Thunder Dog, by Michael Hingson{Book Review}

Where were you 9/11/2011?

I was outside feeding the horses when the first plane hit the Towers. I was watching the television when the second jet struck. The rest of the day was a blur of watching the news, praying for the rescue of the survivors, prayers for the families that lost loved ones, and wondering how this could happen in America.

I remember being thankful that as a family we didn’t have any one in New York or the Pentagon. No one at church had anyone missing either. That didn’t stop us from having a nightly prayer meeting the week following the attacks.

Being a little bit of a documentary junkie I have watched several shows on 9/11. This was the first book about that day I have read. It is a simple telling of a complicated day. Michael and Susy weave the happenings of that day (9/11) with times from Michael’s past that show you what it means to Michael to be blind. Relaying antics of his youth, learning to use the white cane, driving a car, and getting his first guide dog, you get an inside look into his inspiring life.

I really enjoyed this book. I found it to be well written and full of details. The stories were about so much more than Sept 11th. I highly recommend this book to you.  It would also make a fantastic gift this coming Holiday Season.

What book have you been reading lately?

Kimberlee, Thank you for visiting!

DISCLOSURE NOTICE:  I received a copy of this book to read from Mr. SD’s mom.  Though I do reviews for Thomas Nelson Publishers, this was not a book I received from them to review.  As always, the opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own opinionated opinions.

From the Publisher:

In Thunder Dog, follow Michael and his guide dog, Roselle, as their lives are changed forever by two explosions and 1,463 stairs. When the first plane struck Tower One, an enormous boom, frightening sounds, and muffled voices swept through Michael’s office while shards of glass and burning scraps of paper fell outside the windows.

But in this harrowing story of trust and courage, discover how blindness and a bond between dog and man saved lives and brought hope during one of America’s darkest days.

A Deeper Kind of Calm, by Linda Dillow {Book Review}

Leaning on God is something we all talk about, but… do you, lean on God?
Or, is it just lip service?
Do you want to have a stronger, deeper faith?
Or, are you just looking for a comfy sofa ride through this thing we call life?
If you are looking to deepen your faith… If you are looking to be that calm person when the ‘water’s rise’… You have to get this book.  That is all there is to it.  After reading countless books that were supposed to ‘help’ me find that calm place inside, I finally found a book that makes sense and delivers what I have been looking for.


In her book, A Deeper Kind of Calm, author Linda Dillow shows you what steadfast faith in the midst of adversity looks like.  By drawing on the Psalms and different ‘characters’ from both the Bible and her life, she shows what a clam brought about by faith looks like.  Linda explains the building blocks to achieving this calm in your life based on a saving faith in Christ.


A cornerstone of the book is building an ‘I remember’ list {mine is at the bottom of this post, generalized to protect the guilty, of course}.  You can jog your memory to remember these faith filled moments when God seems so very far away.  She also compares our walk with God to a Marathon versus a sprint.  I had heard that one before, but… I hadn’t heard the phrase ‘No Pain, No Gain’ applied to our marathon.  Being in the middle of a weight loss/getting my butt off the couch {or computer chair} and outside running/working out, this really struck home with me.  We train to compete in so many aspects of our lives.  Why don’t we expect to have to ‘train’ to have a fulfilling walk with the Lord?

In A Deeper Kind of Calm, Linda shows you how to build {train} a deeper faith.  A deeper faith equals a type of calm during a storm that most of us envy when we see it displayed in others lives.  Prayer, verse memorization, and praise are just a few the of the things Linda points out.


At the end of the book there is a 4~week Bible study.  I can’t wait to begin that, and reread this book at the same time.  There is so much packed into the 106 pages, that it was hard to believe I had finished the book.  At the same time, I don’t know how she fit it all in there.  Wow, is the best I can do in describing this book.


Kimberlee, Thank you for visiting!
I remember…
…how fresh and full my faith was as a teenager.
…the feeling of closeness to the Lord in everything I did.
…the conviction I felt when making decisions that honored the Lord.
…how God has provided for me when nothing was going right.
…how God influenced situations in family members lives to bring them to a saving faith.
I know…
…that I can have that burning faith again.
…that prayer is as important as the food I eat.
…God loves me deeply.
…no matter the struggle, God trumps all.
DISCLOSURE: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.  The opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own opinionated opinions.

Now I Walk On Death Row {Book Review}

I just finished reading Now I Walk On Death Row by Dale Recinella, and I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone.

This book is a great affirmation of faith based living while providing insight on seeking God’s will in your job, home life, and in your way of serving others. While this may be a nonfiction book, it is so engagingly written, that it reads like a fast paced fiction novel. Dale shares his and Susan’s {his wife} journey into service to the rejects of society with five children in tow.


Dale speaks openly about the steps he took within his Catholic church structure in regards to his service. I found hearing how the Catholic church handles volunteers in ministry interesting and eye opening in that I have no personal experience with the Catholic religion. Dale relates some disheartening experiences he had with Catholic Clergy in the area of service, and equally exasperating experiences with Christians of various denominations. The amount of wordly things that Dale, his wife and children gave up in their pursuit of God’s will in their lives is staggering. In my own mind, I have always thought that those that zealously pursue God and service to others had little to tie them to wordly things. Dale and his family prove that my perception was/has been very mistaken.


Dale’s journey takes you from wall street, to Florida’s correctional institutions, around the Vatican City, and back to Florida’s death row. Dale discusses the controversial topic of the Death Penalty in this book. I have always been a staunch supporter of the Death Penalty personally. After reading this book, I am in the process of reevaluating my own stand on the subject after reading Dale’s personal experiences on this topic.


Some quotes used in the book that will definitely be sticking with me…

St. Augustine “so long as there are people who lack necessities, a person who has more than he needs is holding the goods of another.”

Sister Mary “who of us wants to face the worst possible consequences of our smallest mistake.

One of Dale’s pet rules “every job is simple until you have to do it yourself.

Kimberlee, Thank you for visiting!

 I did receive a copy of this book from the publisher to read and review.  The opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own opinionated opinions.

Book Review ~ Left at the Alter by Kimberley Kennedy

How many times have you looked back and realized that you have made a huge mistake? Did it cost you several thousand dollars? A broken heart? All of the above? If so, you will certainly relate to the topic of this book.
Left at the Alter, is my first book to read by Kimberly Kennedy, and I have to say I really enjoyed reading it. This book was about so much more than ‘just’ being left at the alter.
Kimberly takes lessons she learned through this life changing experience she went through and shows how and when she should have put God in the drivers seat of her life. How many times have you shoved God aside and continued on your way? I know that I have charged past when I should have been pausing to pray and seek God’s opinion/plan for a specific situation. As I have mentioned before, one of my goals for this year (besides losing the baby weight left over from Ms. T) is to have a more active and consistent prayer life. This book has confirmed this goal, and given me more examples to add motivation to the fire. She also includes scads of good bible versus throughout the book.
Another point (one that you may not have known or you may already) in the book is how women and men view relationships (especially young ones) differently. Kimberly shares stories from guys on this point, and it is interesting to hear it from the horse’s mouth so to speak (per the book description).   Also, most women go through the same grief process over a broken relationship, dating or a marriage, as you go through when you lose someone to death. That is definitely something I learned in reading this book.
I found Kimberly’s writing style to be very engaging and her points laid out plainly. Her background in journalism comes through as does her self described perky attitude. I really enjoyed reading this book, and know that God placed it in my hands in his perfect timing.
As I mentioned above, Kimberly shows how women go through the grieving process. I received this book two weeks before losing my grandfather. This is my first time to read anything about the grief process. When I got to the part describing the grief process grandpa’s health had been declining rapidly and I knew his life was coming to an end. I fully believe that for everything there is a purpose, and receiving this book when I did may have been the reason God pointed me to review books. I think God’s amazing timing is just that, amazing. Coincidences are just God’s way of staying anonymous.

I received a copy of this book from BookSneeze to review.  The opinions I have expressed are 100% my own opinionated opinions.

Book Review – City on Our Knees

City on Our Knees, by TobyMac {published by Bethany House Publishers}
As this book is tied into one of my favorite Toby Mac songs; City On Our Knees, I was very excited to read it and bring it your attention. This book did not disappoint in any way! It was a quick read, with well laid out chapters/sections. I definitely recommend this book as an addition to any library.
I really enjoyed the motivational/inspirational stories Toby Mac shared in this book. I read the book in December over the holidays, and it motivated me to make some changes this year (still waiting to see if I will continue following through with these changes).
One change I was inspired to make was increasing my prayer time. Toby Mac included stories on the strength of prayer that I had not heard before. This is an area I would like to improve on in my own life. And the stories of how specific people handled their prayer time, and the answers they saw were amazing. It gave me a few new ideas that I can put into practice in my life.
As with any book that is a compilation of historical accounts (especially faith based accounts) some of the stories I had heard before, but several were completely new to me.
Toby Mac separates the themes/sections of this book with bible versus and quotes that give you some great one liners to use. I love writing these down on 3″x5″ cards (you can also write them on fun scrape book papers) and posting them at home and the office as reminders. The prayer ones are helping me to remember my goal to improve there.
{ I received a copy of this book from Bethany house publishers to review. The opinions I have expressed are 100% my own opinionated opinions. }
Here is TobyMac’s bio from Bethany House Publishers:
TobyMac is a Grammy Award—winning artist, producer, and song writer. First known as part of the popular group dc Talk throughout the 1990s, he launched a solo career in 2001 and has since won numerous awards, earned three certified gold albums, and had six No. 1 CHR singles. “City on Our Knees,” the inspiration for this book, spent thirteen weeks as Billboard’s No. 1 Christian song. TobyMac’s previous books include Jesus Freaks (with dc Talk) and Under God (with Michael Tait and WallBuilders). TobyMac is married, with five children, and makes his home near Nashville, Tennessee.
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~ About Me ~

I'm Kimberlee, the owner/creater of 'The Spunky Diva'. Here is a little about me... In addition to my love of blogging I adore all crafts, sewing, quilting, improving my non-existent cooking skills, and playing with my two girls. We have a 'collection' of animals around the place to keep us busy; two 'huge' dogs, a cat, kittens, several horses, and assorted wildlife. We live east of Austin, Texas, in the middle of farm country. Here at 'The Spunky Diva' blog I get to share daily life moments, fun crafts, sewing and quilting progress/finishes, and brag about my 'Babies'. Thank you for visiting and sharing some of your day with me!


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