July 12, 2013

Stealing the Preacher by Karen Witemeyer

Stealing the Preacher has been one of my favorite reads this year. It has it all...adventure, romance, struggle, coming to faith, humor, and did I mention romance?? Oh yes, Karen Witemeyer can write great romance.

Here's the back cover copy:
On his way to interview for a position at a church in the Piney Woods of Texas, Crockett Archer can scarcely believe it when he's forced off the train by a retired outlaw and presented to the man's daughter as the minister she requested for her birthday. Worried this unfortunate detour will ruin his chances of finally serving a congregation of his own, Crockett is determined to escape. But when he finally gets away, he's haunted by the memory of the young woman he left behind--a woman whose dreams now hinge on him.

For months, Joanna Robbins prayed for a preacher. A man to breathe life back into the abandoned church at the heart of her community. A man to assist her in fulfilling a promise to her dying mother. A man to help her discover answers to the questions that have been on her heart for so long. But just when it seems God has answered her prayers, it turns out the parson is there against his will and has dreams of his own calling him elsewhere. Is there any way she can convince Crockett to stay in her little backwoods community? And does the attraction between them have any chance of blossoming when Joanna's outlaw father is dead set against his daughter courting a preacher?

Now how can you not love a premise like that?

Usually it is the heroine of a story that gets kidnapped, but Karen's twist here works marvelously. The spark between Crockett and Joanna was tangible and their budding relationship fun to watch. Not only did I love the main characters, I loved all the minor characters as well. Joanna's ex-outlaw Silas was a crotchety man, whose love for his daughter made him likable. Of course, you have the young man who has a crush on Joanna. You have Silas's gang-now-turned-cow-hands, who are now like "uncles" to Joanna. And let's not forget Holly...the determined young woman who is out to capture the preacher's eye. Whew! She is a rascal!

I loved Karen's first story, Short-Straw Bride, which featured another Archer brother, so when this one came out, I jumped at the chance to read it. It is another winner!

I received this book from Netgalley and Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.


July 08, 2013

The Lord Is Raising Up A New Generation

Photo by markuso
freedigitalphotos.net
The prophet Elijah despaired of seeing God's people turn back to Him. He believed he was the last prophet and all hope ended with him.

But God is bigger than Elijah's doomsday view.

God brought forth Elisha to receive a double portion of Elijah's spirit. Now the language here is inheritance language, as a double portion signified what was given to the heir of the family. Elisha is proclaimed heir to Elijah's legacy of prophesying... a different kind of prophet.

Where Elijah was a loner, Elisha was a people person. Where Elijah was depressive, Elisha was more upbeat.

God was raising up a new prophet for a new day. 

And He will again and again, for each generation.

We may think Christianity is coming to an end. We may think things cannot get worse for the church. But though things grow dim, God's Spirit is still working in His creation. He will continue to raise up souls to further His kingdom here on this earth.

Look around you at those younger than you. Who do you see with God's fingerprints all over them?

Who will become His voice for this new generation? 

Let's bless this new generation. Let's encourage and love the ones coming of age, giving them room to grow and serve in His church and His kingdom. Nurturing the future is being Christ in this world, giving hope for the growth of God's kingdom now and generations to come.

Who can you bless today? 

**Adapted from John Ketchersid's sermon July 7, 2013.**

July 05, 2013

Back From Seclusion

I'm back from seclusion. It wasn't a planned vacation from blogging, but I found I was dry. I had nothing to say. Nothing to share. So I just didn't.

But I am feeling refreshed and ready to give a little.

I have been on vacation this week since the school district I work for shuts down during the week of the 4th. I have used the week to rest, watch movies, read, and spend with family. When we went to Granbury yesterday for the 4th, I pulled out my camera and shot a few pictures. Some turned out pretty cool and I thought I'd share.






So what have you been up to?

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