Monday, February 20, 2017

Clean Hands and Pure Hearts

Psalm 24: 3-6
"Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god. They will receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God their Savior. Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, God of Jacob."

At first these verses hearken back to when the Israelites had to stay back from the mountain while Moses was up with God. Moses returned to find the people with dirty hands and impure hearts for they had created an idol and were worshiping it. God knew the people would mess up and not be in the right place to stand in His holy place.

After remembering this historical perspective, then I turn to myself. Can I ascend? Can I stand in His holy place?

The qualifications are given for the one who might ascend and stand.
First, the one with clean hands. Does this mean literally washing my hands to be accepted? No. I believe this is a reference to what I have done. Have I soiled my hands by doing things contrary to God's instructions? I must do those things God wants me to do and stay away from doing the things He tells me not to do. Such things come to mind as taking care of people around me but refraining from gaining for success only.

Next, a pure heart is needed. This becomes even more difficult, for now I have to examine my thoughts and motives, not just my actions. Have I held ill will against another? Do I harbor bitterness or envy? These will keep me from standing in His holy place because God knows. Others may only be able to see what my hands do or do not do. But God sees my true motives.

Then, I mustn't trust in an idol. Some take this literally and exclaim readily that they are okay in this area. But what about the idols of career or even family or friends we hold in higher regard than God. An idol is anything that becomes more important than God. This takes careful examination.

Also I can't give any credence to any other person or thing that might take the place of the One True God.

Thus if I can have clean hands and a pure heart and a total loyalty to God, I can stand in His holy place and ascend His mountain. This makes me think about worship. When was the last time I just entered worship without considering if I was actually prepared? Whew. I won't start confessing here. But I am guilty of just approaching Him without examining my readiness.

When I do come to Him with clean hands and a pure heart, I will receive His blessings. I like the sound of that. And to add to that - Notice it says that such is the generation who seeks the Lord. Let's face it. If I am practicing getting clean and pure before worshiping my Lord, I will in turn lead my family to do the same. This will bring blessing upon my family - this generation.

Lord, help me to approach you with clean hands and a pure heart, leading those I have influence over to do the same. And let your blessings encourage me to continue to prepare when I worship You.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Be My Valentine, Forever!

Shall I resist getting mushy?

But I do have a Valentine forever in my hubby. Immediately I thought of a song that expresses how I feel. Maybe you readers might enjoy and relate to this song by Steven Curtis Chapman.

The song is entitled I Will Be Here. I think it expresses the sentiment of longevity - being in for the long haul. For better or worse. In sickness and in health. Forsaking all others. Keeping only to him. As long as we both shall live.

Hubby has been preaching on marriage during this love month. He suggested that couples might reclaim those vows, remembering and keeping them.

So here's my Valentine to my hubby. Listen to the song here: Song - I Will Be Here

Friday, February 3, 2017

Time Search by Danele Rotharmel

Danele is my guest once again. We are featuring her latest release, and this is blog stop #12 on her fun blog tour. I'm posting this a couple of days early, so all of my readers can catch up.

Welcome to Danele! We've got a little interview for you, readers.

It’s always great to welcome an author/friend back to my blog. I’m thrilled to have Danele back to introduce us to her newest book.

Thank you, Paula! It’s so nice to be here! I always enjoy working with you.

Danele, briefly remind the readers about yourself.

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Danele, and I’m the author of The Time Counselor Chronicles. My books are Christian romantic suspense with a time-travel twist, and I wrote them during a seven-year period when I was in quarantine.  I know that sounds strange, so let me explain. Several years ago, I started feeling ill, and my doctors couldn’t figure out why. Finally, it was discovered that I was suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning from a faulty furnace in my home. I thought that once the furnace was replaced, my health would improve, but the gas had triggered severe Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. Anytime I was exposed to perfume, cleansers, car exhaust, or any of the other chemicals that surround our daily lives, I would become extremely ill. My health continued to worsen, and eventually, I was put into quarantine in my home.  My house was a “chemical-free” zone, and for seven years I could only talk to friends and extended family through the glass of a window. My years of quarantine were very difficult, but during them, I wrote my books.  My characters were a window to the outside world, and they gave me something to focus on other than my health.

Tell us about your newest release.

Time Search is the third book in The Time Counselor Chronicles. It contains the same characters from Time Tsunami and Time Trap. And although Time Search is a sequel, I’ve included several helpful glossaries that will allow easy reading even if someone hasn’t read the previous books in the series.

Here’s Time Search’s back cover blurb:
A nameless evil lurks in the shadows… In the wake of a recent wave of violence, TEMCO employees are left reeling. While some of the staff are put into hiding, others are left behind to discover the true identity of the mysterious nemesis who is determined to destroy them all. While Crystal, Marc, and Zeke search for clues to unravel the mystery of his real name, their enemy is lurking in the shadows searching for TEMCO’s missing leaders. It’s a race against the clock! And as the hours and seconds tick away, it’s anyone’s guess whose search will be completed first. It’s a classic battle of good versus evil, and the stakes couldn’t be higher!

What kind of takeaway do you hope readers gain from this book?

Time Search is full of spiritual takeaways, but there are two that really capture my attention. By report, my readers love Crystal Stuart. Crystal is incredibly nice, but she’s also klutzy and socially awkward. In Time Search, Crystal makes a fool of herself in front of Marc Kerry, and she collapses emotionally. She feels hatred toward herself and dredges up all her painful memories. Later, she realizes that reliving a painful past is wrong, and so is calling any creation of God’s rubbish—and that includes herself. She realizes that if Zephaniah 3:17 says that God sings over her, she must be pretty special. Another wonderful takeaway can be gained by looking at the theme of forgiveness in my book. During Time Search, my characters learn that if they want to live in peace, they can’t allow bitterness to take over their lives. They learn the importance of forgiving others when they’ve been sinned against.

What part of this book was the most enjoyable to write?

My favorite part of Time Search is Crystal’s Cinderella moment. She overhears Marc saying that she’s a dud in the look’s department, and with Nicole’s help, she transforms into a glamour girl who turns Marc’s head. While I was writing, Crystal and Nicole’s plotting ways had me in stitches! I spent so much time giggling over this book! I really enjoyed it!

What part of this book provided challenges while writing?

Writing Time Search was an enjoyable breeze; however, editing it was more difficult. While I was editing, I experienced severe problems with my eyes, and it looked like I was headed toward emergency surgery. Although I was able to dodge surgery, I was warned to spend less time at my computer. Learning how to pace myself has been a challenge. I’m used to gobbling up my writing and editing assignments. Unfortunately, I’ve learned that I need to practice moderation when it comes to computer time.

For fun and curiosity’s sake, what is your ideal setting for writing? Please include location, snacks, anything that makes you primed to produce your best and most creative work.

Well, Paula, if I was ACTUALLY my idea of the perfect writer, I’d say that my favorite writing location would be the shores of a peaceful mountain lake. I would gaze periodically at the sparkling water while tapping away at my laptop. I would be dressed in a lovely, shimmery blouse, and my blue jeans wouldn’t be overly snug because my ideal snack would be mineral water and an apple…  But if I’m going to be honest, I produce my best work when I am holed up at my desk with earplugs crammed in my ears, the shades drawn, and a bowl of Doritos at my elbow. And my favorite writing attire is a ratty t-shirt that’s about twenty years old and pair of oversized sweat pants.

Is there anything else you would like to tell our readers or that you might want our readers to respond to in the comments?

Writing my novels has been an act of pure joy! I used writing as a way to entertain myself during quarantine. I hope my readers enjoy my books just as much as I do!

In the comments, I would love to hear what my readers love the best about my books. And if someone hasn’t read my books, I’d love to hear what part of a book catches their attention the most—the comedy, suspense, action, romance, characters, etc.

Danele, as always, it’s a pleasure to have you on the blog. May God bless your newest release and richly bless you. 

Thank you so much for having me, Paula! I really appreciate this wonderful opportunity to chat with you and your readers!

Danele Rotharmel’s life took an unexpected turn when a mysterious illness brought her close to death. Eventually, she learned that a carbon monoxide leak from a faulty furnace was poisoning her. This poisoning triggered Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, causing her to be put in quarantine. For seven years, she could only talk to friends and extended family through a windowpane. During this time, she wrote the first six books in The Time Counselor Chronicles.  Although her journey back to health was difficult, it provided her the opportunity to grow closer to God and write her books. For that, she’s forever thankful. To learn more about Danele, visit her blog:

Visit Danele's blog to catch up on any of the blog tour you missed. There's prizes involved!

Thanks again for sharing this new release with us, Danele!