Thursday, July 17, 2008

Interview with Robin Gunn and Book Giveaway!

I had the opportunity to interview a wonderful Christian author, Robin Jones Gunn. She's written dozens of books including the Christy Miller and the Glenbrooke series, but is most known for her Sisterchick's books.

What's a Sisterchick you ask? Close women friends who deeply care about each other and really enjoy the ups and downs of life with each other. Each book in the series features a different pair of women in different countries including: Sisterchicks Do the Hula, Sisterchicks in Gondolas, Sisterchicks Say Oh La La!, Sisterchicks Down Under, Sisterchicks in Sombreros, and her latest, Sisterchicks Go Brit.

Currently located in Portland, Oregon, with her husband of 30 years, Robin is a mother of two grown children, a daughter and a son, and enjoys telling the world about God and traveling whenever she can.

Talking with Robin was a delight. I hope that you'll enjoy our "conversation" as much as I did.

Interview with Robin Jones Gunn

Denise: "Do you have your own "Sisterchicks?"

Robin: "Yes, I consider a friend, Donna, a Sisterchick. We met at church about 25 years ago when our kids were young. Her steady friendship is such as gift. She is a lifter and really values our friendship. Some friendships are just effortless."

Denise: "Can you tell me a little bit more about your Sisterchick series?"

Robin: "I wrote about Sisterchicks do the Hula because we lived in Hawaii at one point and I knew it well. Then my husband suggested to the publisher that they pay for me to travel to do the research for other books and they said yes. It's the ideal job to have. My publisher sends me to travel and write about it. It's rich and full. There wasn't a lot of Christian Chick literature at the time and we thought we could really launch this is in the Christian market."

Denise: "What made you write with a Christian flare?"

Robin: "It comes from my heart. It's at my core, the love of God. This is what I think everyday so it comes out in my characters. It's what I believe."

Denise: "Do you feel God has blessed you?"

Robin: "God has blessed me so abundantly, above and beyond anything I could expect. I've received his blessings at just the right time. I've received gifts of people, finances, and things. I've written in my journal all the wonderful things he has done for me - there's just so much. My life long desire is to travel. I love going and meeting interesting people and eating different food. For the Lord to give me this opportunity to travel around the world - that's extravagant blessings. I think 'What are you going to do next?'"

Denise: "Do you think your writing has blessed others?"

Robin: "I do. I receive so much mail, particularly from girls around the world. They've surrendered their lives to the Lord. They were making bad decisions before, but if they turn all their attention to God, there are unlimited opportunities out there.

Check out Robin Jones Gunn's website for more information on this inspiring author and for more details on her books by visiting The Robin Gunn website.

Book Drawing!

Enter to win Robin Gunn's latest book Sisterchicks Go Brit! Robin and her staff were kind enough to give me five copies of her newest book, complete with Sisterchick stickers and a highlighter marker. I'll give away one copy every two weeks until their gone to a random winner.

To participate in the first drawing, simply comment on any of my posts and I'll choose someone at random as the winner. The winner will be announced on Friday, August 1st.

The next drawing for a second copy of Robin's Sisterchicks Go Brit! will begin on Saturday, August 2nd.


Book Information

I've read many of the Robin's Sisterchicks books and I can tell you they are an enjoyable read. Sisterchicks Go Brit! is no exception. Here's more about what you'll enjoy if you win the book as taken from the book's back cover:

Two mid-life mamas hop over to jolly ole England and encounter so much more than the usual tourist stops. Liz does have a bit of a childhood crush on Big Ben, and she has hoped to “meet” him ever since her fifteenth birthday. Kellie dreams of starting an interior design business and figures Liz needs to be a part of that equation–a calculation that hasn’t added up for Liz yet.

Nothing on the excursion goes the way these two friends had envisioned. They start with a village pancake race and end up being held for questioning on The Underground. Kellie and Liz take a wild tour through the land of C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien and then find themselves swept up, up, and away in a hot air balloon over the Cotswalds. London beckons with the Tower of London, Windsor Castle, shopping at Portabella Road in Knotting Hill, and of course, reservations at the Ritz for a posh high tea.

A few detours along the way and the possibility of being lost in a London fog of wonderment aren’t enough to stop these two Sisterchicks! Each step of their regal journey is lined with evidence of God’s gracious compassion, and both come to realize that God knows their every wish. He is the One who planted every dream in their hearts.

And, oh, what a surprise awaits them when they return home!

To subscribe to Blessings from Above, click here to subscribe to a RSS feed, or fill in your email address at the top right this blog.

Good luck!

Wishing you "Blessings from Above" and a copy of Robin's book Sisterchicks Go Brit! ;)


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Heirloom Tomato Gratin Recipe

Good evening all,

Living in the state of New Jersey, otherwise known as the Garden State, I am always looking for new and different things to do with the delicious vegetables that the local farm stands produce. Thank God for them and their wonderful produce!

Recently I bought the biggest, reddest Jersey tomatoes I think I've ever had and needed something to do with them. Most of the time I bake them in the oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes with a pat of butter, salt and thyme on them. But I've done it so often the hubby isn't real excited about them any more and I knew I needed to come up something a little different.

This recipe for "Heirloom Tomato Gratin" that I found in my Woman's Day magazine was out of this world! It was quick and easy and I already had all the basic ingredients needed to make it. I'd highly recommend it. Check it out and enjoy!

Oh, and if you are worried about problems with tomatoes making people sick, either buy the tomatoes at a farm stand who grows them in a green house, grow your own, or substitute green peppers or zucchini. I think the tomatoes will work best though.

I'll be posting my first contest on Blessings from Above in the next few days! Look for a chance to win Robin Gunn's latest Sisterchick book, Sisterchicks Goes Brit! Stay tuned for more details!

To subscribe to Blessings from Above, click here to subscribe to a RSS feed, or fill in your email address at the top right this blog.

Wishing you "Blessings from Above,"


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Free Christian Resources - Part I

I am a big fan of free things. My friends and family roll their eyes whenever I tell them of the free trial size that arrived in the mail or about the coupon for a free product at the supermarket. What can I say? I like to learn and I see free things as an opportunity to try something new and see if I like it.

And the only thing I love more than getting free things is sharing free things with other. This is no exception when it comes to all things Christian. So.....I put together a list of free Christian things from devotionals, to free music, videos, books, and so much more. Feel free to enjoy these things yourself or to pass them along to others who you feel may be blessed by them!

Our Daily Bread, receive a sample of free Devotional articles. I believe a subscription is required to receive this publication on a regular basis, but I am not sure.

Choose from almost 50 Free Online Books by John Piper, Pastor for Preaching at Bethlehem Baptist Chruch in Minneapolis, MN.

Picturesque Christian desktop backgrounds with nature scenes and Bible verses. Designed for a 1024 x 768 screen resolution.

Christian bookmarks with cute graphics and Bible verses. Print, cut, and hold the page of your favorite book.

Christian eNewsletters written by Choose from: Christian College Guide, The Connection, Daily Devotionals for Women, Ignite Your Faith, Marriage, Men, MOMsense, The Singles Channel, Today's Christian Weekly, Women, Faith in the Workplace, Movie Reviews, and so many others.

Free eDevotionals (video) presented by popular Christian Music Artists. Very cool!

Free Christian Downloads including from AudioBooks and Podcasts.

Christian videos on, ranging from hilarious to moving and everything in between. Includes music videos, a virtual Bible, and more.

Billy Graham's book of the month - changes monthly and features talented and popular Christian authors. This month the site offers "10 Things You Should Know About God and Life" by Greg Laurie.

Enjoying Everyday Life magazine by Joyce Meyers (online version). Filled with inspiring stories.

Free Conference with Joyce Meyers. Joyce will hold a free conference (yes, I said free!). She'll be in various cities and states throughout the rest of 2008 and 2009. Joyce will speak and various Christian bands will perform over the course of three days. Vendors will be on hand two hours before the conference begins. And this is all free!

Free Harvest Crusade with Greg Laurie. Held in various cities around the country, the purpose of this crusade is to bring Jesus to the lives of those who do not know him in an entertaining and non-threatening way. Greg will speak and a large variety of popular Christan bands will perform. Check the site to see if Harvest Crusade is coming to a city near you. Again, all this is free!

This is just the beginning. There will be more free Christian Resources listed in future posts. And as always, feel free any free resources you may know of.

To subscribe to Blessings from Above, click here to subscribe to a RSS feed, or fill in your email address at the top right this blog.

Wishing you "Blessings from Above,"

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Birthday America!

Happy Birthday America! It's the 4th of July and today is a day that as Americans we should celebrate our great country and remember how blessed we are to be here. Whether you are swimming in the pool, eating tasty hot dogs off the barbecue grill or watching the fireworks, remember there is more to this day this just fun activities with your family - it's about our freedom and the birth of our wonderful nation. Let's be thankful to our forefathers who fought for this great land.

In honor of the 4th of July, why not do something positive before heading out to that 4th of July family picnic. There are plenty of simple things that you can do that won't take much time, such as:

Send our troops a Camouflage Bible. Since our military troops are a large part of the reason we enjoy the freedom we have, let's pay them back by supplying them with a great gift of God's. A Bible will be a source of inspiration and will be a blessing to them. To donate, visit the International Bible Society Store.

Write a letter to our the President or other government official thanking them for the great job they do. Remember, even if you do not agree with all their decisions and policies, they are responsible for keeping our nation civilized and free. You can't argue that they are doing that and for that we should be thankful. For information on how to contact the White House, visit The White House's homepage.

Clean up this great land. Every where you go your see some form of trash sent out of car windows by a careless person. There doesn't have to be a formal program that you have to join to go out with a trash bag and pick up trash. Pick an area in your hometown like a park or busy street with a lot of debris and decide how much you are going to clean. Then get trash bags, gloves, and a large stick to help you pick up things without touching it. You'll be doing the land of America a great favor!

Have a blessed and safe 4th of July!

Wishing you "Blessings from Above,"