Tag Archives: God

Luke 2 | The Christmas Story


   Today is the day we celebrate the birth of Jesus.

   Each year I read through the Holy Bible. Although I use the New King James Text on occasion, my choice is — and always has been — the King James Text.

   Some years I get behind and don’t get finished on time, but it’s no shame to take longer than a year. The effort to read from beginning to end is worth everything.

   The point is to read the Bible… and the more I read, the more I understand – most of the time. There is much that I may never understand fully, but I keep reading!

   Today I’m not reviewing… today I am reading what I consider to be some of the most important verses written about the birth of Jesus – very pertinent verses to contemplate today…



 Luke 2:1-14

1  And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.

2  (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

3  And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

4  And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

5  To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

6  And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

7  And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

8  And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9  And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10  And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12  And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14  Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.


God bless you, today on Christmas Day, and always.




Blogpost © 2016 DJ Mynatt



JUST SAY NO! to 50 shades… | My 1st un-review


Please… please don’t go to see the “50 shades” movie this weekend…

NEVER… that’s when you should see it… never.

Don’t see the movie… and don’t read the books.


There is a massive facebook/twitter campaign going on right now against the heinous 50 shades… movie and books.





Please stand with me as I spread the word to my family, friends and readers. 

Please do everything possible to protect others from the damaging and devastating effects of this series!




I have not – and I will not – read the books – or watch the movie!

I know that there are times that Christian leaders feel the need to read or watch what they are begging their followers to oppose – so that they have all the information they need to present a case.

But in my opinion, that is a very bad idea! Exposing your mind to ANYTHING of this nature is inviting the devil to create a foothold in your very soul – which he will then use to push more sin into your life.




Allowing this story into your head allows it into your heart, your mind, your soul!

You think you can handle it. You tell yourself that you need to be able to make an informed argument. You tell yourself that you need to have ammo to feed that argument. You tell yourself that you can’t really argue against something you haven’t read or watched personally…

But this series is FAR TOO DANGEROUS to adhere to these rationales.




We need to send a strong message to the makers of the movie.

They NEED TO KNOW we are serious!

They NEED TO KNOW that they will not tear down strong women… men… families… marriages!

They NEED TO KNOW that we will not lay down and let them roll right over us!

We NEED to stand up for our daughters, our sisters, our mothers, and our friends!


No one has the right to treat you like a thing!

No one has the right to treat you like trash!

No one has the right to degrade you and drag you down!




The greatest trick the devil ever played on women was to make them think submission equals abuse… and then to make them think that choosing to be abused is not abuse but is instead, empowerment – that it is fun, exciting, sexy…


Choosing it does not make it LOVE!

Choosing it does not make it RIGHT!

Choosing it does not make it ENJOYABLE!

It doesn’t matter if it’s consensual or not. It doesn’t matter if it’s by choice or not. It doesn’t matter if it’s “fiction” or not!
Abuse and degradation are nothing to take lightly or as something that is OK as long as we’re talking about two adults or even as long as we are talking about fiction!

It is NEVER OK – not in a fictional story, not in a movie, and certainly not in reality!


Please say NO to 50 Shades… this Valentine’s Day!CLICK TO TWEET!


Stand with us – Make Valentine’s Day a day of TRUE romance!CLICK TO TWEET!


Remember the true meaning of Valentine’s Day this year – Say no to 50 Shades!CLICK TO TWEET!


Thank you, Rachel Miller, for sharing your blogpost and pictures. I appreciate your support and I hope my readers do, too.


Copyright © 2013-2015 donnasbookshelf.


The Christmas Scrapbook | Philip Gulley


Today I am reviewing The Christmas Scrapbook by Philip Gulley.

Mr. Gulley has written the Home to Harmony series and it is one of my favorites! I can identify many of the characters with people from my own past and present life. I usually grab a hankie — just to wipe the tears from all the laughter when reading his books.

Goodreads says: It’s autumn in Harmony, and Pastor Sam Gardner has vowed to be ready for Christmas. Determined to redeem a dreadful history of gift giving, Sam enrolls in a scrapbooking class to make a Christmas gift his wife will never forget.

However, Sam’s absence from their home every Wednesday night, coupled with his fishy alibi of attending a men’s group, raises her suspicions.

Meanwhile, Sam struggles in the class and must attempt to complete his project with only the help of his faithful secretary, Frank.

As Christmas fast approaches and rumors of Sam’s Wednesday night absences swirl along with the snow, a series of mishaps leads to a Christmas no one will soon forget.


Philip Gulley is an amazing author… funny, quirky, and sometimes almost “too” true to life! I’m crazy about his Harmony Series about a Quaker minister — Sam Gardner and how he relates to family, his church, and his life.

The Christmas Scrapbook is an 89-page novella that would be a quick read, except that I laugh so much I cry and keep reaching for tissues to dry my eyes.

The trouble begins in September, when Sam tells his wife he’s joined a men’s group, when the truth is he’s joined a class to make a scrapbook for his wife’s Christmas gift.

Several clues (and help from friends) lead his wife to believe that he is either cheating on her… or dying!

Read about the trouble Sam has with Dale Henshaw’s progressive Nativity scene, Mrs. Gruber, plus an absolute disaster with scissors and superglue. Thankfully it all works out.

To read more about this book on GoodReads, click HERE

And to read more about the author: Philip Gulley, click HERE

Read the novella this month… you’ll be glad you did.

God bless you!


© Donna J. Mynatt 2014

From the Heart by Rosemary Hines

Sandy Cove series (#5)

From Goodreads:
After the loss of her beloved husband Phil, Joan Walker struggles to stay afloat in a sea of grief. Then she happens upon a discovery that will impact her entire family and challenge her future.

Will Phil’s legacy be able to restore joy to her broken heart?

Join your Sandy Cove friends in a tale of love and unexpected gifts in this Christmas story ~ From the Heart


What a wonderful read!

From the moment I began reading, I couldn’t put this book down! I have been following these characters for more than a year, and this novella follows the patriarchs of the family — Phil and Joan — parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents to many of the other characters.

I thoroughly enjoyed following Phil and Joan’s story, as they met, married and went through life, blessing one another and those around them. This novella shares how Joan continues to receive strength from her relationship with Phil, even after his death.

She has many tough decisions to make — even though I knew it was just a story, I was touched by how Rosemary created such realistic characters, that I could lose myself in the story, hoping that everything would work out for Joan, as well as her daughter… and other family members.

As usual, I was not disappointed. I heartily recommend this novella — this series — to readers everywhere who enjoy reading inspirational stories.

And if you’re looking for a great Christmas read… pick up a copy of From the Heart, available just in time for Christmas!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received an ARC of this book free from the author in exchange for an honest review.

You can read more about this title HERE on Goodreads.

And read more about Rosemary’s other novels on her author website HERE!

God bless you!


©Donna J. Mynatt 2014

Around the Bend by Rosemary Hines

Sandy Cove series (#4)

From Goodreads: The carefree days of summer bring an unexpected turn in Michelle Baron’s life when her former student (and the birth mother of their adopted son) returns to Sandy Cove. What is Amber Gamble seeking? How will it affect Michelle and her family? And will patriarch Grandpa Phil, facing a heart wrenching challenge himself, be able to help them lean on God for answers as they await what lies Around the Bend?

Welcome back to Sandy Cove ~ where hearts and lives intertwine in the dance of life.

Rosemary Hines has once again skillfully woven a tale of God’s unending grace and His power to transform lives. Our beloved Sandy Cove characters are back, some facing their greatest challenges and others experiencing newfound and unexpected joy as they all learn the importance of living life to the fullest. A captivating story!
~ Nancy Tumbas, English professor at Golden West College


Rosemary Hines writes a wonderful story!

Once again, I followed Sandy Cove’s Michelle Baron, as she struggled to know what to do as the birth mother of her adopted son comes back into the picture… her own mother beginning to date… and her grandfather being diagnosed with a terminal illness.

The title is such a perfect one – no one can know what they will be facing “around the bend” and Rosemary handles everything with aplomb and respect.

The books in the Sandy Cove series are so well-written, they can be read by nearly all age groups – I am nearing retirement age and I can identify easily with the characters, but I would feel comfortable recommending the series to a young adult (YA) believing that they would have no trouble identifying with the characters and storyline.

Rosemary shows how her characters rely on God for the spiritual guidance they need, but she doesn’t make them religious fanatics; their relationship with God simply carries them through each day… and each burden they bear.

Great job, Rosemary! Once again, you surpass my expectations!

I look forward to reading the next sequel – From the Heart (a Sandy Cove Christmas novella).

I received an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

God bless you!

A Place of Peace (Kauffman Amish Bakery Series #3) | Amy Clipston Marathon

A Place of Peace by Amy Clipston

Today I am reviewing A Place of Peace, the third novel in the Kauffman Amish Bakery series by Amy Clipston.

This is what GoodReads has to say about A Place of Peace:

Take a trip to Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania, where you’ll meet the women of the Kauffman Amish Bakery in Lancaster County. As each woman’s story unfolds, you will share in her heartaches, trials, joys, dreams and secrets. You’ll discover how the simplicity of the Amish lifestyle can clash with the English way of life and the decisions and consequences that follow. Most importantly, you will be encouraged by the hope and faith of these women, and the importance they place on their families.

Miriam Lapp, who left the Amish community of Bird-in-Hand three years ago, is heartbroken when her sister calls to reveal that her mother has died suddenly. Traveling home to Pennsylvania, she is forced to face the heartache from her past, including her rift from her family and the breakup of her engagement with Timothy Kauffman. Her past emotional wounds are reopened when her family rejects her once again and she finds out that Timothy is in a relationship with someone else.

Miriam discovers that the rumors that broke them up three years ago were all lies. However, when Timothy proposes to his girlfriend and Miriam’s father disowns her, Miriam returns to Indiana with her heart in shambles. When Miriam’s father has a stroke, Miriam returns to Pennsylvania, where her world continues to fall apart, leaving her to question her place in the Amish community and her faith in God.”



Timothy just seems the sort to be in the midst of trouble, doesn’t he?

First, we learned in A Promise of Hope that Timothy was keeping secrets about Peter… secrets that made him look like a liar if anyone found out the truth. So what does he do? He tries to keep the secrets hidden and does everything he can to run off Peter’s brother.

And we learned that he had planned to marry Miriam and built a house for them to live, but that she had broken off their relationship before the wedding, shattering his trust as well as his heart. Then she moved away to start a life with someone else, while studying to be a nurse and living as the English do.

But once again, Amy Clipston knew just where to take this story and I was totally unprepared to learn the reasons for the breakup of Miriam and Timothy! Or after they both discovered the truth, the paths they would both follow – in totally opposite directions!

Amy is obviously on the same path… the same wavelength… as her readers, that she knows just when to walk them through the expected and when to turn them on their heads!

And even when we’re shocked at where the characters are finding themselves, we’re on this ride for better or worse. She leads… and we follow.

A Place of Peace takes us just where we want the characters to go… then they jump apart again. But we know Amy for the talented writer she is and we follow along, knowing it’s all going to work out… although not always the way we expect. Sometimes it even seems like it surprises the characters, too!

I love this series. Even though I now own every novel and novella about the Kauffman family, I’m still sad when I get to the end of each book… they’re just so good, I never want them to end!

And don’t forget to click below to find out how you can enter the BIG contest!

Amy Clipston Marathon | GIVEAWAY!

Click HERE for more from Zondervan.

You can click HERE to read my reviews and find other info on GoodReads.

Click HERE to purchase the book on ChristianBooks and HERE for Amazon

Click HERE to visit Amy Clipston’s website.

God bless you!


©Donna J. Mynatt 2014

A Plain & Simple Christmas (Kauffman Amish Bakery Christmas Stories #1) | Amy Clipston Marathon


Today I am reviewing A Plain & Simple Christmas – the first novella in the Kauffman Amish Bakery Series by Amy Clipston. It’s written to be read just after A Promise of Hope (book #2).

This is what GoodReads has to say about A Plain & Simple Christmas:

Take a trip to Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania, where you’ll meet the women of the Kauffman Amish Bakery in Lancaster County. As each woman’s story unfolds, you will share in her heartaches, trials, joys, dreams … and secrets. You’ll discover how the simplicity of the Amish lifestyle can clash with the ‘English’ way of life—and the decisions and consequences that follow. Most importantly, you will be encouraged by the hope and faith of these women, and the importance they place on their families.

In the tradition of her widely popular Kauffman Amish Bakery series, author Amy Clipston tells the tale of Anna Mae McDonough who was shunned by her family four years ago when she left her Amish community in Lancaster County, PA, to marry an ‘Englisher’ (non Amish) man and move with him to Baltimore. Now, eight months pregnant when her first child, she longs to return home for Christmas to reconcile with her family, especially her stern father, who is the religious leader for her former Amish church district.

So Anne Mae writes a letter to Kathryn Beiler, her brother’s wife, to enlist her help. Kathryn asks her husband, David, if she should arrange Anna Mae’s visit. David cautions her that a visit would cause too much stress in the family and instead suggests they visit Anna Mae and her husband in the spring. However, Kathryn arranges the visit anyway, believing in her heart that it’s God’s will for the family to heal.

When Anna Mae arrives in Lancaster for Christmas, the welcome she receives is nothing like what she had hoped for.

A book filled with love, the pain of being separated from one’s family, and the determination to follow God’s will regardless of the outcome, A Plain and Simple Christmas is an inspiring page-turner that will keep you guessing what happens next … right to the very last page.



What do you do when you leave your family behind… I mean, how do you just go on with life, never having any contact with them?

This special novella introduces us to Anna Mae and her English husband Kellan McDonough.

Anna Mae knew when she left her community… and the Amish faith – and her vows – that she was leaving her family behind forever. But she was in love! And she was convinced if she stayed in Lancaster County that she’d be an old maid, never marrying and having a family of her own.

Now that Anna is expecting her first child, she is missing her family even more… but if she returns home, she will be shunned.

If you’re like me, you expect this story to have a happy ending – after all, it’s about Christmas!

I won’t spoil it for you, but there are a few twists and turns!

Amy does a great job showing how am Amish wife might help a friend who has left the faith, even though it means going against her husband’s wishes.

This heart-warming novella shows the faith of one and the forgiveness and acceptance she earnestly desires. If you haven’t read it, don’t wait another year until Christmas – read it anytime!

Amy Clipston has a talent for knowing what her readers want… if you don’t have them, be sure this series is on your Christmas list!

And don’t forget to click below to find out how you can enter the BIG contest!

Amy Clipston Marathon | GIVEAWAY!

Click HERE for more from Zondervan.

You can click HERE to read more reviews and find other info on GoodReads.

Click HERE to purchase the book on Amazon

Click HERE to visit Amy Clipston’s website.

God bless you! Happy Reading!

©Donna J. Mynatt 2014
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