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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

Monday, September 29, 2014

Tried & True by Mary Connealy

Kylie Wilde likes being feminine, wearing dresses, sporting long hair, and enjoying the finer things in life, much to the chagrin of her older sisters. They've fought in the Civil War posing as men and now have claimed land with their soldier exemptions posing as men too. Except Kylie is tired of wearing britches.

Land agent, Aaron Masterson, checks to make sure that claim owners are obeying the requirements of the law. He refuses to look the other way when he learns of Kylie's deception. He's tempted to turn her in but feels the need to protect her when someone is trying to force her off her land.

Mary Connealy has a knack of bringing together a strong hero and heroine with plenty of struggles and laughter in between their clashes. I look forward to reading the story of each of the Wilde sisters.

This book was provided for review by Bethany House Publishers, 2014.



About the book: Saddle up for a wildly fun ride with the Wilde sisters!
Kylie Wilde is the youngest sister---and the most civilized. Her older sisters might be happy dressing in trousers and posing as men, but Kylie has grown her hair long and wears skirts every chance she gets. It's a risk---they are homesteading using the special exemptions they earned serving in the Civil War as "boys"---but Kylie plans to make the most of the years before she can sell her property and return to the luxuries of life back East.
Local land agent Aaron Masterson is fascinated with Kylie from the moment her long hair falls from her cap. But now that he knows her secret, can he in good conscience defraud the U.S. government? And when someone tries to force Kylie off her land, does he have any hope of convincing her that marrying him and settling on the frontier is the better option for her future?

Purchase a copy:  http://ow.ly/AS8Js

About the author: Mary Connealy writes fun and lively "romantic comedy with cowboys" for the inspirational market. She is the author of the successful Kincaid Brides, Lassoed in Texas, Montana Marriages, and Sophie's Daughters series, and she has been a finalist for a Rita and Christy Award and a two time winner of the Carol Award. She lives on a ranch in eastern Nebraska with her husband, Ivan, and has four grown daughters.

Find Mary online: website, Facebook, Twitter

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Glorious Day

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes.
Death will no longer exist;
grief, crying, and pain will exist no longer,
because the previous things have passed away.


Revelation 21:4 

I've been thinking today about heaven. I love the promise this scripture brings, giving us hope for the future when we belong to Him.

No more tears.

No more death.

No more sorrow.

No more crying.

No more pain.

My focus today is on having no more pain. I've been experiencing a lot of pain in my hand joints the past month. So I'm holding onto that promise of no more pain.

What a glorious day that will be when the previous things have passed away, and we are reunited with Jesus in heaven.

What things are you looking forward to? 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

To Walk on Water... You First Need to Get Out of the Boat

Around three in the morning, He came toward them walking on the sea. When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost!” they said, and cried out in fear.  

 Immediately Jesus spoke to them. “Have courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

“Lord, if it’s You,” Peter answered Him, “command me to come to You on the water.”

“Come!” He said.

And climbing out of the boat, Peter started walking on the water and came toward Jesus. 

Matthew 14:25-29

We had a guest speaker at our church this past Sunday. Actually it was given by the man who will be our new preacher. I was incredibly challenged by his message. He used this passage in Matthew that talks about when Jesus and Peter walked on the water. 

Peter trusted Jesus and took that step of faith. He got out of the boat. Peter was able to do something miraculous.... until he took his eyes off Jesus and gave in to the doubts and fears around him. He listened to those voices in his head that told him it was impossible for him to be doing what he was doing.

I think of how many times I follow God in something He has called me to do... but then those fears and doubts hit me like a huge wave and I flounder as much as Peter did.

I know the key is in looking to Jesus. I will only be able to do miraculous things... because of Him. I don't know about you, but I'd rather be walking on water than sitting safe and secure on the boat.

Where are you... on the boat... on the water walking... or sinking?

The great thing is that God can meet us no matter where we are.


 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A Match of Wits by Jen Turano

Reporter Agatha Watson's life is in danger. She's angered too many people with her articles for the New York Tribune. Her editor agrees for her to take a trip west as long as her bodyguard is along to keep her safe while they try to find the person trying to kill her. She isn't happy being away from her life in New York but is determined to find ideas for stories along the way.

Zayne Beckett's life hasn't turned out the way he planned, but he has no desire to return to New York, and definitely not with Agatha Watson. He has no desire to be a 'project' for Agatha to fix. He knows from years of experience dealing with her, that she has a propensity for finding trouble.

A Match of Wits by Jen Turano is a fun novel that will have you laughing and eager to turn the page to read more.

This book was provided free for review by the author and Bethany House Publishers, 2014.

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.