Sunday, August 28, 2016

How About a New Book for Your Reading List?

I am so pleased to welcome fellow author but most importantly, sister in Christ, Danele, back to the blog to share about her new book.


I’ve always loved to read, but I hate that horrible moment when a good book comes to an end. It’s torture saying goodbye to characters I’ve come to love. One of the BEST things about being an author is having control over your own stories. Many of you know that I wrote The Time Counselor Chronicles while I was ill and enduring seven years of quarantine. During that time, I didn’t have control over many aspects of my life, but I DID have control over my fictional characters. I found extreme pleasure in the fact that since I was the author, I didn’t have to say goodbye to Gil, Crystal, Marc, Laura, Alex, or the rest of my crew—I could just write them another story. Time Trap was written for one reason only—I was enjoying myself, and I didn’t want to say goodbye to the people I’d created in Time Tsunami. And that’s why the other books in my series were written as well. By the time I finally sought publication, I’d completed six books. Writing, for me, was an act of pure enjoyment. When I began, I wasn’t thinking about publishers, reading audiences, or profit margins, I was simply thinking about what type of adventure I wanted to write next. My books brought me joy, and that was all that mattered.

For years, I didn’t let anyone know I was writing. TEMCO was my personal world—my escape hatch from illness and pain. I was afraid that if I let others into my imaginary world, it would crumble away. As it turned out, the exact opposite was true. When I finally let my family read my stories, they were extremely enthusiastic with their support. They helped me proofread, and they gave me wonderful advice. They also encouraged me to keep writing—in actual fact, some of them threatened me with dire consequences if I stopped. They had become just as involved with my characters as I had, and they wanted to keep reading their adventures.

I always fill my books with suspense, romance, action, faith, and comedy. I keep them clean, and I work hard to make them full of page-turning fun. Communication is such a wonderful thing. I love the fact that we can relay our ideas, hopes, and dreams to each other. My books are more than just stories, they symbolically chronicle the way I stood up to my illness and fought it. They speak about the value I place on love and friendship. They show that humor can be found even in the midst of great difficulty. And most of all, they demonstrate that a crisis of faith isn’t the end—it’s simply the first step to understanding God on a deeper level.

When I was ill, I questioned every aspect of my Christian faith. I didn’t understand why a loving God would allow me to suffer in such unimaginable ways. What I learned is that Christ suffered too, and when I’m in pain, He stays by my side and helps me bear it—even when I’m hurting so much that I’m not aware of His presence. In a strange way, I’m glad that I went through my illness. If I hadn’t, my books would probably be very shallow. Instead, I’ve filled them with the questions I’ve struggled with—and with the answers I’ve found. Life isn’t easy, but I’ve learned that even in the middle of tragedy, God is faithful and trustworthy. That’s what each of my characters eventually learn, and that’s what I hope my readers will take away from my books.  





When problems arise during a field exam, Director Peter Matthews and Dr. Laura Nelson are sent through a time portal to investigate.  While they search for their missing cadets, they encounter an enemy who is calculating and brutal—a mysterious nemesis who is holding a grudge against the TEMCO program.  As Peter and Laura race to unravel clues directing them to their kidnapped cadets, their own survival comes into question.  A deadly trap has been set, and they are forced to pit their wits against a serial killer who is intent on playing a deadly chess game through time itself. 

Purchasing Links:


 Just her own personal testimony is so inspirational. You don't want to miss the stories that came out of this hard time in her life. 

Thank you, Danele, for sharing and for not keeping your stories to yourself. 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Its' Not Just Old Stories

Has anyone ever said that the Old Testament is just history or old stories? Yeah, I've heard that too. I've also heard people say that we can only learn from the New Testament because we are New Testament Christians.

I must disagree with this reasoning. And believe it or not, obviously those first church people also needed to know that the Old Testament was valuable to read and study. Paul actually writes to the church in Corinth in his letter from 1 Corinthians.

"Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, 'The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.' Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come."

Paul is referring back to what the Jewish people did and were punished for. He states that these things were recorded as examples for us. They were written for our admonition.

Admonition means counsel or warning against fault or oversight. The word carries the idea of alarm, alert, caution, and notice. Let's break down this definition a bit more. The word counsel means to give advice, to coach, to show, guide, tutor, shepherd or mentor. The word warn means to put on guard or caution, to give supportive advice to, or to notify especially in advance.

Thus the Old Testament is meant to be read and studied as an advance warning of sin's consequences. The stories are to be an example to guide us away from wrong and following what is right.

When I teach children from the Old Testament, I try my best to relate the story to them. Why? The story of Daniel in the lions' den or David and Goliath are not there for simple entertainment. These were included in the Old Testament to learn from. There is more of a purpose for the Old Testament than just as a history.

Think about your favorite Old Testament characters and stories. I just completed the book of Esther. Great story. But as I finished the last verse, I thought how something from her story could help me. Right now, in my current situation, the Esther story encourages me that even if I feel I don't understand why I'm in a certain position or place, I never know if God didn't plan it for me to be in this exact place for some specific reason. That's how it was with Esther. God planned for her to be in the exact place she needed to be when her people needed her.

The whole of the Bible is applicable to me and my life, not just the New Testament. God didn't have those scriptures penned just to entertain or provide a history. He included them for us to have an example and learn from them.

What was the last Old Testament scripture you read? What could you apply to your life from that story or passage?

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Seek With All Your Heart

"Thus Hezekiah did throughout all Judah, and he did what was good and right and true before the Lord his God. And in every work that he began in the service of the house of God, in the law and in the commandment, to seek his God, he did it with all his heart. So he prospered." 2 Chronicles 31:20-21.

This verse came up during my daily Bible reading. Made me stop and think. King Hezekiah prospered. Why? He sought God with all his heart.

In another verse in Scripture we see this kind of wording. "And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:13

Have you ever lost something really important? When you set out to search for it, you don't just half-heartedly look. You focus on the task of seeking that item. You keep at it until you find that which you lost. This is the way I see this seeking of God with all my heart.

Hezekiah sought to follow God in every area. Notice the verse speaks of every work that he began, in law and commandment, he sought God wholeheartedly.

Just a couple of chapters after this, Hezekiah's son becomes king. Manasseh tried it his way and was carried off in fetters to Babylon. But God still honored His Word.

"Now when he (Manasseh) was in affliction, he implored the Lord his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, and prayed to Him; and He received his entreaty, heard his supplication, and brought him back to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord was God." 2 Chronicles 33:12-13.

Really? Had Manasseh not realized why his father prospered? Or did he just have to learn his own lesson?

Whichever it was, even though Manasseh messed up, God heard him when he came to his senses and sought Him. Guess Manasseh had to have proof for himself that the Lord was truly God.

The lesson here? It's worth it to seek God with all my heart. If I try to do things my way, I'll always end up in trouble. It's comforting to know that when I mess up and seek other things that I can always humble myself and seek Him again. He's there waiting. I can only hope and pray that I've learned my lesson and will keep my focus on the only One worth my constant focus.

My next task is to make sure that those I have influence over, such as my daughter, understand the importance of seeking God with their whole hearts.

So precious reader, I implore you to seek God with all your heart. If you do, you will find Him because He isn't lost or hiding. He's waiting for you to seek Him. I believe Manasseh would encourage you to do the same, for he discovered that the Lord was God.

Monday, July 18, 2016

He Longs to be Involved

"The Lord longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him! O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious He will be when you cry for help! As soon as He hears, He will answer you." Isaiah 30:18-19 NIV

In light of the state of our world today, have we forgotten to call upon God?

When the above verse appeared on my scripture calendar, I just paused and marinated in it for a moment.

Take heart in what this verse says. Look at that first sentence. He longs to be gracious to me? He rises to show me compassion?

How much more gracious could He be that long ago when He saw into the future, He knew He must send Jesus to die for all sins. How much more compassion could He show? God loved me and you so much and wanted to provide a way to be in a relationship with Him, that He did the ultimate. He sent His Son as a sacrifice.

But you know, I truly believe that this verse is ongoing. God longs to be gracious and show compassion to us now, in our current circumstance. Just notice that next line - He is a God of justice. And I don't think that the next sentence is just accidentally put right after the justice part. We are blessed if we wait for Him.

We might look around at what happens in our world and wonder where God is. Oh, He is here and He is still a God of justice even if we feel His timing should be on our schedule. God's justice will prevail in the end, make no mistake about that.

Some might say that this verse isn't applicable because it names people who live in Jerusalem, but this is a direct reference to God's people. Who are God's people? Those who have a relationship with Him through the Lord Jesus Christ. I truly think God is saying that His people should weep no more. We should cry out to Him.

Too often I'm guilty of watching the happenings on the news or social media and then moaning about it. Or I might even wring my hands and start to worry. God says to call upon Him first. Notice the verse says that as soon as He hears, He will answer.

Will this answer be to solve the horrors we see occurring in our nation and around the world? I don't know. That's God's decision. He isn't slow, as Scripture says, in acting. He seems to be because He wants all to come to a saving knowledge of His Son Jesus.

But when we, His children, call out to Him, He will hear and answer in His way. This might be to show me compassion through a comforting peace that passes all understanding. He might show me how to help a situation. He might use me to tell another about Christ. He's God. It's His choice. But He does hear and will answer.

Read the above passage again and take heart in that your God wants to be gracious to you and show you compassion. He wants to hear your cry and answer. Cry out, precious brothers and sisters.

Does this scripture stir anything different in you? Please share with us in the comments.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

My Birthday but a Gift for You

My birthday is July 8th. But you can get a gift.

My book, The Crux of Honor, is free on Amazon July 6th through the 8th.




Let me share with you how this story came about.

The editor-in-chief at Prism Book Group put out a call to the authors through our private Facebook group for submissions to a series based on The Love Chapter. She printed out the passage and basically the different phrases were up for grabs as to be the theme for the story. I had my eye on one phrase but missed out on that one. I decided that I could come up with a story based on the section: “Love does not dishonor.”
God brought to mind my time living in Maryland near the Amish and their honorable ways. This is when my story started to take form. What if someone with Amish ties were to bring dishonor to the family? What if the supposed dishonor actually revealed long-concealed lies?
My next thought was about an unexpected pregnancy being the ultimate dishonor in the story. I recalled my time as a devotional leader at our local Pregnancy Crisis Center. Conjuring bitter feelings to portray through my characters wasn’t difficult. When God afforded me the opportunity to serve at the pregnancy center, I was definitely conflicted. These girls had become pregnant, many by accident. As a young woman I struggled with infertility and harbored ill feelings toward those who found themselves in unexpected pregnancies. But as I got to know these women and heard their stories, I realized I was wrong. What I needed to show them was God’s unconditional love, available to all.
Thus, the reader will encounter some Amish parts as well as a precious Pregnancy Crisis Center ran by loving Christian women. There are also some medical conditions that reflect research into the Amish community. Of course a romance buds within the pages of the reunion/second chance type.

My ultimate hope is that the reader will encounter an unconditional love available from God within the pages of this short romance.  

Please check out this story, and if you like it, I would be so appreciative of a short review on Amazon. 

Click here for Amazon link to book

Thursday, June 30, 2016

In My Language, Please

A group from our church just returned from Belize this last week. They ministered in an area very near the Mexican border, thus the people's language was mostly Spanish. However, most of them had quite a bit of English and communication could be accomplished.

But the language wasn't the only difference. The very lifestyle of the people was quite a bit different from what we are used to here.

I remember going to Africa on a mission trip. You had to take into consideration the culture of the people there. One of the missionaries told a story to illustrate. He said that a man came to preach from the U.S. He was being interpreted into the native language. In his introduction, the preacher expressed to the people that he was tickled pink to be with them. The interpreter, being native to Africa, had no idea what the man was talking about. He interpreted it as this man has been happy to come here but has developed some sort of rash since arriving.

We laugh about that often, but it does illustrate a very important point. When we build a relationship with someone to share about Jesus, we must take into account that person's culture. This can be true even with your next door neighbor. We can't just plow through, telling them how wrong their ways are. We need to do as Jesus and Paul did.

Jesus taught in parables. Why? He used objects and situations that the people he was speaking to were familiar with.

Paul did the same.

"Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, 'Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD.'" Acts 17:22-23a

Paul doesn't barge in and begin to tell these people they are wrong. He starts out with relating to them, showing them he had paid attention to their ways and culture. Then he moves on to tell them that he wants to introduce them to this unknown God.

This is so important for me to remember. In my excitement, I can't rush ahead and spout out to unbelievers that they are wrong. No, I need to build a relationship and get to know them so I can witness to them on their level.

Not everyone had the opportunity to grow up in a Christian home like I did. I've always known who Jesus was and been taken to church and shown the priority of doing so. But the first time I had a child ask me; "Who is Jesus?" I was floored. This was right here in our own country.

There's a need for Christians to tell about Jesus, but we might need to do a little homework so we present Christ in their "language." It's worth the extra effort to bring others to a saving knowledge of Jesus.

Have you been required to get on someone else's level to tell them about Jesus?

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

What Voices Can You Trust?

As often happens, a section in my daily Bible reading stuck out. I was reading in 1 Kings 22, The king of Israel calls for the prophet of God. But he didn't really want to because he said that he didn't like that the prophet always spoke evil against him. But he should have trusted that voice because it was the one which spoke truth.

How do we know the voices we can trust? There are many screaming for our attention.

"For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths." 2 Timothy 4:3-4

The king of Israel in the story above did this very thing. He gathered around him his own prophets to speak what he wanted to hear. The only problem with that is that it wasn't the truth. What they said didn't come to fruition.

Now I don't have to tell you that we are in a time like what is described in the verses from 2 Timothy above. There are even so-called ministers who will only speak that which is palpable for their congregations. What a disservice they are doing, leading people in the wrong way.

How do we know the voices we can trust? Let me offer a few points which I use to discern godly voices from those who spout untruth.

1. Make sure the voice matches what is said in the Word of God.
"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness." 2 Timothy 3:16
God will not go against what He says in the Bible. He never changes and nor does His Word. If a voice is speaking contrary to God's Word, that voice can't be trusted.

2. Make sure the voice doesn't contradict the Spirit.
"but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God." 1 Corinthians 2:10
We have God's Spirit living within us if we are Christians, helping us to discern the truth and godly wisdom.

3. Make sure to ask for the wisdom to discern trustworthy voices.
"If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him." James 1:5
We must pray and ask God to give us wisdom to distinguish truth and those who speak it.

Precious brothers and sisters in Christ, let us not be naive, trusting voices just because they are louder or seem to be popular. Test the voices you pay attention to. We must strive to only listen to godly voices and also to speak only those things that align with God and His Word.

How do you tests the voices you hear?