Monday, December 28, 2015

Call the Sabbath a Delight

Within the last couple of days I have heard people apologize for being out of church. One man admitted to my hubby that he only attends about twice during the year. Another woman informed about something happening in her family and then confessed to having not been in church for several weeks.

In my Bible reading this last week, I came across a passage that spoke to me about this very thing.

"'If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord's holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find your joy in the Lord, and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.' For the mouth of the Lord has spoken." Isaiah 58:13-14

Here is how I interpret this for myself today: Keeping my feet from breaking the Sabbath would mean that I don't go somewhere else other than my place of worship. To keep from doing as I please is self-explanatory. I am to remember that God made that day of worship holy. I am to delight in gathering to worship. God promises if I will keep His holy day then I will experience joy in Him.

Honoring the Lord's day is an act of obedience. It's investing in the Christian legacy I hope to leave to those I have influence over.

Now, as a pastor's wife, I'm there for worship whether I feel like it or not. But this is where I need to work. God wants us to call the Sabbath a delight. This takes preparation and perspective.

Preparation needs to happen before I enter my place of worship. This preparation should be ongoing throughout my week. Here's what it looks like: I'm in the Word, listening to what the Spirit is revealing to me. I'm praying for wisdom and guidance and even for that day of worship.

Perspective means I will be focusing upon my God who deserves my full attention and worship. I will lay aside those personal preferences and solve those relationships that hinder my time with the Father.

When I don't approach the Sabbath with an attitude of worshiping God and delighting in those moments, I might just as well be one of those people who haven't been to church in a long time.

What a great idea for a New Year's resolution! Learn to delight in the Sabbath.

What do you do to delight in the Sabbath?

Friday, December 18, 2015

Don't Dodge the Opposition

So often the Spirit nudges me while I'm reading the Bible. I will read a verse or passage and a message jumps off the page.

As I read in Philippians one day this past week, a section at the end stuck in my mind.

"Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved - and that by God." Philippians 1:27-28 NIV

"Meanwhile, live in such a way that you are a credit to the Message of Christ. Let nothing in your conduct hang on whether I come or not. Your conduct must be the same whether I show up to see things for myself or hear of it from a distance. Stand united, singular in vision, contending for people's trust in the message, the good news, not flinching or dodging in the slightest before the opposition. Your courage and unity will show them what they're up against: defeat for them, victory for you - both because of God." Philippians 1:27-28 The Message

When I read these verses, I felt like Paul was speaking straight to Christians of today. With so much opposition to our faith every way we turn, it would be easy to be frightened and just dodge it all. But Paul is giving us a pep talk here.

First he reminds us that we aren't alone. We must stand unified as Christians, as the body of Christ. Both verses use the word contending which has the synonyms of competing, battling, and fighting. We must have a team with a unified goal to compete well for souls. We do much better in a battle when our comrades are by our sides. We can fight more effectively with those who share our vision. We aren't meant to be lone Christians.

Paul says we must specifically stand up for the message of the gospel without being frightened, flinching, or dodging the opposition. This can be difficult with what the enemy is throwing our way. I mean really, removing the Linus monologue where he quotes Luke two in the Charlie Brown Christmas program? And not allowing signs or expressions of Merry Christmas? Then our opposition will sound loud and proud as they spout off their rights. They begin to gather those who agree and they get louder. Cue in the flinching, dodging, and fright. But Paul says to continue to live in such a way that we are a credit to our message of Christ.

What I love is that Paul doesn't just say not to fear but that our courage and unity will prove what our opposition is up against. The truth is that there is defeat ahead for those who oppose Christ and victory for us. I love that Paul is quick to add that this has nothing to do with us but all because of God.

My brothers and sisters in Christ, please know that I stand with you in the truth of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and will contend with you, resisting fear and knowing victory is sure.

In light of this, I wish you a very merry and Christ-filled Christmas!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

For Our Good

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

The truth from this verse has a lot to do with my book, For Our Good.

The heroine, Charlie, doesn't believe in this verse at the beginning of the story. She has experienced too many painful things in her past and can see no way that God could make anything good come from it.

If you haven't had the chance to read Charlie's story, take advantage of a special ebook price on December 8th featured on Ereader News Today.

Nancy Mehl - Author of Finding Sanctuary Series, had this to say about the book: "Author Paula Mowery skillfully combines suspense and romance in her book, For Our Good. A compelling plot, along with authentic, richly drawn characters, will keep readers turning pages of this taut and exciting story."

You'll also find a Bible study at the end of the book to further explore the themes.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Plans Seen to Completion

How are you with finishing projects? I suppose I would rank average. But I am often guilty of beginning a project and then setting it aside when other demands scream louder. This isn't always the best thing to do because some of my projects need to rank as just as important.

Isn't it great that our God never has a moment He has to set us aside to work on another project? He created the plan for our lives at the very beginning.

"your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." Psalms 139:16

Does it blow your mind like it does mine that God already had a plan for you before you were ever born? In Jeremiah 29:11 we are told that He knows the plans He has for us and that plan involves a future and a hope.

Not only does God have a plan, He will see to it that it is completed.

"being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6

God will complete the plan He has for you all the way until you are perfect in Christ when you arrive in heaven.

Our job as Christians is to continue to follow His leading, always seeking Him and focusing on Him. We keep gaining maturity in our faith through studying His Word, prayer, and worship. We allow Him to make us fruitful in our callings.

I'm so thankful that God isn't like me. I'm glad He sticks to the plan He has for me and will see it through to completion.

How does it make you feel that God had a plan for you before you were even known? And how does it make you feel that He will carry out His plan for you? Bask in the thought that He is never too busy and will set you aside. He's tirelessly working you to completion!

Friday, November 20, 2015

A Thinned Veil

Please take a moment to read this post I wrote for the blog, Putting On The New. I post to this group blog every 20th of the month. This month I'm talking about those moments when God seems to thin the veil.

Monday, November 16, 2015

WELCOME! Nose Around

Hello to all my readers! Thanks for stopping by. I want to welcome you to my updated and improved blog.

Please "nose around" my added pages. I will be adding to these pages so make sure to peruse them every so often.

You'll notice an About page where I introduce myself more fully.

Also notice the My Books page where you'll find my published works. My most recent two are there now, but I'll add until all my books are listed.

There is also a Free Resources page. You will find two PDF's there right now. Check these out. You need only to click on the link and download your free copies. I hope to add to this page again soon as well.

If you haven't subscribed to my blog yet, please do so by simply typing your email address into the Follow by email box. This will make sure we stay in touch because every time I publish a new post, you will receive it in your email. And be assured that I never share email addresses.

If you see something here that could encourage a friend, please send them the link.

If you have a question, please leave it in the comments.

Through this expansion of my blog I hope to share more of my writing ministry and the call I have to encourage leaving an intentional Godly legacy.

Blessings to you from your sis in Christ, Paula!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

But We Haven't Had Thanksgiving Yet!

Okay, I can get into Christmas just like the next person, but I do get a little ticked in the spirit when we scoot right over Thanksgiving. Could that actually be a testimony as to how we're really living?

As the Christmas lights and trees start to go up, I begin my agonizing over what gifts should be purchased for what person. My mind plots and plans what decorations will go where in my house. My blood pressure raises as I contemplate all of the events I need to cram into my schedule. I've even heard a song about making sure the real meaning of Christmas isn't forgotten.

STOP! Come to a screeching halt.

First, I must honor Thanksgiving - not just the eating. The giving of thanks. A moment to pause and really thank God from the bottom of my heart for things I have taken for granted. So, here's my thankful list, though I know there is much more I could include.

*Thank You, God, for your continued presence and guidance throughout this year.
*Thank You for keeping my family safe.
*Thank You for a roof over my head and helping us find that shelter when we suddenly had to move this summer.
*Thank You for continued health for my family.
*Thank You for healing and good report for my dad during a health scare this year.
*Thank You for a job that allows me to pay for my daughter's college tuition.
*Thank You for allowing me to get three book contracts.
*Thank You for choosing me to write stories and weave Your truths into them.
*Thank You for being associated with a publisher who is a Christian and lives and runs her business on Christian principles.
*Thank You for putting me together with some great writers and letting me help them achieve their dream of publication.
*Thank You for blessing me with a return invitation to the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. I love teaching there and hanging out with other Christian writers.
*Thank You for a loving and supportive husband, who still blows me away with the wisdom and practicality of his sermons.
*Thank You for a beautiful, smart, and supportive daughter.

I could go on, but you get the idea.

Are there things you should thank God for before jumping into this hustle bustle season? Go ahead. Take some time for Thanksgiving.

I'll add this one: Thank You for readers who have no idea how they bless me.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, October 29, 2015


There are times that a song touches me and says it all. I hope you'll see yourself in Mercy Me's song, Flawless.

Watch and listen to Flawless here.

My caption: Overwhelmed trying to do it all

So glad that through Christ, I'm flawless.

What would your caption be?

Sunday, October 18, 2015

God, A Romantic?

Welcome to my sweet Christian friend and author, Patty Smith Hall! 

And the LORD GOD said, It is not good than man should be alone; I will make a helpmeet for him.”’ Genesis 2:18 KJV

     Love! Romance! Commitment!
     And thats just Genesis, folks!
     A lot of folks dont know this but I almost gave up writing Christian romance years ago. It was after a published author I admired told me to stop writing fluff and work on something that would bring honor to the Lord. The pain I felt at those words! I knew God had called me to write romance but I couldnt help wondering if this author had a point. Were the books I was writing fluff in Gods eyes?
     I looked no further than Genesis for the answer, and can now make a daring statement.
     Our God is a romantic.
     Lets look at the facts. In the first two chapters of Genesis, the Lord worked a masterpiece. Light and darkness. Earth and sky. The seasons. Fully matured plants and fruits to sustain all the animals. And of course, man.
     Youd think that would be enough, wouldnt you?
     But even in all that splendor, God saw a problem. Man was alone. Some folks might asked why God didnt make Adam and Eve at the same time. After all, He knew man wouldnt like being alone. Maybe God exposed man to solitude for a reason.
     Think about that first meeting. After having all the creatures of the earth brought before him, Adam must have felt an emptiness. Where would he find the one creature who would ease his loneliness, the one person he could share the paradise God had created.
     In that moment, the Lord stared into the soul of man and knew that his heart was ready. With just a thought, He put Adam to sleep. When he awakes, hes not alone.
     Adam, I have brought one more creature for you to name.
     Do you think Adams heart fluttered in his throat the first time he saw the slope of Eves face? Was he breathless as he compared the womans soft curves to his hard angles. Or did he simply stare into her eyes and recognize her for what she truly was?
     The missing part of himself.
     Ah, romance!
     Its hard to have a Christian marriage in todays society. The world had made the sacred union between a man and a woman into something cheap and sordid. Cheap sex. Empty relationships. Changing partners.
     How sad!
     As an author of Christian romance, its my ministry to portray love and marriage through the filter of Gods Word. To give young women the honest truth behind a loving marriage, a union that includes God at its center. A life full of love and commitment.
     I cant help it. Im a romantic.
     Just like my Heavenly Father.

Now for Patty's newest release ...

Shes ready to take back her life . . .or whats left of it.

After ten years of caring for her invalid grandfather, Kallie Huffman is ready to claim her life as her own. Taking a job in the laboratory of New Hope Community Hospital seems like a logic choice while she waits for her nursing license to be reinstated. That is until she meets Lab Director Jefferson Muster. Kind and intelligent, the handsome doctor is everything Kallie has ever wanted in a man. But what about having a life of her own?

Hes never needed anyones help. . .until now.

Patients are dying at New Hope Community Hospital, and Jeff needs help to discover the culprit before another family loses a loved one. When help comes in the person of Kallie Huffman, the walls Jeff has constructed around his heart after a family tragedy start to crumble. But Kallie craves a life on her own terms. Can two people shaped by heartache trust in a life long love?

Patty Smith-Hall is a multi-published author with Love Inspired Historical and Heartsong.  She currently serves as president of the ACFW-Atlanta chapter. She calls North Georgia her home which she shares with her husband of 30+ years, Danny; two gorgeous daughters and a future son-in-love. Her next release, New Hope Sweethearts is now available on Amazon.

Thanks for the great reminder of the One who established romantic love and for your witness to this through a marriage of more than thirty years. Keep writing His romance!

New Hope Sweethearts sounds like a definite to add to our to-be-read lists! 

Had you thought about God being a romantic? 

Friday, October 16, 2015

Pink Out Day

Today our school system had pink out day for breast cancer awareness. Many wore shirts with specific names. Others told of those they proudly wore pink for.

My breast cancer survivor heroine is my mama. She is a two-time survivor. I admire her for the strong Christian witness she was during those two bouts and has continued to be always.

I love you, mom!

Here we are at one of my book-signings. She is one of my biggest supporters. And I am one of her biggest fans!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Out of the Heart

Please welcome my author/friend and sister in Christ, Jennifer, as she opens her heart.

It’s when we’re squeezed that the gunk buried deep in our heart begins to seep out.

Moving has always been incredibly difficult for me. It makes me feel insecure and unsettled. I’m pretty sure that has to do with my experience with homelessness as a teenager. Needless to say, I don’t take those, “Honey, we’re moving” conversations well.

2012 was no exception. We were living in Kansas City, MO, at the time, had gotten plugged in to a great church, had made some awesome friends, and were forming relationships with a group of close-knit neighbors. My daughter was in her freshman year at the time, had made some special friends, and was doing well. Already talking and dreaming about our golden years, my husband and I were certain we’d spend the rest of our lives right there, in Kansas City.

So when my husband called one day to tell me he’d been offered another job in Omaha, a city three hours away, and that he felt he should take it, I was not happy. Nor was my daughter. She cried and begged us to say, and in that moment, I felt forced to choose between my husband and my daughter.

Though it killed me, I knew I had to choose my husband or we’d all lose.

Then the chaos started. The house-hunting trips, packing and unpacking suitcases, packing boxes, cleaning, staying in hotels, spending way too much money eating out.

My exhaustion level increased, as did my stress.

Then one afternoon, it happened. I was at the gas station, my mind spinning of all the things I needed to get done, my heart breaking as I watched our daughter grow increasingly depressed, when I received a harsh email.

I blinked, read it again…

And then, did something I’d soon come to regret: I popped off an angry, unChrist-like retort.

The Holy Spirit within me immediately pricked my spirit, urging me to send an apology, which I did. But the damage had been done, because words, once released, can’t be taken back.

Especially when they’re sent via email. Those kinds of words can be shared all over cyberspace, which is what happened in this case. I found out the next day while eating lunch with my depressed daughter, my husband, and our realtor.

At first I was angry. Then I was mortified. And then came the shame. Because I knew better. I’m a child of grace assigned to reveal God’s grace, and my words hadn’t done that. In fact, they’d done the opposite.

That night, as the rest of my family lay sleeping in our hotel room, I cried out to God, asking Him to help me practice more self-restraint when upset. Because honestly, I felt incapable at that moment of being anything but stressed and edgy.

Not receiving much of a response, I grabbed the Bible in the bedside drawer and flipped it open, randomly, to Matthew 15:18 “8But the words you speak come from the heart—that’s what defiles you.”

Immediately, an old wound I’d suppressed for years rose to the surface, and I knew. The clarity was so overwhelming, it could only have come from God. I had some deep wounds in my heart that hadn’t been dealt with, and my stressful circumstances were squeezing them to the surface, impacting everything I did and said.

With tears streaming my face, I closed my eyes and confessed my anger and bitterness, bitterness I hadn’t been aware I’d harbored, and asked God to clean my heart.

Tammy Kuhn, the heroine in Intertwined, faces a similar realization, and God uses the same verse to penetrate through her bitterness to her wounded heart beneath. So that He can bring her freedom.

Which is why He squeezes us in the first place, because without the squeezing, we might never realize our need for healing.

What about you? Has God brought you to a tough place only to use it as an opportunity to bring you freedom or emotional healing? Share your examples with us in the comments below, because we can all learn from and encourage one another.

Here is information about Jennifer and the book she references. 

 Jennifer Slattery writes soul-stirring fiction for New Hope Publishers, a publishing house passionate about bringing God’s healing grace and truth to the hopeless. She also writes for, Internet CafĂ© Devotions, and the group blog, Faith-filled Friends. When not writing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband.
Visit with Jennifer online at and connect with her on Facebook at

Abandoned by her husband for another woman, Tammy Kuhn, an organ procurement coordinator often finds herself in tense and bitter moments. After an altercation with a doctor, she is fighting to keep her job and her sanity when one late night she encounters her old flame Nick. She walks right into his moment of facing an unthinkable tragedy. Because they both have learned to find eternal purposes in every event and encounter, it doesn’t take long to discover that their lives are intertwined but the ICU is no place for romance….or is it? Could this be where life begins again?
Intertwined, part of New Hope Publisher’s contemporary fiction line, is a great reminder of how God can turn our greatest tragedies and failures into beautiful acts of love and grace. Readers will fall in love with the realistic characters and enjoy the combination of depth, heart-felt emotion and humor that makes Jennifer’s novels so appealing. Readers will be inspired to find God in every moment and encounter in their own lives!

Buy it:



Sunday, October 4, 2015

Brooke's Debut Novel

Welcome Brooke Cox! She's sharing about her debut novel, Deadly Doll. 

 I have been writing or “making up” stories before I could write. As a small child, I would hand a pencil and paper to my relatives and ask them to write my stories down. To be honest, I got the idea of “making up” stories from my “Peanuts” books. I was fascinated by Snoopy typing out stories on his typewriter. As a teenager, I used to keep a lamp on the wall next to my bed and I would stay up at night reading and writing.
After I met my future husband Tim, I quit writing. I was busy working and going to college and then marrying and being a mother. One day I was watching my daughter Sara play and I remembered how I used to love to make-up stories. I picked my pen back up and the words flowed.  I realized my writing was a calling from God. I’ve been writing and honing my writing skills ever since. By the way, Sara is now out of college and married.
Being the little oddball in my family inspired me to write “Deadly Doll.” I wanted to show others that it was okay not be like everybody else. And I wanted the main character, Brooksie, to use her uniqueness to solve a family mystery that nobody else in her family had the imagination or daring to do. 

I have 3 themes I hope people get from “Deadly Doll.” The first one is to be the person Jesus designed you to be for His purpose. The only One you should worry about pleasing is Him. Second, there’s more to being a Christian than sitting on the pew. Third, everybody is carrying their own cross/pain in life. Keep that in mind as you encounter others.

Adventurous twelve-year old Brooksie discovered a hidden room in her grandparent’s attic. She opened up an old hat box and found her mother’s favorite childhood doll wrapped up inside. Brooksie’s great-grandfather sent it from Alaska and it was believed to have burned in the trash pile years ago. After showing it to her father, he takes it from her. A few days later he was murdered and the doll becomes a faded memory until it reappeared six years later after a freak accident. What was it about the doll that people kept hiding it? Could finding the doll have played a part in her dad’s murder? If the doll had remained hidden would he still be alive? Brooksie and her best friend Darlene delve deep into the doll mystery which has them learning about a past that Brooksie never knew existed. 

Along the way, Brooksie’s thirst for adventure and acceptance has the girls stumbling on the edge of danger. What shocking family secrets might she find and could they change her life? Will she finally understand why God made her so different from the rest of her family and will it draw her closer to Him? Can Brooksie finally accept who she is? 

Sounds like a must read and a definite addition to our to-be-read lists!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

It's Not in Vain

Anybody else feeling a bit of the beginning of fall blues? I suppose it could be partly because rain is falling outside today and it looks quite gloomy. Another diagnosis could be that I already feel I need a break from school. We did start early this year. My first day back was July 31st!

Then there's always that feeling of whether what I'm doing is really worth it. Am I teaching those little Pre-K kids anything? And in my writing, am I composing stuff that is meaningful? Am I fulfilling my role as a wife, a mom, a church member, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a Christian?

Yep, I have these days when I'm not quite reaching Super Woman status, and I get down on myself.

But I read a verse this morning that encouraged me. Let me share it with you.

"Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourself fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain."                   1 Corinthians 15:58

Now, as usual, there is a caveat contained within this scripture. This verse doesn't say that none of my work is in vain. The verse explains that the work I do that is of the Lord isn't in vain.

Thus, if I want my work to mean something, it must be of the Lord. Does this mean that only those things we do in our church are worth it? No. Only those things that are specifically witnessing? No.

In another scripture we are told to do all we do as if working for the Lord.

If I have asked the Lord's guidance in all the work I do, then I can say that I am working for Him. I have long since dedicated what I do in the Pre-K to the Lord. I have accepted a calling from the Lord to write. I have been called to work in all of the roles God has blessed me with.

This means that all of my work means something. It isn't in vain. Even when I'm feeling those blahs, I can take heart in knowing that as long as I'm giving myself fully to the work God has called me to, it is not in vain.

Knowing that causes me to look at the first part of the verse - the part about standing firm and letting nothing move me.

When I start to think what I'm doing means nothing, I must stand firm. I can stand firm in my calling to fulfill all of the roles God is helping me to fulfill. I can let nothing move me. In other words, I can trust in God's help and calling enough to know that He doesn't call me to meaningless tasks.

What about you? Do you have feelings like this? Do you have moments you feel that your work in in vain?

Monday, September 21, 2015

Jewell Tweedt's Newest Release

Jewell Tweedt's newest release, A Lady for the Lawman, is the next book in the Nebraska Brides series. 

How did this story come about?

I wrote A Lady for the Lawman because I wanted to continue the story of 
crazy Cal Davidson from A Bride for the Sheriff and develop another 
strong female character like Claire Maxwell. When working on my master's 
degree I took a course on the Civil War. One of the texts was titled 
Madness, Malingering and Malfeasance. It was a fascinating work on the 
transformation of psychiatry and law in the Civil War era. I wanted 
readers to know that thousands of men suffered mentally as well as 
physically. Many men did disappear after the war choosing not to return 

Cal came from my imagination and at the end he receives the treatment he 
needs but his mental illness affected his life and those like Claire who 
knew him. The character of Jason Reynolds came from my admiration of the 
men and women in law enforcement. My brother was a military police man 
for many years and his courage always impressed me. Arianna Quincy's 
strong yet feminine character is based on my niece Arianne who is a 
kind, gentle, yet strong woman of God.

Jewell Tweedt was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska, the setting for the Nebraska Brides series. She lives in western Iowa and divides her time between teaching middle school students and writing. In her spare time she reads, gardens and grades papers. Lots of papers.  Readers can learn more about Jewell and her books at

Thanks for sharing about your book. Make sure and check it out at the Prism Book Group site or on Amazon. 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

My Newest Release - For Our Good

Other blogs have been hosting me about my newest release. Now I need to share it officially here.

I'm thrilled to share this story with you.

Charlie Jarvis is haunted by loss that fuels her desire to rid the world of drug traffickers. When her next assignment takes her back to her hometown, she has to confront her painful past. She has no interest in a relationship since God seems to kill everyone she loves. 

Colton Thomas appreciates material things and the status of being a corporate pilot. When someone approaches him to deliver a package for a large sum of money that could wipe out his debts, temptation knocks loud on his door even as his partner, Marshall, slams it shut. Meeting Charlie challenges his non-committal stance with women. As he considers who he has become and the kind of man he would want to be for Charlie, he confronts his own shallow lifestyle and the fear that he would never be able to help her heal her wounds. 

As Charlie pursues the man causing young boys to die of overdoses, she struggles with the secrets she keeps from Colton. With people around them shining the light of God and encouraging their courtship, both Charlie and Colton have to face hard truths about life, death, love, and faith. And maybe find a fresh start for them both. 

Author Nancy Mehl had this to say:

Author Paula Mowery skillfully combines suspense and romance in her book, For Our Good. A compelling plot, along with authentic, richly drawn characters, will keep readers turning the pages of this taut and exciting story.

Here's an excerpt: 

Though returning to her hometown might take an extra measure of gumption, the assignment whetted her appetite for taking down drug traffickers. “I’m in.”
“You’re sure?”
“Yes, sir. I can handle it.” She forced her tone to be firm and even.
“There’s a private plane scheduled to come in on Friday that the captain wants to arrange for you to catch. He’s arranging for a furnished apartment there. If you could pack up any additional clothes, linens, and such, we will ship that to you. I will see what kind of agreement we need to get from your current landlord to hold your apartment here.”
“Okay. That works for me.” Holding her home here in Florida was like a guarantee she would return and erased some of the reluctance building in the pit of her stomach.
Captain Roland stood and slid around to the front of his desk. Charlie jumped to her feet. 
“You go on home and start packing. I’ll call you with further details as I get them.”
“Yes, sir. Thank you.”
“I just worry we’re throwing you back out there before you’re ready.” Captain Roland massaged the back of his neck. 
She shook her head. “No, I’m ready.” Ready for the job, perhaps, not the location. But she would handle that when the time came. Nabbing drug dealers was her obsession, even more now than ever before.

Readers will also discover a Bible study at the end of this book, focusing on some of the scriptures mentioned as well as some of the spiritual takeaways from the book. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

An Interview

Melissa Finnegan is hosting me on her blog today. Check out the short interview.

Thanks Melissa for hosting me!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

International Enthusiasm Week

This was a new one for me. I noticed the other day that the first week of September is International Enthusiasm Week.

Enthusiasm is defined as strong warmth of feeling: keen interest: fervor or something that inspires or is pursued or regarded with ardent zeal or fervor.

In light of this definition, I asked myself what causes me to have enthusiasm. The answer came rather quickly.

When God reveals to me truths and then allows me to express them through telling a story, I get excited. I can understand when the runner in Chariots of Fire said he could feel God's pleasure as he ran. I totally get that same feeling when I'm in the writing zone.

The only way to explain this zone is to give you an example.

My newest book releases tomorrow. In the developing stages of this story God nudged my memory back to a story my dad had told me. Then I began to imagine characters put into this situation and what their backgrounds might be like. As my heroine took shape, she had experienced much loss and would naturally be angry with God. The spirit brought a scripture to mind, Romans 8:28. I wanted to bring my heroine full circle in realizing the truth of that verse.

As I began to write this story, I had that feeling of God's pleasure. In some small way, I like to think it might feel like what the writers of the Bible felt as they penned His words. Now, I am in no way equating my writing with that of Scripture. But, those writers must have felt God's pleasure as they wrote with His guidance. That's what being in the writing zone is for me. That is what brings a definite enthusiasm.

What causes you to have enthusiasm?

Monday, August 24, 2015

Top 5 Things You Don't Want to Hear from Pre-K

We have completed two and a half weeks of school and are starting on the third. This is my fourth year in the Pre-K at our local elementary school. We have twenty four-and-five-year old children, most who have never been away from Mama or home.

Our job is to teach these children the routines of school. One of the most daunting is teaching them to walk in a line. I have repeatedly described this experience as what it would be like to herd cats. I could certainly use eight to ten arms of the stretchable sort so as to coax their little bodies back into a straight line.

As I considered these past couple of weeks, I thought I would share with you my top five things that I don't want to hear from my Pre-K children. Needless to say, I've heard them all.

1. I didn't do it.

2. He made me do it.

3. Did my mama send extra clothes?

4. Why is there a big puddle in the bathroom?

5. Where did *****'s pants go?

I could add many more, but you get the picture. Never a dull moment in Pre-K! I'm sure I'll be adding to this list and to our experiences. The Good Lord sure knows how to develop patience in this teacher. Sometimes, all you can do is shake your head and chuckle.

What is your latest "don't want to hear that?"

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Does History Really Repeat Itself?

Those of you who read my blog are familiar with the fact that I read a devotional Bible that is split into sections for each day. By the end of the year, I've read the Bible through once again.

But, isn't it amazing no matter how many times I've read the scriptures through, verses and new truths still pop out?

As I read the section from the Old Testament today, I couldn't help but notice the similarities between that time and ours.

"The Spirit of God came on Azariah son of Obed. He went out to meet Asa and said to him, 'Listen to me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you. For a long time Israel was without the true God, without a priest to teach and without the law. But in their distress they turned to the Lord, the God of Israel, and sought him, and he was found by them. In those days it was not safe to travel about, for all the inhabitants of the lands were in great turmoil. One nation was being crushed by another and one city by another, because God was troubling them with every kind of distress. But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.'" 2 Chronicles 15:1-7.

Asa in this passage is the king of Judah. He was trying to follow God and receives this message from Azariah, encouraging him in his right ways.

Notice the troubles that were upon Israel - unsafe travel, lands in great turmoil, one nation being crushed by another, and one city by another. Why did this happen? The verses before the listing shows the answer plainly - Israel was without the true God, without a priest to teach them, and without the law.

Do these troubles seem familiar? And does the cause seem all too similar to our time?

Let's face it, much of what is happening around us is the result of not following God, ignoring His teaching, and His commands. Just as the verse states above, if we forsake God, He will forsake us. God doesn't force anyone into His kingdom. Jesus might be persistent at knocking on the door of hearts, but you'll never find Him knocking it down. And where there is no God ruling, there is distress and trouble.

Let's turn to the remedy for this distress and trouble. The verses also tell us that the people turned back to God. They sought Him, and He was there.

I believe in some ways that King Asa felt a bit like a lone ranger. Other nations much larger were coming against him, but he was victorious because he called on God. I truly believe that God wanted Asa to know that he was in the right by seeking and serving Him. It didn't matter the size of the opponent, Asa would be victorious because God was on his side.

Here's where I caught some encouragement for myself and other believers. Don't we so often get defeated? We feel we are up against such large obstacles and large majorities of peoples who don't follow God. Wouldn't it just be easier to join the other side? How can we prevail in the face of such troubles?

Take heart and courage from this passage of scripture. As Christians, we have to stand strong on our beliefs, not give up, and know that we are heading toward reward.

Don't let the turmoil of this world keep you from focusing on the true God. Hear anew and afresh the words of Azariah. Reread the passage above from Second Chronicles and remember that the Lord is with you when you are with him!

Monday, July 27, 2015

You've Got Something to Say!

Have you ever been sitting in church, listening to the sermon, when "bam," a statement hits you? This happens regularly for me, but there are those times when something will really stand out.

My hubby was preaching about life with no regrets and arrived at his final point, when he hit me with the statement. Here it is:

God wants to speak to the world through you.

Seems innocent enough, right? And, you might even think that I would know this about myself, since I'm a Christian writer. But, I actually feel that this was a nudge for a specific project God has been putting on my heart.

But, have you considered this about yourself? God wants to use you to communicate to the people around you, your world. What is totally fascinating to me is that He uses us in our uniqueness to speak to others about Him in our own distinctive way.

In the scheme of things, is my little voice really going to make a difference?

"Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourself fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain." 1 Cor. 15:58 NIV

The answer to whether our voices make a difference is yes. The verse above informs us that our work for the Lord is not in vain. Your unique way to "speak" to the world is not wasted.

 Are you like me, and feel so inadequate for the task?

"If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That's to prevent anyone from confusing God's incomparable power with us." 2 Cor. 4 The Message

Alone, we would be inadequate to speak to the world about God, but we have His power inside of us in the form of the Holy Spirit.

"We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us." 2 Cor. 5:20a. NIV

See? We are His ambassadors. He speaks to the world through us.

Sometimes fear can keep us from speaking when we should. We may feel unprepared or just not qualified.

"Be very careful, then, how you live - not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil." Eph. 5:15-16 NIV

"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." 1 Peter 3:15a

We must live wisely, taking in the wisdom from God's Word. This will better prepare us to speak when needed. Our world is filled with so much evil and people living in contradiction to God's way. Because of this, we must always take advantage of speaking or acting when we are given the opportunity. We should be prepared to share why we're different than the world.

Sisters and Brothers in Christ, we have something to say to the world. Some are dying to hear it. Let's not shrink back from this responsibility but embrace it.

Compared with all the things said in the world, we have something to say that changes eternities. Speak up in your own unique way and in your own calling from the Lord. You've got something to say!  

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Do we even look different?

Recently I witnessed Christians talking about some other church members and putting them down behind their backs. Now, I won't take on a piousness or holier than thou attitude and say I have never done this. But, I'm worried when we do this kind of thing that non-Christians might overhear and decide they want nothing to do with Christianity if it means we act like this.

James 3:9-10 says "With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be."

This verse always gives me pause. The writer of James is right. I shouldn't speak against my fellow Christians and then use the same mouth to praise God. This is hypocrisy.

We are called to look and act differently than the world. We are called to be holy. That means separate, set apart.

John exhorts us to love one another with that love that comes from God. This kind of love is different than the love we see portrayed on the movie screen or on our TV. God's love is a perfect love. It was such a perfect and unconditional love that He gave up His Son, proving it.

We are called to love one another in this manner, being willing to lay our life down. This doesn't always mean giving up our lives as in being killed like Jesus. This might mean laying down our agenda. It could mean laying down our opinion. It might mean jumping in and helping instead of criticizing how another does something. It could mean standing up for someone when he or she is being talked about behind his or her back.

This type of love for our fellow Christians can be hard to do. But this is our calling from God. We are to show God's love. We often think this command is for the world - we are to love people so we can love them to God. But, much is said in God's Word about loving those who are our brothers and sisters in Christ. He must have known we were going to struggle with this.

In a day like now in which we see so much hate, Christians must show the love of the Father which He has granted and put inside of us. How much more so should we love and cherish those Christian brothers and sisters who are on this journey with us?

Let's look and act differently. Let's show love to each other and it will easily flow to those others outside the family of God.

Our church should feel like a safe place where we can learn and grow together without fear of ridicule and being talked about in a bad light. We should sense God's love flowing through us and to us.

"They will know we are Christians by our love." Do we give evidence?

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

What you can't see may help you!

Recently my Bible reading has been about some of the escapades of Elisha, the prophet.

Second Kings the sixth chapter begins yet another story of Elisha and his servant. It seems the king of Aram's plans were always known to the king of Israel. So much so that he asks his own officers who was on the side of the king of Israel, letting him in on the plans of the Arameans.

"'None of us, my lord the king,' said one of his officers, 'but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the very words you speak in your bedroom.'"

Don't you love it? The wording here just makes me chuckle. God allowed Elisha to know the most secretive plans of the king of Aram. The king orders his men to hunt down Elisha so he can capture him. The prophet is located and the king sends horses, chariots, and a strong force there by night to surround the city.

"When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots surrounded the city. 'Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?' the servant asked. 'Don't be afraid,' the prophet answered. 'Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.' And Elisha prayed, 'Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.' Then the Lord opened the servant's eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha."

Elisha's servant was so filled with fear that he was blinded to the truth. God had his own army there for his prophet.

I can't criticize Elisha's servant. I've been there so often, letting myself be overwhelmed by my fears. Feeling defeat before I've even remembered that I have God on my side.

Makes me thinks of a verse in First John the fourth chapter which says that we should remember that the One who is in us is greater than the one who is in the world.

Just because I can't see how my awful circumstance is going to work out, doesn't mean that God isn't working all around me. God is greater than anything, and He's on my side. Pretty good odds!

Are you in a tight spot and feeling defeated? Ask God to give you just a glimpse to bolster your faith. He may not show you chariots of fire, but He may grant you a peace that only God could supply.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Do you like a good cowboy romance?

Misty Beller has a winner in The Rancher Takes a Cook. You'll fall in love with her characters immediately and pull for them to make it through tough times as well as for the romance to triumph. Beller's well-written plot will keep you turning pages. Those familiar with my tastes know that I simply adore a romance involving a cowboy and his ranch. The Rancher Takes a Cook is a must for your summer reading list. 

When their South Carolina home burns to the ground, Anna Stewart’s only choice is to move with her younger brother to the wilds of a Texas ranch.
Their prospects are beginning to look better, until the rancher’s son, Jacob O’Brien, shows up with his alarmingly blue eyes to put a kink in Anna’s well-controlled plans. 

When danger escalates in the form of a band of cattle thieves with deadly intent, can Anna learn to release control to God’s capable hands…and those of the blue-eyed cowboy who’s stolen her heart?

Misty M. Beller was raised on a farm in South Carolina, so her Southern roots run deep. Growing up, her family was close, and they continue to keep that priority today. Her husband and two daughters now add another dimension to her life, keeping her both grounded and crazy.
God has placed a desire in Misty’s heart to combine her love for Christian fiction and the simpler ranch life, writing historical novels that display God’s abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters.
You can find her on her website, reader blog, marketing blog for authors, Goodreads, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest. Or check out her latest book, The Rancher Takes a Cook, released June 26, 2015, from Prism Book Group.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Not Safe in School or Church Anymore?

Some fellow Christians and I were discussing the past. We could all remember when school and church were the two safest places. But, after the shootings in both institutions, we tend to not feel safe anywhere.

What is a Christian to do? We want to lock ourselves away and play to our fears. But, God doesn't want us to give up like this. In fact, we forget about some of our greatest assets as a child of God.

1. Our God is greater than the enemy. In fact, God actually gave us the first big spoiler. In Revelation, He tells us that we win. We already know the ending and the enemy is defeated.

2. Our God is with us through whatever we go through. He promises to be with us and had it written in His Word for our constant reminder.

3. We can receive peace to endure any hardship or suffering. God's Word echoes to us to not fear 366 times. I think He meant it.

4. God's Word encourages us to stick together with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Our Father understands that we sometimes need someone in bodily form beside us.

5. Even if suffering ends in death and grief, God encourages us by letting us know that we don't have to grieve like those outside the family of God. We may mourn losses but not like those who have no hope.

6. When we suffer, we're in good company with our Savior.

7. We have the assurance that to be absent from our body means to be present with our Lord.

8. We can also have confidence in the fact that we don't have to be strong enough to face situations. The Spirit inside of us isn't called the Comforter for nothing. And, in our weakness, we are made strong through Him.

9. We have the awesome opportunity of communication with the Lord through prayer. When we just don't know what to do or say, the Spirit is there for us, interpreting.

10. We are His witnesses. The way we react or act in a situation might just speak volumes to those watching us. His children are still God's plan for reaching a dying world.

Those are just a few that came to my mind as I've been contemplating all the evil I see happen all around us. Yes, I've wanted to crawl in bed and put the covers over my head and hope it all goes away. But, God's Word warns about these last days we are living in. My dear brother and sister in Christ, it's not going to get any easier.

In light of that fact, let me as your sister in Christ spur you on through Christ Jesus our Lord. Don't throw in the towel! We have the victory!

What other assets can you think of that we have as children of God? You would be amazed at how boosted you can feel from considering these blessings.

Monday, June 8, 2015

What's new from author, Kimberly Rose Johnson?

Welcome, Kimberly. 

Tell us about the inspiration for your book, Island Refuge.

I first came up with the idea for Island Refuge while on a research trip to Leavenworth, WA. My mom and I took the train there and part of the route runs along the Puget Sound. While we were in Leavenworth we visited a bed and breakfast. Before I realized it, my brain was tinkering around with a story idea for a B and B on an island in the Puget Sound. I was in the middle of writing another series for Love Inspired Heartsong Presents when this story came to me. I couldn't get it out of my head! I let the story percolate in my mind for a few months then decided I had to write it. I set aside my other series and knocked this one out. 

My main characters both had hurts from their past and Zoe in particular had a lot of baggage she was carrying around with her. My hope is that readers will see that the Lord wants to take our baggage and carry it for us. Forgiveness is key in this story. Forgiveness of ourselves and others.

Island Refuge, Book #1 of the Wildflower Bed and Breakfast series, is another beautiful story by Kimberly Rose Johnson. She never disappoints. The story and the characters drew me in. I did not want to lay it down.
I loved the Bed & Breakfast setting! And what could be even more romantic than a B&B located on an island? Picture ferry rides across the waterway, beautiful wildflowers, adirondack chairs overlooking the water—ahhh, just the kind of place that beckons to me.
Off to a difficult start in their employer/employee relationship, Nick and Zoe soon start to see the softer side of each other. Pain and unforgiveness stand in the way of them learning to let go of the past and move into a relationship though. What will it take for them to move beyond their past? This romance is coupled with a bit of mystery that compliments the story well. Who is this person staying at the B&B, and why is she here? She obviously isn’t your usual overnight guest.
Ms Johnson writes on some tender issues such as the loss of a spouse, broken relationships, foster parenting, lost confidence, and learning to trust again beyond the pain—trusting both your heart, and the Lord to help you work through your future. Her use of both prayer and scripture reinforce the theme of the book.
A copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for my honest review. I was not asked to give a positive review.

This book sounds like a definite addition to our summer reading list!

Thanks for sharing about Island Refuge, Kimberly!