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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, December 29, 2014

A Vision and Word for 2015

"Where there is no vision, the people perish." - Proverbs 29:18a


I don't know about you, but I find it hard to believe that 2015 is just around the corner. Whenever I find myself looking ahead to a new year, I begin praying about what God has for me to do.
 
Several years ago, I attended a conference for women and the speaker challenged the attendees to ask God for a word for the year for us to concentrate on and study throughout that time. In the past, I've studied God's Word and learned more about joy, peace, gratefulness, and hope. As I began to lean toward 2015, I sensed God directing me toward the word, 'believe'.

Along with choosing a word for the New Year, I also pray and ask God to show me various goals to set as well. It can be something like - writing a book, leaning toward healthy relationships, losing weight... any number of things. God desires for us to seek Him as we set these goals.

As you think about 2015 what 'word' and goals do you believe God wants you to set? Be assured of this... "Because of the Lord’s faithful love we do not perish, for His mercies never end. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness!" Lamentations 3:22-23

Monday, December 22, 2014

A Matter of the Heart by Tracie Peterson

Jessica Atherton is restless and trying to figure out her goal in life. God begins to stir her heart as well as two different gentleman. She isn't sure which way God is leading her to go.

Austin Todd has long since decided never to marry but he can't deny the bubbling of interest he feels when in Jessica's presence. Will she ever see beyond the sins of his past and take a chance with him? Is it worth the risk?


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

Monday, December 15, 2014

A Bride in Store by Melissa Jagears

Eliza Cantrell has ideas of how to improve her intended groom's store. She's so excited to get started she travels a week early hoping he will be excited to see his mail-order-bride. She hadn't anticipated being caught up in a train robbery and losing all the money she had planned to use as an investment for the store. Nor did she anticipate her fiance being away.

William Stanton longs to become a doctor but doesn't have enough money saved to cover the cost of his education. Instead he's stuck co-owning a store with his friend who is often missing as of late. When a penniless woman arrives claiming to be the future bride of his fellow owner, he begrudgingly allows her to help out in the store until his friend returns.

Neither are willing to budge when it comes to what ideas are best for the store, and Will hadn't planned on the beginning of feelings he's experiencing for Axel's intended.


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

Friday, December 12, 2014

Navy Seal Noel by Liz Johnson

It's been years since Navy Seal Will Grumble walked away from the girl he cared deeply for, but a day hasn't gone by without her consuming his thoughts. When his commanding officer, father of Jessalynn, asks him to do a mission 'off the books' to rescue his daughter from a drug cartel in South America, Will doesn't hesitate.

Jessalynn McCoy figured her Navy father would send someone to rescue her from her kidnappers, however she never imagined it would be the man who hurt her to the deepest core by walking out of her life and no longer assuming the role as her best friend. She's determined to make sure her abductors don't release the deadly toxin and kill others in the process even if she has to manage her escape by herself.

Will the two be able to escape the hurts from their past and their abductors?

You can find Liz Johnson on:
http://www.lizjohnsonbooks.com
Facebook.com/LizJohnsonBooks

This book was provided free for review by Liz Johnson and Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Called By Your Name

When Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down because today I must stay at your house.” Luke 19:5

The Our Daily Bread reading this morning got me to thinking. The Scripture reading came from Luke 19:1-10, the familiar tale you often hear as a child in Sunday School about Zacchaeus climbing the tree in order to see Jesus.

I've heard it many times, but what struck me this time as I read through was that Jesus called Zacchaeus by name. Jesus knew exactly who Zacchaeus was. He knew him by name. They may have never met before, but still Jesus knew him.

For me, it was a great reminder how Jesus calls us each by name. He desires for us to have fellowship with him. He's calling your name. Have you responded to Him?

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Petticoat Detective by Margaret Brownley

Petticoat Detective (Undercover Ladies)Jennifer Layne isn't comfortable with her current undercover assignment as a Pinkerton detective. She's played many roles through the years but this one is the most challenging situation she has ever faced. Posing as Amy, Jennifer is determined to find the Gunnysack Bandit.

Tom Colton, a former Texas Ranger, is driven to clear his brother's name and also learn who killed his brother's betrothed. He believes Amy knows more than she is saying. What he hadn't counted on was developing an interest in the green-eyed beauty.

Margaret Brownley weaves a captivating tale in her new Undercover Ladies series. This book kept me guessing to the very end of who the Gunnysack Bandit was. Great job, Margaret. I look forward to more books in this series.

This book was provided free for review by the author and Shiloh Run Press.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Normal?

I think it was Erma Bombeck who said something along the lines that 'normal is only a setting on the dryer.' At my house things have been far from normal.

This summer was spent helping my in-laws 'downsize' and unfortunately a lot of those items have taken up residence in my home. Things were so crazy that we just stacked boxes and furniture wherever there was open space, hoping to get to it in the near future.

Then in late September my mother-in-law's health started a downward decline and almost two months were spent caring for her until finally on November 4th she went home to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

I'm still catching up on rest after weeks of being up through the night assisting her with personal needs. Honestly, I miss her tremendously.

Now I'm back home and trying to make some semblance of order out of my life and home. I hope to start regular postings again. In case someone out there actually missed my musings. :)

How normal has your life been lately?

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.

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.
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  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!

Friday, June 27, 2014

The End

When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” Then bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. John 19:30

Today (Friday) I finished writing my 94,000 word Christian historical romance novel. There is always a sense of mixed feelings when I type THE END at the completion of my manuscript. Relief at accomplishing my goal, but there also is a surge of joy and sadness too.

Some writers thrive on the editing process and find the writing more of a drudgery but not me. I LOVE the creativity of the writing process. Probably partly because editing is work. :)

I couldn't help but think about Jesus' final words on this earth. "It is finished!" I wonder what surge of emotions He felt as he gave His last breath.

Sorrow for those who choose not to follow Him.

Joy for those who He will see again.

Pain over the condition of the world.


I'm thankful He chose the pain and agony of the cross so that I can have eternal life in Him.

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Out of the Ruins by Karen Barnett

Abby Fischer has only one desire in life - to see her sister, Cecelia, well again. When an experimental treatment is suggested, Abby tells God she'll do anything if He will only save Cecelia's life, otherwise she won't speak with Him ever again.

Dr. Robert King is consumed with his research, and trying to make a breakthrough with his new remedy for cancer patients. He has set his beliefs in God on a shelf in favor of his knowledge of science.

Set in the backdrop of San Francisco, California before the historic earthquake in 1906, Out of the Ruins is a soul-searching tale of death and loss, hope and faith. Karen Barnett has developed a gripping tale of God's faithfulness through fire and flames.

This book was provided free for review by Abingdon Press.

Don't miss the debut book, Out of the Ruins, in Karen Barnett's new series, The Golden Gate Chronicles. Set against the backdrop of early 20th century San Francisco, Out of the Ruins will remind readers that no matter who we are or what we’ve done, God is still as close to us as our next breath.

Karen is celebrating with a fun giveaway and Facebook author chat party.
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  One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • Out of the Ruins by Karen Barnett
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on June 19th. Winner will be announced at the Out of the Ruins Facebook author chat party on June 19th. Connect with Karen for an evening of fun book chat, games, and prizes. Karen will also be answering audience questions and giving an exclusive look at the next book in The Golden Gate Chronicles series!
So grab your copy of Out of the Ruins and join Karen on the evening of June 19th 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 19th!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Raptor 6 by Ronie Kendig

Special Forces, Dean Watters, is dedicated to his mission and his team. When hackers steal ten military, highly secure computers he finds himself tangled up with a local - Zahrah Zarrick. With no desire to fall for a pretty face, he keeps a business barrier between them.

Zahrah Zarrick, daughter of a retired military general, finds herself in harm's way as a missionary teacher to Afghan children. Her degree in quantum cryptology makes her a prime target for terrorists. It's Captain Dean Watters' mission to rescue her when she goes missing, but what he doesn't plan on is getting emotionally attached in the process.

This was my first book to read by Ronie Kendig. Even though it wasn't a genre I typically pursue, I found Raptor 6 to be a riveting tale that kept me turning the pages. Now I'm hooked and can't wait to read the second tale in this saga.

This book was provided free for review by Shiloh Run Press, 2014.


Don't miss the first book, Raptor 6, in Ronie Kendig's new Quiet Professionals series. Ronie combines a dangerous romance and explosive action for a thrilling and satisfying ride. "Lock and load for this Spec Op, fighting under God’s 'rules of engagement.'" —Bob Hamer, veteran FBI undercover agent and award-winning author

Ronie is celebrating with a Kindle HDX Giveaway!
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One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • Raptor 6 by Ronie Kendig
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on June 15th. Winner will be announced June 16th on Ronie's blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by Ronie's blog on June 16th to see if you won.

Friday, June 6, 2014

The Beauty of Age

Gray hair is a glorious crown;
it is found in the way of righteousness.

Proverbs 16:31

Recently my husband and I became involved in the senior life ministry at our church. Last night fifteen of us headed to a local family restaurant. The room was filled with probably at least 100 people. We all ate from a buffet line and then settled in for a concert featuring a male gospel trio.

The trio sang some of the hymns we hear in our church. As I glanced around the room, there was an unmistakable joy radiated on each face as they sang about our Savior, Jesus Christ. Some lifted hands in worship. Many amens could be heard.

From the outside looking in you probably would have seen a room of elderly folks, some with gnarled, arthritic hands, canes, walkers, etc. But I couldn't help but think about how God must see them - still young in spirit and in love with their Creator.

Can people who see you recognize God's love? Does it show on your face?

 

Friday, May 30, 2014

The Heart's Purtsuit by Robin Lee Hatcher

Silver Matlock has nothing to lose. Her reputation is already in taters after being jilted and her ex-fiance has skipped town with her parent's money. She has one intent - find the scoundrel and make him pay back what he owes her. If only she can convince the bounty hunter to assist her.

Jared Newman has no intent on trying to follow the trail of the disappeared almost-groom, nor does he want someone tagging along after him. What he desires is retribution for the murder of his loved ones. A woman will only slow him down and distract him from his goal.

Robin Lee Hatcher created a great tale of the importance of allowing God to dole out justice. True redemption can only be found in Him. The Heart's Pursuit is a great read.

This book was provided free for review by Zondervan and Litfuse.

About the book: 

A jilted bride desperate to save her family from ruin.
A bounty hunter seeking vengeance for a ravaged past.
An arduous trek toward justice---or redemption.
Silver Matlock and Jared Newman know traveling together is a bad idea. Bad for Silver's already tarnished reputation in her small Colorado town. Bad for bounty hunter Jared's secret, single-minded mission for revenge. But Silver is determined to track down the rogue who left her at the altar and stole the last remnant of her father's fortune. And Jared's in a hurry to hunt down the murderer who destroyed his family---even if Silver is too distractingly beautiful for comfort.
The pair takes off over mountain and desert, past bleak homesteads and raw mining towns, hot on the trail of the two villains who took what wasn't theirs to take. Soon supplies dwindle, secrets emerge, and suspicion leave Silver and Jared at odds when they need each other most. To confront an enemy deadlier than desert rattlesnakes and rocky cliffs, Silver and Jared must learn to forgive and trust and face the question they haven't dared voice: What happens next?

Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/wSpq9

About the author: 

Best-selling novelist Robin Lee Hatcher is known for her heart-warming and emotionally charged stories of faith, courage, and love. The winner of the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction, the RITA Award for Best Inspirational Romance, two RT Career Achievement Awards, and the RWA Lifetime Achievement Award, Robin is the author of over sixty novels.

Robin can be found at: website, Facebook, Twitter

Introducing Robin's new novel, The Heart's Pursuit
Introducing Robin's new novel, The Heart's Pursuit
Robin Lee Hatcher's latest novel, The Heart's Pursuit, is receiving critical praise: "The Old West lives again in this inspirational romantic adventure. . . . Themes of forgiveness, justice and mercy dominate the story and add to the characters' depth. Hatcher treats readers to a rich sensory experience—you can taste the desert dust and smell the smoke and stench of a crowded gambling hall." (Publishers Weekly)

Robin is celebrating the release of her novel by giving away a $200 "Romantic Weekend Getaway."
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  One winner will receive:
  • A $200 Visa cash card (Get away for the weekend with that special someone!)
  • The Heart's Pursuit by Robin Lee Hatcher
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on June 8th. Winner will be announced June 9th on Robin's website.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by Robin's blog on June 8th to see if you won.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Weeds

Dandelions Free Photo
Yesterday I went for a walk in my neighborhood. I couldn't help but notice all the weeds that had cropped up in my neighbors' yards. Okay mine too. :) Especially dandelions.

I remember years ago when my boys were little and they would go out and pick 'flowers' for me. This year there are a plethora of the yellow flowers gracing my yard. As I looked around I also noticed ones in the yard next to us. Our prior neighbor had a company that came weekly to spray and treat their yard. It worked for a long time... until they moved somewhere else.

The new neighbors didn't have a lawn service and within a short amount of time, weeds spread through what had been a beautiful green lawn. It's what weeds tend to do - creep in and take over when you least expect them.

Now I doubt you have as many physical weeds in your life but there is a good chance you might have some spiritual ones. Attitudes that slip in, times where you don't respond the way you should - any time when you choose your own way instead of following God.

Perhaps its time to apply the fertilizer, and allow your life to become weed free. What do you need to do to yank out the weeds in your life?

Monday, April 28, 2014

White Space

This past month my calendar pages has been full with appointments, meetings, etc. It seems that whenever I have such a full day, I find myself often dragging, and my husband would probably say I'm more grouchy too. :)

I'm slowly learning the importance of having white space not only on my calendar, but in my life too. Somehow when I look at my schedule for the week and see several days where I don't have any appointments or have to go anywhere, I feel as if I'm sucking in a breath of fresh air.

Just as I need white space in my weekly activities, I also require white space each day - a time where I can withdraw from the world and spend time in the presence of God. He is the one that renews my strength.

Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:30-31

When's the last time you built some white space into your calendar? Perhaps it's time to make a change.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Sensible Arrangement by Tracie Peterson

Jake Wythe desires earning enough money to purchase a ranch of his own. Unfortunately that entails working in a job as bank manager and being forced to take a wife in name only to satisfy the bank owner's stipulations. He has no intention of falling in love again. He learned his lesson after his first wife left him.

Marty Olson feels smothered by memories and sees no purpose of keeping the ranch that took her husband's life. The sooner she can leave Texas the better. When a Colorado man advertises for a bride with no strings attached she jumps at the chance.

I loved the way Tracie Peterson wove a book incorporating facts from the time period as well as creating a love story that drew me into its pages. I appreciate the great privilege of being able to read Tracie's 100th book.

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



Tracie is celebrating by giving away an iPad Mini and hosting a LIVE webcast event on 4/29.
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  One winner will receive:
  • An iPad Mini
  • A Sensible Arrangement by Tracie Peterson
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 29th. Winner will be announced at the A Sensible Arrangement Live Webcast Event on April 29th. Connect with Tracie for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more! Tracie will also be taking questions from the audience and giving away books, fun prizes, and gift certificates throughout the evening.

So grab your copy of A Sensible Arrangement and join Tracie and friends on the evening of April 29th 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 today by signing up for a reminder. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 29th!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Plant - Word Nerd Blog Hop


As I considered what to blog about this week in regard to the word plant, I was faced with several different ways to look at this word. Of course there is the traditional saying - "Bloom where you are planted." And there is also the possibility of exploring the whole concept of planting and harvesting. Honestly, I had thought about looking at the word from that angle.

But then... God showed me a different aspect. And no I'm not going to get into all the scientific terms and processes. Let's look at a few things together.

Seed - The nugget, or kernel of information needed to make a plant.

Seedling - A plant that is just beginning to grow and form.

Plant - A fully mature plant.

If you had to pick one of these to represent your Christian walk, which would it be?

Another thing to contemplate with planting are the things that plants need.

Sunshine - Are you allowing the 'Son' to work in your life?

Water - Are you sharing your 'showers of blessings', giving praise to God?

Good Soil - Are you rooted in God's Word?

Fertilizer - Do you have fellowship with other believers?

Which of these do you need to further develop in your life?

How do you look at the word 'plant'?

The 500 Hats of a Modern-Day Woman by Joyce K. Ellis

Joyce Ellis' The 500 Hats of a Modern-Day Woman explores the many roles that women find themselves in each day - a woman, a wife, a mother, a working woman, a daughter, part of God's family, a servant, an adventurer, and a growing older woman.

Each chapter delves into the various roles that women experience and provides a Biblical view of the responsibilities associated with each. This book provides fresh perspective on the thought that it's okay to say no to some things. What is most important is knowing the positions where God desires for us to serve and being faithful to them.

This quote from Ellis sums it up - "And if we quit panicking and fretting about how we're going to get everything done and trust Him for His ultimate purpose for our lives, He'll show us how to wear all our hats - at the right times - with style."

This book was provided free for review by Encourage Communications.

Book Info
About the book: Strength for Today's Demanding Roles
In The 500 Hats of a Modern-Day Woman you'll find strength, purpose, and perspective to balance your many roles-and gain insight into the roles of women around you. With honesty, humor, and practicality, Joyce Ellis helps you see how your roles can fit together to make a difference in your world. Questions for reflection or discussion at the end of each chapter make this book suitable for book clubs and small-group Bible studies as well.

Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/ujOPt 

About the Author: Joyce K. Ellis, award-winning author of more than a dozen books, speaks for women's groups and retreats across the country and internationally. She and her husband enjoy reading by lakes and rivers and oceans, and spending time with their grown children and delightful, too-quickly-growing grandchildren. They live in suburban Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Learn more about Joyce at: www.joycekellis.com
In Joyce K. EllisThe 500 Hats of a Modern-Day Woman you’ll find strength, purpose, and perspective to balance your many roles—and gain insight into the roles of women around you.

Want a helper for your modern-day journey? Enter to win a Kindle Fire in Joyce's "500 Hats" giveaway!
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  One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • The 500 Hats of a Modern-Day Woman by Joyce K. Ellis
  • A Modern-Day woman kit (T-shirt and hat)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 30th. Winner will be announced April 1st on the Litfuse blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by the Litfuse blog on April 1st to see if you won.