Free Books On Kindle – Louisa May Alcott & Gene-Stratton Porter

Free Books On Kindle - Louisa May Alcott & Gene-Stratton Porter

It has been awhile since my last post about free Kindle books.  I had fully intended to write much sooner than this but sometimes I feel like that’s the story of my life!

I actually haven’t been reading very much lately and it has been awhile since I read these particular books, so you’re not going to get a detailed review!  After all, they’re free!!  You can delete them if you don’t like them!  But these were ones that I enjoyed reading …

An Old-Fashioned Girl – this might be my favorite Louisa May Alcott book!  It’s a story about a sweet young lady from the country who went to visit her fashionable city friends, and helped make some very positive changes in their lives and characters.  My mother is actually reading this aloud to my younger siblings right now and it reminded me of how much I enjoyed the book when I first read it!

Eight Cousins – another favorite … this one is about an orphaned girl (Rose) who came to live with her extended family, which included seven cousins who were all boys with no sisters.  The book begins with her avowal that she hated boys but she quickly learned to accept her family and became a good influence on her new friends.  This was an enjoyable read.

Rose in Bloom – this is a sequel to Eight Cousins and tells about Rose once she grows up.  It’s a good story and deals with the positive and negative aspects of character building.  And yes, she does end up getting married but I won’t tell you to whom 😉

Little Women – most people are familiar with this book, as I believe it was the author’s most widely-read publication.  I enjoyed the story but I dislike the amount of fantasy that is involved.  As I recently addressed in my Disney post, we avoid reading material that involves witches and fairies and the like, and I recall some of this content – especially when it came to plays and performances.  In a read-aloud setting, I would find it necessary to avoid these sections and I would have to read the story again to know whether it was worthwhile enough to deal with the inconvenience of “skipping parts”!

Little Men – I think I actually enjoyed this one more than Little Women!  It was an easier read and I liked the concept of providing children in need with a loving home.  The story was full of life and fun.  There was some fantasy stuff that I didn’t want to read but not nearly as much as the other book.

There are many more free books by Louisa May Alcott on Kindle but some of them I have not read and for others, I don’t remember the story line very well!  But if you search her name in the Kindle Store, you can download them for yourself.

Free Books On Kindle - Louisa May Alcott & Gene-Stratton Porter

I stumbled across Gene Stratton-Porter’s books last year, I believe, and have read a few of them.  There are multiple free ones on Kindle but some of them I didn’t care for so much, or haven’t read yet.  Here are my favorites:

A Girl of the Limberlost – this was a good story about a young lady who was fatherless and didn’t have a very good mother.  It’s a story of determination and overcoming, of love and forgiveness.

Laddie; A True Blue Story – this one is written as of from the perspective of a young girl who was maybe 10 years old?  Laddie is her older brother, of whom she is very fond, but she is the youngest of many children of a family on a farm.  The book is full of stories centered around the life of a Christian farming family in the 1800s.

Michael O’Halloran – Michael is a newspaper boy who has had to make his way in the world.  In spite of very little means, he takes in an orphaned invalid girl who was practically left to die, and this is the story of how he helped to give her a good life.  It’s an interesting and heartwarming read.

That will be all for today.  Have you read any of these books?  Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section!

Entering Into Sabbath – Hebrew Worship Music

Ruthie was going to share a modest outfit post today but this week has been a little busy!  My father has been working around the house, accomplishing some of the remodeling projects, and we have been tackling one of the rooms that never got any attention when we first moved in!  We’ll have to share pictures once it’s finished.

We also took a day to go out on the lake with a friend … it had been a long time since we did that and it was a very nice time.  Pictures coming soon!  All the children (except me) also spent the majority of yesterday splunking in a nearby cave!  Now we have several dogs that are about to whelp and one that had a litter of 8 this morning.  Altogether, it has been a very full week and we are looking forward to Shabbat!

The Sabbath.

Entering Into Sabbath - Hebrew Worship Music

I know that among readers, there are both some people who observe the seventh-day Sabbath and some people who don’t.  Our family has been keeping the sabbath for over 20 years and it has always been such a great blessing.  I don’t know what we would do without it! Read more

Disney: Why Bible Believers Should Avoid The Magic Kingdom

Is there any company as well known and widely accepted as Disney?  From its incredible theme parks to outstanding movies, you can find the influences of this company nearly everywhere you turn.  Interestingly, most professing Christians are just as charmed with Disney as unbelievers … a distressing observation when you consider that professing Christians claim to believe the Bible.

Disney: Why Bible Believers Should Avoid The Magic Kingdom

Before I go any further, let me acknowledge that this article will probably step on some toes and it may offend some of you.  That is not my intention and I hope that you will receive what I say in the spirit in which it is written – one of love, compassion and concern.

When I was very young, my parents were convicted to not allow Disney into our home.  We children knew who Mickey Mouse was but we were taught to not play with him or any other Disney characters.  Why?

Well, what are some of the main words that come to mind when you think of Disney?

Magic.  Sorcery.  Wizard.  Enchanted.  Witchcraft.

Does any of that sound familiar?

Within the past few days, there have been many people upset about the possibility of Disney turning Elsa, the main character from Frozen, into a lesbian.  Most of these people are upset because they consider homosexuality to be a sin – an abomination, according to Leviticus 18:22.  But it has not seemed to occur to these people that Disney has been propagating sin and abominations ever since its establishment.  Let’s take a look at a few Scriptures.

“There shall not be found among you anyone who … practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.  For all who do these things are an abomination to YHWH.” – Deuteronomy 18:10-12

Shall we dive a little into the meanings of these words?

H07081 Kecem – divination, witchcraft.

In 1 Samuel 15:23, we are told that rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft.

H5172 Nachash – to practice divination, practice fortunetelling, take as an omen
H6049 Anan – to practice soothsaying, conjure

Leviticus 19:26 tells us, “nor shall you practice divination or soothsaying”.

H3784 Kashaph – meaning to practice witchcraft or sorcery, use witchcraft, sorcerer/sorceress

“You shall not permit a sorceress to live.” –  Exodus 22:18.

H3049 yid’oniy – a familiar spirit, soothsayer, necromancer

“Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them: I am YHWH your God.” – Leviticus 19:31

“And the person who turns to mediums and familiar spirits, to prostitute himself with them, I will set My face against that person and cut him off from his people.” – Leviticus 20:6

“A man or a woman who is a medium, or who has familiar spirits, shall surely be put to death; they shall stone them with stones. Their blood shall be upon them.” – Leviticus 20:27

It seems pretty clear from these verses that everything pertaining to witchcraft, sorcery, magic, etc, is a sin and abomination.  And just in case anyone objects to solely using passages from the Old Testament scriptures to support this view, let’s see what the New Testament has to say about it.

Galatians 5:20 tells us that those who practice witchcraft (G5331 pharmakeiasorcery, magical arts) will not inherit the kingdom of God.  In Revelations 9:21, witchcraft is mentioned in connection with idolatry, murder, sexual immorality and theft.  And we are told in Acts 19:19 that when those who had practiced witchcraft came to faith in Messiah, they burned their books/resources.

I am not aware of one instance in the Bible where witchcraft or sorcery is exonerated.  So then why is it acceptable to welcome these things into our homes in the form of entertainment and children’s toys, and pay money to experience them at theme parks?

Disney: Why Bible Believers Should Avoid The Magic Kingdom

When my sisters and I were discussing this issue, and I mentioned that I have never heard anyone give a Biblically sound reason for embracing Disney, one of my sisters told me she was talking with a girl she had met and the girl mentioned how much she enjoyed these things.  When my sister mentioned that the Bible forbids them, the girl replied, “Yes, it does say that, but you can learn so many good morals from them!”

It would be laughable if it weren’t so pitiable!  Why don’t we welcome adulterers and murderers in to learn good morals from them as well?  In the eyes of the Almighty, are those not the same type of sins as witchcraft?

Disney is often referred to as ‘the magic kingdom’.  Since the Bible tells us that magic is an abomination and those who practiced it were to receive the death penalty, would it not be more accurate to call it ‘the devil’s kingdom’?

For anyone who is not quite convinced, I want to talk about Disney movies for a minute.  I have never seen a Disney movie – and I don’t plan to either!  But I decided to look up the plot summaries of seven of their well-known productions.  Let’s read through them and every time you see the references to magic, witchcraft and sorcery (which include things like fairies, wizards, trolls, spells and enchantment), remember that these things are an abomination to our Creator.

Frozen
Anna, a fearless optimist, sets off on an epic journey – teaming up with rugged mountain man Kristoff and his loyal reindeer Sven – to find her sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter. Encountering Everest-like conditions, mystical trolls and a hilarious snowman named Olaf, Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom. From the outside Anna’s sister, Elsa looks poised, regal and reserved, but in reality, she lives in fear as she wrestles with a mighty secret-she was born with the power to create ice and snow. It’s a beautiful ability, but also extremely dangerous. Haunted by the moment her magic nearly killed her younger sister Anna, Elsa has isolated herself, spending every waking minute trying to suppress her growing powers. Her mounting emotions trigger the magic, accidentally setting off an eternal winter that she can’t stop. She fears she’s becoming a monster and that no one, not even her sister, can help her.

Tangled
After receiving the healing powers from a magical flower, the baby Princess Rapunzel is kidnapped from the palace in the middle of the night by Mother Gothel. Mother Gothel knows that the flower’s magical powers are now growing within the golden hair of Rapunzel, and to stay young, she must lock Rapunzel in her hidden tower. Rapunzel is now a teenager and her hair has grown to a length of 70-feet. The beautiful Rapunzel has been in the tower her entire life, and she is curious of the outside world. One day, the bandit Flynn Ryder scales the tower and is taken captive by Rapunzel. Rapunzel strikes a deal with the charming thief to act as her guide to travel to the place where the floating lights come from that she has seen every year on her birthday. Rapunzel is about to have the most exciting and magnificent journey of her life.

Brave
Merida, a Scottish princess whose interests include archery and horse riding, is told by her mother that her interests are not what a princess should be doing and that she has to marry. But Merida chooses to defy her mother. And when she and her mother have an argument Merida rides off and meets a witch. She asks for a spell to change her mother. And the witch gives her a cake which she gives to her mother but the change is not what she was hoping for. So she tries to find a way to fix it.

Beauty and the Beast
Prince Adam was cursed to a beast form by Enchantress who saw no love in his arrogant heart for others. The one way he could break the spell was to learn to love another and earn her love in return before the last petal from his enchanted rose fell, which would bloom until his twenty-first birthday. But who could ever learn to love a beast? Ten years later, Maurice, an inventor from a nearby village, becomes lost in the woods and seeks shelter in the Beast’s castle, the Beast imprisons him for trespassing. His daughter Belle, a bookworm who dreams of life outside her provincial village, finds him trapped in the castle and offers her place instead. The Beast accepts with a promise she’ll remain in the castle forever. In the beginning Belle views him as nothing more than a monster, he views her as difficult and stubborn. But the two soon taste the bitter-sweetness of finding you can change and learning you were wrong.

The Little Mermaid
Loosely based upon the story by Hans Christian Andersen. Ariel, youngest daughter of King Triton, is dissatisfied with life in the sea. She longs to be with the humans above the surface, and is often caught in arguments with her father over those “barbaric fish-eaters”. She goes to meet Ursula, the Sea Witch, to strike a deal, but Ursula has bigger plans for this mermaid and her father.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
The beautiful and kindhearted princess Snow White charms every creature in the kingdom except one – her jealous stepmother, the Queen. When the Magic Mirror proclaims Snow White the fairest one of all, she must flee into the forest, where she befriends the lovable seven dwarfs – Doc, Sneezy, Grumpy, Happy, Bashful, Sleepy and Dopey. But when the Queen tricks Snow White with an enchanted apple, only the magic of true love’s kiss can save her!

The Princess and the Frog
A modern day retelling of the classic story The Frog Prince. The Princess and the Frog finds the lives of arrogant, carefree Prince Naveen and hardworking waitress Tiana crossing paths. Prince Naveen is transformed into a frog by a conniving voodoo magician and Tiana, following suit, upon kissing the amphibian royalty. With the help of a trumpet-playing alligator, a Cajun firefly, and an old blind lady who lives in a boat in a tree, Naveen and Tiana must race to break the spell and fulfill their dreams.

 As I mentioned last year in my post about homosexual marriage, if people do not believe in the God of the Bible, then it makes sense for them to accept and practice what the Bible calls sin.  I don’t agree with them but I can hardly blame them!  But for those people who do profess to follow the Bible, in light of the passages presented above, I cannot comprehend how they find it acceptable to welcome Disney into their homes.

I will close with one more verse … after we are told in Deuteronomy 18:10-12 to not practice these things because they are an abomination, verse 13 tells us, “You shall be blameless before YHWH your God.”  The word for blameless means ‘perfect’, ‘upright’ and ‘without spot/blemish’.

I meant to only share one verse but the meaning of that one reminded me of another one!  Ephesians 5:27, speaking of the Messiah, says, “that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.”

Dear friends, please hear this in love: we cannot be holy and spotless when we welcome magic, witchcraft and sorcery into our homes and lives.

Red, White And Blue – A Modest Outfit Post

I’m usually not a red, white and blue type of girl.  It’s a fine color combination and all three are on my “color palette”, but I have never been particularly fond of them.  However I do kind of like this outfit 🙂

Red, White And Blue - A Modest Outfit Post

I do most of my shopping for clothing at thrift stores.  I like to find skirts and tops for a dollar each.  Unfortunately that isn’t always a feasible option.  I guess spending money on clothes is a necessary evil, so sometimes you just have to grin and bear it!  This outfit cost about $37, not including my sandals.  Shoes can also be an expensive necessity!  These were about $30.

Red, White And Blue - A Modest Outfit Post

My skirt came from Catos.  I have heard a lot of people recommend it as a great store for finding modest clothing.  I wouldn’t go that far but it is possible to find some nice things there.  The skirt was $20.  The fabric is rayon and it’s nice and lightweight for summer!

My sandals were on the clearance rack at the local French’s Boots & Shoes.  I normally try to have black or brown sandals so that they will match anything, but when I realized how much of my closet contains navy blue clothing, I decided these would be a good investment!

Red, White And Blue - A Modest Outfit Post

My red cami also came from Catos – it was $8.  It is hard for me to find camis with a high enough neckline (some actually provide more coverage if worn backward!) so I was very pleasantly surprised with this one!  I also like that there are other colors to choose from, so I’m sure I’ll be back for more once my budget allows!

The cardigan actually belongs to my sister Sarah – it is a Rayon Short Sleeves Flyaway Cardigan  from Amazon and it was $5.50!  There are multiple colors/sizes available!  I borrowed this from her for the outfit but I’m going to order one for myself.

My necklace was a gift from my father for my 16th birthday.  You can’t see it well in the picture but it’s a replica of the high priest’s breastplate and he brought it back from Israel for me 🙂

Red, White And Blue - A Modest Outfit Post

My tichel is one that we stock at Hannah’s Headcoverings, although unfortunately we happen to be out of stock right now.  I guess that means it’s time for another trip to Israel! 😉

I’m wearing the flexi-clip Felicity and it’s one of my new favorites.  It’s actually a more brilliant blue than how it looks in the picture.  It is also a limited release item so if you want one, don’t wait too long ’cause we don’t know how long they will last!  And I forgot to calculate the price of the flexi-clip into the mix.  A size large (what I’m wearing) is $21, although I only paid $14.70 because of the consultant discount 🙂

Red, White And Blue - A Modest Outfit Post

Sarah has been on a twin kick lately!  You may have seen her post last week, with pictures of her and Abigail’s matching outfits.  Once I put together this outfit, she liked it so much that she went and bought the same skirt and cami!  She’s borrowing Abigail’s navy blue blouse in this picture, since I’m still wearing her cardigan!  I guess I should get the amazon order placed so that we can really match 🙂

Red, White And Blue - A Modest Outfit Post

Question: do you like red, white and blue?

Have a wonderful weekend!

Finding A Spouse – A Discount On The Newest Shining Stars Magazine!

We are about to send the upcoming issue of Shining Stars Magazine off to the printers!  The theme is Finding A Spouse and there are so many wonderful articles being featured.  Below are excerpts of a few of them!

Finding A Spouse - A Discount On The Newest Shining Stars Magazine!On the last day of the Festival, my family went back to the house for a break and Mama and Daddy said they wanted to talk to me on the back veranda.  “What did I do?” I wondered.  Daddy said we should sit down and then he said, “I’ll get right to the point. Joshua Williams asked to marry you.”  I was completely taken aback.  I had no idea that anything like that was going on.  Read more

Modesty – It Is Not About Your Heart!

Don’t throw stones!  I can only imagine most of you are thinking I’m either crazy or dead wrong!  Whenever the modesty discussion comes up, people are always quick to say, “But remember, it’s a heart matter.  It’s not just about our clothing.”

This is said to express that we can fully cover our bodies but if our hearts are not in the right place, we are not being modest.  Essentially: the inward appearance is more important than the outward appearance.  On the surface, this seems like a good mentality to have.  After all, it is important that our hearts are in the right place!

The flip side is that this mindset gives the impression that modesty is a heart condition and that it doesn’t really matter how you cover your body.  And that right there is a problem!

Modesty - It Is Not About Your Heart!

You see, the word “modest” is only used one time in the Bible.  1Timothy 2:9 says, “in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing,”

I fully believe that our hearts should be in the right place.  There are many Scripture passages that talk about our hearts and what their condition ought to be …

  • Pure (Matthew 5:8),
  • Clean (Psalm 51:10),
  • Dwelling place of His law (Psalm 40:8),
  • Steadfast (Psalm 57:7),
  • Upright (Psalm 94:15),
  • Perfect (Psalm 101:2),
  • Wise (Proverbs 10:8),
  • Merry (Psalm 15:13)

Let’s face it, folks … 1Timothy doesn’t say we should adorn ourselves with a modest heart: it says we should adorn ourselves in modest clothing.  In the Scriptures, modesty is never referred to as a heart matter.  The only time modesty is discussed in Scripture is in reference to clothing.

Apparel.

The physical garments that we wear.

Modesty has been an important issue in our family for many years.  While we try to do our best to follow the convictions that the Heavenly Father has given us, we also try not to put our family standards on other people.  We do not believe that the way people cover their bodies reveals the level of righteousness in their hearts because 1Samuel 16:7 says, “for man looks at the outward appearance, but YHWH looks at the heart.”

And therein lies the problem!  People do look at the outward appearance.  They make judgments based on the outward appearance.

Picture a scenario.  You’re at a social function and you see a young woman who is dressed immodestly.  I am not going to describe how she is dressed … just imagine that she is dressed inappropriately according to your standards.  You have the opportunity to speak with her.  She is a sincere believer who truly desires to please the Heavenly Father, she is a sister in the Messiah, she is thoughtful and compassionate and if you were called upon to give an opinion on the condition of her heart, it would be a positive one.

But what message is she sending to the people, especially the men, in this room who do not have the opportunity to speak with her?  Her appearance is causing others to struggle with temptation and keeping their thoughts in the right place.  Her choice of clothing does not inspire words like “seemly, decent and well-arranged” (the definitions of the word modest) and the inappropriate display of her body is causing distraction.  Perhaps people will give her the benefit of doubt and only think about the good and sincere intentions of her heart.  It’s more likely that most will have the impression she is looking, perhaps unconsciously, for inappropriate attention.

This is where the “modesty is all about the heart” argument falls to pieces.  It just simply is not all about the heart!  It is about our physical apparel and appearance.  A girl can have the most “modest” heart in the world but if her clothing is revealing and suggestive, she is not modest!  And, ironical as this may sound, a prostitute who is dressed in decent clothing that covers her body properly is modest!  She has some heart issues to deal with, for sure, but if she is wearing clothing that is not revealing and suggestive, she is still modest!

Modesty - It Is Not About Your Heart!

I understand that many people have had negative experiences with someone judging or condemning them for their clothing choices.  This is unfortunate and should not happen in the Body of Messiah.  However the tendency is to swing the pendulum too far in the opposite direction, to the point that people aren’t willing to address immodesty.  We should be able to encourage and exhort each other, not forcing our opinions and beliefs on each other but sharing them in love.

Another incorrect perception of modesty that I have heard is this: if we fully cover our bodies, we will stand out in a crowd because everyone else dresses differently, and thus we are not being modest because we are drawing attention to ourselves.  So it is better to dress like the people in the world around us, right?

Wrong!

The word modesty does not mean, “not drawing attention to ourselves”.  Granted, we should not present ourselves in a way that calls attention to us … either through inappropriate display of our body, or through covering up in a self-righteous, better-than-thou attitude.  But modesty is not about whether we are drawing attention to ourselves or not; it is about being decent and not revealing what should not be revealed.

We are surrounded by a culture that glories in immodesty and sensuality.  The more the merrier.  Society is in a downward spiral.  Clothing that was considered immodest and inappropriate 100 years ago is now acceptable and normal.  Can you imagine our great-grandmothers wearing tight jeans and tank tops?  Or bikinis?  Can you imagine the horror they would feel if they saw someone dressed in that way?  As believers and followers of the Messiah, we cannot take our cues from society.  There’s an old saying that goes something like this, “Right is right if nobody is doing it and wrong is wrong if everybody is doing it.”  We must have a higher standard.

I know of a young lady who believed in dressing modestly and believed that she did.  Some of her “modest outfit” blog posts included pictures of her in snug-fitting tops and tight jeans or knee-length skirts.  At the same time, she was complaining about receiving inappropriate attention from young men!  I wanted to say, “Dear young lady, put some more clothes on!” (and I did, in similar terms).

Ladies, it is not modest to wear clothing that reveals your figure.  Have you ever wondered why men’s jeans are usually cut to be looser-fitting than women’s jeans?  Think about the difference between male and female swimwear – why is it acceptable and expected for women to wear less?  I believe these are just some of the ways that the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10) tries to cause brethren to stumble and fall.

Modesty - It Is Not About Your Heart!

When a lady dons clothing that draws inappropriate attention to her figure, she is demonstrating, perhaps unconsciously, her lack of respect for the physical body that she has been given.  I recently had the opportunity to speak with a new friend and she was sharing how she had been convicted about her lack of modesty.  It was an incredible blessing to hear not only about the changes she was making in her wardrobe but the reason for making those changes.  She had realized that her body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1Corinthians 6:19-20) and she was not treating it as such.  Profound!

In closing, I want to challenge you to think about the clothing that you put on each day.  Ask yourself questions like:

  • Does this glorify my Heavenly Father?
  • Would I want to come before my Savior dressed like this?
  • Am I clothing my body as befitting the temple of the Holy Spirit?
  • Does my appearance present a message of femininity and beautiful womanhood or worldliness and sensuality?

Dear ladies, it is very important to have your heart in the right place.  I don’t ever want to belittle that concept.  But it is equally important to attire yourself in clothing that portrays decency and femininity, that calls for the respect of others and inspires them with thoughts that glorify our Father in heaven instead of vice versa.  Blessings to you as you seek the Father about what is modest in His eyes!

Kombucha – Recipe and Tutorial

Have you heard of kombucha?

I made my first batch almost nine years ago and have continued ever since, even if sometimes on an irregular basis!  Kombucha, in a very brief synopsis, is a fermented drink that promotes better health by detoxifying and improving the efficiency of your digestive system which boosts immunity.

Kombucha - A Recipe, Picture Tutorial and Helpful Information

It is made by brewing tea and sugar, and then adding culture – which includes a “scoby” and some previously-fermented kombucha tea.

I learned an interesting tidbit today.  According to Kombucha Kamp,

More recent first hand Russian stories involve residents in towns near the Chernobyl meltdown of the 1980’s. As the horrific radiation exposure ravaged the victims over the weeks and months following the accident, doctors and scientists noticed a group of people seemingly resistant to the effects, many of whom were elderly women. When traced back, the common thread turned out to be that those who consumed Kombucha regularly survived the radiation.

Read more