28 April 2012

World Book Night Give-Away Winners

Peggy New & Stacey Olson

Be sure to check your mailbox soon... a copy of
PEACE LIKE A RIVER by Leif Enger is on it’s way!

25 April 2012

Joining Hearts & Hands in Prayer

Thursday, May 3, 2012

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord”
- Psalm 33:12

Did you know:  The National Day of Prayer was founded 61 years ago to remind us that our true solid foundation is from God and His Word. Every President since the early 1950’s has signed a National Day of Prayer proclamation. And records indicate there have been 965 state and federal calls for national prayer since 1775 and counting.

Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States, is quoted as saying, “It is fit and becoming in all people, at all times, to acknowledge and revere the Supreme Government of God; to bow in humble submission to its chastisement; to confess and deplore their sins and transgressions in the full conviction that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; and to pray, with all fervency and contrition, for the pardon of past offenses, and a blessing upon their present and prospective action.”

Some people may argue the fact, but prayer is an important element of our country’s well-being. The power of prayer should never be under-estimated. James 5:16-18 tells us,

“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.”

God listens to prayers, answers prayers, and moves in response to prayers. Here are just a few of the prayers we can pray for our country:

• Pray for President Obama and his Cabinet as they deal with domestic issues like the economy and immigration

• Pray about the manner in which government uses taxpayer dollars

• Pray for the judges and justices in our nations’ courts as they rule on constitutional issues

• Pray for those in Congress who are looking for means of both increasing revenue and reducing expenses

• Pray for our military – those in the U.S. and in foreign countries, and their families

Father, thank You for the United States and its government. I pray for the president, the national and local government, the judges, the policemen, the business leaders and all those who are in leadership positions in this country. Please protect them from the evil that is in the world and keep them safe and free from all harm.

You have promised to bless any nation that follows after You. Help us to live quiet and peaceful lives so that we can continue to spread the Good News of the Gospel throughout our land. In Jesus’ name. Amen.  (from Presidential Prayer Team)

Mark your calendars and make plans now.  Let’s join our hearts and hands together in prayer ... One Nation Under God.   Peace & Love, Donna Weaver

23 April 2012

Spreading the LOVE of Reading

Who is helping to give out half a million free books all across America on one day?  I am.

Tonight I will be one of the 25,000 volunteers, from Kodiak, Alaska to Key West, Florida, in 6,000 towns and cities across America participating in World Book Night U.S. – a celebration of reading and books.

World Book Night U.S. is an ambitious campaign to spread the joy and love of reading. Volunteer book lovers like myself, will help promote reading by going into our communities and handing out free books to new or light readers, reaching them especially in underserved places – and even some fun spots.  Thirty different novels have been chosen as World Book Night paperbacks. They are specially-printed, not-for-resale paperbacks. As a book giver, I have received 20 copies of Peace Like a River, by Leif Enger, to hand out.

Overview of the book:

With over a million copies sold, Leif Enger's award-winning, national bestseller Peace Like a River is a heroic quest, a tragedy, a love story, and a haunting meditation on the possibility of magic in the everyday world. Enger brings us eleven-year-old Reuben Land, an asthmatic boy in the Midwest who has reason to believe in miracles. Along with his sister and father, Rueben finds himself on a cross country search for his outlaw brother who has been controversially charged with murder. Their journey unfolds like a revelation, and its conclusion shows how family, love, and faith can stand up to the most terrifying of enemies, and the most tragic of fates.

Special Give-Away: As part of World Book Night, I will be giving away a copy of Peace Like a River to two lucky readers of my blog. All I ask is after you are done reading the book that you pass it on so that someone else can also share the joy of reading.

To enter the Give-a-way - leave your name below and
tell me the name of your favorite author or favorite type of book.
All entries must be posted by midnight EST Thursday, April 26, 2012.

Winner will be announced on my blog Friday 4/27/12.

Please note: To enter this give-a-way you must be a U.S. resident,
sorry but I am personally paying for shipping the books!

World Book Night, through social media and traditional publicity, also promotes the value of reading, of printed books, and of bookstores and libraries to everyone year-round. I am very proud to be a part of the first World Book Night in the U.S., and look forward to telling you about my experience in the near future.

Peace, Love & Happy Reading, Donna Weaver

To read an overview of other books selected as part of 2012 World Book Night,

20 April 2012

GOD'S Green Earth

“The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”
– Psalm 19:1

What’s Happening: On Sunday, April 22nd more than one billion people around the globe will participate in Earth Day 2012. Did you know the centerpiece of Earth Day in the United States will be a rally on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Tens of thousands of environmentally-conscious people from all walks of life and all parts of the country will be joined by civic leaders and celebrities for this special event to galvanize the environmental movement.

Check with your city or neighborhood organization to see what events they have planned for Earth Day. Take Action!

Why Should we Care: Psalm 24:1 tells us “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” That means since God created the world, we are only temporary stewards, and should be committed caretakers of its resources.

Sea turtle photo from www.blogs.westword.com
Facts about plastic – did you know?

• Plastic needs about 450 years just to start decomposing. Then, it takes another 50-80 years to decompose completely.

• Approximately 150,000 tons of plastic garbage goes into the ocean every year, causing the death of many sea animals which mistake the garbage for food. The plastic clogs their digestive systems and infuses their systems with chemicals.

• 24 million gallons of oil are needed for the production of a billion plastic bottles.

• The average American consumed 1.6 gallons of bottled water in 1976. In 2006, that number jumped to 28.3 gallons.

• Recycling a single plastic bottle can conserve enough energy to light a 60W bulb for up to 6 hours.

• Over 13 billion plastic bags are produced every year, which averages about 300 per adult.

• There are many countries which have banned or restricted the use of plastic bags. Australia, China, Austria, Bangladesh, Ireland and several European Union countries are among them.

Suggestions for making everyday Earth Day: 

• Use a reusable water bottle
• Turn off lights when you leave a room
• Use reusable lunch boxes for your children’s lunches
• Plant a tree or a garden
• Bring your own reusable shopping bags to the grocery store
• Convert your household light bulbs to LED
• Use rechargeable batteries
• Walk or bike more, drive less
• Use a water-saving shower head

Educational Resources:
Sullie Saves the Seas by Goffinet McLaren (South Carolina author).  This beautifully written book is a must read for children and adults concerned for planet Earth.  
Know Green, Go Green is a national campaign that promotes environmental education through providing resources for teachers to use to educate and mobilize their students.
Reading for the Earth is a national platform that libraries can use to promote environmental literacy and to inspire youth to read more books

It’s Friday, Let’s Sparkle … Action Required … Choose to make a difference, join the Billion Acts of Green. Today you can become part of the solution and help protect our planet by making a commitment to take action. Decide how you want to make a difference and pledge an act of green at  http://www.earthday.org/2012. The goal is to have one billion acts of green this Earth Day!

Get your families, friends, neighbors, churches, and schools involved … we all can make a pledge to be good stewards of this beautiful earth that God has entrusted to us.

I took the Pledge… I am helping reduce the danger of plastic water bottles by using a non-toxic, reusable water bottle. No one can do it all, but if we each do something – together we can make a difference!

Have a blessed weekend and don’t forget to …

Recycle – Reuse – Repurpose + Raise Awareness about Earth Day

God’s Peace, Donna Weaver

09 April 2012

Sharing God’s Light – Part 1

“Don't hide your light! Let it shine for all; let your good deeds
glow for all to see, so that they will praise your heavenly Father.”
- Matthew 5:15-16

One of the most popular artists in America, "Painter of Light" Thomas Kinkade, died Friday at the age of 54. The University of California Berkeley graduate had a strong faith in God, which served as the foundation for his artwork.

Kinkade was one of the most widely collected and beloved artists of our day. According to his website, “Each year millions of people are drawn to the luminous light and tranquil mood of Kinkade's paintings and include his creations in their lives through prints, books, and other fine collectibles."

Years ago I collected lighthouses and had several Kinkade prints of his “beacon’s of light. “ He had such an eye for taking objects and using his paintbrush to make them “come alive with light."  As I was thinking about Kinkade’s work, I also thought about how God makes us come alive with His light.  We are not to shine our light to draw attention to ourselves, but commanded to become the light to others in this world, so that they may know the true Source of our light.

So, how do you shine?

There are many ways we can shine for Jesus. Maybe you are like Kinkade and shine with a paintbrush, or maybe you shine with your voice. I like to think that God’s light shines just a little through the words I write.  Whatever gifts, talents and passions God has given to you, use them to His glory and “shine” for all to see.

Thomas Kinkade painted some amazing images of faith include pieces entitled: The Good Shepherds Cottage, The Cross, Sunrise, Walk of Faith, Stairway to Paradise, Bridge of Faith.  He also has “The Garden of Prayer Collection” which includes the following paintings: The Garden of Prayer, Pools of Serenity, The Hour of Prayer, and Gazebo of Prayer.

I’d like to close my blog today with words written by Kinkade himself, describing his painting The Gazebo of Prayer ...
"In my heart, gazebos are truly peaceful places. They seem to exist apart from the world and beacon all of us inside the confines of the small world they capture. Children use them in their fanciful play delighting their young imaginations. Lovers use them as a retreat to share a romatic moment or perhaps a wedding vow.  Wanders usethem as a palce of refuge, gently sheltering from the day's brillant sun.  To my artistic eye, this gazebo is a perfect place for those seeking a time of reverent renewal and a moment of solitude to be with their God. The trees soften the light to create harmonies of shadow and color enhancing the viewer's experience. One can smell the fragrant floral aromas gently drifting in this small sanctum of solitude. The birds happily sing in the trees as if they were a church choir praising the creator and thanking Him for the grace given to this heavenly garden. The spirit of our Lord fills every moment if we take the time to simply look, listen and allow His presence to fill our hearts and provide guidance. Join me in the Gazebo of Prayer where we can connect with providence often lost in hectic, everyday life. God Bless."

Excerpt taken from the official Thomas Kinkade website.
Check out his work at the link below:

I'll be back on Friday with Part 2 of Sharing God’s Light. Have a blessed and “sparkly” week.   God’s Peace, Donna Weaver

06 April 2012

Journey to the Cross - DARKNESS FALLS

“How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
- Romans 10:15

We’ve journeyed through the garden.

And now we approach the path to the cross.

The cross on a hill.

He carried our burdens and took our place on the cross

The blood stained cross.

Darkness falls over the Earth.

Leave your burdens and sins at the foot of the cross.

But do not stay in the darkness.

Because ...     Christ is Risen! 

"This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn't go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again.

               - John 3:16  (The Message)

It’s Friday, Let’s "Sparkle" ... action required ...
God required a price to be paid for our sin, so Christ took the journey to Calvary - and through His death, we've all been given the right to be called the sons and daughters of God.  All He asks in return is for us to believe in Him!

If you have never asked Jesus to forgive your sins and be your Savior, my prayer is that you will do so today. 

If you are already a Christian, my prayer is that you will let the light of Christ shine in your life for all to see. Spread the Good News.

Lent began with a symbol of ashes, and ends with the light of Jesus shining in each one of us.

Easter blessings everyone.
God’s Peace, Donna Weaver

03 April 2012

Leaving the Garden – Remembering the SUFFERING

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power
is made perfect in weakness"  (2 Corinthians 12:9)

This Lenten season has been quite a journey!  We’ve spent a great deal of time in the Garden... examining our hearts, confessing our sins, asking for forgiveness, smelling the sweet fragrance of our Savior, drawing closer to Him, talking about humility and being passionate... and here we are. Today we leave the garden and as followers on the journey to the cross, we start down a very dark path.

Can you imagine what it was like for the disciples, as they shared Christ’s last days

What a terrifying time!

Does your life ever seem like a dark path? Maybe you are facing the unknown? Are you going through your own pain and suffering?  Despair?  Fear?  Doubt?

Well, I have good news to share with you. No matter what we are going through, no matter how desperate we feel, no one understands our “darkness” better than Jesus. As followers of Christ, we are never alone because of His promises and His presence ... because of His journey to the Cross.

I hope you will find encouragement and hope in the following Easter message from DaySpring. ... 

the Light of the World,
came so we could find our way to God.

the Lamb of God,
died upon the cross
so we could receive the Salvation of God.

the Bright and Morning Star,
rose from the dead
so we could live forever with God.

For a free printable copy of DaySpring’s Easter message click this link:

Preparing Our Hearts .... As we approach the cross, and the moment of darkness that comes on Good Friday, let us not forget the tremendous suffering and agony Jesus endured. Praise Him and thank God for our great gift of salvation.

Below is a link to one of my favorite songs of encouragement... it is called “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” I remember singing this in our choir at my high school graduation. It still warms my heart and I hope it will do the same for you.

This version is sung by Barbara Streisand...

Blessings & God's Peace, Donna Weaver