Wednesday, April 24, 2013

To Those Who Read & Follow This Blog

I have my very own self-hosted website where I post more frequently. I would be most honored if you would visit and follow me there. www.ordinaryservant.com.

It's a pleasure to serve you and I wish abundant blessings upon your life.

In Him,
Ordinary Servant
Pilar :)

Monday, March 25, 2013

Learning To Love by Heidi Baker; Rolland Baker

Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Chosen Books (February 15, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0800795520
ISBN-13: 978-0800795528
Price: $13.99
Purchase: Amazon | CBD | BN










Description

Missionary Leaders Reveal Behind-the-Scenes Glimpses from Africa.

Continuing where their book Expecting Miracles left off, this narrative draws from the last five years of the life of Iris Ministries. Woven alongside fascinating narrative from Mozambique is teaching from Heidi and Rolland that communicates the distilled wisdom about the heart of the Gospel from all their years of serving the poor.

More than any of their previous books, this one has the most to say about what Rolland and Heidi have learned about love--whether in Africa or wherever home might be: finding intimacy with Jesus, concentrating on the humble and lowly, being willing to suffer for love's sake, finding God's supply of utterly needed miracles, and walking in the unquenchable joy of the Lord. Every reader will find incredible challenge and refreshment in these pages.

Review

I remember Heidi Baker visiting Times Square Church back in 1995. It was a 3:00pm service and she preached a touching message entitled, "Who will go?".

I was a baby Christian. I had just started attending Times Square Church back then. The strangest thing started happening to me. To my surprise, I began to weep.

She did an altar call and I was propelled to go. I went and fell on my knees sobbing my heart out. I wasn't familiar with the move of the Holy Spirit or anything like that. So everything was completely brand new, coming from an open and sincere heart.

I remember that day like if it was yesterday. I never forgot Heidi Baker, Mozambique or that altar call. There were only a few of us at the altar answering the call. I honestly thought I would wind up in Africa one day, but I didn't.

It was refreshing reading Learning To Love and seeing all that the Lord has done in Mozambique years later.

Heidi and Rolland Baker share wonderful and encouraging testimonies of their work through Iris Ministries.
Granted, I personally struggle with the whole miracle element; the blind seeing, the deaf hearing and the dead rising. However, I respect the work that God is doing through the Baker's in Mozambique.

I enjoyed reading the different stories throughout Learning To Love. The book is inspirational and I recommend it.

In conclusion, I want to thank Chosen Books for sending me a complimentary copy of this book to review.

Heidi and Rolland Baker, founders of Iris Ministries, served as missionaries in Indonesia and Hong Kong before following God's call in 1995 to Mozambique. In the face of overwhelming need, the Bakers now watch God provide miraculously for well over 10,000 children every day through their ministry, and many more through the Iris network of more than 15,000 churches, Bible schools, primary schools, and remote outreach programs. They live in Mozambique, Africa.

Thursday, February 21, 2013



Yes, I jumped on board with Avon again on February 6, 2013. I used to sell years ago before I had my first son. I had to stop because I had him and then his brother a couple of years later. So between working full time and caring for babies, I was completely exhausted and had to stop.

But I sure did miss it, which is why I'm glad I'm back.

I remember as a child my great aunt used to sell Avon. So that was my first exposure to Avon products. I have nothing but great memories and experiences with Avon.

I would always look forward to my aunt's gifts on my birthday or Christmas. She would always give me something from Avon.

I remember two things specifically that I especially loved. This perfume stick that smelled of honeysuckle and this little plastic hamburger which when you screwed off the top, there was scented lip gloss inside. I cherished that little hamburger for years.

As you can see, I have a healthy history and relationship with Avon and I'm so happy to be selling for them again.

What's even greater than the last time I sold, is now I have my own online store as well. Besides being an independent sales representative, I am also an e-representative too. Which means, anyone who wants to order Avon can purchase from my store from anywhere, 24/7. Isn't that amazing! I love it.

You can visit my online store by going to http://parsenec.avonrepresentative.com/.

I do hope you stop by and visit my store. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

If you are interested in the Avon opportunity and would like to join my team, please feel free to contact me.  I would be happy to help you. It's great for stay at home moms, college students or anyone wanting to build their own business from home.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Creating Room To Read by John Wood

Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Viking Adult (February 7, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0670025984
ISBN-13: 978-0670025985
Price: $27.95
Purchase: Amazon | BN










Description

The inspirational story of a former Microsoft executive’s quest to build libraries around the world and share the love of books.

What’s happened since John Wood left Microsoft to change the world? Just ask six million kids in the poorest regions of Asia and Africa. In 1999, at the age of thirty-five, Wood quit a lucrative career to found the nonprofit Room to Read. Described by the San Francisco Chronicle as “the Andrew Carnegie of the developing world,” he strived to bring the lessons of the corporate world to the nonprofit sector—and succeeded spectacularly.

In his acclaimed first book, Leaving Microsoft to Change the World, Wood explained his vision and the story of his start-up. Now, he tackles the organization’s next steps and its latest challenges—from managing expansion to raising money in a collapsing economy to publishing books for children who literally have no books in their native language. At its heart, Creating Room to Read shares moving stories of the people Room to Read works to help: impoverished children whose schools and villages have been swept away by war or natural disaster and girls whose educations would otherwise be ignored.

People at the highest levels of finance, government, and philanthropy will embrace the opportunity to learn Wood’s inspiring business model and blueprint for doing good. And general readers will love Creating Room to Read for its spellbinding story of one man’s mission to put books within every child’s reach.

Review

I first learned of John Wood several months ago while watching a program called "Half the Sky" with Nick Kristof and his beautiful wife Sheryl WuDunn. The program is based on a book they both wrote together. Much like John Wood, they are doing a marvelous work around the world.

I began following Nick Kristof because he is an activist against child sex slavery in countries such as Cambodia, India, etc. Both he and his wife are proactive in girls being educate around the world, especially in oppressed nations.

On the program, Nick Kristof interviewed John Wood about the wonderful work he is doing through his nonprofit organization called Room to Read.

Creating Room To Read chronicles John Wood's journey with Room to Read. He shares his life and the stories of various children. He also shares his vision and desire for every child to be able to read and have books. Thus, promoting global literacy.

I am inspired by his heart, devotion and sacrifice. I truly believe he and his team at Room To Read are doing an amazing job in changing the lives of so many children worldwide.

Creating Room To Read will motivate you to want to make a difference. I believe if we all did our part and donated to Room to Read, we could make John Wood's vision come true.

I challenge you to read this book, it is life changing.

In conclusion, I want to thank Viking Penguin for sending me a complimentary copy of this book to review.

John Wood worked for Microsoft for nine years, helping grow the company’s international profile. He resigned at thirty-five and founded Room to Read, which is widely regarded as one of the world’s top nonprofit organizations. He documented his decision and the creation of Room to Read in his memoir, Leaving Microsoft to Change the World. He lives in New York City.
 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Pinterest Savvy by Melissa Taylor




File Size: 1216 KB
Print Length: 55 pages
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B00B86DKL6
Price: $4.97
Purchase: Amazon









Description

You'll learn:
--> How to attract more followers & increase brand awareness
--> How to achieve marketing and sales goals
--> Business-specific strategies
--> Success stories & tactics
--> Secrets from top Pinners

Pinterest Savvy: How I Got 1 Million+ Followers (Strategies, Plans, and Tips, to Grow Your Business with Pinterest) offers a comprehensive look at how to achieve success on Pinterest.

Author, Melissa Taylor, draws on her expertise as a top Pinterest user with over 1 million followers, shows how to get started and gain skills on Pinterest, and reveals her secrets to getting lots of followers.

Along the way, you'll hear from other Pinterest experts like popular blogger Amy at Living Locurto and the social media team at PBS. Plus, you'll learn business-specific tips and see real-life examples.

To help you achieve your goals, use free chapter guides available on Pinterest-Savvy.net.

Review

Have you ever thought about starting a Pinterest account, but were not sure how to go about it? Well then, Pinterest Savvy is for you.

I admit I was very limited in what I knew about Pinterest until I read Pinterest Savvy.

The diva of Pinterest, Melissa Taylor shares her tips, strategies and how she got one million plus followers.

This wonderful book takes you step by step from start to finish on how to grow your business on Pinterest.

This is a unique and fabulous resource which I highly recommend.
 
Melissa Taylor is an award-winning educator and writer. She writes primarily about education, children’s literature, and technology for publications online and in print such as Parenting.com, Scholastic Parent and Child, Babble.com, Colorado Parent Magazine, and others. Her first bookBook Love: Help Your Child Grow from Reluctant to Enthusiastic Reader, was published November 2012 to critical acclaim.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

First Steps Out by Christy McFerren

Paperback: 172 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (October 31, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1480160342
ISBN-13: 978-1480160347
Price: $9.99
Purchase: Amazon










Description

After walking together through her twenty-three year journey to overcome homosexuality, Christy McFerren and her parents, Mike and Sharon Honea, are speaking up to offer hope to families in a sometimes painful and seemingly hopeless place.

Sharing the stories, pain, joy, and wisdom gained from their personal and family struggles, they hope to become a resource for families that wasn't available to them during their journey.

More than a guide for families, however, their story is also offered to the Church at large as a starting place for learning how to open their doors and their arms to people who struggle with homosexuality, same-sex attraction, and related issues. Christy and her parents share a vision for a Church who can offer hope and truth, maintaining a firm foundation of traditional biblical interpretation while employing grace and wisdom in revolutionary ways - the very ways that empowered her freedom.

Christy's message to those who face same-sex attraction is, "It's OK to Fight." Her message to the Church is, "Let's have strong enough faith in God's divine grace that we can give people permission to be in process." You can join a supportive community of revolutionary thinkers on this topic at firststepsout.com.

Review

I first met Christy McFerren on Twitter and then started reading her articles on Prodigal Magazine. When she asked me to review her book, First Steps Out, I was definitely interested.

I value Christy's transparency and courage. She shares her journey about being a Christian, growing up in the Church and struggling with same sex attraction.

I believe this could happen to any one of us. It could have happened to me. As a matter of fact, I was propositioned by many women through my life as a Christian. The temptation to cross over was always available. I can only say it was by the grace of God that I didn't since I am a curious person by nature.

I personally have close friends who are part of the LBGT community. I was involved in acting and singing for years and many of my friends are gay. I'm also very close to a family member who is a transvestite.

I am vehemently opposed to Christian's bashing homosexuals. I always say, the sin of homosexuality as the Bible describes, is no worse than committing adultery, fornication, gluttony, lying, stealing, or being religious and judgmental. I honestly do not understand how any Christian can point a righteous finger and judge anyone, much less those who are attracted to the same sex.

This is why I love First Steps Out because Christy understands what it's like to be judged. She was hurt by those around her while she was struggling. She was given over to her same sex attraction for a time, but by God's grace and with her parents love, prayers and support, she no longer is.

Today she is free, happy and married to the man of her dreams. What an amazing testimony!

First Steps Out was written for family or friends in the Christian community who has a son, daughter, sibling, cousin or friend who is struggling with not wanting to be in a homosexual relationship. Christy McFerren lovingly offers advice, information and biblical wisdom on how to approach family members properly, effectively and most of all, lovingly.

This book is an excellent, helpful and informative resource for the Church at large. I truly believe every Christian should read First Steps Out. I highly recommend it.

Christy McFerren is a writer, blogger and speaker on the topics of faith and culture. Her blog, Living a Thoughtful Revolution (christymcferren.com), is focused on exploring what it means to thoughtfully live out the answers Jesus gave us to the questions culture is asking. She is also a featured content writer for Prodigal Magazine where she writes stories at the intersection of Church and Culture. In addition to writing and speaking, Christy and her husband Dan run a brand development firm called Thoughtful Revolution. They offer web design and development, brand identity, content authoring and marketing services with a special focus on writers and authors. You can find out more about their services at thoughtfulrevolution.com. Christy and Dan live in Austin, TX.

The Glimpse by Grant Carroll

Paperback: 220 pages
Publisher: Child Refuge Publishing (July 9, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0615644783
ISBN-13: 978-0615644783
Price: $9.97
Purchase: Amazon

www.theglimpsebook.com








The Dream

In 2007, God gave Grant Carroll a critical end times message for the American church through a chilling dream his wife had. Not long after, he began to notice uncanny similarities between the dream and real world events happening to Christians in the news. Grant felt led to turn the dream into a piece of Christian fiction that would grab people's attention, so they would understand the dire warning of coming persecution, before it's too late. That story is called The Glimpse, and it's for youth, young adults, parents,church leaders and the Christian Church at large. Its message is for you.

Description

Would you hold on to faith...if all seemed lost? Austin, Lizzie, Daniel and Jackie are four believers in Christ who are missing something in their spiritual walk, something they can't find on their own. They see the church dying around them, and they desperately grasp for answers.

Without warning, they are supernaturally transported to a place that looks and feels like the United States they know, but only at first glance. They soon learn that it's a fascist nation in which Christians and all who oppose the government are severely persecuted. They encounter a small group of teenage believers, secretly persecuted. They encounter a small group of teenage believers, secretly meeting in a high school basement. The believers take them in, and the four friends get a glimpse of a world where the church is almost dead, and faith is all that keeps believers alive.

Along with the group's leader Eric Peterson, they work to help the fledgling church survive and grow, but danger awaits them at every turn. The clandestine NSA and the National Police have eyes and ears everywhere. It's a fight to survive, and to find a way home... if there is one.

Review

When the author Grant Carroll emailed me to request if I would be willing to read and review this book, I sensed the Lord nudging me to do so. I am glad I heeded.

The Glimpse is a book every Christian in America should read. As stated above in the description, the author wrote this book as a result of his wife having a prophetic dream.

Before Mr. Carroll contacted me, the Lord had been revealing to me through Scripture, prayer and dreams how our youth is a target of the enemy. The situation is increasingly getting worse in homes, schools and neighborhoods across America.

Although this book is written as fiction, there is much truth being revealed. The Glimpse is prophetic. God is warning His church through the message of this book.

Grant Carroll is an excellent writer and The Glimpse is a timely message.

I highly recommend this book and encourage everyone to read it. You won't be able to put it down.

Grant Carroll is a freelance writer, playwright, poet and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. He is a devoted husband and a father of four. Grant and his wife Nikki are founders of Child Refuge, a non-profit ministry with the goal of fighting for the innocence of our children and their future. His prayer is for his life and writing to impact the world for Christ.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Love Finds You In Glacier Bay, Alaska by Tricia Goyer and Ocieanna Fleiss

Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Summerside Press (January 1, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1609365690
ISBN-13: 978-1609365691
Price: $12.99
Purchase: Amazon | BN | CBD











Description

Singer Ginny Marshall is one signature away from the recording contract of her dreams—a deal that would guarantee success for the former foster child, who still struggles to bury the memories of her painful childhood. But Ginny needs advice from the one person who will look out for her best interests—her former fiancĂ©, Brett Miller. She travels to the remote town of Glacier Bay, Alaska, where the town’s colorful characters and stunning scenery provide respite from LA’s pressures.

In Glacier Bay, Ginny discovers a box of old letters and is swept up in the love story between Clay, an early missionary to Alaska Territory, and Ellie, the woman who traveled there to be his children’s governess. When Ginny is reunited with Brett in Glacier Bay, will she discover—as Ellie did—that healing and love are sometimes found in the most unexpected places?

Review

I have a confession to make. I hardly ever read love stories. I don't even listen to love songs either. I typically would not choose this genre to read or review. But, I love the authors and decided why not.

I'm so glad I did because I would have really missed out. I was completely blown away by Love Finds You In Glacier Bay. Yes, it's fiction and yes, it's a love story. Yet, it's also so much more than that.

I laughed, I cried, I mean, really crying. I was on the bus reading it and tears were streaming down my face. I just couldn't help it.

This story is beautiful, enriching, fascinating, deep, life transforming, redeeming and victorious. The characters were so real and as I read, I could envision each one and feel what they felt too.

I was hooked by the first page, without exaggeration. I did not want to put this book down and I certainly did not want it to end.

I know this will sound peculiar, but I even sensed the presence of God when I read this book.

Love Finds You In Glacier Bay, Alaska was healing for me. This story spoke truth to my heart, mind and spirit.

I highly recommend this book. I promise you won't be disappointed.

Tricia Goyer (triciagoyer.com) is the award-winning author of more than thirty novels. She and her husband have six children and live in Arkansas.

Ocieanna Fleiss (ocieana.com) is a published author and editor. She lives with her husband and their four children in the Seattle area. This is the authors’ third book together.

Desperate by Sally Clark and Sarah Mae

Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (January 8, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1400204666
ISBN-13: 978-1400204663
Price: $15.99
Purchase: Amazon | BN | CBD

desperatemom.com








Description

Desperate is for those who love their children to the depths of their souls but who have also curled up under their covers, fighting back tears, and begging God for help. It's for those who have ever wondered what happened to all their ideals for what having children would be like. For those who have ever felt like all the "experts" have clearly never had a child like theirs. For those who have prayed for a mentor. For those who ever felt lost and alone in motherhood.

In Desperate you will find the story of one young mother's honest account of the desperate feelings experienced in motherhood and one experienced mentor's realistic and gentle exhortations that were forged in the trenches of raising her own four children.

Whether you are a first time mom, or an experienced mom, Desperate will inspire you to be a part of the ultimate goal of the book, to be a part of the no-more-desperate-moms movement.


Review

I do not typically read books on parenting or motherhood. It just isn't one of my interests, even though I'm a mother.

I was pleasantly surprised at how good this book is. I would have loved to read this helpful and encouraging book after I had my first child.

I enjoyed how each chapter begins with correspondence between Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson. After you read about each one's personal experience on a particular topic of motherhood.

I gleaned a lot from this book even though my children are not babies anymore.

Desperate is informative and a unique read; balancing two perspectives: Sarah's experience as a young mother versus Sally's years of experience and wisdom.

I also learned the value of younger women having older women as mentors from this book as well.
I did not have any help when I had my children. My husband and I did it all ourselves.

I look back now and know it was by the grace of God we survived and got through very difficult times.

Desperate offers biblical wisdom and practical advice which I recommend for mothers, especially, young mothers.

Sarah Mae (sarahmae.com), listed as one of the Christian Broadcasting Network's "Six Women Leaders to Follow on Twitter," is an influential blogger, conference host, and author of the best-selling ebook 31 Days to Clean: Having a Martha House the Mary Way. She makes her home in the beautiful Amish country of Pennsylvania where she celebrates life with her husband and three children.


Sally Clarkson (itakejoy.com) is the author of several books, including The Ministry of Motherhood, Seasons of a Mother's Heart, and Dancing with My Father. She and her husband, Clay, are the cofounders of Whole Heart Ministries, which encourages and equips Christian parents. The Clarksons live in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado Springs, CO.

 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Dancing with Angels

Today I am guest posting at my dear friend and gifted writer Christa Sterken. I met her at Jeff Goins TribeWriters course.

She came up with a wonderful concept of doing advent guest posts reflecting thoughts on Christmas.
Please visit her website and read what Christmas means to me.