December 10, 2012

Trilogy of The Seven Kingdom Chronicles

If you enjoy riveting tales of fantastical medieval adventure and love, you will love the trilogy of The Seven Kingdom Chronicles by Thomas Williams (Yes, he is my dad and I am thrilled to be plugging his newly digitalized novels.) These would make wonderful Christmas gifts for the bookworms in your family. For easy gift giving, simply go to any of these books' Amazon Kindle website and click on "Give as a Gift" in the box on the right!


Let me share with you a summary of the books and what reviewers are saying about them:

The Bride of Stone (Volume 1 in the Seven Kingdom's Chronicles)

Three lives are dramatically interwoven in this medieval tale of tragedy and triumph. Perivale, a war hero made king, finds the great promise of his reign threatened by the lure of power. The beautiful Princess Avalessa endures a tragedy that could bar her forever from all possibility of love. Davian, a talented but misogynic sculptor, creates a statue of perfect womanhood which is brought to life through dark necromancy.
The story moves toward a climax in which all three characters must make wrenching choices: King Perivale must choose whether to give up his cherished source of power or descend into madness. Davian must choose between his indulgent life with a beautiful, compliant artificial female or a real but marred woman who loves him dearly. Princess Avalessa must make the most wrenching choice of all—whether to heal her own tragic circumstance or restore to her beloved the very thing that could cause him to reject her.
In this surprising twist on the ancient Greek myth of Pygmalion, The Bride of Stone raises the question: If a man were granted the perfect mate of his dreams who catered to his every wish and whim, would he really find it fulfilling?

Price: $4.99
Buy at Amazon HERE!

What reviewers have said about The Bride of Stone:

The Bride of Stone has a good message about finding true beauty beyond the surface.… Another theme Williams portrays nicely is the ease by which anyone can be seduced by evil, despite good intentions…. If there’s a sequel,  I’ll read it.”  — Infuze Magazine

“…The Bride of Stone has something to say not only about the nature of art, but the nature of love. If a man could have a perfect partner, as Eve was to Adam in the beginning, what would that be like?    
— CHRISTIAN FICTION REVIEW

“Here is a spellbinding tale of pride, betrayal and ultimate redemption.”   — WRGN Network

“[Readers] will appreciate the medieval fantasy Williams creates….Christian educators and artists of all kinds will particularly appreciate chapter 20, which details a Christian world view of art as it was intended by the Creator, contrasted with art that reflects man’s fallen and sinful nature.” — Christian Library Journal

“…one of the most beautiful stories I have ever read….Reminiscent of both Arthurian legend and Lord of the Rings,  yet told with a gentle grace that far removes any comparison….I did not want the story to end.” — Rebecca Wire in Round Table Reviews



The Crown of Eden (Volume 2 in the Seven Kingdom's Chronicles)

A beautiful young princess is betrothed by her father to an unknown prince in another land. When she meets the prince, she finds him spoiled, decadent, and filled with an inner darkness that makes him unfit as a husband and unfit to rule. 
At the same time, a young and powerful blacksmith’s son finds himself reluctantly embroiled in a great quest to fulfill an ancient prophecy he does not understand. He falls in love with a beautiful maiden who hides a tragic secret she cannot reveal. He finds that to wed her will undo the ancient prophecy and forever doom the empire of the Seven Kingdoms. 
The paths of the princess and the blacksmith cross, and both must choose whether to pursue their own hopes for happiness or bring a great evil upon the land. 

Price: $4.99
Buy at Amazon HERE!

What readers and reviewers have said about The Crown of Eden:

“Put Tom Williams up there with C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien. His first book is a ‘great’ of the fantasy world.” —The Houston Chronicle
“Magnificent language, stunning imagery, and compelling symbolism . . . worthy of the most critical reader.” —Ellen Gunderson Traylor, author of Song of Abraham
“We are privileged to enjoy Tom’s skill with a story.” —Max Lucado
“Tom Williams has written a Tolkien-like fantasy in The Crown of Eden.” —Chicago Sun-Times
“Williams’s tale of the ongoing struggle between light and darkness carries a strong moral and religious message that makes this high fantasy adventure a good choice for libraries in search of Christian-oriented fantasy.” —Library Journal
“Williams delivers a romantic tale examining such topics as fate, free will, and the power of good and evil. Both fantasy and romance readers will enjoy this first adventure in the Seven Kingdoms Chronicles series.” —CBA Marketplace

 “A masterfully told fantasy comparable both in style and wisdom to the works of George Macdonald, C. S. Lewis, and J. R. R. Tolkien. The book is filled with spiritual truths and deals with a number of challenging issues on an allegorical level. It is a book to be read slowly, and to be savored.” —Christian Library Journal
“If you like fantasy, it will completely gratify your expectations. Brilliantly written!” —Emily Alger on Suite101.com
“My wife and I were overwhelmed by this book. I don’t know when I have enjoyed anything so much. Warning: once you start it you will find it hard to stop. I let several things go and read it over a couple of days. It’s a fine piece of work.” —Dr. Thomas A. Langford, Late Dean of the Graduate School, Texas Technological University
“An intriguing fantasy of love and adventure that takes place in a world of hidden identities, secret motivations, and the unfolding of a divine prophecy.” —Joseph Bentz, author of A Son Comes Home


The Devil's Mouth (Volume 3 in the Seven Kingdom's Chronicles)
This sequel to The Crown of Eden takes the reader back to the mythical world of the Seven Kingdoms with a compelling medieval story of freedom, justice, and forbidden love.
When political conspirators murder his father, Prince Lanson of Lochlaund flees for his life. He becomes the chivalrous protector of a beautiful tavern maid who is hiding from the moral condemnation of the powerful Lochlaund Kirk, a religious establishment ruled by a lecherous bishop which has a stranglehold on the kingdom. 
Ultimately Lanson must decide whether to give the woman over to the kirk's legalistic justice or defy the kirk and save her life by wedding her—a choice which could lead to a holy war that would destroy either the kingdom or the kirk.

Price: $4.99
Buy at Amazon HERE!


What reviewers have said about The Devil's Mouth

“…about a religious monarchy that punishes sinners by dropping them into the mouth of  hell….with some reviewers comparing Williams to C.S. Lewis.” — Publishers Weekly

“I was immediately caught up in Tom Williams’s The Devil’s Mouth.  As a Christian, I was struck  by the powerful message to contemporary Christians: God did not create us for legalism. He created us for loving fellowship. The Devil’s Mouth is an engaging exploration of a fantastic and relevant world.” — Angela Hunt, author of Five Miles South of Peculiar

“Tom Williams has captured the medieval era with complex detail and page-turning accuracy.  Superb characterization held me spellbound throughout the story.” — Lori Copeland, author of When Love Comes My Way

“Intrigue abounds in this well-crafted tale of heroic sacrifice, romance, and the timeless battle between good and evil.  As grace wrestles against legalism, readers will find provocative theological analogies for today’s Christian.” — CBA Marketplace

“Williams creates a world of medieval wonder—a place where honor is the greatest value and love must conquer the rigid legalism that professes to represent God.” — Homelife Magazine


I am so excited about these books! I have read all of them and have loved them. They are engaging, gripping, and speak to truths that reach my heart. If I had to choose my favorite, it would be a tough choice between The Devil's Mouth and The Crown of Eden. I think The Devil's Mouth speaks of the damage of legalism and the power of God's love expressed through his people. Of course, The Crown of Eden is just a masterpiece that encompasses everything I love in a book. A great hero, a beautiful heroine, adventure, love, suspense...it has it all. 

So check them out! If you are still hesitant, you can go to the Amazon links and click on the TRY A SAMPLE button. It will send you a small sample of the book to your Kindle and you can see why I am so excited about these books! 

What about you? What types of books do you read? Romance? Adventure? Non-fiction? Mystery? Why do you read what you do?

Sherrinda

November 26, 2012

My Awesome Holiday!

I had the best week off last week! I'm sure you all had fun with family and ate lots of food like I did, but I bet you didn't have as much fun crafting as I did.

The day after Thanksgiving I stayed at my mom's house and she helped me make stockings. When my son got married, I felt bad that my new daughter-in-law didn't have a matching stocking at Christmas. Three years later, I finally got them made! I saw some on Pinterest that I liked, and decided to tweak it a bit to suit my decor. I just wish I had gotten bigger letters. Here is how it turned out...



I made them out of burlap and even made a lining for them out of muslin. I painted my family's initials in red, then mod podged some glitter on them, and then tied them on with some pretty ribbon. Pretty cute, huh?

I got my wreath made (also a Pinterest find) and think it looks fabulous!


Yes, I glitted the K initial too! Love that bright green!

And then I finally got the courage to paint a canvas like I saw here:


I decided to paint mine with a deep red background to go with my new stockings. I think it turned out quite nice.



And here is a picture of me "in process". My husband took a picture and scared me...glad it didn't make me mess up!

So today I go back to work on this Marvelous Monday. (sigh...I declare it to be so!) I'm thankful for the time I've had to rest, recuperate, and rejuvenate over the last week and I hope to live the week fresh, happy, and strong. Whatever I do I pray I glorify my LORD.

Have a Marvelous Monday!

November 20, 2012

Using The Delete Button...sigh

I'm posting over at The Writer's Alley today, talking about editing and deleting many, many words.

Also.....the winner of MyMemories.com Digital Scrapbook software is....
Gabrielly Meyer! Congratulations! I will email you soon with the code for your free product!


November 12, 2012

MyMemories Digital Scrapbooking Software Giveway!


I have stumbled across a new toy that I am so excited about! It is a new digital scrapbooking software called MyMemories. I wasn't sure I would like it. I mean, would it be difficult to use? Would it take a long time to figure out? Would it produce great scrapbooking pages?

Well, I can answer yes to all of the above! Let me show you a couple of pages I was able to put together.


Cute, huh? These were page templates that laid out the photos for me and then I was able to embellishments, like the ribbon and flowers. I was also able to add text and the scrolling flourish. Not too bad for my first try.

Now, here's the deal about this scrapbooking software. You can do more with it than just scrapbooking pages. For instance, I was able to use the scrapbooking paper for the background of my blog. I also put together the header for my blog as well.

And...look what I just finished creating, just in time for Christmas! (I made two 5 x 7 cards, because I couldn't decide which one I like better. I'm thinking the green one is cute.



I've had so many ideas popping into my head of things to create. My next project is going to be Christmas gift tags. I could even do them as gifts! I'll blog about them once I get them done.

Check out all the features of this digital scrapbooking software: (from the site)


Full Feature List

MyMemories Suite 3.0 scrapbooking software provides the design tools that will help you to build entire albums effortlessly using one of the many installed templates, or starting your own pages from scratch. This user-friendly software is great for beginners and design pros alike.

Design Features

  • Drag & drop your own pictures, plus page embellishments, backgrounds, imprints, shapes, and page layouts from one convenient sidebar (Resource Gallery).
  • feature_resources
  • Search through library of graphics quickly with enhanced search function
  • Pick your canvas size for your scrapbook or craft project
  • Align or space elements evenly on a page
  • Have precise control of your page design with Zoom
  • Add background paper as photo object (from backgrounds dialog)
  • Paste in background papers into shapes
  • Edit elements individually or in groups
  • Edit elements in pixels or inches
  • Change colors of imprint graphics and shapes
  • Edit elements directly on the with right-click functions
  • Right click edit
  • Rotate elements on a page
  • Layer elements on a page
  • Zoom-in and out on a page with tools or key commands
  • Create your own favorites library of colors and page elements
  • Preview drop shadows and mat effects before committing
  • Preview photo effects
  • Fill shapes with textures or images
  • Adjust colors using scrapbook palette, colors imported from images (color picker) and other color libraries
  • Build complete calendars automatically with Calendar Tool
  • Apply gradients with color palette
  • Gradient colors

Photo Features

  • Add mats to your pictures one picture or all your pictures at once
  • Apply drop shadows to one picture or all your pictures at once
  • Resize, crop, remove redeye, and apply various effects to pictures without ever leaving the page
  • Rotate photo within a photo box
  • Place photo into a shape

Text & Journaling Features

  • Type journaling directly onto your page
  • Position journaling around circular and angled shapes
  • Find and replace text
  • Memory of latest fonts used
  • Edit options for uppercase, lowercase, and sentence case
  • Word Art Designer feature provides 1-click options to bevel, emboss, add gradients, drop shadows, warp or shape, or paste images into text
  • Preview photo effects
  • Spell Check

General Features

  • Sharing wizards help you output one page (or pages) in multiple print and multimedia formats
  • Export pages as JPG, PNG or PDF files
  • Set defaults for drop shadows and text for your entire album
  • Add different shaped album pages into current album (i.e. Import landscape pages into a square album)
  • Identify any page element that are off the canvas
  • Holding the shift key while dragging an object constrains it to its horizontal or vertical axis
  • Locate Albums (File-->Locate Albums) will ask for a directory and then search for albums
  • Warn if there are missing fonts when doing a hi-res output
  • Export pages to PNG file formats and different quality JPG formats
  • Duplicate or Mirror Pages
  • Delete a single page or multiple pages at one time
  • Layer multiple background papers—perfect for mats, paper strips, frames, and more
  • Combine pages from multiple albums—even pages with different shapes
  • View your page layouts one at a time, or together as double-page spreads
  • Print your pages at home or use built in wizard to make your album into a professionally printed book
  • Simplified 1-screen export processes
  • Add multiple pictures at once to your layout using the FastFill function
  • Burn your creations onto a CD or DVD with better optical device support
  • Search functions for all page elements and Resource Gallery

Here is a short 4 minute video about MyMemories that you can view so actually see how it works.

When you are finished with your pages, you can export them as jpeg or png file. You can create movies, DVD's, and even add video to your pages. You can make books, calendars, and more. It is very versatile.

If you want to purchase the software, you can use my coupon code STMMMS5007 and get $10 off the software. Normally is sells for $39.95. 

If you still aren't sure, you can download a trial copy HERE and play with it to see if it is something that you could use.

Here is the awesome thing about MyMemories. They are letting me give away a free copy of of the MyMemories digital scrapbooking software! So here is what you need to do in order to enter the giveaway. I'm using a nifty Rafflecopter widget to help me out. The first question is mandatory, the others are optional for extra entries. The winner will be posted next Monday, November 19.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*I was given a free copy of the MyMemoriesSuite for review. This review is my honest opinion. I do get a small commission on any software purchased with my code. 

October 26, 2012

Glad To Be Back

I haven't blogged for a month! Isn't that crazy? I tell you, it was a crazy busy month, but I feel like I can finally breath now and get back to some kind of normal...whatever that is. So what have I been doing? Well, mainly working really hard. The beginning of a school year is always busy, but this year especially so. New people, new programs, lots of purchasing and distributing...just crazy.

But I'm catching up and slowing down...and feeling much better.

So have I done anything fun during this time? You betcha, I have!

I've gotten a little crafty! For Boss's Day, I made some of those cute little jars and fixed up some cute tags for them. I thought they turned out great.


I've also started shopping online for Christmas. I love finding good deals and stumbled upon Zulily. It is mainly for women's and children's clothes and accessories. They do have some home decor and kitchen stuff, but mostly clothing. Check out these adorable shoes for only $12.99! Wouldn't they look great with a pair of jeans?


I am also working on another Christmas project that I can't talk about, in case my daughter and daughter-in-law ever read this blog. But let's just say that I am enjoying it, even though it is a labor of love and taking me a long time to finish. :)

In a couple of weeks, I hope to go to my mom's for the day and make some new Christmas stockings. I made some when my kids were little and crosstitched names at the top, but now that my son is married, I need to make new ones (with some extra ones for future in-laws!). Here are some that I found on Pinterest that I want to make.


And speaking of Christmas, here is the wreath that I want to make.


Adorable, right? I can hardly wait! I will post pictures of the finished products when I get them done. 

I have also been reading, but I have been so tired at night, I haven't been able to read as much as I would like...I fall asleep!!! Right now I'm reading To Win Her Heart by Karen Witemeyer and it is GOOD! Sigh...I did stay up late the night before last reading it...I just couldn't put it down. I'll do a review when I get finished, but I won't be giving up my copy for a giveaway, because this one is going on my shelf. 

So Happy Friday people....have a blessed weekend.


September 12, 2012

The EN and DIS in COURAGE

Photo by Stuart Miles
freedigitalphotos.net
A nugget from last Sunday's sermon has stayed with me all week. It had to do with the root word COURAGE. We all need courage in our lives. Courage to stand up against the evil one. Courage to take a step of faith wherever God is leading. Courage to do something we have never done before. Courage to live in joy in the midst of a world prone to burrow in the mud of politics and other worldly views.

But COURAGE is just the root word of a couple of other words that we deal with daily.

DISCOURAGEMENT - We have all dealt with discouragement. But let me tell you, Satan puts the DIS in discouragement. He is the one who steal our courage, instilling fear and doubt. He doesn't want us to live boldly in this world. He was to rob us of a life of freedom in Jesus. He want to enslave us to fear and discouragement so that we are ineffective for God's mission in this world.

ENCOURAGEMENT - There is nothing sweeter than encouragement from a friend. But the Holy Spirit is a friend that gives us encouragement like no other. The Holy Spirit is the one who fills us with COURAGE, giving us hope and a reason to live bold for Jesus. When we soak in His words, His teaching, His love, we can be filled to overflowing and have something to offer the world...the knowledge of Him who is able to immeasurably more than all we could ask or imagine.

Friends, let's be ENCOURAGED. Let's let the Spirit of God fill us so that we have the COURAGE to live boldly for Jesus, becoming more like Him, spreading His love around to all we come in contact with. Let us throw off the devil and his schemes, letting DISCOURAGEMENT roll off our backs and not be entangled by fear that ensnares us in its grip.

Now go out and ENCOURAGE someone today. Someone out there needs you to be Jesus to them, sharing love and joy in the midst of discouragement.


September 10, 2012

Sandwich, With a Side of Romance: Review & Giveaway

Krista Phillip's debut book, Sandwich, With a Side of Romance is a savory read, flavored with humor and depth!

When Maddie Buckner moves to Sandwich to become a hair stylist, she botches her first haircut and loses her job - and the chance to gain custody of her brother still in foster care. Reuben-the-Jerk, who got her fired, is guilted into giving her a job as his assistant at his restaurant, The Sandwich Emporium.

Maddie is racing against time, as she struggles to build a stable life and get custody of her brother. His foster parents want to adopt him, and Maddie needs to prove herself as a worthy guardian. The problem is she keeps getting herself into a "pickle" and has to be rescued by Reuben-the-Jerk...who has started to become Reuben-the-Dreamboat. Throw in Reuben's jealous fiance and you have one big, messy plate of circumstances.

There are several things I loved about this book. I loved Maddie's new faith and her "realistic" and sometimes funny prayers. There is a realness about Maddie and how she expresses herself and her faith. It's not contrived. It's honest and open. I loved Reuben who, even though he grew up in a Christian family, struggles with himself and his feelings. I love that he is real...he really can be a jerk! But oh, the chemistry between these two....it is tangible and heartfelt.

I also loved Reuben's family who exhibit what it really means to be Jesus in this world. They opened up their homes and their hearts to Maddie when she had no one...and nothing. They gave and they gave, without expecting anything in return. They encouraged and they loved, not pushing Maddie too hard or too fast. They are what I hope to be.

Krista's debut book is a funny and happy read, but it contains meat to chew on. It shows us realness of life. It shows us how we can struggle in life, yet trust God for His blessing. It shows us that God's family IS a real family who love unconditionally. It shows us that two people can learn to trust and love in spite of themselves.

Sandwich, With a Side of Romance is an awesome debut novel and I cannot wait for the next one!

You can order your very own Sandwich HERE!

GIVEAWAY: I'm giving away a copy of Sandwich, With a Side of Romance!!!


Please leave an email adddress! ( spam free: janedoe (at) gmail (dot) com ) If I draw your name and there is no email, you will not win.
Contest is only open in the U.S. and void where prohibited. Chances of winning are based on the number of entries and winner is draw from a non-biased third party- Random.org. I am not responsible for any lost or damaged items for said prize.

Thanks for coming by to enter! Contest ends on September 16th.
* This book was provided by Abingdon and NetGalley.com for my honest review.

August 31, 2012

Birthdays and M&M Living

Look what I got from my sweet momma for my birthday! A Vera Bradley bag! It is awesome, isn't it? I can use it for soooo many things: hauling books to and from the library; carrying my computer and books for study; taking an overnight stay somewhere; carrying snacks to various events, etc, etc... Isn't it lovely? Mom came from Granbury and picked me up for lunch yesterday. She took me to Hoffbrau Steakhouse and I got a Steak Salad. Oh my goodness, it was delicious. And spending time with Mom....priceless!

In my Bible reading this morning, I read about the two greatest commandments, and I had jotted some notes from one of John's sermons. Here are the greatest commandments:

  1. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.This is the first and greatest commandment.
  2. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and Prophets hang on these two commandments.     (Matthew 22: 37-40)
In my notes, I jotted down these two words: MAGNIFY and MINISTRY. 

When we love the Lord our God with our whole being, we magnify Him. We make him bigger than anything else in our lives. We let him shine brighter than all the other "stuff" in our hearts. He is "IT". He is The One. He is the one thing our lives centers around. When we magnify Him, everything else fades in comparison. 

And when we magnify Him, we can follow the second greatest commandment: Love others. Loving others is not always easy, but when we see the world through the magnification of the LORD, then the job gets a bit easier. Loving others is a Ministry. It is the mission of Jesus to love others and bring them to Himself. And it is our mission as well. Loving others brings them in contact with The One and Only. Loving others spreads God's love throughout the world. Loving others plants seeds in the lives around us, and the fruit of it will one day become a harvest.

I don't know about you, but I love the idea of M&M living. Living a life of Magnification and Ministry is an exciting life! Not only that, but God is an M&M God...He can do imMeasurably More than all we ask or imagine, as Paul stated in Ephesians 3:20-21:

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Can I get an Amen on that? My prayer for you is that you are filled with the love that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God (Eph 3:19) and that He will do immeasurably more for you as you live an M&M life for Him, living out the greatest commandments in joy. 


Have a blessed day!

August 28, 2012

Violets, Stitches, and Almost Kisses

It's been awhile since I posted, mainly because I just haven't felt like posting. Things are weird. Things are busy. Life is just moving too fast for me right now. So here's a few random things going on with me.

I am growing Violets and they are amazing! I am not even doing anything to them! My friend, Becky, gave me a pot especially designed for violets. It is a pot that sits in a bowl of water so that moisture can travel through the bottom of the pot to keep the violets moist. I think that is working wonders. Also, I keep them in the window sill of my kitchen, and I keep the florescent light on day and night...they light florescent light. That's what I'm doing and I'm getting spectacular results, don't you think?


So my son cut his hand with some scissors last week. Yeah, we needed to go get stitches, but to save $1000 dollars, we decided to butterfly them up and make sure we kept it clean. So far, so good. It is taking longer to close up, but it's doing well.


We had a special time of prayer at church Sunday with lots of candles. I snapped a picture with my phone and was excited to see something special show up! Do you see anything? Look to the left...the light from the window and some light from the top is making a cross!!!! Nice, huh? (That's my husband preaching.)


Today I'm posting at The Writer's Alley about Almost Kisses. I've got lots of movie/TV clips of some good ones. Stop by and share your favorite "almost kiss". Here is my favorite. (click on the link below the picture)


August 06, 2012

Living A Radical Love

Photo by ramoo76 at flikr
Our pastor set before us a three-fold challenge yesterday.

SIMPLE: Love people.
CHALLENGING: Love people that nobody expects us to love.
RADICAL: Love people that do not deserve to be loved.

We are called to live simple, challenging, and radical lives. We are to live out a radical faith.

What does that even mean? Well, to define radical, here's what dictionary.com says:

rad·i·cal

  [rad-i-kuhl]  
adjective
1.
of or going to the root or origin; fundamental: a radicaldifference.
2.
thoroughgoing or extreme, especially as regards change from accepted or traditional forms: a radical change in the policy ofa company.
3.
favoring drastic political, economic, or social reforms: radicalideas; radical and anarchistic ideologues.
4.
forming a basis or foundation.
5.
existing inherently in a thing or person: radical defects of character.
Interesting, isn't it? Fundamental, extreme, drastic. I don't usually put fundamental and extreme in the same category, but I think when Jesus calls us to live radically, he is calling us to live in a way that mirrors Him...and that is basic. It is fundamental. When we do that, we live in love. We love the unlovable. We love the undeserving. We love like Jesus.


Let's go out of our way to be RADICAL this week. Who is in your sphere of influence that needs radical love? Who can God bless through you this week?



Matthew 5:43-48 (The Message)

43-47"You're familiar with the old written law, 'Love your friend,' and its unwritten companion, 'Hate your enemy.' I'm challenging that. I'm telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.
 48"In a word, what I'm saying is, Grow up. You're kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you."



August 03, 2012

Friday Fun

Today is my last Friday off for the summer. Next week we go back to regular hours. While I won't miss the long work days, I will miss my free day all to myself. So here is just a bunch of "stuff" that I think are fun:

I'm featured today on Mary Vee's blog. She is a fellow Alley Cat at The Writer's Alley and I absolutely LOVE her! You can check it out here: Mary Vee's Friday Feature

I got crafty a couple of weeks ago and made a couple of items for my "adopted" grandson-to-be. I found a burlap bag at Hobby Lobby and decided to "dress it up". Then I mod podged a plaque with scrapbook paper, then using wooden letters, put the baby's name on it. They turned out okay.


So today I am going to be lazy, read, watch movies, and be selfish with my last free day.

What do you have planned for the weekend? Anything fun? 

July 30, 2012

Power in the Name

Freedigitalphotos.net/Stuart Miles
Have you thought about the power in the name of Jesus? The name Jesus spoken out loud can cause demons to flee and peace to enter. It has the power to summon angels and demolish strongholds. Jesus truly is the answer for life's hurts, trials, and temptations.

I just got back from a Youth Revival at a small little town in west Texas. The preaching was powerful, Spirit-filled and challenging. And while at a campsite in the middle of a state park, a spiritual battle was waged. I don't know how you feel about spiritual warfare, but I have always relegated it to Biblical times or really pagan areas where witch doctors and witchcraft abound. But after what happened at that park, I'm convinced there is a battle being waged right here under our noses.

A young adult presented symptoms of being overcome by a demon and friends brought him out to the campsite to be prayed over. This person was strong, lashed out, bit, scratched, spit, and raged. Then it would subside and a fearful voice would emerge begging for help...to get rid of "it", to make "it" leave.

The youth present went farther down the trail and sang praises to God and prayed while the adults prayed and proclaimed over the overcome person for 3 hours. It wasn't until this person was able to speak the name of Jesus himself that there was relief. The person didn't want to speak the name of Jesus. He fought against it, but when he did, there was a change. There was a settling. There was a peace.

All because of the name of Jesus.

There is such power behind the name of Jesus. Jesus is one with the Father and the Holy Spirit. There is power in just speaking His holy name. When you proclaim Jesus as your lord, demons flee and peace comes.

When we truly believe in Jesus and emulate his life and teaching, we become little Jesuses in this word. We live in the power He brings. We are His hands, His feet, His heart. We bring peace to the world around us...and this world needs the peace of Jesus. Boy, does it need peace!

Are you speaking the name of Jesus on a daily basis? Are you living in the power of Him and His calling on your life? Are you fighting the war against the evil one, proclaiming the lordship of Jesus?

Try it. Speak the name of Jesus. Trust in Him to empower you to wage the war against the evil one. As it is written in Ephesians6:11-13:

 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

After we have stood our ground...after we have done everything...we will stand in the power of the Name of Jesus. Speak it. Live it!


July 23, 2012

When God Says Not Now

Photo by anankkml @freedigitalphotos.net


Hearing God speak is such weird thing. When I hear others talking about hearing from God, my first thought is "What did He sound like?" I always think of God talking in an audible voice. And while I have had God speak to me in a dream, I have never heard an actual voice when I am wide awake. It's more of an impression. A feeling. An overwhelming sensation gripping my heart, making my body come alive with awareness...an awareness of God's unmistakable presence.

God spoke to me last weekend and I was overcome.

I'd been wrestling with my writing, not being able to focus, not being able to hear my characters talk or see their futures in my head. I've also felt a guilt about not being more involved in my church. Sure, I go to our church worship gathering every Sunday. I sing on the Praise Team. I teach children's Bible Class every now and then. But what am I doing to help my husband in his work? What am I doing to further God's mission in this world through our church? I haven't been using my gift of hospitality. I haven't been serving others...just myself and my writing.

All of these things were on my heart last weekend, and Sunday morning I prayed that God would speak to me so that I would know His will for me. I told Him I was expecting Him to speak in a way that brooked no  argument. And He did.

The whole church service spoke, from the songs to the sermon, God whispered to my heart. What was so cool is my husband, who I had not shared any of this with, got up and spoke words throughout his sermon that blew God's breath over me. He said (paraphrased), "In the story of the prodigal son, it's not just the wayward sinners who end up in the pig pen. It's us. We get in a place where we put our wants and desires before God. We lose our focus. He wants more for us. He has more for us. But what does God want from you? Has He been speaking to you?"

Well, yes, He has! God spoke to my soul, and He has told me to give up my writing for publication to focus on Him and His mission. I don't believe He wants me to give it up forever, but I know He has asked me to set it aside for a time to revel in His presence and rediscover my love and passion for Him.

So while I am not writing for publication at this point in my journey, I will continue to post in my blog what God is teaching me, what great books I am reading, and what fun things I am up to.

And oh, how I love to have fun!

So has God been whispering to you? 

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