Thursday, April 28, 2011

Week off

Well, it would seem that I have taken an impromptu week off of blogging. Generally I try to let y'all know if there is a reason I can't post for awhile, but this past week was unavoidable.

Life at the manor has been full of practicalities the last few weeks. As of a month ago our family suddenly moved from being a two-car-family to being a one-car-family. This wasn't an unexpected transition--hubby's car is quite old and clunky, and whenever a major repair comes up (which could be at any time) it won't be worth fixing. It is so old and clunky that I can't drive it because we never bothered to get the broken seat fixed (like a little girl trying to ride her big brothers bicycle, in my hubby's car my feet don't reach the pedals).

As much as we have been expecting to lose a vehicle in the near future, this did come as a surprise.

Why?

Well, because it wasn't my hubby's car that bit the dust. It was my car. The new-to-me car we bought to replace my totaled MousieMobile. The one in excellent condition, all working parts, no major repairs needed, and 3,000 miles on it. The steady, dependable, super-comfortable, gonna-last-us-awhile car. Yeah, that one. And Clunker still lives.

Go figure.

So, that was a bit of a change in plans. I guess God needed to remind us that while our 5 year plans are great things to have, He's actually the one who calls the shots on what happens.

Between my hubby and I we are currently working about 5 different jobs, 3 of which require significant, daily driving. Two of those three are my part time jobs. And I still couldn't reach the pedals on his car.

Needless to say, the last few weeks have been pretty hectic, as my husband has had full time work around doing all the part-time driving for me. This has been challenging for both of us, though on the bright side I really enjoyed the extra time we got together throughout the day.

A few days ago my husband came up with a creative idea to fix the car so I can drive it. To our mutual delight his idea worked like a dream. Now he either carpools to work with a friend or stays home, and I can drive myself around which eases up the schedule considerably.

All that to say, with a more normal schedule, from here on we should be back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Lord willin' an' the crick don't rise. :-)

 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday--The Gospel

In honor of Good Friday I want to share this video I watched this morning with my husband. It really made me think about the sacrifice Jesus made for me, and how amazing it is that he died for me.

 May we all learn to live Christ daily.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Chicken and Rice Burritos

Here is the recipe I recently used for our last batch of Freezer Burritos. It turned out WONDERFUL, though I didn't follow the recipe religiously.





1 c. rice
2 tbsp. oil (I used olive oil and butter)
2 sm. onions, chopped
2 chopped bell peppers (optl.)
2 cup corn (optional)
2 clove garlic, pressed
2 c. chicken broth or water
2 c. cooked chicken, finely shredded
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 cans (16 oz.) refried beans (I made my own)
1/2 cup chopped jalapenos
4 cups cheddar or mexican mix
12 flour tortillas

Make rice according to directions on package. While the rice is simmering saute onions and bell peppers together in the oil. Mix together rice, onions, bell peppers, corn, garlic, chicken salt and pepper in a large pot.  Mix jalepinos with refried beans. 

Layer burrito with stuffing in the following order: refried beans (about 1/4 cup), rice/chicken mixture (about 1/3 cup), cheese (at your discretion--I like a lot of cheese). Roll burrito, and package as a freezer burrito (wrapped in a paper town and tin foil). 

The recipe turned out super tasty--in my opinion even better than Brown Bag Burritos, though my man may not be of the same opinion. :-)

Friday, April 15, 2011

On Distance



It's Friday, and I'm joining Gypsy Mama again in Five Minute Friday. The rules are:


1. Write for 5 minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word.
2. Link back to Gypsy Mama and invite others to join in.

3. Go leave some comment props for the five minute artist who linked up before you 


This week the prompt is "On Distance."

On Distance (Start 11:35)

When I think of distance the first thing that comes to mind is the distance of time. I just celebrated a birthday, and I imagine what I was like 10 years ago. So much has changed. 10 years ago I didn't know who I was, I was trying to decide what God wanted me to do with my life--and if I really even cared what He wanted. I was deciding whether to pursue the world and pleasures therein, or pursue Christ. I truly didn't know which I wanted.

Time has passed, increasing the distance between the me of now and the me of last decade. I have changed and grown. Hurts have come, experiences been added, and joys felt. I've learned that all I truly want out of life is to Love the Lord, and I am so very, very grateful that that He didn't allow that 15 year old me to make the decision that would take her away from Him forever.

My Lord has closed the distance between us. He has shown me the joy of loving him. But when I think of distance, I realize that I've only traveled a fraction of the distance that he wants me to travel. As much closer as I am to Him now than I was 10 years ago, it isn't close enough. Not nearly.

Lord, close the distance between us--the huge, vast distance. Forgive me when I allow the distance to continue between us instead of running to you when I first notice a gap. And thank you for holding on to me, even when I push you away.  Don't ever let me go.

(stop 11:40)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Hamburger Patty Christianity

When something happens that we consider unpleasant, frustrating, or downright bad, my husband and I have a question we'll ask each other. We'll look at each other and ask, "Are you going to be a Calvinist about this?"   Without getting into the whole "Calvinism vs. Armienism" debate, what we really mean is, "Do you believe in the absolute sovereignty of God over everything, even this? And do you trust Him enough to leave this situation in his hands?" Recently I had a couple chances to practice trusting God's absolute sovereignty, with mixed results.

The first of the two occasions happened last week. We didn't know the full extent of the issue yet, but we were faced with a trial in which the best case scenario was a fairly significant financial setback. Worst case was a bigger financial setback and major inconvienances over the next couple months. As difficult as the situation was, my husband and I encouraged each other in the Lord, and mutually were able to come to the point that we could trust God and wait patiently (without worry) to see Him work. I was batting pretty well that day, or so I thought.

The second occasion took place the very next day when my husband and I elected to stay home and work on around the house projects. One of my projects was making hamburger patties out of some ground beef I'd recently purchased. These patties weren't just any hamburger patties. They were destined to be AwesomeSauce Burgers--one of my husband's favorite man-meals (he named it himself). So these patties had to be just right.

Much to my dismay, when I went to look for the recipe I discovered that that particular recipe book had disappeared! I couldn't remember loaning it out, it wasn't on any of the cookbook shelves, nor could I spot it in any of the usual (or unusual) places. On top of that, google searches to see if the recipe was posted online, returned uniformly unsuccessful.  Nor could I  remember the recipe well enough to wing it.

This was just too much. The meat, while still good, was on the outside of it's refrigeratable shelf-life. Even if we didn't have a roadtrip planned for the following day, I doubted it would have lasted long enough to do it the next afternoon. I didn't want to risk another recipe when cooking in bulk, and these were my man's SPECIAL meals--the ones I pull out of the freezer when he's had a rough day to make his face light up. Having second-rate AwesomeSauce Burgers just wasn't an option.

In a matter of minutes my hubby's typically sweet and patient wife transformed into a serious grump. I was NOT happy. My face when from cheery to tight and upset. My words went from pleasant to frustrated. My body language followed the same course.

And that's when my husband asked the question:

"Dear--if you can trust God with this big situation we're dealing with, can't you trust Him with the  hamburger meat also?"

Wow. Talk about conviction.

When it comes to big things, things that truly are out of my control, I can talk like a Christian, act like a Christian, and generally be wonderful and spiritual. That's great! Wonderful! We NEED to be able to trust in God when something huge happens and takes us totally by surprise.

But sometimes it isn't the big things that are the most challenging. Sometimes we can talk Christian about trusting God with something big, but the reality is we only are trusting God with it because we realized we couldn't do anything about it ourselves anyway.  If we thought we had the power to change the situation ourselves we wouldn't continue trusting God--we'd handle it ourselves.  So we aren't REALLY trusting God, we're merely recognizing our own powerlessness and slapping a Christian veneer on it. Because of that I think our heart attitude can be revealed more by how we behave over the little things in our lives, things we THINK we control, than by the big things we already know are out of our control.

 We need to be Hamburger Patty Christians--Christians who are able to trust God with the little things. With the house that just won't stay picked up, even after we give it our best. With the day we start out late, and keep getting later. With the weeks (months!) that are rushed, harried, and non-stop. And with the hamburger patties that need to be made not tomorrow, but today.

 What about you? Are you a hamburger patty Christian? Do you trust God with big things and with little? Or do you struggle to trust Him when things aren't quite right? 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Life songs--1000 gifts



It's Monday. Another Monday. I woke up this morning--or rather, didn't quite wake up--and made French toast for my man for breakfast. I wasn't unthankful. But I wasn't really thankful either. I just wanted to stay awake long enough to get to work. I wasn't living in the minute, I wasn't savoring each of those precious seconds that God has given me on this Earth--I wasn't milking every moment of the joy it has.

I didn't look around my home and see the order there--order that only was possible because God gave me the strength yesterday to work when I wasn't in the mood. I didn't look at my couch, where the laundry is neatly sorted and ready to be put away (a feat only accomplished by God's grace!!). I didn't look at the bread I sliced and wonder in awe that God had designed 6 ingredients forming a tiny little ball of dough to work together in such a way that it will feed my man and I bread for several days. Nor did I truly appreciate the creative gifting my God gave to man, made in his image, to make a machine that would work this wonder on those 6 ingredients while I slept last night.  

I didn't look at the roses on my table, a present from my man for my birthday last week, and thank the Lord from the depths of my heart that he gave me a godly husband who loves and serves the Lord with his whole heart. I didn't look at the verse posted over the office door--John 3:16 in Ukranian--and thank God that he has given me the opportunity to share His love with a lost and dying world.



I wasn't complaining either... but was I really living life this morning as I groggily poured my Grade B organic maple syrup over my home made French toast? Was I really living life in the way God intended? As a song of praise to Him? As a joyful response to his Love?

No, I really wasn't. But the day is only half gone. May the rest of the day, Lord, be a song of praise to you. May the song of praise in my life inspire other praise-songs in the lives of every individual I come in contact with.  


49. The forgiveness of my Savior
50. "Thy sins are forgiven... Go in peace." (Ref Luke 7:48-50)
51. The slight pinch of new shoes
52. watching pancake batter after adding soda
53. my own baby butter bell
54. The feel of a lusciously long broomstick skirt swishing at my ankles
55. A road trip with my husband and a good friend
56. Hearing a first concert



57. Bluebonnet fields
58. A loving, patient husband
59. A God whom I can trust with material things
60.  Birthday wishes sung over the phone
61. helping my man with his Sunday school lesson
62. My husband, making my birthday dinner himself
63. Laughter
64. A car break down that shows God's sovereignty
65. A good movie shared
66. A free book
67. Finding a kindred spirit to teach me to witness
68. Community group--growing!!!
69. Candle-lit

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Worthwhile Reads

Loving the Pastors Wife--Many times in a church the pastors wife is one of the greatest--and least recognized--contributors.

Finding Time To Create--Wow. This post was challenging to me. Creativity is a God-given skill exclusive to man--who is made in His image. Maybe our "busyness" is getting in the way of our reflecting part of the creative nature of God?

A Different look at Proverbs 31 -- Mary Aldrich over at YLCF writes a modern day application of Proverbs 31.

Easter Celebration! -- I love this idea for using the tradition of an easter basket to communicate truth to children. As a child some of the most enjoyable and memorable lessons my parents taught me were done in a creative and very physical way--just like this idea.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

If you met me...



The Gypsy Mama has had a "five minute Friday" challenge for some time now, but this is the first time I've participated. Ironic, considering it isn't even Friday right now... :P Oh, well. 


Writing like this--from the heart, unedited, only a few minutes--isn't remotely the norm for me. I do write from the heart, honestly and openly (or that is my endeavor) but each post, even the ones with typos that are painfully obvious to the more editorial types, has been painstakingly written, revised, edited, and changed BEFORE it is posted. I frequently spend an hour (or more) on a post that some of you could have written in a few minutes. That's the way things are around here, that's how I write. But it's always good to try new things, right? So here it goes. 


Here are the rules:


1. Write for 5 minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Go leave some comment props for the five minuter who linked up before you.


The prompt this week is "If you met me...."




Start (4:40, pm)


You would see a slender woman in a pretty white dress sprinkled with pink flowers. A pink hair-band is tying back my hip length brown hair. My husband tells me it is the color of honey--not quite brown, not quite gold--but never dishwater. 


Depending on where we met I might dive into the conversation easily--or you may have had to work. I don't like big gatherings--I struggle with meeting new people when I'm in a new place. But I love being introduced to someone new by an old friend. In that case things go swimmingly and I can talk for ages--or at least, with a few questions, listen to you. I love hearing about the loves that other people lead, it is interesting. 


If you got me talking you would probably hear a lot about my husband and my home. I was married six months ago, and while I've got the overall idea of being a wife, I'm still in the middle of learning how exactly to live it out in a godly way day to day. I'm learning how to keep the house clean, and stay in budget, and make the grocery money stretch as far as I want it to, and how to dress in a way that pleases my husband, and what exactly it means to honor my husband on a day to day basis. It's a lot to learn, but I enjoy it, and if we were to start talking that's where my words would drift. 


STOP (4:45)



Friday, April 8, 2011

Free Ebook--Secret Holocaust Diaries


I heard about the Secret Holocaust Diaries from Money Saving Mom, and thought it looked interesting. It is currently free to download for Kindle from Amazon.com. It is a fascinating story!!

While I have enjoyed it thus far (if one can "enjoy" a holocaust story), I would caution any younger readers that there are some graphic scenes in the book. It is well worth the read, but not if it will keep you up at night. I'll do a more complete review after I've actually read the book. :-)

This is a free kindle download. If you don't own a kindle you can download a reader for your computer by going here. Currently the price is $0.00, but that could change at any time.

Five things...

I saw this on another blog I follow (Chantel, over at Love Life and Little Things). I really loved the idea. As she said, "Sometimes, I get so busy living that I almost forget about some of the life I’ve already lived, the little and big things I’ve already experienced, the days that built today." 


I look over my life and I can see frustrations and joys, regrets and hopes, times when I was close to God and times when I'd drifted away. I do think it is good to remember where one has been, and where one is going in order to keep a clearer perspective on what is going on in life right now. 

Ten Years ago I:
1. was 15 years old.
2. Was just starting to graple with who I was in Christ
3. Had just returned from my first (and only so far) out-of-country mission trip.
4. Spent hours every week either in the saddle, or working on a horse ranch to pay for those hours in the saddle.
5. Organized my own drama team, with enough material for an hour of two-person short skits, and performed at several different places around the metroplex.

Five Years ago I:
1. Was 20.
2. Worked part time as a care-taker.
3. Spent over a month away from home learning to love Christ (though I thought I had left to learn music)
4. Spent hours each week singing
5. Went on a mission trip to New Mexico

One year ago, I:
1. Had just turned 24
2. Was newly engaged
3. Started blogging again, after taking several years off
4. Graduated college
5. Learned LOTS about linen and dying fabrics

So far this year, I:
1. Worked full time for the first time ever
2. Got rid of bed-bugs
3. Heard the first concert of the Darling Durlings
4. Managed to total a car for the first time (surprisingly easy!)
 5. Have read  over 15 books (in 3 months)

Yesterday, I:
1. Worked both of my jobs
2. went grocery shopping
3. Made fresh kifer
4. Went to community group (which was awesome!!)
5. Made brownie cake

Today, I:
1. invited a bunch of people to my SIL's baby shower
2. Started a long letter to an old friend
3. cleaned the house
4. Will stay home from church and make a salad
5. went through some boxes of my husbands childhood mementos

Tomorrow I will:
1. Not stay home from church
2. sell my car for $300
3. attend a "beautiful inside and out" conference
4. babysit till the wee hours of the night
5. Sleep well :P

In one year I will:
1. Be 26
2. have gone on my first backpacking trip with my man
3. Have set aside at least 6 months of food storage
4. Have had a baby (Lord willing!)
5. Be at home full time

in five years I will:

1. Be 30ish
2. be looking at houses with my man (Lord willing)
3. Be looking at houses with LAND!!! Where I can have rabbits, chickens, goats and fruit trees!  (dreaming big!)
4. Will have a couple miniture people runnning around the house (maybe?)
5. Still be crazy-mad-head-over-heels in love with my man--and we'll be wrapping up the first 5 and a half years of our honeymoon (scheduled to last about 70 years, give or take a decade ;-) )

Thursday, April 7, 2011

How To Make A freezer burrito

 When I first saw the recipe for Brown Bag Burritos I was a little skeptical. I wasn't sure how well Burritos would freeze. I thought the tortilla would get soggy as it thawed, and honestly, freezer burritos just didn't sound very appetizing.

Oh, how wrong I was.

Of the freezer cooking days I've done, involving a total of 3 families over three months, one of the FAVORITE recipes has been freezer burritos, particularly with those of us who go to work every day. They are incredibly convenient. Just grab one (or two) of the foil wrapped frozen burritos out of the freezer, toss them in a lunch bag, and let them thaw through the morning. They'll be just about thawed when lunch time rolls around, and a minute or two in the microwave will get them piping hot and ready to eat. No soggy tortillas, just tasty burrito goodness.


The last couple months we've done Brown Bag Burritos (recipe link above). Recently I tried another recipe, Chicken and Rice Burritos, which I like even better than the old stand by. I'll post it in the next week or two. 

In the meantime, I thought I'd give a step by step tutorial for how to make a freezer burrito--regardless of what you stuff it with. 



Start with a large tortilla (be sure to use the burrito size--small tortillas are good for tacos, but don't work well for burritos. I learned that the hard way). Place the desired amount of filling in the center of the burrito, fold the edges in (this keeps the stuffing from running out), and roll from one end.


After rolling the burrito, place it in the center of a paper towl, and roll the paper town the same way the burrito was rolled. First fold the edges of the paper towl over the ends of the burrito, and then roll it up from one side. The purpose of the paper towel is to keep the burrito from drying out when it is warmed up in the microwave later. Your burrito should now look like the paper-towel burritos above.

Take the paper-towel covered burrito and place in the center of a square of tin-foil. Repeat the burrito roll. Fold the edges of the tin-foil over the ends of the paper-towel-burrito, then roll up from one side. The purpose of the tin foil is to protect the burrito from freezer burn. Remove this before warming the burrito up in the microwave.

For a more detailed look:

Place the paper-towel burrito on aluminum foil square

Fold edges of foil over ends of burrito

Roll up burrito fro one side


Finish rolling foil so burrito is completely covered

Depending on how ambitious you were, you may end up with a pile that looks like this:


Or a Freezer that looks like this:

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

1000 gifts

I've been falling down on the job with keeping up my 1000 gifts posts here!! Whether or not the actual posts happen here, though, I'm still keeping up with it in my journal. :-)

31. Waterdrops catching the sun
32. A squirrel running up apartment steps
33. A Mockingbird perched wary on fence
34. hand mixed paint



35. pear trees in bridal dress
36. flecks of sunshine reflected on showered blossoms
37. Weeping Willows bending graceful
38. Walks to the park
39. A helping hand in needed moment
40. funny faces to sour ice



41. a letter hidden between Bible pages
42. costume jewlery
43. Whispered conversations late at night
44. Early morning snuggle
45. Picnic by the pond
46. Nutella spread on toast



47. Splashes of color on a bird house
48. my man in an apron on Sunday morning

Monday, April 4, 2011

April 4th

On this day, one year ago, an adventure continued that has changed my life forever. It's been an amazing, terrible, fun, difficult and always exciting ride--and I can't wait to see what God has in store for my hubby and me in the future!!




You can read part one of last years adventure here: An Unusual Holiday, Part 1
And Part two here: An Unusual Holiday, Part 2

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Reading Challenge 2011--April Checkpoint



March was a quiet month for me on the blog, but was filled with reading. It seemed as if the only things I posted here were book reports!!!

I posted about the Bible Reading Plan I'm using, what I'd learned from Ann Voscamps One Thousand Gifts, how I'd been challenged to show more respect to my husband, and what I've been learning about prayer. I even posted about a just-for-fun story I re-read.

There were some books, not on my reading list, that I've read this past month and just didn't have a chance to post about specifically. I re-read Firebird, a sci-fi "what if" story exploring the question--"what if Jesus didn't come until AFTER we'd developed space travel and colonized many planets?" A favorite from my growing up years, Firebird was fun light-weight reading. I've also worked through Making the Best of Basics, not light-weight reading by any stretch of the imagination, but fun because I enjoy learning about how people used to live and how I can "make the best of basics."

To take a look at what the "official goals" were:
February
Wrestling Prayer by Eric and Leslie Ludy
The Respect Dare by Nina Roesner
Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery that Revolutionizes Home Baking by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François
One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voscamp

March
God is More Than Enough by Jim Berg
Large Family Logistics by Kim Brenneman
The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartin
Answers to Prayer by George Mueller
I've pretty much knocked out all of February's books. March's books have all been started but, with the exception of A Sane Womans Guide, have yet to be finished. Wrapping those up this month won't be a problem--provided I stay consistent (two of the books are daily devotionals). I probably will NOT finish God is More Than Enough this month (or next month) because instead of just reading the book I decided to work through the 3 month course. Taking time is a good thing. :-)

Looking ahead to April's goals:
April
 The Bravehearted Gospel: The Truth is Worth Fighting For by Eric Ludy
Creating an Intimate Marriage: Rekindle Romance Through Affection, Warmth and Encouragement by Jim Burns
Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer
We'll see how those go. I know I'll get to The Bravehearted Gospel, but with several books still remaining from last month I may not have time for the other two. Regardless, I've been enjoying my reading time and look forward to whatever reading I get done in April!!! :-)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Lessons learned

The past couple months I've made some poor choices on time management, and have been learning some hard (but good) lessons as a result.

 First there was a work opportunity to temporarily take on a few more hours and work full time. I knew the extra pay would be helpful to some of the goals my husband and I have set, and I thought if I was careful to say no to other opportunities I could make it work for a little while. It wasn't just the money either--my coworker temporarily wasn't able to be there the days she usually is, and my boss really needed those extra hous covered. It would have been hard to turn them down.

The second problem was that at the same time I took on extra hours at work, I also took on two major home projects. These required extensive hours planning, more financial outlay than I realized, and completely tapped my physical and mental stamina.

On top of these two major issues, I never got around to cutting back on the normal activities like I said I would. Community group one evening, Bible class another, visiting family, various social activities, church commitments--I just kept going and going.

I wasn't willing to give myself grace when I wasn't able to keep my home as tidy as I like to, or have the laundry done in good time, or keep the dishes in the sink under control.  I could have chosen to look at the situation as a temporary one and given myself the grace I needed to do what I was able to do and leave the rest. Or I could have chosen to take proactive steps to remove the stressers I'd overcommitted myself to. Instead I became grumpy, stressed, and hard-to-live-with, while still doing everything that I thought needed to be done (and not doing it very well, either).

 Recently I have been reminded that my first responsibility is at home. If my other activities--whether work, church, social, family, or just-for-fun--get in the way of that, I've got to cut back. In fact, sometimes even "home" related activities can grow disproportionate, and need to be trimmed.

My primary goals in this life are to have a growing relationship with Christ, to become a joyful and radiant picture of the Bride of Christ in the way I treat my husband, and to create a peaceful and happy home. Anything that detracts from these goals needs to be re-examined and then either restructured or chunked. If that means that I can't do all the activities I want to do (or that other people want me to do), so be it.

What about you? What lessons has God been teaching you lately? Have you ever struggled with keeping your priorities in the right place?

Friday, April 1, 2011

Wings of Dawn



I re-read this book by Sigmund Brower  a couple weeks ago as a just-for-fun book. I've found that as nice as it has been to have a book-reading guide to keep me reading quality books, I need a break from the serious reading every now and again! Wings of Dawn was a nice change of pace.

Thomas, a youth who isn't quite a boy anymore but isn't yet a man, is on a quest. Raised in a monestary in mideval Britain, his nurse had given him an education far beyond what even kings and queens of his day recieved. A hard but loving taskmaster, she had taught him secrets of science that were completely unknown to most in his day, had schooled him to fluency in many foreign languages, and had given him access to a vast and secret store of books--in a time when books were rare treasures. Before she died Thomas' nurse had also given him a mission. Use the resources of knowledge she had obtained for him to retake a small country, Magnus, from userpers who had murdered her parents and stolen their throne.

Thomas sets out, armed only with the knowledge she has given him. His companions are reluctant--a grimy pickpocket, a mysterously beautiful girl who is both deaf and mute, and a knight from the land of the sun. Against all odds they are able to reconquer Magnus--and only then does Thomas realize that reconquring the land was only the beginning of his battle--and of his unanswered questions.

Who were Thomas's parents? What is the secret of Magnus? What is the true identity of his childhood nurse? Who is the mysterious old man who has been dogging his steps? What about the old man's beautiful companion? Who can Thomas trust? And what must he do to stop the evil that is spreading from Magnus to encompas all of Britain?

 The story-telling itself I found to be somewhat repetitive. In the same way that a book in a series will repeat facts from previous books to get the reader up-to-speed, Sigmund Brower repeated facts from previous chapters. I think this 400 page book could have been cut a good 15%-20% if these repetitons had been left out. The storyline itself, however, I found sufficently enjoyable to overlook the definciencies in writing.

While this book is considered Christian fiction, it is not overtly Christian. The main characters profess faith in Christ and pray often, particularly in difficult times. Thomas comes to faith in Christ. However, this is not an element of the story that permiates every page of the story. It struck me as if instead of starting with Christ and determining the best way to glorify him in story form, the author started with a story and then determined the best way to add Christ to it. This isn't necessarily bad, but the two methods of writing are quite different.

Overall Wings of Dawn was a fun read. It is nice to have a change of pace, and I enjoy the occasional adventure story.