Book Review: Civic Hope: How Ordinary Americans Keep Democracy Alive (Communication, Society and Politics) by Roderick P. Hart

Civic Hope: How Ordinary Americans Keep Democracy Alive (Communication, Society and Politics) by Roderick P. Hart

From time to time we are sent a book to review that causes us to slow down and really get into the book. Civic Hope is one of those books.

Civic Hope would really make great additional reading for classes in many subjects like Journalism, Political Science, Anthropology, Sociology, and more. It isn’t one of those dry reads you get in many classes. You know the kind that makes you want to poke your eye out with a rusty fork? It is very interesting and entertaining.

Hart gives his readers a lot to think about and ponder as he compares and contrasts over 10,000 letters to the editor from newspapers in 12 different cities across the United States. These letters date back to the early days of the Twentieth Century up until 2012. He does throw in a few newer and older letters as well.

If one is a student of the human animal, in any way, he will find Civic Hope to be very interesting. It is very well-written and thoroughly researched. We give it all five stars.

We were sent a complimentary copy of this book. We are under no obligation to write any review, positive or negative.

We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Notice: This post contains affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, we may financially benefit from your transaction, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support.

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Book Review: To Know with Certainty: Answers to Christian Students’ Questions Upon Leaving High School by G. Lee Southard

To Know with Certainty: Answers to Christian Students’ Questions Upon Leaving High School by G. Lee Southard

This is a really great resource for any high school senior getting ready to embark on college. I remember the days when I was attending the University of South Carolina. Here is a school in the Bible Belt where several of my professors were hellbound to tell us impressionable young students about the “Christian Myth”.

I wish I had had this resource back then. To Know with Certainty: Answers to Christian Students’ Questions Upon Leaving High School by G. Lee Southard is incredibly well-written and well-researched. We give it all five stars.

I have been a Christian for many years and learned many things from To Know with Certainty. If you are a young Christian who is about to embark on a college career, you need this book. Churches should give this to all their high school seniors.

We were sent a complimentary copy of this book. We are under no obligation to write any review, positive or negative.

We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Notice: This post contains affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, we may financially benefit from your transaction, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support.

Friendly Fill-Ins

This is a fun meme co-hosted by 15 and Meowing and McGuffy’s Reader. Be sure to visit and join in the fun!

Friday_Fill-In_BadgeHere are the fill-ins:

  1. For Easter (or Passover), I ______________________.
  2. My favorite Easter (or Passover) treat is_________.
  3. Lately, the song ______________ is stuck in my head.
  4. The A-Z Blogging Challenge ________________________.

 

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Here are my responses:

For Easter, sometimes we have a ham dinner, sometimes not. But, we always remember the reason for this season. Heavenly Father gave His Son as a sacrifice for our sins and He rose again on the third day, giving those of us that believe eternal life along with Him.

My favorite Easter treat is probably those little chocolate marshmallow candies. I used to love Peeps, but they taste icky now.

Lately (today, anyway), the song “Shiny” from the Disney movie Moana is stuck in my head. A few days before that, From This Moment by Shania Twain was in there – all day long!

The A-Z Blogging Challenge is something that I have always enjoyed participating in, but I won’t be playing along this year. There is just too much going on here that I don’t have any mental power left to put towards it. I hope the rest of you enjoy it!

Have a blessed weekend, y’all!

 

Image Source: Pixabay

 

Wednesday Hodgepodge

 

The Questions and the Answers

  1. What’s a word that describes your life? A word you wish described your life?

Hectic and scary describe my life right now. “Peaceful” is a word that I wish described my life.

  1. Back in my day we ________________________________?

Back in my day, we went outside to play and the phone stayed at home hooked into the wall. We didn’t stay tied to a screen of any sort all day long. We rode our bikes. We played hide-and-seek, kickball, and softball. We ran in and out, letting the screen door slam behind us in either direction, much to Mama’s agitation. We visited our grandparents. And we ALWAYS had Thanksgiving dinner with Granny. Always.

  1. When it comes to takeout are you more likely to opt for Italian, Mexican, or Chinese food? Does a typical week at your house include takeout?

I’m more inclined to get BK or KFC if we are out. We don’t usually get takeout every week or even every month.

  1. Think about the people you most respect. What is it about them that earned your respect?

First and foremost are my grandparents. All four of them loved me unconditionally.

The fact that they held to their convictions and didn’t back down, no matter who was trying to force them to, earned my respect.  Mrs. Pennington, Miss Elrod, Mrs. Johnson, those are the folks that first come to my mind.

Miss Elrod was my 8th grade English and homeroom teacher. She also taught my mama way back when. She gave me my first caliber speech.

Mrs. Johnson was my 11th grade homeroom and Typing II teacher. Heavenly Father had already been kicked out of public schools by then, but she read a morning devotion to our homeroom class every morning, without fail, anyway.

Mrs. Pennington was my 11th grade US History teacher. She was a tough cookie. She didn’t take anything from anybody. AND she was a sweetheart. She genuinely cared about her students and didn’t put up with foolishness. Most of my time at that particular school district was h-e-double-toothpicks, but these three women gave me reason to carry on and not buckle under. They believed in me and did what they could to help me believe that I had great potential.

Oh yeah, and Mr. Stokes. He won me the morning he said to me, “Great things come in small packages.” He knew that I was tormented for my short stature and it was his way of telling me that my height (or lack thereof!) wasn’t a fault. I was someone with potential in spite of it.

Everyone needs a few teachers like this in their lives. It only takes a few to make a difference. There are more than enough hurtful ones to go around. When you find the good ones, like I did, the blessings and effects last forever.

  1. What’s something your friends might see and say is ‘so you’?

I know it will sound weird, especially to those of you that haven’t known me for very long, but a cemetery! I am a family history researcher and cemeteries are a part of the package. I love walking through old cemeteries as much as, if not more than, walking through Hobby Lobby. I get my life from those old resting places.

  1.  Insert your own random thought here.

I found this great quote about respect just now:

Show respect to all people, but grovel to none. Tecumseh

It makes me think of my Granny Gunter. This past Sunday was her 8th anniversary in Heaven. She endured a lot in her lifetime.  She was blunt. Some thought she was rude and rough. Inside she was a big ol’ loveable teddy bear. One thing she wasn’t, though, was a groveler. She wasn’t going to beg anybody for the love that she needed and wanted. If they didn’t want to be around her, she had the attitude “to heck with you”…well, “heck” isn’t exactly the right word, but you get the point. If they didn’t want her, she didn’t need them. My granny was a great teacher.

I sure do miss you, Granny. Please hug Daddy for me.

Have a blessed day, y’all!

Book Review: Healing the Nation by Tom Donnan

Healing the Nation by Tom Donnan

If your prayer life needs a little defibrillation, Healing the Nation might just be the jump start for you. You may find yourself praying for yourself, your family, your church, your community, and the nation.

Not only does Donnan tell stories of prophetic dreams, he also tells of some pretty awesome answered prayers.

We think it is a very interesting circumstance that a book on Texit is just one book away on our “to be read list”. This is either ironic or, as we suspect, God ordained. Healing the Nation speaks of a revival in the great state of Texas. It also talks about the erosion of the United States.

Healing the Nation is very well-written and obviously heartfelt. We think it deserves six stars. One thing we are very sure of is that most people who read this will find themselves praying often as they read through the book.

We were sent a complimentary copy of this book. We are under no obligation to write any review, positive or negative.

We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Notice: This post contains affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, we may financially benefit from your transaction, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support.

Friendly Fill-Ins

This is a fun meme co-hosted by 15 and Meowing and McGuffy’s Reader. Be sure to visit and join in the fun!

Friday_Fill-In_Badge

Here are the fill-ins:

  1. I am the _________________ in my family.
  2. I have __________________ sibling(s).
  3. I am looking forward to _____ this Spring.
  4. The first sign of Spring this year was _____.
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Mr. Squirrel. 21 March 2018

Here are my responses:

I am the shortest and oldest kid in my birth family.

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The Gunter Children. Left to right: Robert, Carolee, Ray, and Suzanne. 1970-Something. McClendon Family Archives

I have 3 siblings that I know about – 2 brothers (twins) and one sister.

I am looking forward to new baby Carolina wrens this Spring!

OldMailBox_WrenNest_21March2018_3260_web
This is our old mailbox. It is now on our back patio. The wrens have built a nest in it. I am very excited!

I also look forward to more time photographing our backyard visitors.

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Chickadee. 21 March 2018
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Mr. Cardinal. 21 March 2018
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Tufted Titmouse. 21 March 2018

The first sign of Spring this year was pretty much a tie between 80+ degree weather and wildflowers.

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Oxalis. 21 March 2018.

Have a blessed weekend, y’all!

All nature images ©2018 – Suzanne G. McClendon

McClendon Family Archive Photo ©1970-1978 – Madeline S. Gunter

Friendly Fill-Ins

This is a fun meme co-hosted by 15 and Meowing and McGuffy’s Reader. Be sure to visit and join in the fun!

Friday_Fill-In_Badge 

Here are the fill-ins:

  1. When I am nervous, I ______________.
  2. When I an angry, I ________________.
  3. Today, I know for sure ____________.
  4. For St. Patrick’s day, I __________.
    Happy-St-Patricks-Day_web

    Here are my responses:

    When I am nervous, I start shaking. Sometimes, I start giggling.

    When I am angry, I cry which, of course, makes me angrier. I squeeze my hands into a fist (though I don’t hit anything/one). I drive faster than I should. I slam doors. And, I don’t talk for awhile.

    Today, I know for sure that I have a whole lot left to do before I go to bed tonight.

    For St. Patrick’s Day, I celebrate being of Irish heritage. According to my DNA test, my percentage of Irish-ness isn’t as high as I once thought, but that’s okay. Going by old standards, if one drop of blood makes me a particular something, then I’m all Irish. 🙂

    Have a blessed weekend, y’all!

Wednesday Hodgepodge

 

The Questions and the Answers

  1. Best place you’ve been lately?

The best place that I can think of is the First Presbyterian Church’s Wildflower Project field. It is loaded with bluebonnets, Indian paintbrushes, and assorted other wildflowers. It always has a beautiful display. The wildflowers are my favorite part of living in Texas.

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Playing with angles. Bluebonnets at First Presbyterian Wildflower Project. 13 March 2018
  1. What’s something you should say yes to today? Or this week? Or even this year?

Something I should say yes to…”Something. Anything!”, I guess would be my answer. I am finding it hard to be motivated to do anything due to overwhelming floods of emotion. I need to just do SOMETHING anyway.

  1. Do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in any way, shape, or form? If so tell us how. In Western cultures the color green is typically associated with jealousy, nature, good luck, and growth. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word ‘green’?

We celebrate by wearing green, most of the time. One year, I took goofy pics of the gang in St. Patrick’s Day holiday wear.  You can see one that I took of David here on my Instagram feed.

First thing to come to my mind when I hear the word green…nature, Ireland, money. Oh, yeah, and emeralds!

  1. What’s a product or service you love so much you’d happily be their spokesperson? Tell us what makes you such a fan.

I would happily be a spokesperson for Newspapers.com, if I were a spokesperson kind of person. That probably entails public speaking of some sort, and that is not a Suz kind of thing. So, I write about them on my blog sometimes.  They won’t accept me as an affiliate because I use a free blog rather than a self-hosted one, but I like their service anyway. One of these days companies like this will realize that the little people outnumber the big people.

Anyway, I have found so much on their site about my family. I found my mother’s birth announcement, where she went to eat dinner at an aunt’s house, obituaries for quite a few ancestors, our wedding announcement, an article about me and Avon that I had totally forgotten about, articles about the baby charity we operated back in South Carolina, a snippet of a story where my great-great-grandma took the insurance company to court, a story about a fight at the wedding of David’s Great-Grandma and Grandpa Bushnell, and all sorts of neat things.

  1. March 14th is Pi Day. How are your math skills? What’s the last thing you did that required math of any kind? And most importantly do you like pie? What’s your favorite kind? With ice cream, whipped cream, or please hold the cream?

Math and I are mortal enemies. Haha The last thing that I can think of that involved math for me was calculating someone’s age for a particular year.

Yes, I like pie. Even better, I LOVE pie! I think apple pie is probably my favorite, with pecan pie a close second.  Ice cream or whipped cream or without it, doesn’t matter to me, so long as I get the pie. 🙂

  1.  Insert your own random thought here.

I was introduced to a term recently that I was unsure of, so I looked it up. The term was “dependa”. What I learned is something that I think is totally disgusting.  It is a derogatory word for military spouses. There are apparently people out there that seek out the social media pages of military spouses, hang out at the commissaries and other places on bases to take pictures of them to post online, and make insulting and hurtful comments to and/or about them. They bash them for depending on their spouse’s income, call them lazy, and a host of other mean things.

If these people bashing the service wives are actually pro-military, wouldn’t it be more supportive of the troops to be NICE to these spouses rather than distracting the soldier/sailor/warrior with worry about what’s happening to their wives and children while they are serving this country? Some of the people doing this are actually service people, or former service people, themselves.  Talk about one’s own family turning on them! How can you have a true “brotherhood” when you know people are calling your wife bad names and tormenting your children?

Have these alleged adults turned back into 13 year olds bullying on the schoolyard? Grow up already!

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White flowers. First Presbyterian Wildflower Project. 13 March 2018

On a good note, what’s bloomin’ in your neck of the woods these days?

Have a blessed day, y’all!

Book Review: Forgotten Violets by Martin Niewood

Forgotten Violets by Martin Niewood

Forgotten Violets by Martin Niewood started off slow for me. Maybe I’m just too old for this genre, but it was very confusing to me…at first. I couldn’t follow what was happening. It was this way for the first 96 pages or so. However, on that page, it took a turn with a revelation. This is the way the last 100 pages went. I couldn’t put it down after this point.

Wow! There are many twists and turns packed in the last half of this book. Just when you think you may have it figured out, you find out that you don’t, and are a long way from figuring it out.

I am afraid to say much of anything for fear of spoiling it for you!

Nothing is as it seems. Meadow (the lead character), Elizabeth, and Parker try to sort through all of the chaos to get to the truth and not get killed in the process. This book has battles, both physical and mental, romance, friendship, and betrayal.

There is one intimate incident, but it was very conservatively written, not graphic at all, and only a sentence or two long. There is one scene describing illicit drug use, its consequences, and suicide.

If you like mysterious and supernatural story lines, you’ll enjoy Forgotten Violets.

 

We were sent a complimentary copy of this book.  We are under no obligation to write any review, positive or negative.

We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Notice: This post contains affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, we may financially benefit from your transaction, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support.

Book Review: Stranger No More: A Muslim Refugee’s Story of Harrowing Escape, Miraculous Rescue, and the Quiet Call of Jesus by Annahita Parsan and Craig Borlase

Stranger No More: A Muslim Refugee’s Story of Harrowing Escape, Miraculous Rescue, and the Quiet Call of Jesus by Annahita Parsan and Craig Borlase

If your heart needs a faith lift, Stranger No More may just well be what the doctor ordered.

This book takes us from a journey when the author was very young all the way past the loss of a loving husband, through a terrible second husband who was evil incarnate, and then on to becoming a Christian and later a pastor.

You need to hold onto your box of tissues while you read this book. You will hear of strangers who show wonderful kindness and those close to her show unspeakable horrors.

We follow her through life in prison, and so much more. You will see God shine through it all and perform many miracles. This is one of those books you will tell others, “You’ve got to read this!”

We give Stranger No More all five stars. It is well-written and exciting, in both a good and a bad way. You will hang on the edge of your seat and you will not want to put the book down.

Get two copies so you can share.

We were sent a complimentary copy of this book. We are under no obligation to write any review, positive or negative.

We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Notice: This post contains affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, we may financially benefit from your transaction, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support.