Sunday, February 28, 2010

ABIGAIL

by Jill Eileen Smith


About the author:

The first time I seriously thought about death was when I rode home from the funeral home with my parents after a man my dad worked with died. I started asking questions, and I became very worried about the future. What happened when we died? What did death even mean? The worries grew to fears and though I’m sure my parents answered my questions, I couldn’t quite grasp their explanations. One day, to help me understand it all better, in a way my eight year old mind could comprehend, my big sister handed me a little booklet titled, My Heart – Christ’s Home by Robert Boyd Munger. I plopped onto my parents’ big bed and read it cover to cover. Mr. Munger’s book pierced my heart. It exposed the fact that I was a sinner and that Jesus wanted to come into my heart and cleanse every room, taking ownership of the whole house. He would make my heart clean and whole, if I would but give him the keys. As I closed the book, my eyes shut with it and I prayed with every ounce of my being. “Dear Lord, please come into my heart.” I opened my hand and offered him the imaginary keys. “And take all the keys to every room. Clean them out and live there. I give my whole heart to you.” To the best of my child-like ability, I surrendered my life to Jesus.

When my prayer ended, I felt this all encompassing sense of peace. I tested it right away with thoughts of dying, and there was no fear! I was free from the biggest fear that plagues mankind. I knew that Jesus would be with me from then on, wherever I went, and that one day, I would be with Him in heaven. Many years have come and gone since then. I won’t tell you that those years have all been easy because they haven’t. But this one thing I know. Christ is at home in my heart by faith because of what Jesus Christ did on the cross when he died for my sins. His death cancelled the debt I owed to God for my sin, and His resurrection gave me the power to become His child because I believe in His name. Even death can’t take that from me. And I look forward to being with Him face to face someday.

A little booklet, a story, spelled truth to me that day so long ago, because Robert Boyd Munger obeyed God’s call to write those words-words that explained the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ in words even a child could understand. About ten years ago, God led me to write a children’s story to explain the gospel. It was printed in a church newsletter and given to dozens of children. I never learned whether any of those children came to faith because of that story, but God used it to reach my youngest son a few years later. He came to me after reading it and said he finally understood what it meant to be saved, and he gave his heart to Jesus Christ. Jesus is still using the power of story to spread His Word, to reach people for Himself. If He calls you to write, don’t ever underestimate the power of His gift.

The Blurb:

Turmoil marked her life— what price must she pay for love?

Abigail’s hopes and dreams for the future are wrapped up in her handsome, dark-eyed betrothed, Nabal. But when the long-awaited wedding day arrives, her drunken groom behaves shamefully. Nevertheless, Abigail tries to honor and respect her husband despite his abuse of her.

Meanwhile, Abigail’s family has joined David’s wandering tribe as he and his people keep traveling to avoid the dangerous Saul. When Nabal suddenly dies, Abigail is free to move on with her life, and thanks to her brother, her new life includes a new husband–David. The dangers of tribal life on the run are serious, but there are other dangers in young Abigail’s mind. How can David lead his people effectively when he goes against God? And how can Abigail share David’s love with the other wives he insists on marrying?

Jill Eileen Smith, bestselling author of Michal, draws on Scripture, historical research, and her imagination as she fills in the blanks to unveil the story of Abigail and David in rich detail and drama. The result is a riveting page-turner that will keep readers looking forward to the next book in this trilogy.

What Others Say:

"Abigail, a beautiful fifteen-year-old Israelite, is sold by her father to handsome but cruel Nabal to reduce his debt to Nabal's father. And although she bristles at Nabal's mistreatment and unfaithfulness, she finds solace in her secret garden, praying to the God of Israel and longing to be loved. Her prayer will be answered, but not without difficulties. But perhaps love--at any price--is worth it.

This exciting second book in THE WIVES OF KING DAVID series swept me back to ancient Israel as King Saul sought David's life. Jill Eileen Smith made me feel as if I were there in the hillside hideouts with David and his soldiers hiding from Saul's army and dealing with the sometimes unsettling effects of having wives and children in tow.

I loved this book! Expertly researched and skillfully written, Abigail and David became real people with real faith in Jehovah God. And real weaknesses. 375 pages. " ~~Elisabeth H. Bantz

"Jill brings King David, Abigail, Saul, and many others of the Bible to life and allows you to enter their world to live their hurts, their frustrations, their emotions and their victories. You will feel that you have been there as she captures the very air that they breathe and the dirt on their feet and you will be drawn into the intricate threads of this story as never before. This is not just a story or a book - it is a journey you will not soon forget." ~~ JEP

My Take:

I love the cover of this book. Covers are a big thing to me. Right away I want to open the book and start reading. Of course since I read Michel, the first book in The Wives of King David series I already know I like Jill's writing style. I am surprised that I can relate to these women who lived so many years ago. Jill makes the people and the times come to life. Her research skills show.

Purchase The Book At:


http://www.amazon.com/Abigail-Novel-Wives-King-David/dp/0800733215/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1265397658&sr=1-1

Book Contest:

We are featuring Jill Eileen Smith's book ABIGAIL.

(Book Contest weeks are from Sunday through Saturday. A new book review is posted each Sunday which may or may not have a contest connected with it. See the Book contest information on the side bar.

Leave a comment on any of my blog my posts for the next two weeks along with information how to get hold of you if you are the winner.

God Bless your day and thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Swinging On A Star

by Janice Thompson


About the author:

My name is Janice Thompson. (You will find me published under Janice Hanna as well.)

I'm a writer by trade, but wear many other hats, as well. Currently, I spend a lot of my time working as a freelance editor and a ghostwriter. I enjoy public speaking (promoting books, or teaching from the Bible). For a list of my speaking topics, wander over here. http://www.janiceathompson.com/speakingtopics.html

I home-schooled my four daughters (for eleven years) carrying them each through to graduation. I taught drama and creative writing for several years at a Christian school of the arts. I've also directed a youth choir and stayed active in the home-school community (including public speaking to local home-school groups). I directed the "Out There! Drama Ministry" - a group of artists in their teens and twenties who traveled the globe presenting the gospel message through the arts.

I am passionate about my faith and do all I can to share the joy of the Lord with others, which is why I particularly enjoy writing.

The Blurb:

There's a fine line between ambitious and crazy. Bella's just not sure where it is.

Bella Rossi's life is nearing perfection. Not only does she have the perfect guy, but she's also running a successful wedding planning business and is able to plan its most ambitious wedding yet—a Renaissance-themed fairy tale come true, complete with period costumes and foods, horse-drawn carriages, and even a castle. There's only one hitch. The best man just happens to be Hollywood's hottest and most eligible bachelor, and he's showing in interest in Bella. Oh, and did we mention he's staying at her house to avoid the paparazzi'

With all the pressure surrounding this wedding, Bella's not sure she's going to make it through. Add her starstruck sister and her feuding aunt and uncle, and you've got a recipe for disaster—and a lot of laughs.

What Others Say:

"I couldn't wait to get my hands on this book ever since I finished "Fools Rush In." I knew it was going to be just as good, if not better, when I read "If Aunt Rosa hadn't landed that gig on the Food Network, I probably wouldn't have ended up on the national news. And if their pesky camera crew hadn't shown up at our house on one of the most important days of my life, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have been hauled off to the Galveston County jail."

Now any book that starts off with the main character talking about how she landed herself in jail ~ and due to the Food Network no less ~ you know has got to be interesting, especially when you know the Rossi clan. :o)

It's rare for a sequel to stand up to the original in movies. This book stands up to the first. We see Bella move from the first blush of love with her handsome cowboy to thinking about whether their love is the kind that will last and the difference between love and attraction. More than one romance blooms in this book and though Janice does a great job at making us laugh, she also grabs our hearts and makes us care about these people. My teenage son wants to lodge a formal complaint about how many times I said "awww" while reading this book. :o)

The author manages to tickle our funny bone, stir our hearts, challenge us not to judge others based on... anything ~ and encourage us to dare to do anything put on our hearts. It's all tied up in a fabulous package of memorable characters who live long after the cover is shut. Treat yourself, you'll be glad you did.

Make sure you've eaten something first, otherwise you'll get hungry while reading all about Aunt Rosa's cooking. You'll have to get up and make yourself a snack to eat. You might get food on the pages and then where would you be? lol "~~P. Smith

My Take:

This Story Will Make You Laugh Out Loud.

I like Janice's quirky sense of humor which comes through in her writing. I fell in love with Bella in "Fools Rush In." I like reading about her wedding business. Maybe because I made wedding cakes myself for several years. This is an easy read and I am eager to read the next in the series.

Purchase The Book At:
http://www.amazon.com/Swinging-Star-Novel-Weddings-Bella/dp/0800733436/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1265395398&sr=8-1

Book Contest:

We are featuring Janice Thompson's book "Swinging On A Star this week.

(Book Contest weeks are from Sunday through Saturday. A new book review is posted each Sunday which may or may not have a contest connected with it. See the Book contest information on the side bar.

Leave a comment on any of my blog my posts this week along with information how to get hold of you if you are the winner.

God Bless your day and thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Protect Your Children

"A mile a minute - that is how fast your child can disappear."  Haunting and truthful words posted on the website for Klaas Kids.

On Friday, February 19th, Margaret McSweeney will interview Marc Klaas, father of Polly Klaas who was kidnapped and murdered in 1993.  As a legacy to his daughter, Marc founded KlaasKids Foundation to help stop crimes against children. Please tune in to Kitchen Chat with Margaret McSweeney Friday at 11:00 am CST!

KlaasKids


Here is an excerpt from Marc's journal that is posted online: 


"There is nothing that can prepare one for a murder trial. My family sits as the last few hours in Polly's life are dissected, analyzed, de-constructed, reconstructed, cross-referenced and compartmentalized. The constant assault on our sensibilities by horrible revelations that defy the principles of civilization seem overwhelming much of the time. It is impossible to withstand or rise above the continual dehumanizing facts that are revealed in a constant, monotonous stream of revelation. There is no room for anything but the processing of nightmarish information. The killer laughs throughout the video tape and I want to shout, yet I must sit unflinching and stone-faced for fear of causing a mistrial. Every day my family is drawn into the world of murder, mayhem, rape and deprivation and there is no way out."

Learn about effective ways to keep your children safe from harm and find out what you can do to help stop crimes against kids.  Please tune in and call in with your questions for Marc this Friday 11-12 CST on Kitchen Chat.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Meet the Author Frankie Sherman


Share a Laugh—Bless a Friend
In Honor of Celebrating Friendship Month
By Frankie Sherman

I live in a sleepy little town in the Deep South. Sometimes after my morning workout I’ll have breakfast at our local restaurant with some of my girlfriends. These women are diverse in age and background, but as southern as sweet tea.
 
Over cups of hot coffee, we share things that only women can appreciate, and men would never understand. It’s times like these I am extremely grateful for this wonderful gift of friendship. No wonder our Creator designed us for fellowship.
 
In between bites of a wholegrain muffin, my dear friend, Martha, told us about putting her mother in a nursing home and how difficult it had been. Yet in the next breath she reminded us of God’s incredible sense of humor.
 
It seems her mother hasn’t a clue that she’s a patient there, but firmly believes she’s on staff as an employee. In addition, she had been complaining to management because they weren’t paying her, and had threatened to walk out. Martha is now bringing her mother money in a bank envelope and telling her that the nursing home is doing a direct deposit, and she’s cashed her check. So far Mrs. Floyd continues to see herself as a valued employee and is very helpful. Martha’s just praying her mother won’t ask for a pay raise!
 
We laughed with Martha till our sides hurt as she told that story. Our laughter made the truth of the situation easier. That’s “why we need girlfriends!”
 
Anyone who has put a parent in a nursing home realizes how heart wrenching that is. Something precious has ended. Roles have reversed and it hurts like a piercing knife. 
 
This will be a hard journey for Martha, she’ll certainly need her girlfriends, and we’ll be there for her.
 
I am so glad God gave us a sense of humor and laced it with laughter. When utilized for goodness it will restore a hurting soul. Who’s hurting in your circle of friends today? Now, go share some laughter. Both of you will feel better.
 
 “He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy,” Job 8:21 NKJV.
 
Frankie Sherman is a national speaker, comedian, and Bible teacher for conferences, retreats, and women's events. She fell in love with Jesus at Vacation Bible School and takes every opportunity to tell others about the joy of being alive in Christ. She is a former choreographer for the Georgia Peach Bowl and the Florida Citrus Bowl Halftime Show. Her specialty is in theater musical/productions. Her first Bible Study,Why We Need Girlfriends is based on the relationship of Mary and Elizabeth, from Luke's gospel. Two women brought together by extraordinary circumstances by an extraordinary God. Frankie is from South Carolina—loves sweet tea, BIG hair and her grand-girls. She believes there will never be another Elvis. And knows that her Jesus will return for her soon.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Thin Places


by Mary DeMuth

About the author:

I'm an aspiring gourmet cook, a sometimes tri-athlete (note emphasis on sometimes), and a passionate follower of Jesus. I'm in love with my husband and kids and am zealous about writing and speaking. (I promised my family I wouldn't talk about my nose ring.)

My deepest dream is to see stories—mine and others—change your life as they've changed mine.

Although I write both non-fiction and fiction, I'm especially fond of the latter because of the power of story. Stories saved me. From the parables of Jesus, to novels like To Kill a Mockingbird and The Book of the Dun Cow, stories swept me away into a world of hope and possibilities.

The Blurb:

In her moving spiritual memoir, Mary DeMuth traces the winding path of thin places in her life, places where she experienced longing and healing more intensely than before. Mary's story invites you to a deeper understanding of your own story. She calls you to discover new ways to look for God I the past so that you might experience him more profoundly in the present . . . A God ready to break through any ordinary day or extraordinary pain and offer you a glimpse of eternity.


What Others Say:

"Life is messy." My pastor says that often. Most people nod their heads in agreement and then live out their lives, as Thoreau wrote, in "quiet desperation." Few are willing to let others step into their messiness. Mary DeMuth's memoir, "Thin Places," not only allows us in, but draws us into the places where God embraced her raggedy, disheveled, and chronically needy, blessed soul. 

The book was unputdownable--from the introduction (which, by the way, was my favorite part!) to the last word. Mary's writing craft is impeccable. Seamless...flowing and clear. An editor's dream. So flawless I could take off my editor hat and be simply an eager reader. 

The biggest surprise came when I found myself in the pages of someone else's life. I could relate to so many of the thin places where God met Mary and brought her along and through and over the hurdles and sufferings of her childhood and youth. Those slobbery kisses from over-eager boys. That yearning for a date...for a boyfriend...for fatherly affection. Keeping secrets. Compromising to fit in. Ugh! Those stuffed-down memories that remind us of our insecurities and less-than-stellar decisions. Why go there? 

She tells us why: To unmask our humanity--our frailty--and thereby removing the power our messiness tries to hold over us. To reveal the God who sees, who cares, who redeems even the worst of sins and sinners. She exposes her pain--not to gain our sympathy, but to extend her hand as a fellow sufferer who wants our journeys to become stronger for knowing hers. 

She succeeds." ~~Jeanette Morris-Freelance editor.

"In this Unique memoir Mary DeMuth talks about her childhood filled with pain, suffering, fear and losses. Her mother is married several times. Mary was raped at the tender age of 5 yrs. Having had some similar events in my own young life this re opened some pain for me. It also opened more healing. I love her use of the term Thin Places, where God draws very close. It reminds me of a scene in the book The Shack, where the dad has a thin wall between seeing his dead daughter alive and happy in heaven. 

Mary I want to thank you for being so open and honest in telling your story. I do understand how hard that is to share. I had a tragic death in the family the week I got this book and I very much needed to look for those moments of "thin places". 

The book is very open and honest about these events and Mary's feelings as they happen. How can a small child understand why God allows bad things to happen to them? How does said child trust God? Well at times they just cannot....but God doesn't stop his offerings of Mercy and love. Mary does find "thin places" in her young life and ongoing as an adult. This book is proof positive that God uses the darkest hours in our lives to draw us closer to Him, be it through pain and suffering or Joy 

If you are struggling to find God or are in a difficult space due to current pain or especially child pain I recommend this book. It is not a book telling you what you have to do to find God, no lists of do's and don'ts. It does center on Mary's life after all it is her story. Just to put yourself in her shoes and get out of your own for a while can be very healing indeed. 

God is always in control, his timing is perfect. We do not understand this but He does. Read this book with a tender and open mind and heart. God will draw near to you also and you will have a greater understanding about how sweet "thin places" can be. Don't be afraid if you have childhood abuse issues, her sharing is to share healing! 

Thanks Mary for being so brave and honest. I'm now always looking for "thin places." ~~Kindred Spirits

My Take:

I read a book once called "Don't Waste Your Sorrow." This is what Mary DeMuth is doing with her life and now it is spelled out in this book she calls "Thin Places." I am so inspired by her searching for God and finding Him in spite of the pain of her very young childhood. This is truly a book with take home value. Read it and be blessed.

Purchase The Book At:

http://www.amazon.com/Thin-Places-Mary-E-DeMuth/dp/031028418X/ref=pd_rhf_p_t_1

Book Contest: We are featuring Mary DeMuth's book Thin Places this week.

(Book Contest weeks are from Sunday through Saturday. A new book review is posted each Sunday which may or may not have a contest connected with it. See the Book contest information on the side bar.

Leave a comment on any of my blog my posts this week along with information how to get hold of you if you are the winner.

God Bless your day and thanks for stopping by.

Friday, February 12, 2010

A Tent City

Guest Blogger: Darvin & Jo Seibel

THIS GIVES A PRETTY GOOD IDEA HOW SOME
 OF THE HAITIANS ARE LIVING RIGHT NOW.





What if this was your house?
This young girl was sitting on a chair and one of the guys
 along with Darv asked her, “Where is your house?”

The girl pointed to this tent, and said, “That is my house.”

The guy asked jokingly, “Why is the door open?”

The girl chuckled. “My house doesn’t have a door…”
(the girl and her mother)

Would you rather spend the night in this house? 

Or the next 6 months?
…the options are limitless…



What if this was your bed?




What if this was your church?
(service this afternoon for the children)
DON'T FORGET HAITI


Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Choice



by Suzanne Woods Fisher

About the author:

I'm a wife and mom, raiser of puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind, and an author of Christian books, both non-fiction and fiction.

Here's a less obvious fact about me: my relatives on my mother's side are Old Order German Baptist Brethren, also known as Dunkards. That's where my interest in Anabaptist traditions began. My grandfather was born into a family of 13 children, started his career as a teacher in a one-room school house in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, and ended it as one of the very first publishers of Christianity Today. We called him "Deardad" even though he was a very stern fellow. Still, Deardad's life inspired me to write.

After college, I was a freelance writer for magazines and became a contributing editor to Christian Parenting Today. My work has been featured in Today's Christian Woman, Marriage Partnership, Worldwide Challenge, among others. I took the plunge into books a few years ago and now I'm hooked.

The Blurb:

One moment, Carrie Weaver is planning to elope with Lancaster Barnstormer Solomon Riehl, leaving their Amish community behind. The next, she is staring into a future as broken as her heart. Now Carrie faces a choice. An opportunity. But will this decision, this moment in time, change her life forever?

What Others Say:

"For as long as I have been familiar with the Amish and their lifestyle, I have been fascinated with them. When I was a child, my family and I visited Pennsylvania and the Lancaster, Pennsylvania area. I have also visited Amish country in Ohio (the Berlin area) and Shipshewana, Indiana, which is also well known for a gigantic swap meet. I have read books about the Amish, both fiction and non-fiction. I always considered them to be a pure and holy people.

Suzanne Woods Fisher ([...]) has expertise in the subject of the Anabaptist culture (of which the Amish are a part). Her grandfather, W.D. Benedict, was raised in the Old Order German Baptist Brethren Church in Franklin County, Pennsylvania.

Book One in the Lancaster County Series, `The Choice' by Suzanne Woods Fisher, tells the story of Carrie Weaver, who lives in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. She grew up as an Amish, but is leaning toward leaving it all to marry her boyfriend, Solomon Riehl, who is a pitcher on the Lancaster Barnstormers baseball team (a real-life team in the Atlantic League of professional baseball). However, Carrie's father, Jacob, has reservations about Solomon, and certainly would not approve of Carrie marrying Sol and leaving the church.

Mrs. Woods does a wonderful job of showing the calmness and peace that is evident in the lives of the Amish. She also points out the fact that they focus a great deal on rules and regulations, and don't necessarily focus on relationship between God and man, which is what Christianity is all about (or is supposed to be). One of the other characters in the novel, Abel Miller, who grew up in an Amish community in Ohio, began to follow Christ when he spent some time in prison. He lived for a while as an Englisher (the term the Amish use for outsiders aka the rest of us!) and relocated to Carrie's Amish community in Pennsylvania. He was judged by some (for following the Lord His own way) and encouraged and loved by others.

Redemption is another primary theme in this book. Mattie, Carrie's best friend, made the observation that many of her friends and family members were stuck in feelings of guilt and self-blame. People who are so filled with regret about the past, things that can't be changed. That point resonated with me. Guilt and shame seem to be a real problem to people who grew up in a religion which focuses more on sins than on the love of God and His forgiveness. Instead, He wants to forgive our sins and keep moving forward - in His strength.

It is interesting that when I first learned about the Amish, and was so intrigued and placed them as a culture on a pedestal, I was in a similar place in my walk with the Lord. I did not necessarily know Him; I was following the rules that were imposed by the church in which I was raised. Now I see that, for many of the Amish, they are following traditions, not the Good Shepherd. I pray that they will come to know Him, and that they will see, as Abel did, that God is Love, not tradition and rules, and that He wants to establish a personal relationship with each one of them. I pray that this book will find its ways into their hands.

I loved this book, and look forward to reading the next books in the Lancaster County Secret series, as well as doubling back, and reading the Suzanne Woods Fisher titles I've missed!"~~ Andrea Schultz

A Kid's Review


"I'm a guy, and guys probably aren't supposed to read Amish romance books - but oh well. If I did what everyone else thought I should do, or not do, I'd never have any fun. I have read a few in my lifetime. One of my favorite vacation spots, second only to The Outer Banks, is Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, so I do enjoy books that take place there, such as this one.

I haven't read a lot of Amish books of this type, but I do think it is one of the best I have read. Move aside, Beverly Lewis, you have some new competition!

There is a lot of Amish beliefs/traditions in the book, but through one of the characters, there is also shown grace, and a side of God the Amish don't normally see - and I am afraid some of us non-Amish never see - the God of love and grace. The book is a good story - very likable characters, and it has its low places and high, sad and happy - but among the great story is the message that we can know we are going to Heaven, and God does love us and want a relationship with us - not just a far off worship of fear.

This is Suzanne Woods Fisher's first novel, and I would say she hit one out of the ballpark with this one."

My Take:


Since I am a member of the Old German Baptist New Conference group I was interested to see if Suzanne would accurately portray the attachment many Anabaptists  have to our culture.

She captured the feeling exactly. Both the straining against the 'rules' we think we can bend, and the fear of loss we feel if we would actually leave the community.

Suzanne is a wonderful story teller. It is often hard for a writer to read a novel without mentally critiquing the errors we have been taught to look for. "The Choice" passed the test with fully developed characters, believable plot and by not knowing how it would all turn out she kept my interest to the end.

Purchase The Book At:

http://www.amazon.com/Choice-Lancaster-County-Secrets-Book/dp/0800733851/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

Book Contest: We are featuring Suzanne Woods Fisher's book The Choice this week.

(Book Contest weeks are from Sunday through Saturday. A new book review is posted each Sunday which may or may not have a contest connected with it. See the Book contest information on the side bar.

Leave a comment on any of my blog my posts this week along with information how to get hold of you if you are the winner.

God Bless your day and thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Finding Time For God

Guest BloggerAlyice Edrich


When was the last time you took inventory of your life and felt good about the time you spent in worship with your Lord and Savior? If you can’t remember the last time you concentrated your efforts on a relationship with God, don’t’ feel bad. You’re not alone. 


Thousands of people push their relationship with God off to the side because they can’t seem to fit one more “thing” into their already busy and overly packed schedules. Bu t you CAN change things. You can have that relationship you’ve always desired. You just need to re-prioritize your life and determine which things are taking up too much room, which things can be let go of, and which things can be re-arranged so that you can MAKE time for God.

Just like making room for one of your closest friends doesn’t come naturally, neither does spending time with God. You have to clear your schedules and set aside time to communicate with Him.

What “things” in your life are keeping you from spending time in worship and prayer—from really getting to know God?

Whether your “things” are tangible like work, relationships, cleaning, meetings, possessions, and sporting events, or intangible like financial worries, past hurts, stress, or ego, taking inventory of your life is the first step in allowing yourself to make room for God.

For years, I dreamed of a deeper relationship with God, but that’s all it was…a dream. I went to church every Sunday, prayed every time I felt the desire, and I’d occasionally pick up the Bible to read it. Then I found a Bible-fearing church that taught me how to have a real relationship with God. And that relationship meant actually making time every day to truly get to know God. It meant using my time wisely. It meant letting go of things that didn’t really matter in the great scheme of things. It meant being still and listening, opening up my heart, and really talking.

Then my daughter died and I shut down. I knew God was there, I could sense His presence everywhere, but I just didn’t have the energy to talk to Him—to really spend time with Him. Because doing so meant I’d have to face my loss and I liked not dealing with that pain. I liked keeping so busy that I didn’t have to think about the loss, about what words came out of mouth, nothing. Things were moving along as they normally do when you put blinders on, but one day a friend called me out. She told me “enough is enough” and that I had to face things, that God wanted me to face things.

The next three years were rough, but together we both conquered personal issues that kept us bound and distracted us from a relationship with God. Then last year, the pain and suffering were released and we both yearned for more of God.

I didn’t know where that time was going to come from, so I played around with different hours of the day: mornings, evenings, mid-afternoons, after lunch. But always I felt pressured to hurry up so that I could get my “list of things” done. It would have been easy to give up—to quit trying to make time for God. But I refused to go back to that dessert—that dry area of my life where hope was a moment by moment thing.

Eventually, I found the right time for me to worship God—after I dropped the kids off at school and before I began my workday. Five minutes turned into fifteen and fifteen turned into thirty and sometimes, that thirty minutes turns into an entire hour and I have never felt better!

Ironically, making time for God in the mornings hasn’t cost me any time out of my day. In fact, I actually feel like I’ve found more time! And when the distractions pop into my head and take me away from my Bible study or my prayers, I don’t give in. I take a few deep breaths, shake my head left to right, sit up straight and tell myself that this is God’s time.

What do you say? Are you ready to humble yourself before God in prayer? To share your heart’s desires? To let Him choose what to do in your life. I promise you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the outcome. I know my family has been, and so have I!

Byline
Alyice Edrich is a freelance writer for hire (http://alyiceedrich.net) who enjoys helping parents earn extra cash from home so they can spend more time with their children. Read her work-at-home e-book online, free! Stop byhttp://thedabblingmum.com/business/wahmbook/index.htm.



Thursday, February 4, 2010

My Weight Loss Journey

Everyone's experience with weight loss surgery is a different story. Similar, but different.

It's been six weeks since my Roux-en-Y and the recommendations say I can now eat regular food as long as I chew really well and don't gobble it down. So by now I should be at my new normal wouldn't you think?

I've been blessed. Some people can't keep food down for a month. I have only had two days. And I am learning the signs. Even if I have only taken three or five bites if I get a pain in my chest that meal is done. It's a blessing to not be hungry. But I am still a bit leery of eating regular food. So I'm not quite at my new normal. Others tell me it gets better.

Last week I finally finished the dress I cut out before my surgery. I'd already lost enough weight that I had to take 2 ½  inches off the waist and hips. The dress is still a bit loose. I altered my pattern and cut out another dress. It is still waiting patiently for me to sew it.

I am standing in front of my bedroom closet. I am reaching into the back where the smaller dresses hang. Dresses that I have not been able to wear for about four years.

Husband and I, and a couple of friends leave for Cancun in two weeks. That should be an interesting place to test my eating skills.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Dead Reckoning

by Ronie Kending

About the author:


Ronie Kendig has a BS in Psychology and is a wife, mother of four, and avid writer. Her espionage thriller, Dead Reckoning, will be released through Abingdon Press (March 2010), and the first in a military thriller series, Nightshade, will release July 2010 from Barbour Publishing. In addition to speaking engagements, Ronie volunteers with the American Christian Fiction Writers, and she is a monthly columnist at the award-winning blog, Novel Journey. Ronie can be found online at www.roniekendig.com.

The Blurb:

Underwater archeologist Shiloh Blake is consumed with passion for the water—and anger at the injustices of life. Her first large-scale dig traps her in the middle of a international nuclear arms clash and she flees for her life. When she spots a man trailing her the questions are, “Who is he?” and “How is he always one step ahead?”

Reece Jaxon is a former Green Beret and now serves his country as a spy. His life is entangled by the beguiling Shiloh Blake as he hunts down the sources to a nuclear dead drop in the Arabian Sea. The only way to end this nightmare and prevent a nuclear meltdown is to join forces with Reece.

Will Shiloh violate her vow to never become a spy?

What Others Say:


"I just had to tell you what a FANTASTIC book Ronie Kendig has written. I loved how it held my interest from beginning to end. I told myself that I would only read one chapter a night, but it was so hard to stop reading at just one chapter! I was impressed with how she kept the story moving as the romance began to unfold. Most books of this nature tend to forget to keep the story going once the romance hits, focusing solely on the romance and forgetting about the plot that led up to the romance--which I find annoying, but she kept the storying going strong. I loved the spy aspect and found myself visuallizing every scene as though I was watching an action-packed movie. Such a great read!

Did I get your interest peaked? Good! I'll let you know when our reviewer, Tina L. Scott, puts her review up so you can read more about what the book is about. But for now, lets just say that an underwater archeologist uncovers an item that puts a chain of events into place that put her life in danger, kills her friends, and causes her to reconnect with her estranged father. Oh, and in the process, she falls in love with a stranger who just so happens to be in the midst of the entire mess!~~ Alyice Edrich

"Reading Dead Reckoning was like watching an action-adventure film. A spy-thriller, it grabs you by the imagination from page one and doesn't let go until the end. I don't like to give anything away on a novel, so suffice it to say the characters are well developed and complex. The plot is completely believable, and Kendig keeps the tension high throughout. I read it on a flight from Atlanta to Seattle, and she made a 5 ½ hour flight seem like a 90-minute one. I definitely recommend Dead Reckoning to anyone who loves spy thrillers. You won't be disappointed!"
~Ane Mulligan

My Take:

I received my advance reader copy and the cover pulled me right in. As a reviewer I read the first few pages of every book sent to me. This one held my interest and was a page turner. I will be looking for another book from this author.  

The characters are well written and seem real. And the book is action packed.

Pre-Order The Book At:
http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Reckoning-Ronie-Kendig/dp/142670058X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1265374415&sr=8-1

Book Contest: 

I do not give away advance reader copies because they are unedited versions and it is not fair to the author to spread them around. So this week we continue to featuring Sara Evans book The Sweet By and By.

(Book Contest weeks are from Sunday through Saturday. A new book review is posted each Sunday which may or may not have a contest connected with it. See the Book contest information on the side bar.

Leave a comment on any of my blog my posts this week along with information how to get hold of you if you are the winner.

God Bless your day and thanks for stopping by.