Saturday, December 31, 2016

Staring a New Year in the Face

For the past few days I've been mopey. Do you know what I mean? I guess I could chalk it up to nostalgia with its wistful regrets of what I didn't accomplish during the past year. I might even have faced the doldrums because staring the New Year in the face makes me wonder if I'll do something of worth.

For the last couple of years I have chosen a word to characterize the upcoming year, rather than set goals and resolutions I will break or not accomplish. But this year I didn't have a sense for a word until I headed to bed last night. The word, diligent, came to mind. I thought on it a bit and then drifted off.

Then as I read the last entry in my One Year Bible this morning, the last verse on the page convinced me.

"Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates." Proverbs 31:30-31

Now I'm not a big fan of the Proverbs 31 woman. Not because she's bad. She's just so hard to imitate. This lady is so dog-gone perfect that it's annoying.

However, these two verses seemed to fit with the word diligent perfectly in my mind. Diligent can be defined as characterized by steady, earnest, and energetic effort. Other forms of the word held these synonyms: active, engaged, busy, persevering application, and determinedly.

What many do is strive to attain success or to be noticed which is really just superficial. I've felt pulled toward this trap. The verse speaks of charm and beauty - superficial and not lasting. But what kind of woman receives praise? The one who fears the Lord.

Fear of the Lord isn't a cowering in this instance. This kind of fear is a respect and reverence. A remembering of who should be first. A reminder of who guides us to the success He would have for us.

Here's where my word came into play. The only way to experience the fruit and be praised for my own works is to be diligent in working out God's plan for me.

As I applied this word to different areas of my life, it seemed to fit.

I want to give earnest and engaged effort when it comes to my family. They deserve that.
I want to be steady and active in my work at school with all students and teachers.
I want to display persevering application to reaching others with the gospel.
I want to give earnest and active effort to writing God's message through my stories.

The list continues as I think of different aspects of my life. I suppose I could wrap them altogether by simply saying: I want to be diligent for God this year. I wish for diligence to characterize me, not just a busyness for being busy sake. I also don't want my diligence to be misplaced in striving for the superficial. Nor do I want to work at tasks halfheartedly. The definition of diligent seems to refute anything but focused, all-out engagement.

So, that's what I'm posting on the little board on my desk - Diligent. May I come to the end of 2017 and be able to say I've given my best attempt at being characterized as diligent for God.

Has God shown you some verse or word that might challenge you this year?  Feel free to share in the comments.

And Happy God-filled New Year!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

I'm Still Saying Merry Christmas

Just the other day we were having a discussion about saying Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas in my Sunday school class. One of the guys said that a sales lady wished him happy holidays and he returned with Merry Christmas. He joked that he felt like he was witnessing to her just because he actually told her Merry Christmas.

We then got into a discussion about what non-believers even celebrate at Christmas. Let's face it, even the word Christmas itself let's you know what the celebration is all about. It would seem that those who didn't want to celebrate Christ's birth on December 25th would just skip it altogether.

Honestly, what do those who don't celebrate Christ's birth tell their children? It's all about Santa Claus? Saddens me to think of what their holidays revolve around.

But let me be politically incorrect or whatever you want to call it. I will say, Merry Christmas. In fact, I often tell others to have a Christ-filled Christmas.

It is sad to me that we have come to this in our day. We're told not to offend others by pushing our beliefs by simply wishing someone a Merry Christmas.

Let me just say that I celebrate Christmas as a time when God looked down and said, "I love them so much, I'm sending my best gift." I praise God as the angels on that night - Glory to God in the highest. We didn't deserve the gift. But the God of the universe had this plan all along to send Jesus to pay for our sins and make a way for us to be reconciled to God.

Because my eternal hope rests in the Christ whose birth we celebrate at Christmas time, I will not mince words. I will wish you a Merry Christmas and pray that you too know the hope found in Jesus Christ. Our only hope. Our blessed hope.

Merry Christ-filled Christmas!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Hope is Wrapped Up in a Person

No doubt you too have been watching as the fires swept through the beautiful Smoky Mountains and surrounding towns. Such a disaster and some of it caused by people setting the fires for attention. I won't even go there.

We (my family) had relatives and friends to lose their homes. We also watched as they reported on places we had visited which were destroyed. We live less than an hour away from the area.

Honestly, as the reporters would stick the microphone into the face of one of the evacuees, I cringed. Always the same insensitive question: "So how do you feel right now?" I understand that people wracked with emotion or falling apart makes for good TV. But I truly winced every time and didn't want the person to be exploited just for their reaction.

But God. Yep, He showed up in this disaster and in the reports seen on TV. I will applaud the stations for not cutting Him out when mentioned.

One man was obviously drained and emotional, yet he proclaimed the hope he had no matter if he had lost all his possessions. His hope was in the Lord. I practically cheered. What a testimony!

That man wasn't the only one who talked about their hope in Jesus Christ. Many spoke of prayers being the best way to help.

My friends, you can lose every material possession, including house, car, and clothes but still have hope and joy. Why? Because those who have Christ as their Savior and Lord, Leader and Boss, have the hope of glory. They can have a joy in the middle of the hardest times. Their joy doesn't depend upon anything earthly. They have the promise of eternity. They have the promise that they are never alone. And God can bring good from any circumstance.

As my pastor/hubby says: "God's kind of hope isn't a pie in the sky, I hope it will happen, kind of hope. God's kind of hope is confident expectation."

God sent us hope at Christmas time, and He wrapped it up in the person of Jesus. Let's review that hope:
Jesus paid our sin debt so we have the hope of a relationship with God.
Jesus conquered death by rising from the dead, which gives us victory too over something that seems hopeless like death.
Jesus prepares a place for us to live with him throughout all eternity. That's hope!
Jesus declared that he would be with us always. That grants a hope-filled life here.

This God kind of hope is evident, especially when people experience trials. Let's face it, Christian sisters and brothers, if we truly hold to the hope God has granted, we will act differently than those who don't possess that hope.

Sure, even those filled with Christ-hope who lost their homes and barely escaped with their lives still felt loss and had moments of sorrow. But as the Bible says, they don't have to grieve as those who have no hope.

Continue to pray for and help the people of Gatlinburg and the surrounding areas. Be on the look-out for when you might share the Hope you have - Jesus in you, the hope of glory!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Check Out My Free Book

Hey Everyone! I have a sweet little romance available for free from Pelican Book Group. The title is String Duet.

If you've never read any of my romances, you can check me out for free.

If you have read my books, consider this an early Christmas gift.

You can find and download the story here:

Hope you enjoy Ashlyn and Roddy's story. Don't miss the dedication. Some of us really do end up with our high school sweethearts happily ever after!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Another Dream Come True

Friends, I just have to share with you the latest release from me. This is a different kind of book than you've seen from me. But still this is another dream come true to have my first children's chapter book published.

I would be honored if you would check it out. My friend, Linda Carroll-Bradd, interviewed the star of The Adventures of Chloe Ann Parker.

Please check out that interview and info on this book. It was so much fun creating this book and this character. Chloe is a good girl but full of sassy little-girl-ness.

Chloe's Interview

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Do You Care?

We've had a special emphasis in our church over the past month and a half. During worship and Sunday school time we've focused upon salvation and reaching out to those who are lost around us.

In our particular area we can't quite claim to be Christian or probably not even the Bible belt anymore. The statistics show that at least every other person I meet as I go about my little town is lost.

Now here's the part that hit me during our last Sunday school session. Do I care?

As I'm sitting in my church surrounded by family and friends who are saved, I can say, "Of course, I care." But do my actions match that statement? Am I really reaching out to those who are lost? Or am I just satisfied to know that my little circle is saved?

When Christ gave the Great Commission, He said to make disciples of all nations. He didn't say to make sure your family and friends were taken care of and then you're done.

Jesus set the example of truly caring and having compassion for every person. He comforted and touched the leper who no one else would go near. He noticed people who weren't noticeable. He fed people He wasn't responsible for. The Bible states often that Jesus looked on people with compassion.

The ultimate way to look on others with compassion is to want to bring them to Jesus, to have an effect on their lostness.

Now back to that hard question. Do I care for lost people? If I do, I'll act in compassion. Compassion is sympathy and empathy with work clothes. In other words, it isn't enough to feel sorry for them. It isn't enough to say, "I remember. I've been where you are." Really caring is acting when we encounter a lost person.

What does this look like? This may mean I have to meet physical needs before a person is willing to listen to me. It could mean that I have to build a relationship with the person so they know I really care.

My brothers and sisters in Christ, I'm beginning to care more and more. I'm asking God to show me those who need Him. I'm asking Him to let me see them as He sees them.

The Bible states that it isn't God's desire that any person die without Christ as their Savior. I am working on making that my desire as well and then to do all I can to introduce them to Christ and what a relationship with Him means.

Do you care?

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

World Alzheimer's Day - Sept. 21

Wednesday is World Alzheimer's Day. I will be wearing purple that day.

One reason is because I have friends who have family members who are suffering from this disease right now. Because my family has been through this before, I can say from experience that it is hard being the care-giver. It is also hard watching the care-giver suffer.

Another reason I will don my purple is in memory of my grandfather, Paul Lindsey, or as we called him, Pap. Pap suffered many years with Alzheimer's disease. He went from just forgetting things to almost burning down his house with a heater during the summer. He progressed into only the shell of the man we once knew.

Pap was a big, strong man. He proved it by propping his arm on the doorpost and letting my little brother hang on it. He would say, "Tell me when you get off." Classic, right? He was a tractor-riding farmer. My brother and I always wanted to go with him when he had errands. Why? Well, he would just happen to pull into the corner market and get us a soft-serve ice cream in a big cup. Yum.

I'm so glad that God allows me to remember Pap not with the Alzheimer's but before it struck him. God helped me to sing at Pap's funeral. I had always known I needed to sing Another Soldier's Coming Home because it fit him so well. If you've never heard this song, check it out here sung by Janet Pascal, who also wrote the song.    Another Soldier's Coming Home

Thanks for your Godly legacy, Pap! I'll see you there, in heaven. No Alzheimer's. Just my Ol' Pap.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

National Read a Book Day - Sept. 6th

Tuesday, September 6th, is National Read a Book Day.

Now, most of you would probably guess that I don't need an excuse to read a book. But I definitely want to support this wondrous little holiday.

Currently, I am reading a Richard Mabry book called Code Blue: Prescription for Trouble Series #1 in the fiction arena. I didn't read these books from Mabry and am going back to "catch up." In nonfiction, I am reading a book by Aaron D. Gansky and Diane Sherlock called Write To Be Heard.

If you currently need a book to be ready for this holiday, may I suggest my Christian romantic suspense, For Our Good. I'm actually celebrating its anniversary. This book released a year ago. If you haven't read this book, please leave a comment, telling me why you love to read, and I will choose a winner for an ecopy.

You can also find some other books to consider just by scrolling through my blog posts. I have featured author-friends' books here.

In the comments tell us all what book you will read to celebrate this holiday on Tuesday. I've already shared with you what I'm going to be reading.

Read On!

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?

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Is it really trust if we give it parameters?

Precious Readers, it has been a while since I've posted a song for my blog post. But when the message from a song won't let me alone, I have to share it.

The Oceans song by Hillsong has been playing over and over again in my mind and I've hummed the tune for days.

Specifically, the line: Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders. This has been the prevailing part to make me think.

If we give parameters to God or stipulations on what we're willing to do or how far we are willing to go, is it truly trusting? I don't think so. For us to truly claim we are trusting in God, we have to trust without borders. Why is this so difficult? Because sometimes the waves are high.

Oh, that I could follow the message of this song and truly hold out a trust in God without borders, knowing His embrace is trustworthy.

Click on the link called Oceans below. See if your trust is without borders. I'm trying.


Friday, May 27, 2016

Don't Get Comfortable! WORK!

I'm just returning from the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. The worship and keynote speakers were all wonderful and inspiring. But why is it that I always seem to have one of those epiphanies? More like a kick into something God is trying to teach me.

Last year I had it in my head - notice I said in my head - that there were some questions I would answer for myself and my writing career. I talked to some very smart people and concluded that I was all right. Just keep doing what you're doing.

So this year I decided that I would just go and be spiritually refreshed and maybe connect with old friends and new ones and maybe teach a tidbit or two that could be usable to my class attendees and one on one appointments. Then God inspired a sweet woman I ended up sitting next to during the one on one appointments to speak right into my life and my stubbornness.

Sweet Christian brothers and sisters, I have learned that in the calling God has for me, I am never to just get comfortable and ride along. God's plans are a process that I am to work out until I stand in front of Him in Glory. Sometimes this involves pushing myself harder to a higher level than before. Yeah, it's easier to bask in past glories and coast on that level. But that's not His way.

"Be strong, all you people of the land," declares the Lord, "and work. For I am with you," declares the Lord Almighty. "This is what I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt. And My Spirit remains among you. Do not fear." Haggai 2:4-5 NIV

This verse pierced my heart. The Lord would have me to be strong but work. If God were finished with me, I would be standing in front of Him in heaven. Since I'm still here, there's still work for me to do. But I do have the promise that He is with me. God birthed the calling to write for Him in my heart and He still expects my efforts toward that calling. I can trust Him to move me to the higher level He is calling because His Spirit is in me to guide and instruct. I don't have to stay in my comfortable spot. He reminds me that I shouldn't fear. And twice He pauses to remind me of Who is talking - "declares the Lord" and "declares the Lord Almighty."

God has the blueprint for my life and even knows how what I do will influence others for Him. And I get to work for and with Him. Did you catch that? I get to work with the God of the universe.

So as I evaluate my takeaways from the conference, I'm reminded that I have to get back to work. I have to strive for excellence on a higher level because He deserves no less.

I pray my lesson may help you in some way to resist getting comfortable and work for the Lord!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

New Book You Don't Want to Miss!

Today, I'm hosting Julie Marx. Read on to discover what inspired her to write Family Lies Deadly Ties.

Welcome, Julie!

Thank for having me, Paula.

What inspired me to write Family Lies, Deadly Ties?

Family Lies Deadly Ties birthed in an unusual way. I write psychological suspense, but I’m surrounded by a circle of fantastic romancer authors in my critique group. So, I took the challenge, stepped out of my comfort zone, and plunged into the adventure of trying to make a girl meet a guy—and kiss. How hard could that be for an author driven by the thrill of suspense and not the passion of lips touching? Ha!

I had recently returned from the land of Hanalei on the island of Kauai, HI, the perfect setting for love…and terror. I created my protagonist Rylee Shepherd as a transfer from the Rocky Mountains (my stomping grounds) so she could give the reader a fresh taste of the island from a non-native point of view. She stands out as a tall and very white and studious chick with zero interest in a boyfriend.

Her unexpected love interest, Noah Logun? Let’s just say this laid back drummer is on a passionate mission, and some believe he’s a troublemaker. The citizens of Hanalei are divided on what to think of him, and Rylee gets caught in the middle. And yes, their lips do meet. And it’s good!

Family matters, and finding a place in this world is the hidden desire in the heart of both characters. My hope is that readers will experience a deeper sense of God’s adoption of us into His heart and into His family, a place of belonging, purpose, and hope. “If nothing else, I want you to know how much you are wanted.” -J.A.

A glimpse into Family Lies, Deadly Ties
Rylee Shepherd’s background is everything but enviable, and her time as a nanny in Hawaii is ticking away. God, however, is teaching her to live by grace, not by works. She overcomes false beliefs about herself and her past. The twins she nannies, who are raised on heavy doses of Disney, are hard not to fall in love with.
Her boss’s estranged son, Noah Logun, lives with his gracious pastors who are helping train him how to fight a spiritual war according to his faith in Christ. Noah desires to acquire ‘the eyes of Elisha’ (2 Kings 16) and overcome his history as a ‘loser.’
Will Rylee and Noah discover the truths that will help them win the biggest battle of their lives? Can they do this before felons Lizard and ‘Kojak’ execute their wicked plan?

Multi-published author J.A. Marx writes from Texas. Her hobbies are painting, fitness and nutrition. She has co-authored 3 Christmas novellas, The Christmas Tree Treasure Hunt, A Ruby Christmas, and Christmas Apples. Her novella Mirror, Mirror released April 2016, and her psychological suspense trilogy The Destiny Series released in 2014.

J.A. hangs out with her children and grandchildren and loves serving at Gateway Church. Above all, her desire is to see people healed and set free to live and love.

Amazon page:  
Pinterest (for this novel)  
Buy Family Lies, Deadly Ties:

 Readers, you know you must add this romantic suspense to your reading list! You won't be sorry. 

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Monday, May 9th - Lost Sock Memorial Day

Sounds like a crazy little holiday, doesn't it? But truly I think there's not another more fitting day to follow Mother's Day.

How many times have we moms been completely baffled as to that one sock that is left over when we've folded all of the laundry? And of course, that is the exact pair of socks which will go perfectly with her outfit. But now what will she do? Why, she'll have to change the whole outfit!

I'm pretty sure a mom had to start the fad of wearing two different socks. What better way to solve all of those singles?

Is there a special place all of those lost socks go? It would seem when the washer and dryer were transported to another house, a whole stack of socks should be hiding underneath. But I've never found this to be true. Thus, we would have to assume socks are being eaten by the washer or dryer. That thought conjures a scary feeling, making me a bit leery and yet more respectful of my appliances.

Then again, we mustn't blame all of those poor lost socks on the appliances. Just when I give up, trash all of the singles, and buy new pairs, several lost socks will magically reappear from under beds, floors of closets, and even under the clothes hamper.

Lost Sock Memorial Day doesn't cause me to reflect on all those single socks I've found through the years. No, I think about how fortunate I've been to be called a mom. Though I've often dragged myself through washing those socks, it was one way I took care of my daughter. I'm thankful God has allowed me to provide socks for her feet and watch those feet grow.

One day when she's a mom and asks me where all those lost socks go, I won't have an answer, only theories. I'll just tell her to be thankful and to hide a stash of socks in her dresser drawer for those little feet.

God, socks make me think about the little things in life. I need to thank You for the little things, too.  

Monday, May 2, 2016

Me Quirky?

Please check out this interview I did for Sandra Robbins' blog.

She included some interesting questions. One has to do with the word quirky. Read to find out what my response was after asking my daughter about the word quirky in relation to me. Inquiring minds want to know. LOL

Click on the interview link below, read the interview, then return here and comment what you found most interesting. I have an e-copy of The Crux of Honor for one commenter.

Interview on Sandra's Blog

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Newest Release Shows God's Unconditional Love

The release day is finally here. Friday, April 29th, The Crux of Honor will be available.
Dear Readers, I have looked forward to sharing this story with you. 
Please read about some of the inspiration for this story and a little blurb to entice you. 
Do you know someone who could use the message of God's unconditional love? Share this book with them. My prayer is that this book will touch someone who feels unloved with God's love. 

We’re told in Scripture that God is love. He definitely proved His kind of love is an unconditional and undeserved type through sending His Son to die for our sins.
Some love isn’t hard to conjure. God just helps us to enhance it. For example, I am still head-over-heels in love with my husband of twenty-six years. But through God’s Word and leading, I’ve learned to love my husband more like God planned for a wife to love her husband.
When my little girl was born, I was in love, even though it took a lot to get her here. But God has shown me how to love my daughter through example and discipline.
I struggled with infertility issues before finally conceiving my only daughter. My bitterness heightened each time I would hear about a young woman or girl who conceived out of wedlock and by accident. I cried out to God that this wasn’t fair. I wanted a baby and would care for that child and love that child, giving her a mother and a father.
Some years later I was approached by the director of our church association’s Pregnancy Crisis Center to become their devotional leader. I struggled with my answer for a bit but knew God was pushing me to do this.
As I shared about the love of God and then listened to these girls tell their stories, I had to repent of my former bitterness. God taught me to love and care for these girls and their babies. They each had a story with hopes and dreams of their own.
Everyone deserves to know about the unconditional love God offers. This is what I hope readers see in the story, The Crux of Honor.
Since God is love, when we allow Him to teach us His kind of love, we can’t help but be richer and enrich others.

Check out Paula’s contribution to Prism Book Group’s new Love Is series…

The Crux of Honor
“Love does not dishonor…” 1 Corinthians: 13:4

Chelsea Wilson’s life is a constant reminder of what living dishonorably looks like. At every turn she continues to prove her mother’s shunning must be deserved. 

Dr. Kevin Alley returns to the old home place to establish his medical practice. After running into Chelsea, he knows his love for her is still strong. 

Chelsea is ousted from her small rented room when her mother bursts in, proclaiming Chelsea’s pregnancy. 

Kevin takes Chelsea in, giving her space to live on the upper level of his house. 

When Chelsea’s baby displays life-threatening symptoms, Chelsea must face her mother. Secrets unfold about Chelsea’s parents. Can Chelsea and Kevin uncover the secrets linked to Amish heritage in time to save the baby? Can the two find love together despite their history?

Saturday, April 23, 2016

God's Always in the Teaching Business

Hey all you Readers! I felt led to share a post I wrote for another blog. 

No Matter the Cost - Really?
Do you struggle with some of the things Jesus said as recorded in the Bible? I've always struggled with a passage in Luke, but God illustrated it for me recently.
Luke 9:59-62: "He (Jesus) said to another man, 'Follow me.' But the man replied, 'Lord, first let me go and bury my father.' Jesus said to him, 'Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go proclaim the kingdom of God.' Still another said, 'I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family.' Jesus replied, 'No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.'"
Seems a bit harsh, doesn't it? I mean, these men were asking to take care of their families, and Jesus tells them to follow him. I've often rationalized this scene, thinking I don't know the whole story. Maybe these two men didn't really have to do the things they asked to return home to do. Jesus would have known their hearts.
Upon further consideration, I believe that Jesus was sending a message to these men, those around, and to us, reading this account in the Scripture.
Here's the same passage in The Message translation: "Jesus said to another, 'Follow me.' He said, 'Certainly, but first excuse me for a couple of days, please. I have to make arrangements for my father's funeral.' Jesus refused. 'First things first. Your business is life, not death. And life is urgent: Announce God's kingdom!' Then another said, 'I'm ready to follow you, Master, but first excuse me while I get things straightened out at home.' Jesus said, 'No procrastination. No backward looks. You can't put God's kingdom off till tomorrow. Seize the day.'"
I think this version makes things a bit clearer for me in understanding why Jesus answered the way He did.
Recently, one of my husband's pastor/friends came to our church to preach a revival service. Before the service, the pastor explained about his father who was dying in a nearby town. He had been told that it was only a matter of a couple of days. He was going to be with him after the service that evening. Twenty minutes before the revival service began, this pastor received word that his father had passed.
My husband encouraged him to go ahead to be with his family. The visiting pastor said, "No, my father was a retired pastor and I know he would tell me to suck it up and get up there and preach what God gave to me. I will deliver the message God has been unfolding to me for almost two months. Then I will slip out and you can tell the congregation why I've left so quickly."
We prayed for the pastor to be able to deliver the message that he knew God had given to him. After his sermon, several people hurried to the altar. It was obvious that the message had touched many.
As the pastor slipped down the aisle and out the back doors, the scripture passage above from Luke came to me. Chills ran up my arms. I finally got it.
It was more important for the pastor to deliver a message that meant people could be drawn to salvation or that Christians could get right with God again, than for him to be with his father when he passed. The visiting pastor knew his father was headed for heaven. But God needed his message to draw some at our church who might not have been heading for eternity with God.
Jesus wants us to know that telling others about Him and the salvation He offers isn't something to be put off until another day. We don't know what the next day holds. We have to seize the moments we have , even if that means pushing aside our agendas.
Yes, taking care of family business is important but not at the expense of a soul being lost or a child of God straying. In the Luke passage Jesus wasn't being heartless. On the contrary, He was seeing the most important need.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

National Encourage a Young Writer Day

Sunday, April 10th is National Encourage a Young Writer Day.

When speaking with students these days, many don't enjoy writing or even reading. I take this as a personal challenge to motivate them to read good writers and to become good writers.

Honestly, I began to wonder not too long back who would become our future authors. When teachers announce a writing assignment, many are met with groans of dread. Part of the reason for this, I'm afraid, is that the writing we're teaching them is geared toward passing tests. Instead of being able to work through an intriguing writing curriculum, teachers are forced to hammer writing survival tactics to produce essays on tests that mean nothing in the end. Students are left to think that this is all there is to writing.

I've been piloting a program in the school I work in part-time called TAG - Tomorrow's Author Guild. I'm creating hands on, visual type writing lessons, presenting them to various classes, and then challenging them with a writing assignment. My publisher, Prism Book Group, is sponsoring this endeavor because of the strong desire to support future authors.

For this obscure holiday, I want to encourage the young writers out there. One way to learn more about writing is to read good books. As an author, I do this myself. I not only enjoy reading a book for the story but for learning more about how authors write. Another way to learn more about writing is to write. Dabble in writing poetry or stories or even reporting on things that have happened. The more you read, the better you will become at reading. The more you write, the better you will become at writing.

Encourage young writers - they will be the authors of tomorrow.

Check out my TAG blog where you'll find helps for teachers and an ongoing story for young readers.

TAG Blog Link

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Pictures Worth a Thousand Words?

You've heard that saying, right?

A picture is worth a thousand words.

My daughter recently took some beautiful compositions. Take a moment to "read" these nature photos.

Words like spring and colorful and majestic come to my mind as well as awesome Creator.

What words come to your mind?

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Children's Book Day

Yikes! I just about let this little holiday pass by without letting you know about one of my favorite children's books of all time.

Robert Munsch wrote a great little tale called The Paper Bag Princess. I've used this book with children and adults to teach about the elements of a story. And I've just read it for the fun of it.

This isn't your normal princess and prince story with a dragon thrown in. No. Instead of Princess Elizabeth being saved by Prince Ronald, Munsch puts a twist on the same old story.

This princess is spunky and clever.

I use this little book for story writing lessons because Munsch follows the "rules" of good story writing so perfectly.

At the very beginning we are introduced to the main character and the setting but immediately we see an inciting action that pulls the reader in. The classic three act structure is seen, but the author doesn't give us a cookie cutter main character but a unique one. The ending isn't predicable either.

Check it out, friends!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Most Beautiful Ugly Words

"Surely, he took up our infirmities
and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered him stricken by God,
smitten by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed. "
Isaiah 53:4-5

This passage of scripture at this Easter time of year moves me emotionally. On the one hand I'm moved to tears picturing what Jesus endured for me. Then at the same instant I'm moved to smile and rejoice because He took that on for me.

My sins and His wounds were ugly yet beautiful in that through those ugly wounds I am reconciled to God and God doesn't see my ugly sin any more.

Too often we become so familiar with the Easter story that we don't stop to remember what Christ did for us. What love the Father has for us to allow His Own Son to suffer for us.

I have only one child. Though I love my close family and friends, I couldn't sacrifice my daughter for them, not to mention for everyone in the world. When I stop to consider His sacrifice on this kind of personal level, I'm brought to my knees.

I imagine watching as my daughter was inflicted with those ugly wounds. How did He bear it? Then I imagine turning away from my daughter as she breathes her last. How could He do it?

I'm not sure how He could restrain Himself from ending all of the suffering. But what other proof would we need that He loved us? This is the ultimate demonstration of love. "...and by his wounds we are healed."

As my pastor/hubby often says: "He turned his back on Jesus so He would never have to turn his back on you."

As the song says: "How deep the Father's love for us; how vast beyond all measure."

Bask in those most beautiful ugly words from Isaiah during this Easter.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

A Giveaway

Hey Readers! Jean Williams has offered a free copy of her book, Just Claire to a commenter.

If you missed the information, just refer to the previous post on this blog where you can read about Jean and her book.

You may comment on the former post or this one for a chance to win the giveaway.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Just Claire: Written to Give Hope

Please welcome Jean Williams as she shares about her book. 

I was inspired to write Just Claire because my own childhood was difficult. My mother became ill when I was ten years old, which began her life-long descent into severe mental illness. I wanted to write the book I wish I’d had to help me through those difficult growing up years. So in writing Just Claire, my goal was to give readers hope, to show them they are not alone in their own personal struggles.

One mother damaged. One family tested. One daughter determined to find her place.

ClaireLee’s life changes when she must take charge of her siblings after her mother becomes depressed from a difficult childbirth. Frightened by the way Mama sleeps too much and her crying spells during waking hours, ClaireLee just knows she’ll catch her illness like a cold or flu that hangs on through winter. ClaireLee finds comfort in the lies she tells herself and others in order to hide the truth about her erratic mother. Deciding she needs to re-invent herself, she sets out to impress a group of popular girls.
With her deception, ClaireLee weaves her way into the Lavender Girls Club, the most sophisticated girls in school. Though, her best friend Belinda will not be caught with the likes of such shallow puddles, ClaireLee ignores Belinda’s warnings the Lavenders cannot be trusted. ClaireLee drifts further from honesty, her friend, and a broken mother’s love, until one very public night at the yearly school awards ceremony. The spotlight is on her, and she finds her courage and faces the truth and then ClaireLee saves her mother’s life.

Downloads available at Amazon:

Author Jean Ann Williams, the eldest in a large family, enjoys digging into her fascinating childhood to create stories for children. Having written over one hundred articles for children and adults, Just Claire is her first book. She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, and Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and she writes regularly on her blog. Jean Ann and her husband live on one acre in Southern Oregon where they raise a garden, goats, and chickens. Her favorite hobbies are hiking through the woods and practicing archery with her bow.

Question for readers: What topics would you like to see more of in books for todays tweens and young adults?

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Letters and Actions = Same

My hubby just completed our January Bible study last Sunday night. The study was through the book of Second Corinthians.

As he wrapped up that study, a particular passage spoke to me. Reader, you know this happens frequently with me. *Chuckle*

In the last few chapters of this second letter to the Corinthians, Paul finds he must defend himself against some criticism. Read this section from the tenth chapter and verses nine through eleven from The Message translation.

"And what's this talk about me bullying you with my letters? 'His letters are brawny and potent, but in person he's a weakling and mumbles when he talks.' Such talk won't survive scrutiny. What we write when away, we do when present. We're the exact same people, absent or present, in letter or in person."

I immediately reread the passage then examined myself as to whether I follow this same rule. Do people find the same person as the message I portray in my writing?

I've been told that my stories are very emotional which impacts the reader even deeper with the Godly message. Often I've shared with readers that the lessons and messages sift through me and impact me before I share them in my fiction writing. Therefore, when I speak about these topics, I've "been there."

Like Paul shared with his audience here in the Corinthian passage, I don't just throw in the truths from God's Word for effect. What I write reflects what I believe and the way I live my life.

Now there are some who find Christian fiction preachy. I've even read a critic who said if he wanted a sermon, he would go to church.

Sweet Readers, I disagree. I read only Christian fiction (dabbling in nonfiction) and that's what I write. I like to be entertained by a good story just like the next person, but I truly like the messages I receive when I read a good Christian fiction. It's that "icing on the cake" kind of thing. To me it makes the book even more enticing to read when I know I might be led to consider another facet of God's character. Or maybe I'll learn something about my own Christian walk. I might even learn how to treat others in a more godly manner and learn to show more compassion.

Whether I am reading or providing a story for my readers, I want more than just a good story. I want encouragement in faith and an urging to keep my focus on God.

Thus, I will strive to make my letters match my actions in person. I want to be like Paul. No matter if you hear me in person or if you read my writing, I want you to experience the same thing: encouragement in your faith and living a Godly/Christian legacy.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Check out TAG

I'm sharing this blog launch with all my readers.

Please check out the first posts of TAG - Tomorrow's Author Guild. This blog will reflect my work with children in the public school classroom in the area of writing instruction. Teachers can also find lessons and suggestions for teaching writing on this blog as well.

Go on over and nose around each tab to learn what TAG is all about.

You may subscribe through email to stay connected and up to date on the latest happenings there. Also you'll find a contact form should you wish to contact me for more information about anything on the blog or for possible lessons or workshops.

Pass the word on about this new blog. Thanks to our sponsor, Prism Book Group.

Click here for TAG blog

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

That Drives Me Crazy!

Do you have something that just drives you crazy? You know, those things that dance on your last nerve or get under your skin?

I'm sharing one of mine today. Here goes.

When I see blatant spelling and grammar errors on signs and social media sites, that drives me crazy.

Now, I know what you're thinking. She's an editor, for goodness sake. She would be picky about that. And you're right. I am an editor, and those mistakes jump out at me.

But do people realize how unprofessional those errors are? Do they understand the impression given with those mistakes?

I'm not perfect. A little faux pas will definitely escape my sight now and again. However, I always check over anything I write and especially if I will be posting it anywhere for public viewing.

Why do I correct/edit my work?
I want to make a good impression.
I want to come across as a professional.
I can't emphasize writing correctly to my students, if I don't follow my own rule.
I don't want to be recognized for my mistakes but my message.
I want to do my best.

It really all boils down to that last point for me. I want to do my best.

God asks that I give my best when doing anything, including writing. Unfortunately, I can totally negate a good message by not doing my best to edit it.

How about you? What drives you crazy? Share in the comments.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

My Valentine

My hubby and I were in first grade together, but we didn't really know each other at that time. Of course, boys and girls didn't really mingle quite like they do now. We feared getting cooties from the other.

Now in middle school, we started to notice each other. He'll tell you that he liked a pair of light blue pants I had that sported roller skates on the back pocket with little shoestring ties. This was when guys and girls said they were going together.

Then heartbreak of all heartbreak, my family moved about an hour away and we broke it off. But after a couple of years, we found our way back home, and I found my true love again.

We dated all through high school and college. We married five months after I walked across the Maryville College stage to get my Bachelor.

We've celebrated 26 years of marriage. I'm so glad God brought this man into my life. I'm so glad that we have followed God's path into the adventures my hubby promised on our wedding day. He said he couldn't promise me a fancy house or lots of money, but if we would vow to follow God, he was sure we would have an adventure. God hasn't let us down.

Happy Valentine's Day to my hubby and adventure-sharer! I love you!

Here we are celebrating our 25th anniversary.

Here's another at the 25th celebration. We're standing in front of my wedding dress and veil.

Here we are at one of our favorite places to go together - the beach.

Everyone have a Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Winners in my Book

Hey, just a quick post to thank everyone for your comments on Danele's book.

We have a winner for her prize package: Jan Hall

I wish everyone could win. But you are all winners in my book! Pun intended. LOL

If you haven't already, please consider subscribing to my blog so we can all stay connected. Simply enter your email address in the box on the side bar.

Thanks again to Danele for her testimony and for visiting my blog.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Time Travel and a Christian Message?

I am so thrilled to host Danele on my blog today. Though we've never met in person, we've developed a friendship that I know was God-given. You'll get a taste of her amazing testimony as well as her new book. She's giving away a neat prize package too.

Thanks for having me on your blog, Paula! I’m thrilled to be here! 2016 has been a very exciting year for me. In January, Time Tsunami, the first book in The Time Counselor Chronicles was published by Prism Book Group. I wrote Time Tsunami and five other books in The Time Counselor Chronicles while I was undergoing seven years of quarantine. I know that sounds strange, so let me explain. Years ago, I had my life all mapped out. I knew exactly what I wanted and how to get there; unfortunately, I was thrown a curveball. I came down with a mysterious illness and my doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong. Eventually, I couldn’t walk without staggering or talk without stuttering. I had to quit my job and stop driving. As time passed, I learned that the furnace in my house had a low-level carbon monoxide leak.

Let me pause to say that it’s VITALLY important for every house to have a carbon monoxide detector—preferably one with a digital readout that detects low levels of the gas. You can’t see or smell carbon monoxide. And once it attacks, recovery can be long and difficult.

After the furnace was replaced, I thought I would get better, but I actually got worse. The carbon monoxide poisoning had triggered severe Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and anytime I was exposed to perfumes or other chemicals I would become very ill. My health continued to deteriorate, and eventually, I was quarantined in my home for seven years.

I’d been a Christian my whole life, and I couldn’t understand why God let me be hurt. I didn’t know why He didn’t heal me. As questions mounted on questions, I went into a spiritual crisis. I began questioning everything I knew about God. For months at a time, I would focus on one particular point of faith and decide what I believed in light of my illness. Eventually, I came to the firm conclusion that God is real, God is good, God is intimately concerned with every aspect of my life, Jesus must be kept in the center of my faith, and God is trustworthy in spite of tragedy.

I’ve been asked what it was like to spend seven years in quarantine. It was extremely hard, but it was also illuminating. Romans 8:28 says that God makes ALL things work together for our good. Before I became ill, I had my life all planned out, but God had different plans in mind for me. I planned on being a teacher—God planned on me being an author. I wouldn’t have chosen quarantine, but looking back on all I’ve been through, I can truly say that God was with me during the dark, lonely years. He helped me every step of the way, and He has given me a life that’s more fulfilling than I ever could have imagined.   

Now, where do The Time Counselor Chronicles fit into all this? While I was in quarantine, I had days of extreme illness. I truly believe that God gave me my books to help distract me from pain. I also believe that He allowed me to use them as vehicles to explore my faith. Time travel may seem like a strange topic for a Christian book, but in reality, the time travel aspect is just wrapping and bows. Time Tsunami is a loose allegory that showcases Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. In the book, Gil has to decide if she’s willing to put her life on the line to save a boy from eventually dying on death row. In essence, that’s what Christ did for us. Jesus laid down His life so we could escape the sentence of hell. I hope that everyone who reads Time Tsunami is not only entertained, but that they’re also able to feel the love of a Savior who died for us before we even knew we needed Him.

Time Tsunami (Book 1 of The Time Counselor Chronicles)

To stop a cruel serial killer, she must travel twenty-four years into the past…
Gil Montgomery, a cadet in the Temporal Counseling Program, can’t wait to pass her field exam and become a professional time surfer. The TEMCO program targets death-row offenders for time-based counseling while they’re children.  For her exam, Gil will travel twenty-four years into the past to counsel ten-year-old Danny Winston before he murders his abusive babysitter, Rick Olsen.  Preventing the stabbing should stop the chain of events leading to Danny’s eventual execution. Gil’s assignment seems simple until her adviser, Dr. William Ableman, learns that Rick is a serial killer targeting Danny’s mother.  If Gil stays and protects the Winstons, she might not survive.  William wants the woman he loves to be pulled from the field, but if Gil fails to complete her assignment, it will unleash a Time Tsunami and destroy the timeline. As TEMCO undergoes an emergency lockdown, and Gil’s fellow cadets try to figure out what’s happening, Gil and William learn the importance of faith and the price of true love. Everyone’s fate is resting in Gil’s hands, but does she have the strength she needs to defeat a ruthless serial killer intent on annihilating everyone in his path? Will she return from the deadly mission?

Time Tsunami is a fast-moving thriller with time travel twists that keep the reader guessing until the very last page.

Paula, I want to thank you for having me on your blog! I’ve really enjoyed sharing with your readers! And for everyone out there in cyber-land, now it’s your turn to get in on the action. Time Tsunami was incredibly fun to write, and time travel is a blast to think about. If you could travel anywhere in time, where would it be and what would you do? I’d love to hear your comments!

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