Book download!

Hi all,
I’m interrupting this series of posts to tell you about a book written by a friend of ours who is a missionary in Liberia. We met Nancy Sheppard and her husband Mark and their family when we lived over there.

 Amazon describes the book this way:

When Mark and Nancy Sheppard began missionary service in Liberia, Nancy had no idea what God would ask of her. Their idyllic first term was followed by the Liberian Civil War and a nightmarish year working among Liberian refugees in the Ivory Coast. Conditions were difficult, expectations overwhelming and the tensions of the war at their doorstep. Fear, self-pity, resentment and depression haunted her. God used Nancy’s difficult decision to follow her husband’s leadership and remain in refugee work to begin an amazing spiritual journey—one that led to a clearer understanding of biblical womanhood as well as a deeper relationship with the Lord and with her husband.

The book chronicles Nancy’s journey to true peace in the midst of very difficult circumstances. As God teaches her about genuine service, submission, sincere prayer, reverence and humility, she is totally and completely transformed. The scenarios are unique to Nancy, but every seeking Christian can fully identify with the spiritual lessons.

A unique reading experience, this interactive eBook contains many full color pictures as well as links to pertinent YouTube videos. This Kindle edition of “Confessions of a Transformed Heart” will not disappoint!

I snatched this book right up when it was released and it really is a good read. And the good news right now is that you can get a free ebook download from amazon for the next couple days. Here is the link:

and if you read in spanish here is the link:

 Each download improves the amazon ratings of the book so download away and help bless the Sheppards in their ministry in Liberia. Feel free to pass the word around as well. It’s a wonderful book and I know you will enjoy it.

Their son, John-Mark also wrote a book about Liberian English and it’s on its way to my house now. I can’t wait to read it!


Homemade Fabric Softener

Okay, so here I am again, with a frugal DIY tip. I love being frugal and spending my money wisely so I love new tips on better ways to do it.

And so I present to you:

Homemade Fabric Softener
And giving credit where its due: I came up with this formula after seeing a couple “recipes” floating around and combined what I liked best about each. This is where I got the base.
It’s quite simple and actually kinda fun because you can experiment with different scents. The cast of ingredients:
6 cups hot water
4 cups vinegar
2 cups hair conditioner (any scent)
2 Tbsp. Purex crystals dissolved in hot water
I usually just pick up the cheapest brand of conditioner. Suave has good prices and a good variety of scents so that’s what I use. It’s really simple. I just pour all the ingredients together in an empty fabric softener bottle, shake really well to mix and then its good to go. The purex crystals are optional but I like to use them to calm down the vinegar scent of the mixture. It’s not very strong but the crystals do make it smell more like Downy. If you wait to get them till they’re on sale it really shouldn’t be too expensive, considering that you only  use two tablespoons per batch.
I haven’t done any calculating but I think homemade softener is cheaper than buying especially expensive brands like Downy. This recipe mostly fills up the following large Purex bottle. ( don’t go by the half-full amount on the picture).
So there you go! It works great, is fun to make, and what’s not to love about it? 
Coming up: 
Homemade Foaming Hand Soap,
A Great Alternative to Glade and Febreeze Plugins
A Book Sale From My Very Own Collection of Books
Stay tuned!

Kindness Drives a Black Truck

We could hardly have figured out a worse predicament. We had just left a lovely weekend with Liberia friends at a reunion and were 25 minutes down the road when our engine light came on. It was pouring rain, on a Sunday evening, in a town whose name we could hardly pronounce and our power was going out. The windshield wipers were going slower and slower so we pulled in to a small gas station. On my dad’s way in to see what he could do, he happened to ask 3 country boys standing around outside if they knew where he could find an alternator, since he was fairly sure that was the problem. They told him there wasn’t much around so we decided to keep on going and see if we could make it to a place with more options. We had hardly started when he figured out we wouldn’t make it so we pulled into a nearby bank parking lot to make some calls. My dad went back to the same gas station to see what he could do and the aforementioned boys were still there and remarked that we hadn’t gotten very far. My dad soon came back and we waited in the pouring rain, trying to figure out what to do, when they drove up in their big, black truck. They jumped out and said they had been talking among themselves, trying to figure out how they would feel if they were traveling through GA and got stuck with the same problem, so they decided to come see what they could do. Turns out one of them works for a junk yard, so he thought he could get an alternator for us. They roared off and returned 15 minutes later with two alternators. They grabbed the second one last minute in case the first didn’t fit and it turned out to be a smart move. They labored away in the pouring rain, bent over our van, taking the old alternator out and putting the new one in, while we sat in the van, slack-jawed that these people were taking time to help us (and we weren’t even in the South!) The Lord heard many bits of thanksgiving and beseechings of blessing for these men as they toiled away. They got the alternator put in, jumped off the van for us and made sure it was working properly. We paid them well, and thanked them profusely for their labors but they kinda shrugged it off and said maybe if they are ever in the same shoes, someone will return the favor.

It’s easy to get jaded in a world full of murders and rapes and kidnappings and suicides. World events are hostile and uncertain. But because of three unselfish young men, goodwill and compassion reigned supreme and became proof that they really do exist. Kindness is a universal gift, and sometimes it drives a black truck.