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"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house." Matthew 5:14-15

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it." Matthew 13:45-46

Friday, August 29, 2014

When You Pass Through the Waters....

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
    I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze.

Isaiah 43:1b-2 

Last week my husband and I traveled to Norfolk to see our Navy son off as he deployed for six months at sea. While my husband was driving, we experienced a horrendous storm. We had heard on the radio that the storm was creating strong wind gusts, golf-ball sized hail, and torrential rain. It wasn't long before we were experiencing the brunt of the storm, minus the hail.

Cars were pulled to the side and visibility was almost nonexistent. We both were praying as he drove. It continued to pour for a very long time. I couldn't help but recall this verse as we made our way through the waters. It made me think of how often in life we are faced with hard, difficult circumstances. But we always have the assurance that He is with us. He doesn't wait on the side until we get through the problem, He's there with us, each step along the way. I don't know about you, but this gives me tremendous comfort.

Are you going through storms in your life right now? How can I pray for you? 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Head Out the Window - Embracing Life

I was running an errand this morning and saw a sight that made me chuckle. I passed a car that had a beautiful, white, husky dog. He was standing on two legs, with the other two on the side of the door, supporting him while he thrust his head out the window. It almost looked like he had a grin on his face as the wind blew across his fur.

It made me think... how often do I have my head out the window? Okay, not literally. But how open am I to fully embracing life and the good things God has in store for me? Sadly at times, I'm probably more like an ostrich with my head in the sand.

I think it's time I did a little more embracing life. How about you?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Waiting....

I read this in my Bible reading this morning:

"Whether it was two day, a month, or longer, the Israelites camped and did not set out as long as the cloud stayed over the tabernacle. But when it was lifted, they set out. They camped at the LORD's command, and they set out at the LORD's command. They carried out the LORD's requirement according to His command through Moses."
Numbers 9: 22-23

I couldn't help but think about how impatient our society has become. Sadly, I too fall into this category at times. Okay, maybe it's a little more often than I'd like.

We all have things we are looking forward to, or things we are hoping for and don't see anything happen. We stress, fret, and cry out to God for Him to move the barriers that are before us.... and all we hear is silence.

No answer in sight.

And sometimes we wonder whether God is there. Does He care what we are going through?

I take assurance that He is always there. That He is with me in the 'waiting time'. I know I can trust Him to bring about good even in the midst of storms.

I don't know about you, but I've been through a lot of 'storms' lately. I choose to rest in Him - to wait for the rainbow after the rain.

How about you? What storms are you facing in your life? How can I be praying for you?

Friday, August 15, 2014

Blind Trust by Sandra Orchard

Kate Adams once again finds herself smack dab in an investigation - this time for counterfeiting. She's determined to make sure her elderly neighbor isn't charged and will do whatever it takes to help Detective Tom Parker find the real culprit.

Tom Parker is struggling to remain impartial in his examination of the evidence when he is having trouble denying his growing attraction for his prime suspect. When continual threats crop up concerning Kate, he's determined to do whatever he can to protect her even if it means earning her ire in the process.

This continuing saga between Kate and Tom, set in Port Aster, is a fun and exciting read from Sandra Orchard. I eagerly look forward to the final book to this adventure when hopefully the duo will overcome their differences and come together. You won't be disappointed by this second book in the series.

This book was provided free for review by the author and Revell - 2014.

Friday, August 8, 2014

What Activity Do You Love Most?

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

Ecclesiastes 3:1

I like this verse in scripture. We have the assurance that we don't need to rush about our days but instead we can rest in the knowledge that God will give us what we need for each moment we face.

I don't know about you, but sometimes I get stressed out by the amount of 'to do' things I have on my list for the day. It can seem overwhelming at times. I should stop and remind myself that God has a plan for everything I face.

The verse says "every activity under the heavens." What activity do you love doing? What gives you the most pleasure when you are doing it?

For me -- it's writing. I love breathing life into characters, throwing them into a stressful situation, and seeing how they react to it. I often don't know in advance how they will respond. I think that's what makes writing fun for me. That, and I feel God's pleasure as I'm writing and doing the activity He has called me to do.

So what activity gives you pleasure? 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Full Steam Ahead by Karen Witemeyer

Nicole Renard is determined to find an heir who will be capable of running her father's shipping company, even if it means traveling alone in order to do so. She is a determined, strong heroine with knife skills. I found myself laughing at her 'out of character' antics.

Darius Thornton is obsessed with finding a way to make steamships safe after surviving an explosion on one. He is in need of a male assistant to decipher his notes and drawings and isn't prepared when a woman shows up for the interview.

Full Steam Ahead by Karen Witemeyer is a delightful tale of two strong characters who are determined to forge their own futures and aren't afraid to do what it takes to get there. I highly recommend this novel.

This book was provided free for review by the author and Bethany House Publishers.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Be Still...

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”

Psalm 46:10
 
I was up early this morning so I could take a walk before the heat of the day begins. The temperatures were cool and a nice breeze was blowing. Typically when I walk, I have a walking buddy with me, but today she couldn't make it. Instead of lying in bed, or going back to sleep, I decided to get up and walk by myself.
 
I had time to commune with God while exercising. I returned to a quiet house. The only sound I can hear is the ticking of a clock and the noise of the keyboard as I type. Usually throughout the day I have Christian radio or music playing in the background.
 
As I experienced the quiet this morning, it made me wonder, how often are we still before the Lord? Or do we just rush through our 'prayer list of concerns' and then go about our day, never thinking about Him again until the next day.
 
I challenge you today to find time to be still before the Lord. Find a quiet place and see what He has to say to you.
 
 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Stuck Together by Mary Connealy

Stuck Together is the newest saga in Mary Connealy's Trouble in Texas series. Mary is a very talented author, and I always enjoy reading her works. This book is a delightful end to the stories about the lives of four men who met during the Civil War.

In this tale, Tina Cahill does whatever she can to close down Broken Wheell's saloon, even if it means picketing outside it every day. She's determined to 'civilize' the town and isn't afraid to stand up against the men who frequent the saloon.

Vince Yates has his hands full dealing with the pesky woman while also trying to figure out what to do with his female prisoner he has in custody. His life is turned on end when his family arrives and his father dumps off his mother who has signs of dementia and a sister Vince never knew he had.

Stuck Together is a fun story and a delightful read. Put it on your list as a book to read this summer. You won't be disappointed.

This book was provided free for review by Bethany House Publishers.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Song of the Prairie - Great Summer Read

Janie Dunn's aspirations to be an opera singer are dashed when she agrees to her dying cousin's request to raise her newborn and protect him from his abusive father. She heads west to her brother for help with taking care of the young child.

Since Aaron Harper lost his wife in a tragic accident, he has been praying for God to send him a new wife to help mother his children, but God hasn't seemed to be listening over the past few years. When his dying friend makes a request to watch over his family, Aaron feels honor bound to take care of the young widow and her child. How far will his commitment take him?

Song of the Prairie is the final saga in Vickie McDonough's Pioneer Promises series. It's been a delight learning about the Harper brothers and watching how each of them found love. This book is a great summer read that you will enjoy.

*This book was provided free for review by Whitaker House and the author.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Four Weddings and a Kiss

Spitfire Sweetheart by Mary Connealy tells the tale of feisty Maizy MacGregor who has no desire to be told what to do, and certainly not by Rylan Carstens. Just because he told her to stay off his property doesn't mean she hadn't any intention on obeying him. But when her foolish deeds put the man in jeopardy, she feels she must somehow make restitution.

A Love Letter to the Editor by Robin Lee Hatcher weaves the story of Molly Everton who is infuriated to learn her father has hired someone to take over as the new editor for her town's newspaper, especially when she clearly is qualified to take the position herself. She immediately begins plotting on how to encourage Jack Ludgrove to move elsewhere.

A Cowboy for Katie by Debra Clopton is a delightful adventure of Katie Pearl who needs someone to help restore her ranch after its demolition by a tornado, so she hires Treb Rayburn. He only agrees to come to her aid because he'll get a horse out of the deal. Katie is one odd character that soon becomes endeared to the reader.

Courting Trouble by Margaret Bronwley shares the story of Grace Davenport who is in jail for the murder of her late husband. After her son's plea, attorney Brock Daniels agrees to represent her case. What will he do if the journey finds her guilty?

What a delight to read another group of stories from these four talented ladies. Prepare to be swept back in history to the era of the Old West. You won't be disappointed.

This book was provided free for review by Thomas Nelson.  

 Four best-­selling romance novelists bring tales of feisty heroines, stubborn heroes, and unlikely love in the Wild West in Four Weddings and a Kiss. Don't miss the latest from the Western Brides Collection from Margaret Brownley, Robin Lee Hatcher, Mary Connealy, and Debra Clopton.

The authors are celebrating with a "Sweet on Love" iPad Mini Giveaway and rip-roarin' Facebook party.
4weddings-400-click
 
  One winner will receive:
  • An iPad Mini
  • A Bride for All Seasons and Four Weddings and a Kiss 
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on July 8th. Winner will be announced at the Four Weddings and a Kiss Facebook Author Chat Party. Connect with Western Brides Collection authors Margaret Brownley, Robin Lee Hatcher, Mary Connealy, and Debra Clopton for an evening of fun book chat, western-themed trivia, and prizes. The authors will also be answering audience questions and giving an exclusive look at the next book in the collection!

So grab your copy of Four Weddings and a Kiss and join the authors on the evening of July 8th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 8th!