015
Ashley Smith: The true story behind “Captive”

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Dear God Note 16

Dear God / Daddy,

As I travel across this beautiful county that I live in, I am constantly reminded of you.   Everything that I see is a miracle created by you.

Genesis 1:11 says, "Then God said,  "Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, in the earth"; and so it was."

Genesis 1:24 says,  "Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beat of the earth, each according to its kind"; and so it was."

I have seen the beautiful mountains of Colorado, the plains of Kansas, the Mississippi River, fields full of corn and and wheat, oceans, beaches, deer outside the bedroom window of my trailer, and even reindeer and the rv park we stayed at this morning.  I feel so blessed and I am so grateful for every gift you have given us.

Thank you so much.

Your loving daughter.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Happy to Be Back July 28th, 2015

It has been a long time since I have posted anything, and I really appreciated all of your questions about whether I was ok, and how things were going.  Life has been crazy for months, and I have also had to reevaluate blogging again.  I will probably post once a week and possibly start the party again at some point in the future.

We sold our house in Denver this month and closed about two weeks ago.   It took six weeks to get it ready, and we lived in that mess the whole time, but when it was done it was worth it. You'll find a few pictures of the house below, and I'll share some more next week.   It was great that it sold in 2 days, but bittersweet.  We raised our kids in that house, it's where I have lived for a big part of my adult life.  I am feeling sad that I wont be living in Colorado, which is where all of our kids and grand kids live, but I know that my sweet hubby's semi retirement is going to be fun.

So now on the the good parts of what has been happening.  As you know we moved to south Florida last December, and we live a block from the beach and on a canal.  It was wonderful having a warm winter this last year.  

Then, for the most exciting thing, three weeks ago today, our middle son and his wife had a little girl, so they now have three little girls.  She is beautiful, and mom and dad are doing great, but very sleep deprived.  I have been back in Denver since she was about 15 hours old.  It has been an amazing journey.  

Tonight, we get to have our two older granddaughters spend the night with us in our new trailer (a whole other story to come later in this post).  We are going to have Turkey Carnitas Soft Tacos (I purchased the turkey carnitas at Sprouts) for dinner with rice and beans. We will be making S'Mores for desert, and this grandma gives you lots of choices.  Our older granddaughter loves KitKat's, so she gets KitKat S'mores.  The 5 year old loves Reese's, so she will get Reese's S'Mores.  She is a lot like her daddy, he loves Reese's also.  We are going to make Pillsbury Minion Cookies and we will have french toast for breakfast tomorrow morning before I take them home.  

One of the things that I have wanted to do in retirement is to travel around the country.  The best way to do that with a dog and a cat is with a trailer.  So we bought a trailer at the end of May, and that has been quite the experience.  We left Denver on May 31st to head back to Florida for a few weeks, but about 40 miles west of Hayes, Kansas, near the little town of Wakeeney, we were in an accident with our brand new trailer.  To be specific, I was driving, a pickup truck passed me, it was towing a utility trailer, a spare tire flew off of the back of the utility trailer and was headed toward our windshield.  God was watching out for us that day.  I swerved to miss the tire, but in the meantime the trailer ended up tipping and when everything came to a stop, I was facing the oncoming traffic on I 70 and taking up both lanes.  All of the cars were pulled over to the side, and everyone was coming to us to make sure we were OK.  We were fine, just shaken up, but our cute little trailer was totaled.  God is so good and faithful.  I looked at SH (Sweet Hubby) afterward and said "God just saved us today!"  I am so grateful.  Anyway, we ended up getting me a new car (bigger) and a new trailer (bigger) and we are having a blast.  We have stayed at several nice camping places and since the house sold we have stayed at both Chatfield State Park and Cherry Creek State Park in Colorado.  We have had our granddaughters, ages 6 and 5 spend the night with us and the kids and grand kids over for a bbq.  We take the dog for walks and life is good.  The trailer is a cozy 22 ft Lance trailer with a bathroom, bedroom, fireplace, kitchen, and dinette.  It is a lovely place to call home.  (I'll share pictures next week.)   When I wake up in the morning, I look out the door at the beautiful reservoir and have my coffee.  The other morning I saw a balloon taking off.  I think we are ready for semi retirement (that means he will probably work 20 hours a week and from wherever we are rather then 60 to 80 hours a week in an office.  I can blog a little since most campgrounds have WiFi, which is great, and I can take my crafts with me.  Also, we have to eat, so new recipes will be coming your way.  

To kick off his slowing down, we also went on a 17 day transatlantic cruise in April and then spent 2 nights in Rome before flying home. It was a blast.  Our cousins went with us and we all enjoyed ourselves so much that we are planning another cruise with them next June to Northern Europe.  On this last one we went to the Canary Islands, Cartegena, Spain, Malaga, Spain, Barcelona, Nice, Florence, Pisa, and Rome. I have so many beautiful pictures to share with all of you.  I can't wait.

I took the picture of the peacock below in Cartegena, Spain.  It was mating season, so he was showing off his feathers for the females.

Here is a picture from last nights sunset.  It was truly spectacular.

Have a great week and I'll see you again next week.