Jewels of Encouragment: Snakes and Doves

>> Tuesday, August 4

God put this message on my heart and started giving me words, and I started writing. In fits and starts. Bits and pieces. When I decided to put it all together into a devotion, I thought I was contradicting myself and was at a standstill....until.... my pastor preached on the exact same Gospel story and theme. However, I had been reading the story in Luke, and he preached from Matthew. Luke doesn't include the "snakes and doves" passage, and that was the connection I was missing. Thank you, Dr. Charles Thomas! And also, thanks for always preaching the WHOLE Word of God, not just the "feel good" parts.

Be blessed!

"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes." 
Psalm 18:24 (The Message)


Jewels of Encouragement: Where's my cross??

>> Tuesday, April 7

Oops, I forgot to tell you about my new post on Jewels of Encouragement. How unlike me. (sarcasm)

My devotion was published on April 4 - Easter Eve. I originally titled it "Unburying the Cross" but when I posted it I changed it to "Resurrecting the Cross" for some reason. Seemed a more fitting word for the day, I guess. Anyway, I'd love you to read my story, and share yours if you have one. Click the pic below....

"Resurrecting the Cross"

Peace and Blessings,


Dried Out - Jewels of Encouragement

>> Monday, November 3

I've been feeling spiritually empty and disconnected lately. Join me at Jewels of Encouragement today to read about how an obscure and confusing Bible story is helping bring my relationship with God back to life.

"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes." 
Psalm 18:24 (The Message)


Got Faith?

>> Saturday, October 4

As much as this subject nagged at my spirit and my conscious this month, I'm thinking someone needs to hear this message. Or am I the only one? I did my best to express what God laid on my heart to share. I pray it blesses you.

You gotta have faith...


Jewels of Encouragement: A Treasure of a Psalm

>> Thursday, September 4

I have treasured Your Word in my heart, that might not sin against You." Psalm 119:11

It's not unusual for the yammering voices in my head to be quieted by one of those treasures in my heart - Bible verses that could no more forget than I could forget my own name.

I'm know I'm in good company when I claim the 23rd Psalm as one of my treasures. It has been my security blanket on sleepless nights, my comfort and counsel in the midst of chaos, my assurance that the Almighty is ever present. Many times, my whirling thoughts have been interrupted by a gentle whisper, "The Lord is my Shepherd." And that's enough to calm me and remind me Who is in control.

Way back in 2001, when I was in a one of my rare journaling phases, I wrote out my own prayer as I meditated on Psalm 23. I'm sharing those words with you today on Jewels of Encouragement,

(The story of how I found it buried in 13 years worth of scattered clutter is a blog in itself).

Be blessed in His presence today -

Catrina Bradley
"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes." Psalm 18:24 


Book Review: "Ismeni" by Tosca Lee

>> Saturday, August 30

Ismeni: An eShort Prelude to The Legend of ShebaIsmeni: An eShort Prelude to The Legend of Sheba by Tosca Lee

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As I awaited the official release of Tosca Lee's newest masterwork, "The Legend of Sheba", I was thrilled when she snuck in a surprise - a 52-page morsel of prose to appease my cravings and whet my appetite for what was to come.

Ismeni sets the scene for Sheba, but could also stand alone as a short story. Fans of historical fiction and Biblical fiction alike will appreciate this glimpse at the life of woman literally born under the wrong stars However, much like Esther, circumstances worked to place her in a position of influence to the kingdom.

Tosca Lee managed to tell a fascinating story chock full of details and description in a brevity of words, and that takes talent. Because of the lightening speed of the storyline and the proliferation of ancient (i.e. hard to pronounce) names I got confused as to who was where and who was who a few times.

Ismeni's romantic bend caught me by surprise, but then I guess you can never really know what to expect from Tosca Lee's imagination and pen. As Ismeni herself said, "I should have known by then that nothing ever happened as I anticipated."

Legend of Sheba releases September 9, 2014. You can pre-order your copy today, but if you'd like a small appetizer while you wait, download Ismeni today. You won't be sorry.

View all my reviews

Catrina Bradley
"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes." Psalm 18:24 (Msg)


Book Review: The Miting

>> Friday, May 23

The Miting: An Old Order Amish Novel
by Dee Yoder

Even though Amish fiction isn’t my “thing”, I was looking forward to reading Dee Yoder’s debut novel “The Miting”. Being familiar with Dee’s ministry to former Amish, I knew I was in for an education. But I didn’t expect to be utterly blown away. Not only was the story compelling and the characters life-like, Dee Yoder’s novel is an eye-opening look inside Amish life and faith.

For example, I didn’t know that there are different Amish groups who are as diverse in custom, tradition, and religious doctrine as Baptists are from Catholics. The novel’s main character, Leah, grew up Old Order Amish – one of the strictest of the strict.

What I love about Leah is that she doesn’t resent her home, her chores, or the expectations laid upon her. She doesn’t even resent the rules we would consider unreasonably strict. She loves the church and her family, enjoys her life and her work, and overall is satisfied. All she wants to know is why the rules aren’t consistent among the Amish, and why she can’t read what God says for herself. And the yearning to know burns in her heart, refusing to be quenched.

But reading the Bible in English is forbidden.

For the first time in her life, Leah rebels against her Amish faith and her parents. She digs out a dusty Gideon Bible she was given as a child and searches out the answers that no one is willing (or able) to give. Torn between the Truth and Life she finally finds in Scripture, and her heartbreak at her parent’s anger and unwillingness to understand who Jesus really is, Leah faces a decision she never imagined she would have to make.

Dee Yoder has created characters so real, they almost became a part of my life. The Miting is a fabulous novel, and I’ll probably read it again. And again.

My Rating: 4½ stars.

Available in e-book or paperback at AmazonChristian Book, and other fine retailers near you. 

Click here to meet Dee Yoder  Learn  about her mission to the former Amish and why she wrote this book

Peace be with you,

Catrina Bradley
"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes." Psalm 18:24 (Msg)

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