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 www.tweedtjewell.blogspot.com

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?