Wednesday, August 29, 2012

All about 'cha

Having been tagged by my dear blogging friend, Kirsteen who lives across the world from me but still seems like such a good friend (kindred spirits as Anne of Green Gables might say, perhaps?), I have a fun little "about me" post to make today! Thanks, Kirsteen!  See the end of my post for a couple of folks I'm tagging! You could be one of them!  :)

1) Blueberries or cherries?
Honestly, I love both when they are fresh.  And I don't mind cherry pits, I just chew carefully! I also love, love, love some good raspberries, but as Kirsteen said, those aren't mentioned here! :) 

2) Vanilla or chocolate?
While I can definitely appreciate both and each has their rightful place, I am a chocolate lover. Especially a good, not too bitter dark chocolate! YUM!

3) What is your favorite song?
I am a musician and as such I think it makes it extra difficult to pick out just one favorite song!  If I had to choose a favorite from each genre, I could probably manage a little better.  :)

4) What is your favorite activity?
Varies a bit with my mood and a lot with how much "extra" time I have at my disposal. But overall, my favorite is definitely reading a good book!

5) Have you ever left your country?
Actually, no! That is something I'd like to do at least once in my life, though, as I long to "see the world!"  It's on my bucket list (see one of the last questions! LOL)!

6) What is on the floor of your closet right now?
Well, much less than before I just had a huge cleaning spree!  I organized it, so I'd have to say the only things on the floor are shoes (and not even all of my shoes), some stationery boxes and my exercise accessories I do believe!  Yea for me!! haha  ;-)

7) What did you do last night? 
I finished cooking for supper (made a slow cooker recipe that required cooking noodles on the side), ate supper with my husband, made some photocopies that we needed, watched a movie with my husband and then checked my emails and such!  Then I slept!

8) What are you most afraid of?
I honestly do my best to battle any fears that come my way, as my Lord tells me to not fear as He is with me.  But when I do fear, it would probably be the fear of not being remembered when I'm gone, or of not being important to at least one person in this world. Thankfully, I feel I'm important to my husband, at least! So that helps me, too.

9) If you had the option, would you choose a fun drink or an edible snack?
The answer to this also depends on my mood and my hunger levels! If I'm hungry, I need the snack! If I'm not, I'd probably choose a fun drink such as a coffee drink!

10) What is your favorite day of the week?
Saturdays usually.  Mostly because as long as we don't have anything planned for that day, we are able to have a bit of a laid-back day in which we can spend time together, the hubs and me, and do what we want including relaxing.  That's nice!

11) What is your favorite breed of dog? 
I am a dog lover. I admit!  So right now, my favorite would probably be the type I have, Australian Cattle Dogs! They are gorgeous! And smart. And cute. LOL  But I also love the type of dog I used to own, a cross between an Australian Shepherd and Border Collie, both very intelligent breeds as well as lovely to look upon!

12) What is your favorite genre of literature?
Oh wow, I have eclectic tastes. But if I had to narrow it down, I suppose the general overall genre is fiction.  I like historical fiction, most Christian fiction, suspenseful and poignant fiction, etc.

13) Diamonds or pearls?
They both have their place, I'm a woman, I love jewelry! haha  But I guess if I had to choose, it would typically be pearls. They can be quite beautiful and I love how they come in different shades, not just white or cream, but that beautiful charcoal shade or the copper shade.  It's fascinating!

14) What is your favorite type of flower?
Also a very hard decision to make, as I love flowers in general!  But for a garden flower, pansies typically win.  And for cut flowers, I appreciate alstroemerias, also known as Persian Lilies.  And I love roses that have a sweet scent, but many that are cut do not compared to those grown in a garden! So I love garden roses and old-fashioned roses that have retained their wonderful aroma!  :)

15) What is one item on your bucket list?
To see the world! I love to travel and want to do it for the rest of my life!

Okay, that was fun! I'm tagging Heather from Mrs Southern Bride, Evelien from A Glimpse of Me, Rachelle from Inspiring Daring, and Carissa from lowercase letters!   Ready, set, go girls!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Orphan King

Thomas was raised hearing about the "Immortals," and knowing his destiny was intertwined with the destiny of these mysterious people.  Yet he has no idea who the "Immortals" really are.  All he knows is that he must set forth on a journey to accomplish the one task that is set clearly in front of him, and to conquer all that seems unable to be conquered in the process.  Along the way he meets several very interesting and mysterious characters in their own right; a knight, a pickpocket and an attractive young woman.  Will Thomas fulfill his destiny or die in trying?

This book is the first in the series Merlin's Immortals by Sigmund Brouwer.  The second book is slated to be available early 2013.  I would highly recommend this book both to teenagers (recommended for ages 12 and up) and adults.  The plot is well thought out and the characters are engaging and do not seem trite.  I give The Orphan King a 4 out of 5 stars!

Thank you to WaterBrook Multnomah's Blogging for Books program for giving me a free copy of this book in order to obtain my review.  Please note that all opinions expressed in my review are honest and are my own.  If you care to take just a moment and rate any of my reviews on the Blogging for Books site including this one, please visit Blogging for Books and search for me under the title of this book on the right hand side of the main page. Thanks! 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Dwelling on the Greater God

Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.

By day the Lord directs his love,
at night his song is with me--
a prayer to the God of my life.

Psalms 42:5,8

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

I John 4:4

It has been a rough few days in some respects, and today has started as another rough day.  Yet I find my spirit wanting to draw closer to God, to find His love as my great and consistent sustenance.  To tell my soul, my body, my spirit -- all of which feel downcast at one point or another and sometimes all simultaneously -- to not be disturbed, but to hope in God.  Because His love is directed toward me, and even at night his song is with me.  Because I am a child of the living God and have overcome what is in this world because He who is in me is greater than the one in this world.  Because I know, in my deepest heart of hearts, that God loves me and will take care of me in a better way than I could ever ask, no matter what may come. Thank you, Lord. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Confronting Jezebel: Review

Confronting Jezebel by Steve Sampson exposes what is often referred to as "The Jezebel spirit," or the spirit of control.  In this less than 200-page book, Sampson delves into two examples in the Bible, namely Queen Jezebel and King Ahab, her husband, in order to show us what someone who has allowed the spiritual stronghold of control to take over their lives and their hearts looks like.  He also uses many real-life examples of the terrible consequences that happen when a person or people choose to control others in an ungodly way, sowing discord, confusion, rebellion, passivity and more. The harvest is one of pain, broken relationships, clouded judgment and loss, even to the extent of churches breaking apart.

I found this book to be highly interesting and also convicting.  Basically everyone has some controlling aspects to their personality, but it is imperative that we do not allow ourselves to be controllers as Sampson reinforces in his book over and over.  Walking in the light as God is in the light implies we are not to be controlling others . . . . rather we are told to be responsible for ourselves, our actions, our words and our choices. This is a godly attitude. This book really hit home even as it was enlightening, helping confirm what I believed I had glimpsed in some of the dreadful scenarios I had seen played out as people -- even those claiming to be Christians -- controlled or attempted to control others in a way that no human being should be controlled.  I would recommend this book if you are wanting to learn more about walking in God's Holy Spirit, and keeping your eyes wide open and your heart functioning in spiritual discernment rather than out of the ache to control others! If you want to be prepared in the spiritual battle we are engaged in, you need to know your enemy!

Like my reviews?  If so then please go to  and search for my name, Rachel Rudin, under BLOGGERS and "rate my review" of this book and any of the others you see listed under my name!  I would deeply appreciate you taking a few moments to rate my reviews!  

Thank you to Bethany Books/Chosen Books for giving me a copy of this book in order to obtain my honest review.  Please note that all opinions expressed in the review are mine and are not influenced by being given the book for free. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Book Review: Crater

Crater, book one in the Helium-3 series by Homer Hickam, is about a young man named Crater who lives on the moon.  I thought the book would prove an interesting read.  While not entirely unhappy with choosing to read and review the book, I have to be honest in that I was a little disappointed in it after reading the reviews of others.  Perhaps it is just not "my type" of book so much, but it seemed to move along far too slowly, and was for the most part rather uninteresting I thought.  I hate to give a more negative review, but the book did not really capture my attention as I hoped it would.  Maybe it's a more appropriate fit for pre-teen boys interested in sci-fi. Crater was an interesting character and I felt a bit more in step with him, but not with the other characters. I would give it a 3 out of 5 stars.

Thank you to BookSneeze for the free copy of this book in order to obtain my honest review. Please note that all opinions expressed are genuine and are my own. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Dear Friends,

I'm taking a bit of a break from my furious house cleaning and organization to sit down and talk to you all.  Why?  Because I love to talk to friends.  And because I'm sure you love to read what I have to say, trivial or not!  ;-)  haha!

So lately my husband and I have been working on our home.  Wish I had some before and after photos to show off.  Sorry to say, I didn't think to take any. Does it count that the before and after look is in my head?  At any rate, we have made considerable progress, enough that it is quite easy to visually see a difference in practically every room of our entire house!  That gets me excited!

In the meantime, however, I unfortunately took up a bad sinus infection which seems to be exacerbated by all the dust we've been stirring up, however great or little. (before you worry about me, please be assured that I did go see the doctor right off so I'm on medication for the infection, but so far it doesn't seem to have made too much of a difference, I'm sorry to admit! I hope it does soon!) Oh well. The sacrifices one makes to have an organized, clean home!  Just hoping for a face that feels normal again in the near future . . .

One of the reasons I've had to work with more furiously than before is because I recently found out I have a list of allergies that can provoke something referred to as contact dermatitis.  Perhaps some of you know what that is?  I had the most thorough testing available done to be certain of what I truly could or could not use on my skin, skin I already knew was more sensitive than some.  Turns out I was allergic to more than I thought, unfortunately!  Thus I have had to go through every single personal care product (trust me, the list is soooooo much longer than you can imagine when I say "personal care"!) and literally throw away or give away pretty much every single item in my stash.  No, I am not kidding.  Let's just say that out of the shelves in my bathroom, my products if put all together would take up a container of approximately 12"x12".  Easy to move, anyone?!?  That's the positive side of the picture, I guess?!?  I have three grocery bags of things to toss and another 1.5 bags of items to give away.

Has this been trying?  Yes, in a word.  As you may recall, I also started taking physical therapy a few months ago.  I just realized I never mentioned it again after I first said it was another obstacle to overcome.  Therapy went well, now I just have to keep it up for the rest of my days.  Do I sound discouraged?  I feel that way sometimes.  Do I sound like I'm complaining?  I certainly do my best not to . . . . because I realize that, although these obstacles I face are anything but common to the majority of folks out there, and I have had to face a few more unique situations than others my age, it is my life.  My life is what I make of it, and most of all, what I choose to let God make of it.  Is it easy?  Rarely ever.  I'm being honest here. It has been anything but easy, especially over the last several years of my life.  But somehow, even on the hardest days, God gives me grace.  He holds my heart, my life, my body in His hands.  I have to remind myself of this truth sometimes.  But it gives me just enough strength to make it through each day, and to face whatever may come . . . . including annihilation of my bathroom storage and pain through physical therapy!

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Mysterious Benedict Society

The first time I saw the title of this book, I was totally intrigued!  I wanted to know what such a title could mean and when a good friend of mine, Heather, mentioned that she'd seen the book and wanted to test it out someday, then I knew I should try it! Our taste in reading is often identical!

The story follows four "gifted" children who each respond to an ad in the newspaper that reads, "Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?"  I think one of the aspects I like best about this book, without giving anything away, is to say that individual gifts, talents, personalities, etc. are emphasized and celebrated as a good thing, even as the possibility for greatness when combining the efforts of individuals is also explored.

I am now so very happy I gave in to my curiosity and read, "The Mysterious Benedict Society."  It is a delightful book! I highly recommend it. What a refreshing change of pace! I have tried to think of what this book reminds me of, because facets of it do remind me of some other book I've read, but otherwise it seems original enough that it is difficult for me to compare it to any other book.  I think this would probably be a great read for anyone who loves a wonderful young teen/early YA book with a flavor similar to bygone eras, yet nothing outdated or difficult to understand in the least!  Stewart uses fun vocabulary and his plot is truly brilliant. You come to appreciate and love the main and supporting protagonists.  Loved reading this book, did not feel like it was too young for an adult to thoroughly enjoy and I'm looking forward to the next three that are out!  These are books I would hand to my children in a heartbeat!  :) 

Have you read The Mysterious Benedict Society?  Thoughts? 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Raindrops on Roses

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens,
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens,
Brown paper packages tied up with string,
These are a few of my favorite things . . . . 

This rather famous song from the Sound of Music likes to prance through my head just about every time it rains here!  And guess what, it's raining this very minute! And I'm loving it!  An unexpected summer shower.  Although it is exceptionally dark outside since this cool, moist front moved in (think dusk in the middle of the afternoon!! wow!), it's a pleasant break from the standard hot, humid weather we've experienced for some time.  I don't know about how it is where you live, but when it decides to get down to business and rain here, it gets DARK out there!  It never ceases to amaze me!  Some parts of the U.S. don't get so dark out when it rains, for instance, I don't remember it ever getting to dark and ominous up in Montana.  Something unique about here I suppose.  That and how hard it can rain.  My word! Talk about raining cats and dogs! I think they should add in horses, here! It's raining cats, dogs AND horses today, folks!  :-)  Just sayin'!

So what comes to mind first thing for you when a rain shower begins?  Do you have a song that pops into your head as I so often do? Or do you have a different reaction entirely?  I love the sound of rain falling on my roof! It is soothing, a beautiful sound of nature at work.  :-)

Have a lovely day, and may the best rain showers be yours this summer!