Fear Not

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by Suzanne D. Williams

I needed medication for my older dog the other day, so I called the vet as usually do. Since her puppyhood, she has had this persistent itch. She will scratch until her skin is infected. The pills are a lifesaver.

During the call, the vet tech asked me if I wanted twice as many this time, “Just in case.” 

For the life of me, I could not figure out what she meant. Just in case of what? Confused, I asked my spouse, and he gave me a one-word answer – panic. The vet tech assumed I was worried about the future.

“I don’t think like ‘panic,’ I guess,” I replied to him.

Not anymore. I’ve become acquainted with WHO GOD IS. We have a relationship. He is personal to me, accessible, and incredibly longsuffering. But hearing those words I’d spoken opened my eyes wider. What God has helped me overcome is a huge problem for others. They don’t know Him like I do. If they did, there’d be no fear at all.

Fear actually bookends the Bible. It is the first emotion which followed Adam’s sin in the book of Genesis and is the first type of person listed as those who will face judgment in Revelation. (Ge 3:10; Rev 21:8) There, the word closer holds the meaning of “cowardliness.” It is someone whose fear of man prevents them from standing up for God’s truth. (John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible)

But we can see this in other Scriptures. 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” Fear of any kind does not come from God. Know this first. However, also, the word used here, translated “fear,” describes someone timid.

(NLT)  For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity.

(VOICE)  God did not give us a cowardly spirit.

God is full of mercy and compassion. We have not fully realized how much. Study God’s Word and you will see a picture of His heart. He does not want His children to be afraid and has provided the power of Jesus’ name, a name above any other, and the victory of the Resurrection over that liar, the devil, as our power to overcome it. We have the armor of God to quench the fiery darts of fear and the good news of peace to guide our feet. (Php 2:9; Eph 6:13-16)

Peace, mental clarity, and harmony of soul is God’s will. God does not bring confusion. Jesus carried all our griefs, sorrows, anxieties, and distresses when He died on the cross. (1Co 14:33; Is 53:4) We don’t have to struggle with panic at all but must deliberately lay the weight of all our worries at Jesus’ feet.

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. (1 Peter 5:7)

Consistently indulging fear will eventually become cowardice and ultimately, sin, if we choose to stay afraid. Whereas a child of God, one who has taken God’s name as his own, one who calls Him “Father,” walks in boldness, unashamed of the gospel. (Act 4:29; 2Ti 1:8) We are commanded to “seek peace; and pursue it.” (Ps 34:14; 1Pe 3:11) That makes it an act of faith. We go forward despite how fearful we feel.

I get it. I know how hard it is to put down fear, how tight you cling to it, unsure how to take another step. But that’s the thing, God’s got you in His palm. What feels like midair and uncertainty is secure in Him. Hear the words of Isaiah.

Listen, Jacob, to the One who created you, Israel, to the one who shaped who you are. Do not fear, for I, your Kinsman-Redeemer, will rescue you. I have called you by name, and you are mine. When you pass through the deep, stormy sea, you can count on me to be there with you. When you pass through raging rivers, You will not drown. When you walk through persecution like fiery flames, you will not be burned; the flames will not harm you, for I am your Savior, Yahweh, your mighty God, the Holy One of Israel!  (Is 43:1-3 TPT)

God’s entire character depends on Him showing His great love for us. We find this thought emphasized a few verses later when the prophet Isaiah speaks in God’s own words. He says, “I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions FOR MINE OWN SAKE, and will not remember thy sins. ” (v25)

God will be known for mercy, for forgiveness, for compassion. And oh, how great His compassion is! The Biblical Illustrator describes it as if the father, having forgiven the prodigal son, once more entrusted him with his fortune. What a moving example.

Almighty God’s care for us is immenseWe have nothing to fear. Fear lies to us. It says God is small and unkind and unable, that we will never overcome what we are facing. But never, not once, on any day is that the truth. Whatever we face, He has provided the way out. Faith and patience will inherit the promises. (Heb 6:12) Sometimes, the victory isn’t instant, but with our determination to follow God, it is always on the way. And know this – we do not walk alone but hand-in-hand with the Creator of the universe, the God of all comfort. (2Co 1:3)

And lest you still have doubts, let me remind you of the most powerful truth of all. He sent His Son to earth to prove it. 

99 cent sale. 

*Price good until 4/15/2020 

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Fearless

What does it mean to be fearless? And how do I get there? Where is the way out from hopelessness and despair?

Crippled by fear, Suzanne Williams found herself unable to leave home. In her testimonial book, Fearless, she shares her personal walk out of the darkness and bondage of fear into the health, peace, freedom and hope promised in God’s Word.

About the Author:

Suzanne D. WilliamsBest-selling author, Suzanne D. Williams, is a native Floridian, wife, mother, and photographer. She is the author of both nonfiction and fiction books. She writes devotionals and instructional articles for various blogs. She also does graphic design for self-publishing authors. She is co-founder of THE EDGE. 

 To learn more about what she’s doing and check out her extensive catalog of stories, visit www.feelgoodromance.com or www.suzannedwilliams.com or link with her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/suzannedwilliamsauthor or on Twitter at @SDWAuthor.

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CrossReads Weekly Devotional: The Point is … A Matter of Life and Death 4/30/2020

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by James Collins

But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. 2 Timothy 1:10

Am I going to die?” he asked. I looked up from where I was sitting at his bedside and locked eyes with the doctor who was standing in the doorway. The expression on the doctor’s face told me his answer. “Yes,” I said.  

The young man’s expression didn’t change. The doctor turned and left, his footsteps echoing down the hallway. The hospital room was silent except for the noise of the machines that were keeping the young patient alive.  

For a moment, I thought he was asleep. I was startled when he asked, “What will happen when I die?”  

“That depends.” I answered. 

“On what?” 

“On your choice. There are two options for where you go when you die: heaven or hell. You make that choice.” 

“I don’t understand.” 

“Well, you see, we have all done things wrong. We are all sinners. Our sin separates us from God. If we don’t do something about it, we will be separated from God forever in a place called hell. The Bible calls hell the ‘lake of fire.’”  

“What can I do?” 

“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. You see, God became a man in the person of Jesus. He lived a perfect sinless life. He willingly sacrificed His life on the cross for you. His death paid the price for your sins. They buried Jesus and three days later, He rose from the dead. Because of what Jesus did, God offers you salvation, forgiveness, and eternal life as a gift that you must receive by faith. Just believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.” 

Will I then go to heaven and not hell? 

“Yes.” 

My mom believed thatShe used to tell me that I needed Jesus. Do you really believe?”  

Yes.” 

I do too. 

I took his hand and prayed with him. The next morning, he left this world. 

In my years as a U.S. Army Chaplain, hospital chaplain, and pastor, I have witnessed many scenes like the one described here. I have watched as many people have died. I am familiar with the reality of death. 

For perhaps the first time in the history of our nation, the reality of death is on everybody’s mind. The hysteria surrounding the coronavirus, or COVID-19, is causing most Americans to consider their own mortality. Our country is confused and scared. 

As Christians, we have the answer to the fear that surrounds death. Right now, we have an opportunity to have conversations with nonbelievers about death and what happens when you die. We have an opportunity to share the truth of eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

The point is: Death is a reality we must all face. Whether we face death with fear or with confidence depends completely on if we have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. So, let me ask you: If you died tomorrow, would you go to heaven?  

You had better be sure. 

It’s a matter of eternal life and death.

Fort Scott's First Southern Baptist ChurchThe Point Is ...

James Collins

James Collins

James Collins is pastor, writer, and columnist. Find out more about his ministry at www.thepointis.net. 

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Pre-order Available for a new series – Eva

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by Parker J. Cole
Pre-order Available for a new series by Parker J Cole
Eva
Born with a prominent birthmark, Eva Van der Heiden knows she will never find a man to love her. Her days are spent caring for her siblings and enjoying the relative calm of spinsterhood. Then her aunt, an unscrupulous matchmaker, tells her of a man wanting a bride of convenience in a small town in Dakota territory. Eva accepts the proposal knowing that at least she will have a husband, even if she’s not much to look at. Luc de Jeu arrives in Evansgrove in Dakota territory along with his friends and business partners. He came to salvage the failing fur trading company his father bought before his untimely death. In order to receive his father’s shares in the company, he must wed a ‘good Dutch girl’ within a year and produce an heir. When a matchmaker tells him of a potential bride who meets his requirements, he agrees to marry her. When Luc meets Eva, he is fascinated by her unusual appearance. Eva believes she’ll be happy with a marriage of convenience. It’s not until after they wed Eva discovers this union is not in name only. Luc knows he only has a limited time to fulfill the stipulations of the will. It would be easy to simply annul their vows and seek another wife. Yet, the more time he spends with Eva, the more he realizes another wife won’t do. Eva knows she’s not beautiful enough, despite the strange looks she glimpses in Luc’s eyes and the way they make her feel. Yet, she only wanted to be a wife of convenience, and not a mother…doesn’t she?
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About the Author:

Parker J. ColeParker J. Cole is a writer and radio show host who spends most of her time reading, knitting, writing, cooking, and concocting new ideas for stories. Her first novel, Dark Cherub, won Best of Spring Reading 2013 from eMediaCampaigns. She lives in Michigan with her husband and beloved dog Sarah.

Visit her site at http://www.ParkerJCole.com

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CrossReads Book Spotlight: Captive Highland Heartbreak

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CrossReads Book Spotlight

CrossReads Book Spotlight

Captive Highland Heartbreak

by Peggy McGee

Captive Highland Heartbreak

“Captive Highland Heartbreak” is a Christian-based historical Regency/Scottish romance novel set in the early 1800s Great Britain. Seventeen-year-old Emmaline Dalton finds her world turned upside down during her London Society debut when her father suddenly dies. She becomes the ward of her unscrupulous Uncle Charles who owns a shipping business based on the continent. Eager to financially benefit from the estate, her uncle hastily makes a business deal with a Scottish ship owner whose laird brother is seeking a wife. Emma is kidnapped and transported to Scotland to become ‘handfast’, once she reaches the age of eighteen. Discovering the situation intolerable, she seeks to locate her late mother’s Scottish family to help with her escape, encountering a Scottish lad at a mission who shares her Christian convictions. Can Emma, through her faith, elude those who seek her generous dowry and find her true love? This is a sweet and clean inspirational novel for all ages to enjoy.

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CrossReads Short Takes: What Is Justification By Faith & Dorian the Daring

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CrossReadsShortTakes

CrossReads Short Takes

What Is Justification By Faith

by Dr. Johnson C. Philip

What Is Justification By Faith

The doctrine of Justification by Faith is what separated the Protestants from the Roman Catholics five centuries ago. However, today many Protestants have no clear idea of the doctrine or the history of how it was recovered by Martin Luther.

This book presents both of these in accessible terms.

Please remember that this book is not meant for everyone! It is meant for Protestants alone. Roman Cathoics might find many portions less than pleasing.

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Dorian the Daring

A Medieval Adventure

by Camille Esther

Dorian the Daring

Kicked out of the only home he has ever known, Dorian is forced to make a new life for himself with his noble steed. The adjustment isn’t easy—ordinary life seems dull after being “the young master” his whole life.

Then someone tries to kill him. Dorian is sure his proclaimed enemy is behind the attempt, but another source declares it could be his best friend. In a world of political chaos that seems bent on making him the center of it all, Dorian has many questions and few answers. But his chief question is this: is reconciliation too much to ask?

As the answers finally begin to surface, Dorian finds himself in the sole position to save a life. He knows his duty—but can he choose duty over his heart’s desire and still trust God with the outcome?

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A Women’s Event and a Blessing!

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by Mary C. Findley
Paintings by Carlene Wallace (on the right is the landscape scene mentioned below). I’ve got my eye on the Prairie Chickens on the left. Aren’t the colors beautiful?
Over the weekend I gave a talk at a small church women’s event at Trinity Baptist Church, Tulsa, OK. The organizers invited three speakers. One is a fine artist and a very accomplished painter. Carlene Wallace spoke first, about being bewildered by modern art standards. She said some very good things about how people pay outrageous amounts for things that are not traditional art. It is crazy what modern art can be like. Her philosophy is to capture memories faithfully. She displayed a small painting of a nature scene. A woman came up to ask about it, saying the scene looked familiar. When the artist told her where she had captured it from, the woman said that had been her husband’s favorite fishing spot. She bought the painting as a remembrance of her husband, who had died two years earlier. Someone commented that she had spoken to this widow and was struck by how sad she was still about her husband’s passing, and that she had been so grateful to find a faithful memory of a place her husband had loved. It was such a sweet, comforting thing. The second speaker, Rie Hanby, told about God’s providence in her life. She has been a missionary in different countries and was greatly blessed by that service. However, other instances of providence she mentioned did not seem to be so positive. A divorce. Breast cancer. Yet she showed how God worked each time to bring glory to Himself and blessing to her. Many people were blessed and encouraged, myself included, to be reminded that God does not work the way we wish or expect sometimes, but it is always providential, because that’s what the word means. The working of God is always providential.
Rie Hanby, the second speaker, (left) with an attendee Katy Morrison.
I was the third speaker. The first thing I said was that the second speaker, Rie Hanby, should have been last, because what she said was what needed to be remembered. However, God worked it out so that I was last. I spoke about Findley Family Video Publications. I told them a little about our history, our books, and our plans. I shared a few funny stories, like how I met “Captain Weird” and married him. (I’ll share the speech in a podcast in a day or two.) I was also able to spend some time sharing our books at a display table. I was surprised by the amount of interest. People wanted to know more about the books. Quite a few bought some. They were excited and even wanted autographs. It was a good day. I was grateful for the opportunity.
Me (Mary C. Findley) with the display of our books.
It was the best women’s event I’ve ever been to. It was simple, not too structured, and very sweet fellowship. Below are a couple more pictures of activities — brunch, knitting, and decoupage. Good times!
Knitting lessons!
Decoupage — pretty!
Brunch time!
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CrossReads Weekly Devotional: Fear 3/23/2020

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by Ruth O’Neil

Fear. It seems to be the topic of so many discussions lately. Honestly, I’m kind of tired of it. You ever heard the phrase, “There’s nothing to fear but fear itself”? Yup. I think that’s where so many of us are. We can hardly leave our homes any more without being scared of something.  

We might get in an accident. 

Or worse yet, our kids might get in an accident when they drive away in the car alone for the first time. 

Someone might come into the store where we’re shopping and start shooting. 

You “can’t” use your key fob to lock your car doors because someone might be nearby stealing the “code” so they can rob you while you’re running your errand.  

We might bump into someone who’s sick and catch whatever they have, whether it be the flu or bed bugs.  

Doesn’t this seem a bit ridiculous? Do you ever stop to think who is behind all the fearmongering that is so prevalent in today’s society? Believe it or not, it isn’t the government or even the media. It’s Satan himself. Fear doesn’t come from God. 

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). 

“Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe” (Proverbs 29:25). 

I’m certainly not against being prepared. We have life insurance policies to make sure loved ones are taken care of when we do die. But we don’t live each day in anticipation of dying. Being prepared is different than panicking and being scared at what’s around every corner. That is not how God would have us live our lives. We can’t let fear overtake us.  

In these times of stress and panic, be the one who helps to calm others’ spirits. Be the voice of reason. Pray with someone if need be. Maybe it’s time they accepted Christ as their Savior so they can be assured of their final destination.  

There’s another phrase that’s popular today. “Keep calm and carry on.” Maybe that is the one we need to be taking to heart. Be calm. Don’t fear.  

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 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33). 

About the Author:

Ruth OneilRuth O’Neil has been writing for over 20 years. She has published hundreds of articles in numerous publications. She loves to touch the emotions when she writes. “If I can make one person laugh or cry, I’ll consider myself successful.” Her first novel “Come Eat at My Table” has just come out in ebook form and can be purchased on her website. She homeschools her three children (well, one now, as two have graduated). She and her husband have been married for 20-plus years. In her spare time she enjoys quilting, crafting, and reading. You can visit her on her blog at ruths-real-life (dot)blogspot.com or her website at ruthoneil (dot)weebly.com

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The Point is … What, Me Worry? 3/20/2020

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by James Collins

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Isaiah 41:10

The stock market is crashing, and the world is on the verge of a pandemic. People are refusing to leave their homes over fear of the coronavirus. The stores are out of hand sanitizer and toilet paper. If you turn on the news, an expert will tell you how this plague is spreading and will soon infect you. I received a letter this week from a woman who was genuinely concerned about the coronavirus. She asked me for some advice on what she should do in this time of worldwide panic. Since this virus has so many people worried, I decided to address it here. 

First, I personally am not at all concerned about the collapse of the stock market. I have been preparing for Wall Street to bottom out by having no money in the market. In fact, I have no money at all. My wife, Amanda, has all of it. I’m not sure what she does with it. But she doesn’t give any to me, and she doesn’t give to a stockbroker. So, I’m not worried about the exchange. 

Second, I refuse to lock myself away and not interact with people. I had a meeting with my church deacons on Tuesday. I shook hands with everyone. Since they are all men, you know they weren’t all washed hands. Besides, the odds are greater that I will catch a cold, the flu, scabies, or rabies from one of my deacons than the coronavirus.  

Third, I am not going to hoard supplies. Nobody has been able to make me understand how having ten cases of toilet paper is going to help your immunity to the coronavirus. I suppose that people are concerned about running out of toilet paper. Well, if that were to happen, I still have that box of Joel Osteen books that my sister-in-law gave me for Christmas I also saw that people are asking $75.00 per bottle for hand sanitizer on Amazon and eBay. I don’t know about you, but elephants will roost in trees before I pay that kind of money for hand sanitizer. I will just stick to soap and water.  

Fourth, I refuse to listen to the doom and gloom coming from the “experts. They are the same bunch that said that all the computers were going to blow up at Y2K. In 2004, they told us that SARS would destroy the world. In 2008, it was the bird flu. The swine flu was going to kill us all in 2010. Zika was the bad bug in 2016. I’m beginning to think the “experts” are only experts at getting things wrong.  

Now understand that it is not my intention to make fun of an epidemic. Thirty-one people have died in the United States from the coronavirus, and I am saddened for their families. But I am even more heartbroken over the 1.6 million lives that were lost to abortion last year. However, I don’t hear any outrage from any “expert” over the murder of 1.6 million babies. 

It seems to me that people’s reactions to the coronavirus are based totally in fear. Over and over in the Bible, God says, “Fear not.” Additionally, God also says hundreds of times, “…for I am with you.” 

The point is: As Christianswe fear not, for Jesus is with us. I don’t know about you, but I refuse to live in fear. Instead, I will live in happiness, security, and with a peace that passes all understanding. None of these are possible without the one thing that is the opposite of fear… FAITH.   

What about you? Are you facing each day with fear? If so, know that the Lord Jesus Christ is with you and He will strengthen you.  

Have faith instead of fear.

The Point Is...

James Collins

James Collins

James Collins is pastor, writer, and columnist. Find out more about his ministry at www.thepointis.net. 

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CrossReads Book Spotlight: Speaking to the Heart

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CrossReads Book Spotlight

CrossReads Book Spotlight

Speaking to the Heart

Moments with Jesus

by April S Yarber

Speaking to the Heart

THIS IS A DAILY DEVOTIONAL Where do we get food to nourish our souls? Gods living word, the Holy Bible is our

daily bread.

If we want to be spiritually healthy, we should read and soak up his words. ­ They are

His living words and also provide us protection. As we read and put on His whole armor

before heading out each day–we armor up, helping to keep us spiritually prepared for

whatever the day holds.

Has God ever put something on your heart, something that you know you should be

doing? For me, although I’m finished with this devotional, this is the beginning of my new

life’s journey of letting his words in verses and text from the bible pour into my spirit. ­There

is really something to the power found within his words. I have experienced a new peace in

my life, so thankful am I for this journey. Spending time with the Lord and reading through

verses and writing each day has made a difference in my life and I can say, I’m better for it.

I hope whoever you are, if this finds its way to you, it will help create in you a thirst for

our Father, our Savior, our Lord, Jesus Christ. And I pray whenever he speaks, whatever he

speaks to your heart that you would be able to hear his words with clarity and walk on his

paths of truth for your life. Every good and perfect gift comes from the Lord.

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CrossReads Short Takes: 31 Days of Healing: A Devotional & The Prairie Princess

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CrossReadsShortTakes

CrossReads Short Takes

31 Days of Healing: A Devotional

by T M Leszko

31 Days of Healing

The purpose of this book is to connect you to the God of healing and miracles. Through the testimonies of healing in the biblical accounts of Jesus and His disciples, you will read of the keys that unlocked the doors to the realm of the miraculous for those individuals in need. What happened to those men, women and children can be your reality, because Jesus is the same compassionate healer today, as He was when He walked this earth over two thousand years ago. The conduit to connect you to His power is unchanged, and is through faith in His name and in His promises. Heaven has backed the integrity of the name of Jesus with power for those that will believe and trust in Him.

These daily devotions will introduce you to this wonderful God and Savior and will reveal to you that His words are faithful and true to anyone who will humbly believe them and receive them into their lives. Whatever challenge you are facing, His words will instill the faith necessary to overcome any negative diagnosis or report. Let these testimonies lay a foundation of trust and assurance in you that will make God’s word the final authority and prognosis over your situation.

 

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The Prairie Princess

(The Belles of Wyoming Book 22)

by Lisa Prysock

The Prairie Princess

Joshua Stanton is a handsome Virginia widower with a tomboy daughter named Ambrosia. When he brings her to live in Belle, Wyoming and soon after inherits the family ranch, Silver Aspen, he also inherits the informal title his Pa used to hold, ‘The Cattle King.’ Now, he’s one of the largest Cattle Barons in the area. Running the ranch is a tremendous job for someone who has been a Virginia crop farmer studying philosophy, theology, and agriculture most of his life. To make matters worse, the weight of the world is on his shoulders when Ambrosia is expelled from school in the middle of her term.

Lady Mia has inherited her mother’s beautiful Italian looks and a courtesy title from her English father. She is escaping an arranged marriage to an Earl from Devonshire. Instead of marrying, she has convinced her father and friends in America to indulge her one passion. Now she’ll be free to explore the American western frontier and pioneer life as the new governess for Mr. Stanton’s daughter. However, avoiding her attraction to Joshua Stanton may prove to be more of a challenge than transforming his tomboy daughter.

Get your copy of this novella today and enjoy an inspirational, sweet, western historical romance with adventure and faith! Each of the novellas in this series may easily be read as a stand-alone.

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