anVzdG91cnRob3VnaHRzLmNvbQ==anVzdG91cnRob3VnaHRzLmNvbQ==anVzdG91cnRob3VnaHRzLmNvbQ==anVzdG91cnRob3VnaHRzLmNvbQ==anVzdG91cnRob3VnaHRzLmNvbQ==anVzdG91cnRob3VnaHRzLmNvbQ==anVzdG91cnRob3VnaHRzLmNvbQ==anVzdG91cnRob3VnaHRzLmNvbQ==anVzdG91cnRob3VnaHRzLmNvbQ==anVzdG91cnRob3VnaHRzLmNvbQ==anVzdG91cnRob3VnaHRzLmNvbQ==anVzdG91cnRob3VnaHRzLmNvbQ==anVzdG91cnRob3VnaHRzLmNvbQ==anVzdG91cnRob3VnaHRzLmNvbQ==anVzdG91cnRob3VnaHRzLmNvbQ==anVzdG91cnRob3VnaHRzLmNvbQ==anVzdG91cnRob3VnaHRzLmNvbQ==anVzdG91cnRob3VnaHRzLmNvbQ==anVzdG91cnRob3VnaHRzLmNvbQ==anVzdG91cnRob3VnaHRzLmNvbQ==anVzdG91cnRob3VnaHRzLmNvbQ==anVzdG91cnRob3VnaHRzLmNvbQ==anVzdG91cnRob3VnaHRzLmNvbQ==anVzdG91cnRob3VnaHRzLmNvbQ==anVzdG91cnRob3VnaHRzLmNvbQ==anVzdG91cnRob3VnaHRzLmNvbQ==anVzdG91cnRob3VnaHRzLmNvbQ==anVzdG91cnRob3VnaHRzLmNvbQ==anVzdG91cnRob3VnaHRzLmNvbQ==anVzdG91cnRob3VnaHRzLmNvbQ==anVzdG91cnRob3VnaHRzLmNvbQ==anVzdG91cnRob3VnaHRzLmNvbQ==anVzdG91cnRob3VnaHRzLmNvbQ==anVzdG91cnRob3VnaHRzLmNvbQ==anVzdG91cnRob3VnaHRzLmNvbQ==anVzdG91cnRob3VnaHRzLmNvbQ==anVzdG91cnRob3VnaHRzLmNvbQ==anVzdG91cnRob3VnaHRzLmNvbQ==anVzdG91cnRob3VnaHRzLmNvbQ==anVzdG91cnRob3VnaHRzLmNvbQ==anVzdG91cnRob3VnaHRzLmNvbQ==anVzdG91cnRob3VnaHRzLmNvbQ==anVzdG91cnRob3VnaHRzLmNvbQ==anVzdG91cnRob3VnaHRzLmNvbQ==anVzdG91cnRob3VnaHRzLmNvbQ== Blog - Just Our Thoughts

Grace of God Movie Review #GraceofGodMovie

I watched “Grace of God” by myself, late one night. I don’t do that very often because usually if there’s a movie playing everyone wants to watch it with popcorn and my lap is full of squirming kids. This was a treat for me!

I enjoyed this story of real life scenarios and common temptations. When life is hard, our faith must be that much stronger, but being human all too often our faith wavers when trials of life come our way. With elements of surprise, romance, and conflict the writers do an excellent job of conveying the message of real people facing real issues.

My favorite scene is the sermon toward the end. Even though you see the twist coming, the actions are still convicting and powerful!


About the movie:
Releases on DVD March 24, 2015
99 Minutes // Genre: Family, Inspirational // Rating:  NR

Having lost his faith many years ago, Detective Bill Broadly is called to investigate the disappearance ofthe local church’s collection plate. As he questions its various church members, rumors swirl as more congregants learn about the theft. When one unexpected church-goer confesses to stealing the funds, the confession resurrects Broadly’s views on God, and helps him see that through faith and belief there really is rebirth and redemption.

Purchase here!





truly blessed,






Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use ofEndorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

A Hiatus, but I’ll be back…

I have a couple of reviews that I’ve committed to completing so I will be doing those but after that, I am taking a break from Just Our Thoughts (I haven’t been really consistent lately anyway, again.) to focus on other pursuits. My husband’s business is growing and with the baby coming I want to focus to get all our ducks in a row.


I am leaving the website up and having the content available because I think that’s important.

You can also visit me at or and on social media. That’s where I’ll be.


I’ll be back!


Much love,


When Yahweh Speaks

imageSometimes Yahweh speaks through the voice of a sleepy preschooler desperate for someone to go pee with him. His sister didn’t hear his critical plea for company but mama did.

On this early morning, the day before Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, I am glad to be awakened well before the sun comes up. My week hasn’t allowed for much hunting of leaven in the crooks and crannies of my house. Or of my heart.

Tonight will be my first Passover Seder, where we will remember together with our community of believers. I am looking forward to this experience and time of learning with fellow believers. Passover is a much anticipated holy day and although I know some of the significance, tonight I pray to gain a better understanding.


Whatever Wanda Book Review

20150329_105505My children felt Wanda’s pain in having to attend a silly festival and wear the silly clothes her mother had picked for her. Their attitude was one and the same as Wanda continued to say “Whatever!” And that’s one of the biggest reasons I wanted to review this book. By the time I got to the end, my kiddos did agree that she brought her consequences upon herself and deserved what she got. Funny enough, we employ similar techniques in our home.


About the Book: Wanda is in serious need of an attitude adjustment! She doesn’t want to accompany her family to the Rubber Duck Days Festival, and once there, she won’t participate in any of the events or join in with her friends. Soon Wanda receives some helpful advice and learns that:

“Sometimes you have to believe something will be great before it actually is. Being positive is a choice that makes everything better, not to mention, a whole lot more fun!”

whatever_wandaAbout the author: Christy Ziglar, financial planner, mother of twins, and niece of legendary motivator and the world’s original optimist, ZigZiglar, is bringing the same timeless wisdom and ageless advice to an entirely new, younger audience through her Shine Bright Kids picture book series. Christy, her husband, and their twins live in Atlanta, Georgia.

About the illustrator: Paige Billin-Frye lives with her husband in Washington, D.C., where she gardens and grows food in her city yard. She has illustrated numerous children’s books and works in a studio over a neighborhood hardware store. Coincidentally, Paige has amassed a collection of rubber duckies of all sizes across the years.

You can find the other titles of the Shine Bright Kids series HERE.



Teaching my children daily,





Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

#5LL4MEN Giveaway Announcement


And the winner of The 5 Love Languages for Men giveaway is

Lori-Dawn Kowal.


(Lori-Dawn, I will be in contact.)


Genesis 4: Thinking About Scripture

genesis 4I encourage you to read Genesis 1-4, especially chapter 4, and then carry on with reading my thoughts on the passage.

If Adam, Eve, Cain and Abel are the only four people on the earth, who is available to find and kill Cain after ADONAI bans him and sends him away? Where did all these other people come from whom had Cain so worried for his life? (And such a coward…kills his brother and then worries for his own life!) And who would be available to marry him? I was always told it was his sister… well, I’m not sure I believe that. With what I know about Yahweh and what I’ve been learning in my recent journey to read the Text (Bible) with new glasses so to speak, Yahweh could very well have created more than just these four people. These people Cain was concerned about could certainly be a detail left out of the first 3 chapters of Genesis. (Remember I talked about holes in the story in an earlier post about Genesis?)

Now looking more specifically at the first eight verses of chapter four…

How many years into the life of the world are we talking about? They are, at this very early point in history, offering sacrifices to Yahweh. It seems obvious to me that the Law laid out later in the Torah was not really new to the people. They knew this stuff already! The Torah is like a refresher course for them (and a training manual for us). Yahweh has taught his people – right from the get-go, it would seem – how to love him, how to have a relationship with him.

Where did we go wrong? What excuse do we have? Why do we blatantly choose not to love Yahweh the way he has asked us to? I mean, how many books out there tell us how to love our spouse, how to love our kids, how to get along with others at work, how to interact with different personalities? We gobble up this information like candy, but we can’t take Yahweh at his word – HIS VERY WORDS  – and love him as he asks us to.

I’ve heard other claim over and over that the Bible is God’s love letter to us, but part of that love letter tells us how to love him too. Have you thought about that?

Just thinking, just digging,


The Five Love Languages for Men Review

{AUTHOR’S NOTE: Stay tuned for a giveaway near the end!}

My initial reaction to The Five Love Languages for Men by Gary Chapman was one of “oh, this guy knows he’s talkin’ to men!” The graphics, charts and quote boxes are ideal for men looking for a quick read. I don’t know many avid male readers, so this is perfect for the men in my life.

If you are familiar at all with the 5 Love Languages series you’ll know that they include:

  • words of affirmation – Verbal compliments or words of appreciation are powerful communicators of love.
  • acts of service – Anything you can do to ease the burden of responsibilities will speak volumes.
  • receiving gifts – This is not materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift.
  • quality time – Nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention.
  • physical touch – Holding hands, kissing, and “accidentally” coming into contact with another are lifelines

At the end of each chapter dedicated to the love language is a chart of action steps for becoming more fluent in that language! HOW COOL! Also included at the back of the book is a his and hers personal profile so couples have a relationship specific list to test their love languages. This is such a useful tool. Now, the standard test works too, but this one is a little more specific to the issue at hand – that of marriage relationships.

Two key points that are addressed in this book are crafting apologies and dealing with anger. If your marriage is anything like mine these topics are highly useful! The issue of anger is summed up in two basic steps – address the flash points and come up with a plan for when anger makes its appearance. And for me, usually after anger appears, there are apologies to be made; apologies are a huge step in making things right with our spouse. “Done well, an apology can bring closure to tensions, conflicts and hurt feelings… it can change the way your wife thinks of you… (and) break down barriers.” (page 138) I love that these two things are included in this book!

My Conclusions

I look forward to reading this book with my husband. I think (but we’ll have to re-take the test to confirm) one of his love languages is quality time; he just likes me to be with him. Part of that is he loves when I read to him! I think he’ll really enjoy seeing the artwork and the easy to find points, as well. I would recommend this book to men looking to love their wives better, or for wives looking to be better loved!


Giveaway Details

I have one copy of The Five Love Languages for Men to give away.

To Enter:

  1. Sign up for my newsletter (see the side panel for the form), and comment that you did / already do.
  2. Share this post (daily, if you like) including the hashtag #5LL4MEN; leave a comment with the direct link. ( For example: Check out this review of #5LL4MEN by LaDonna at Just Our Thoughts. )
  3. Use your best guess, or take the free quiz at, and leave a comment telling me your love language or that of another family member.

Giveaway ends on February 27, 2015 and will be announced on March 2, 2015.



From the back cover5_love_lang_4_men, five love languages for men

At the heart of every man is a desire to master what matters. Getting a compliment at work or on the court is nice, but nothing beats hearing your spouse say, “You make me feel loved.” If you haven’t heard that in a while or feel like you are not bringing your A-game into your relationship, this books is for you. The 5 Love Languages has sold 10 MILLION COPIES because it is simple, practical, and effective. In this edition, Gary Chapman speaks straight to men about the rewards of speaking their wife’s love language. You’ll learn each language, how to identify your wife’s, and how to speak it clearly. Packed with helpful illustrations and creative pointers, these pages will rouse your inner champion and empower you to master the art of love.



About the Author:5_love_lang_4_men, five love languages for men

Gary Chapman, PhD, is the author of the bestselling The 5 Love Languages series, which has sold more than 10 million worldwide and has been translated into 50 languages. Dr. Chapman travels the world presenting seminars on marriage, family, and relationships, and his radio programs air on more than 400 stations. He lives in North Carolina with his wife, Karolyn.

Found on Facebook here.

Found on Twitter too.




Learning to love him better,





Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. 

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Roadmap Genesis Giveaway Announcement




And the winner of the Roadmap Genesis Giveaway is Jackie McMichael. (Jackie, I will be in contact.)

She said her favorite verses from Genesis were:

Genesis 1:14-18 (ESV)

14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. 16 And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17 And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good.




Striving to live and learn Yahweh’s principles,


Passionate History

The history of where I came from, given to me by Yahweh, in a quantity and quality that allows me to comprehend most fully in the story of that history which my King desires that I know and understand. It fascinates me to think that we only know what Yahweh tells us. We know and learn some very basic facts; Yahweh doesn’t expound or give a lot of description. In recent months, what he leaves out, what he doesn’t say, has intrigued my imagination.

Genesis         B’resheet

Just as in every story we relate to friends or family, he does not include every detail. In Genesis he tells us about a specific series of events relating to creation. When you tell me about your school week, you don’t include every meal you prepared and consumed, or every thought that entered your head. What is he not telling us? Are there other things, people, or places that he created, on those days or others?

I find the omissions intriguing. On one hand he gave us what he knew we could handle while on the other hand he created us with an ability to create (albeit differently than himself) and an imagination. He had to know someone would wonder!genesis

The Text (the Bible) in its entirety is an amazing piece of literature. Each time I read, I learn or see something new. I dig a little deeper. Watching (and reviewing) Roadmap Genesis has intrigued me to start at the beginning, to dig deeper into my family history, my beginnings. What did Yahweh me in Genesis? What does he want me to see now – viewing, reading and studying with new eyes, a new mind and a new heart?

This time when I read the genealogies they won’t just be a series of names. They are a series of family members, my family! This time when I read the failings and stumbling and the successes and joys of the heroes, I won’t skim over them but will see the woman or the man behind the words on the page. A woman or a man, just like me. This time when I read will allow myself to feel the emotion of each individual. To feel their emotion will allow them to be real people, not just storybook characters. I will become immersed in the text; the more immersed, the more passionate we become.

These are not just words on a page. These words are a message, a description of my history. The Text is the story of my beginnings, where I came from and where I desire to return. I desire to be a child of Yahweh, grafted into his family, an adopted daughter of the King. I desire to know everything I can about that heritage – the culture, the heroes, and the villians. This history is what leads me to my rabbi, and will help to feed the passion that is a requirement of a true disciple, a talmid of Yeshua. Knowing the facts and filling in the holes with my imaginations allows me to know Yeshua and his heart. Knowing where he started, his people gives me a connection. Knowing the history, seeing the land, feeds a passion to know the future which feeds the passion to walk as my rabbi walked. Without passion I’m a poor example of a talmidim, without the history I have no starting place. The history connects the present to the future, and creates a passion for relationship to make that future the best that it can possibly be.

Finding the passion,


Roadmap Genesis (Giveaway included)

Giveaway closed. Winner announced here.roadmapgenesis

Thankfully I took notes while I watched Roadmap Genesis. The content of this documentary caused thought processes I never expected. I will read Genesis with new eyes!!! (Stay tuned to the end; I have a copy to give away.)

Here are some of the notes I jotted down while watching:

  • “In the beginning, Yahweh created…” I love that the very first verse is a verse of action.
  • Our creative God created in me a creativity because I am created in His image. Left to ourselves we create chaos. We were created to be caretakers but we haven’t done so. Creating always happens at the spot of chaos.
  • Genesis 11 – tower of Babel – we are repeating this in our society…
  • Genesis is the history that Yahweh has revealed to us concerning who we are and where we came from. It is the foundation of the remainder of the Text.
  • Science and the Bible will always agree.
  • Genesis 5 – the list of descendants of Adam to Noah and then Noah to Abram suggests that the world is structured and organized.
  • The Bible (and more specifically the book of Genesis) creates a sense of belonging and continuity by showing that we all came from the same beginnings. Genesis 14 – fight for family. Family is more important than anything else! Where you come from matters, and we all came from the same place.
  • Art and literature have been shaped by Genesis. Moby Sick. Macbeth.
  • We have a generational loss of biblical authority.
  • Genesis 12 – obedience of Abraham – leave where you are. Don’t stay where you are. Move and grow.
  • Genesis is a book of hope and promise.
  • Genesis points to relationship.
  • Life is about personal responsibility.
  • Read it with a fresh heart, fresh eyes, fresh mind!
  • Genesis is a compass for life.

Roadmap Genesis invites Americans of all faiths to engage in a dialogue about the relevance of the Bible in the modern age. Through interviews ranging from Gov. Mike Huckabee of Fox News Channel to Rabbi David Wolpe, from Alan Dershowitz to the Archbishop of Chicago Cardinal Francis George, from Erick Stakelbeck of the Christian Broadcasting Network to Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum, and many, many more, Nolan explores the rules that God has set forth to help us maintain a successful and working society.

FIND Roadmap Genesis online:

Check out & share the TRAILER 

Official WEBPAGE


Official TWITTER

OFFICIAL HASHTAG: #RGChallenge <— Let’s get this trending!!

Check out the challenge and use the hashtag above.


I don’t do many giveaways, but this is a great documentary. So I have one copy of Roadmap Genesis to giveaway to one lucky reader. Simply leave a comment with your favorite verse from Genesis. Come back and enter daily with a new verse for multiple entries. (One entry per day.)

GIVEAWAY ENDS: Friday, February 13, 2015. Winner to be announced on Monday and contacted via email or social media.

Watch for more of my thoughts on this documentary next week.

Digging deeper,



“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”