What in the World Is Steampunk and Why Would a Christian Write About It?

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by Mary C. Findley

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I don’t know why it’s become popular to attach “punk” to music, fashion, and literary genre, but it is what it is. Steampunk can find expression in all these outlets, but many people say it originated in fashion or clothing. It’s a style that draws on the Victorian time period, including top hats, cravats, corsets, spats, veils and parasols, but adds a speculative alternative history based on the possibility that we might have gone with steam power instead of petroleum. It includes goggles for the amazing gadgets like airships and coal-powered vehicles, often made of bronze and running with clockwork mechanisms.

Alexander legacy 0

I haven’t gotten into the music aspects so I don’t know about those. But when it comes to the literary genre, I’m learning more all the time. I was immediately attracted to the Victorian setting, because I love books written in the time period. And many Steampunk books include famous literary characters like Sherlock Holmes. I really got bitten by the Steampunk bug when I saw the movie League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. I wanted to write about characters I loved and those early scientific rumblings.

But I didn’t like some aspects of Steampunk. It’s supposed to test the boundaries of Victorian morality, and I would rather uphold strong morality than see how far I can push it before it breaks. That’s already being done too much today. It also tends to focus on feminism, and I’ve never been a fan of that. Steampunk combines some of my favorite literary elements: historical, scifi, and fantasy.

dodge bench

So I wanted to make my own Steampunk series, with characters who stay true to the classic books I loved. I included characters from Louisa May Alcott, Robert Louis Stevenson, Charles Dickens, Rudyard Kipling, Jane Austen, and Edward S. O’Reilly. I also wanted to lift up married love, romance with restraint, true courage, camaraderie, and generosity. Be warned: There’s mild reference to smoking, dancing, and alcohol consumption. Evil men do evil things, but there’s not a lot of detail. The stories contain adventure, mystery, suspense, and a strong message of people who will dare anything and sacrifice anything to tap into the power of God to fight evil.

A Dodge, a Twist, and a Tobacconist is the first book in the series, and the ebook version is free. It also has a print and illustrated version. The Pinocchio Factor is the second book, and features a grown-up Oliver Twist as an eccentric inventor. The third book is The Most Dangerous Game, featuring Pecos Bill and hi wife, Sluefoot Sue (in case you ever wanted to know what her riding that giant catfish was all about).

catfish 1

myBook.to/Alexander_legacy_3_series

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Emotion, Decision, Courage, Go!

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by Precarious Yates

Our emotions are very powerful. God wants to meet us in all of our emotions. He gave us emotions and they are a gift from Him. He not only wants to bring healing to our emotions, He will give us emotions that bring healing to others!

Have you ever had someone sit with you when you were grieving and simply say, “I’m sorry, this is really awful.”

I have, and it transformed the situation completely! Even though it seems like such a simple task, sitting with someone in their grief and sorrow is very powerful.

Not only are our emotions very powerful, but so are our decisions. God wants us to make wise and loving decisions.

Have you ever made a bad decision that you regretted? I know I’ve made a gazillion. Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but not much of one!

Decision making is difficult, to say the least!

Have you ever made a decision you knew was right but everyone got upset at you anyway? I usually find I’m second guessing myself when this happens. It’s really hard to stick with a decision that people are upset about. But if our decision was rooted in love, we can trust God to help others understand.

When we make our decisions based on love and faithfulness, we become a safe place for others, even if people get upset with our decisions at first.

In addition to love and faithfulness, there is one more thing God wants us to have in our hearts: courage!

It takes courage to love. It takes courage to pray. It takes courage to be faithful. Sometimes our friends may stop being our friends without telling us why. Sometimes those who love us will hurt us. We need to love anyway, and to love like this takes courage. It takes courage because rejection is the scariest thing in the world, sometimes. It’s scarier than bears, lions, and scorpions. It’s scarier than leopards, cobra snakes, and even great white sharks. We can bury that fear, but it comes up over and over again. We can’t run away from it. We need to face this fear head on.

God wants us to face that fear with Him. Why?

Because He will never reject us. When we take even the first step of this journey with Him, the first thing He does is look at us and say, “Your heart is beautiful and perfect!” He will never reject us!

Also, He wants us to take this journey with Him because He knows what it’s like to be rejected. He was rejected by family (John 7:3-5), by friends (Mark 14:56), by His own people (John 1:11). Jesus knows the pain and sting of rejection more acutely than anyone. We’ll be exploring this further later on.

Have you ever been rejected by people you love? By someone to whom you had been a faithful friend? How much courage did it take to forgive and love people again?

About the Author:

Precarious YatesPrecarious Yates has lived in 8 different states of the Union and 3 different countries, but currently lives in Texas with her husband, her daughter and their big dogs. When she’s not writing, she enjoys music, teaching, playing on jungle gyms, praying and reading. She holds a Masters in the art of making tea and coffee and a PhD in Slinky® disentangling.

Links:

Facebook Amazon Author Page

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Gems From Pastor Jim

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by Jim Hughes

CrossProv. 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do.

How well are you guarding your heart? What are you doing to protect if? There are several things we all should be doing. We should first of all determine in our hearts that we are not going to let sin in. If the will is not there, nothing else we do is going to matter much. We must make a commitment to the Lord that we are going to strive to protect our hearts. We must watch what we feast on. What goes in through our eyes affects what our hearts are made of. We must be careful what we listen to. What we hear often lodges in our brains and filters down into our hearts. If we don’t make a covenant with the Lord regarding what we see and hear, our hearts will be poisoned with sin.

We guard our hearts by spending much needed time with the Lord in the Word, prayer, worship, and fellowship. We cannot rob ourselves of the time we need with the Lord and expect to have a heart that is right with Him. The more we are with the Lord, the more of Him we assimilate into our lives.

We guard our hearts by spending quality time with other believers. We learn from each other how to live in Christ in a world that hates Christ. We learn that there is joy and peace in Christ. We learn that it does matter to others how we live. We learn that there are others just like us who struggle with living by faith and are doing it. We learn that together we can accomplish great things for the Lord that we can’t do on our own.

Guarding our hearts is not easy and is never ending. We need to always be on the alert for danger. We must never compromise the integrity of our hearts. What is in our hearts affects everything we do and say. And, what we say and do is our witness in the world. In all you do, do it as unto the Lord and you will be blessed.

Before and After the Honeymoon

About the Author:

Jim HughesSpending his formative years in Ft. Wayne, IN, Jim followed the love of his life to southeast Iowa where they married and have spent the majority of their lives. Jim has pastored several churches throughout his life and has worked many years in local factories to help support his family. The father of two married adult children and one son still at home, Jim is a first-time author.

C Through Marriage came into being through many years of pastoral and life experiences. The book first took on a life of its own over 20 years ago when I sought to address the much publicized moral failures of prominent leaders in the church. In the chapter on Chasity, I include the guideliness that I developed then to protect one’s self from such failures.

I am a firm believer in order to make sense out of life you have to use much common sense. We need to get back to the basics of what has worked for many, many generations. If is isn’t broke, why try to fix it? I strive to return to the basics of what really works in all my writings.

This site contains Third Party Advertising, using online behavioral tracking technology. Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

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Song of Confidence

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by Charles Hadddon Spurgeon

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me. (Psalm 138:7)

Wretched walking in the midst of trouble. Nay, blessed walking, since there is a special promise for it. Give me a promise, and what is the trouble? What doth my Lord teach me here to say? Why this—”Thou wilt revive me.” I shall have more life, more energy, more faith. Is it not often so, that trouble revives us, like a breath of cold air when one is ready to faint?

How angry are my enemies and especially the archenemy! Shall I stretch forth my hand and fight my foes! No, my hand is better employed in doing service for my Lord. Besides, there is no need, for my God will use His far-reaching arm, and He will deal with them far better than I could if I were to try. “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” He will with His own right hand of power and wisdom save me, and what more can I desire?

Come, my heart, talk this promise over to thyself till thou canst use it as the song of thy confidence, the solace of thy holiness. Pray to be revived thyself and leave the rest with the Lord, who performeth all things for thee.

If you would like your own copy of Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening Devotionals by Charles Haddon Spurgeon click the image below.

Spurgeon's Morning and Evening Devotionals

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Traits of Rebekah- 2 Minute Devotional

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by Lisa Prysock

Genesis 24 

58 And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said, I will go. 59 And they sent away Rebekah their sister, and her nurse, and Abraham’s servant, and his men. 60 And they blessed Rebekah, and said unto her, Thou art our sister, be thou the mother of thousands of millions, and let thy seed possess the gate of those which hate them.

I love the story of Rebekah at the well!  The blessing above speaks volumes to my heart!  What a blessing to be given!  What’s more exciting is that we know from history that this blessing came to pass!  Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob became the patriarchs of an entire nation… and then some.

This motivates me to study Rebekah’s traits to see what God saw in her that He chose her to become the wife of the patriarch Isaac and a mother to the nation of Israel.  We too can stand on this promise and blessing to become Godly spiritual mothers to as many as God will allow us.  As a writer, I often pray this blessing over my books hoping and believing that it is entirely possible that the Lord may allow my books to touch many hearts and bring others healing, comfort, and joy.  Though my books may or may not reach thousands of millions, it is entirely possible that they could profoundly impact at least a few hearts.  It is entirely possible that they may impact many more… and each day I keep believing that, amazed at what God did with Rebekah!

Many of you know the story well.  To recap, Abraham’s servant is looking for someone in particular to marry his Master’s son; someone who will not just draw water at the well for him, but someone who will also offer to draw water for his camels after their long journey.  I find it interesting that the servant commanded the camels to kneel at the well during the time of day when he knew the damsels of the region would come out to draw water.  I can picture those thirsty camels kneeling down around the well waiting for water.  I imagine the trusted servant journeyed with quite a few camels…  We know from the other passages in Genesis 24 that Rebekah did indeed draw water for Abraham’s servant and also for the camels.  We know that she offered this of her own volition.

I believe Rebekah had the very traits that God had placed within her and allowed to develop in her which He desired to pass on through the future mother unto the nation of Israel.  She had kindness first and foremost.  She cared not only about the stranger within the city gates, but the animals with the stranger.  She possessed etiquette, hospitality, generosity, and excellent manners.  She was poised, strong, healthy, and had good balance, able to carry a pitcher.  She proved herself to be a dependable part of her household, showing up at the well when the other damsels from around the region also arrived.  This shows that she was not only sociable and friendly, but responsible and willing to do her part of the household chores.

I see humility in Rebekah.  She was unashamed to perform the menial task of drawing water.  Neither was she afraid to approach the stranger.  Someone like Rebekah would be excited about meeting people and unafraid of adventure or travel.  She wasn’t overly shy or overly cautious.  She was willing to take a risk that the stranger was not harmful.  Rebekah displayed that she had above average intuition, made intelligent deductions about the stranger, and possessed an inner positivity and healthy sense that all would be well if she spoke to the stranger.  This is the first instance in which I find that she was likely on the joyous side with a cheerful disposition, a pleasing and happy demeanor.  She was outgoing enough to strike up a conversation with a total stranger.

She was intentionally observant and looking for her opportunities.  She noticed that the servant of Abraham had a need she might be able to fill in drawing water for his camels.  She was not afraid to sign up for a new task or hard work.  Rebekah displayed that she was considerate, compassionate, caring, helpful, and willing to do the right thing.  She was willing to go the extra mile and self-motivated.  She could have easily drawn water for the stranger and hurried along on her way home instead of watering the camels.  Or, she might have ignored the stranger and his camels in order to return home faster to help prepare the supper meal or take on some other pressing matter of the household.  She might have preferred to have spent her time socializing with the other damsels, but she instead turned her attention to the stranger when the others with her did not.  Apparently, the other damsels ignored him and kept on going about their own duties.  We don’t know how long the servant had to wait for her to show up, but we know that she is the only one who offered help to both the servant and his camels.

The Word tells us that she agreed to go with the servant the very next day in order to marry another stranger she’d never met before.  She was unafraid to grasp opportunities that presented themselves and shrewdly detected that this situation was of God.  She had a bit of mystery, fashion, beauty sense, and respect as the Word tells us she covered her face with a veil when she was about to meet Isaac, her future husband.

This has become a rich tradition for brides around the world to this very day.  She was unafraid to embrace who God had made her to be and wisely enhanced her womanhood with a veil that conveyed respect, virtue, and even a bit of romantic mystery; even though the Bible tells us she was very fair to look upon.  Therefore, I believe she would have had no need to hide her beauty or cover her face except out of respect, tradition, and romance.  Remember that all through the ages women wore head coverings as a sign of respect and propriety.

There is more!  She also became a comfort to Isaac after his mother’s passing.  I believe that this passage speaks a testimony of Rebekah which was not only joyful, happy, and cheerful to be around, but that she was likely a good listener, a talented and virtuous homemaker, a wonderful companion, and a refreshing presence to Isaac… perhaps even playful.  I believe she brought her new husband no sorrow and made Isaac laugh, creating a pleasant and happy atmosphere in her home.

Finally, in addition to all of this, I see that Rebekah was adaptable, independent, and courageous enough to embrace her new adventure.  She did indeed make the most out of every opportunity, every chance encounter which God placed in her path.  Can you hear her twin sons filling their home, the meadows, and fields with laughter as they frolic and play together as young brothers?

Author Biography:

Lisa M. PrysockLisa M. Prysock lives in the countryside of beautiful, rolling Kentucky just outside of the greater Louisville area near horse farms and four board fences with her husband of 19 years.  She homeschools the two youngest of their five children (three grown).  She and her husband live in an average, two story, Colonial style home they are continually updating– with a funny looking Heinz 57 dog; an adorably dainty lady cat; two teenagers; a vegetable garden; numerous flower beds; and a tree house undergoing a remodel.  When not in teaching or writing mode, she is teaching herself to play the piano and violin.  In regards to that, she laughs:  “It’s a pretty painful process, but I’m truly enjoying it!”

Lisa loves all things old-fashioned and has adopted a slogan of “The Old-Fashioned Everything Girl.”  A few of her interests and passions include doll houses, long dresses and hats, gardening, reading the Classics, butterflies, swimming, walking, working out, cooking, sewing, crochet, cross stitching, arts and crafts, scrapbooking, decorating, and drawing.  Recently, her husband remodeled a room in their home with a picture window overlooking a valley which contains a creek and wooded area, transforming the space into a serene and sublime writing office/sewing room.  “It’s a great source of peace and inspiration for me… and pure joy not to be writing from the busy kitchen amidst the household chaos on a laptop.  Growing teenagers eating every five minutes makes for a constant stream of happenings!”

Lisa is an Amazon bestselling author of To Find a Duchess, an Inspirational Regency Romance; a Victorian Christian Romance Series which includes Hannah’s Garden:  a Turn of the Century Love Story and Abigail’s Melody; and ‘The Lydia Collection,’ which includes The Redemption of Lady Georgiana (a Ruth love story of modern day Regency proportions), Protecting Miss Jenna (an Antebellum Era Christian Romance Adventure), and Persecution & Providence (a ‘Jane Austen-ish’ mail order bride story from the Pioneer Era).  She is also the author of a devotional/Bible Study, Arise Princess WarriorShe recently released The Shoemaker, an Old-Fashioned Christmas Regency Romance.  Lisa writes clean and wholesome literature that shares her faith in Jesus Christ.  She is a member of ACFW and Louisville Christian Writers.  You can find out more about Lisa at:   www.LisaPrysock.com

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Trust Jesus or Not?

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by Rebekah Beene

We traveled to Little rock yesterday evening. It was not my plan to have a wild ride via ambulance. Nor to be spending the night in a hospital. But here we are. We have two choices – trust Jesus or not.

Oh beloved things may not be going the way you want. You may have prayed fervently for a different situation. The Lord wants you to know this day that you have nothing to worry about. He will always be with you, he will always be in you and He Will always be for you. Even if your prayers seem to fall on deaf ears The word says says God’s ears are always open and attentive. Even though I feel like things are going bad you can rest assured that Jesus goes before you and lights the way through the present circumstances. The resident Power of Holy Spirit within you gives you peace as well as stamina and certainty. It does not matter about feelings God’s Word is true. You can trust that the Lord is working everything out for your good and his glory. You’re not a victim of your circumstances you are a Victor in spite of them. Keep praying keep spending time with Jesus and keep your eye on the prize.

God loves you and He’s for you. He is your redeemer, savior and friend. Give Him full rights to your heart and live Him without reservation. Your destiny counts on your ability to trust Him and know He hears and He responds. Rejoice as you live in the light of Jesus’s life in you.
Psalm 112:7 They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the LORD to care for them. 

Psalm 28:7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him. 

Hebrews 10:35 So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! 

2 Corinthians 5:7 for we walk by faith, not by sight 

About the Author:

Rebekah Beene

In a Christian Women’s meeting in 1983, Rebekah was given a prophetic message that she would write books. Several years ago she began writing stories about special holiday memories and travels, sharing God’s love and care through each story. God has gifted Rebekah with the ability to look at the natural and see the supernatural. Both Rebekah and her husband Danny have a heart to share the Gospel and the riches of life in Christ to everyone they meet. They have served in the local church and in ministry to motorcyclists. Danny is an ordained minister and they both have been Bible study teachers for many years. Rebekah also speaks at women’s retreats and conferences. Her tag line says it all “God loves you and He’s for you”.

My website is http://rebekahbeene.wordpress.com

My first book in print is Oh Beloved! Live in the Light of His Word.
Link to buying the book via paypal is on the website.
As well a link to purchasing the ebook on Amazon is there too.
I’m also on twitter @rebekahbeene, tumblr http://rebekah-beene.tumblr.com/
and of course facebook as Rebekah Beene (Warren) I included my maiden name for old friends.
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Gems From Pastor Jim

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by Jim Hughes

CrossProv. 4:14-17 Do not do as the wicked do or follow the path of evildoers. Avoid their haunts. Turn away and go somewhere else, for evil people cannot sleep until they have done their evil deed for the day. They cannot rest unless they have caused someone to stumble. They eat wickedness and drink violence!

We have a tendency to put people on a pedestal. We idolize people we don’t even know. We pay no attention to how they live if they are talented and we enjoy their talents. We pay to buy their products and feed on what they offer more than we care to admit. Discernment in the public arena is not one of our strong suits.

Many of the people who are popular and have a measure of fame are unrepentant sinners. Some flaunt their sinful lifestyles with seemingly no shame or remorse. Some blatantly advocate a belief in false gods or untruth. We sometimes follow and support the lives of those who are wicked and going to hell.

Scripture clearly reminds us that we must be more discerning as to whom we let into our minds and influence our hearts. We must be sensitive to the affect others have on us. If we are not being built up in our faith by others, they are tearing us down. Be careful who you let influence you. Your relationship with God is at stake.

Instead of idolizing the wicked, we should be praying for them. They need the Lord just like we do. Unless they repent, they will go to hell. Shouldn’t we care enough for their souls to ask the Lord to convict them of sin? We don’t know what is going on inside of them. What we see may just be a cover-up for the turmoil in their souls. Someone’s salvation may just be a prayer away. Jesus said to look out on the harvest field and pray that the Lord will send laborers into it. Ask the Lord to lay some soul upon your heart to pray for. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous person avails much.

Before and After the Honeymoon

About the Author:

Jim HughesSpending his formative years in Ft. Wayne, IN, Jim followed the love of his life to southeast Iowa where they married and have spent the majority of their lives. Jim has pastored several churches throughout his life and has worked many years in local factories to help support his family. The father of two married adult children and one son still at home, Jim is a first-time author.

C Through Marriage came into being through many years of pastoral and life experiences. The book first took on a life of its own over 20 years ago when I sought to address the much publicized moral failures of prominent leaders in the church. In the chapter on Chasity, I include the guideliness that I developed then to protect one’s self from such failures.

I am a firm believer in order to make sense out of life you have to use much common sense. We need to get back to the basics of what has worked for many, many generations. If is isn’t broke, why try to fix it? I strive to return to the basics of what really works in all my writings.

This site contains Third Party Advertising, using online behavioral tracking technology. Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

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Time to Say Goodbye Excerpt

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by Parker J. Cole

Time to Say Goodbye

Though tears blurred Gargi’s sight, they could not mask the massive form as it stood outside the curtains. Hastily she swiped at her eyes. “What did you just say?” she repeated.

The man, hidden somewhat behind the drapes pushed them aside and stepped inside the secluded space. The area seemed to shrink in response to his tall, wide girth.

“I said I hope he rots.” The unmistakable note of pure, unadulterated sincerity scratched her already frayed nerve endings.

Maybe in other circumstances, at some other time and place, Gargi would have been alarmed by the idea of some strange man staring and peeking at their misery. Yet the last few hours had taken its toll on her. Dev’s condition threatened his survival. If he lived—

If he lived…

The idea, the thought of ‘if’ wrenched a sob from her.

Dear Jesus, please let my brother live. Don’t take him from me.

“Get out of here!” she screeched. “I don’t know who you are and frankly I don’t care. Just go.”

The man took another step toward her. She felt the intrusion of her personal space like a palpable insertion. He topped Dev by several inches. Broad shoulders, wide chest, and long arms with meaty hands. His hazel brown eyes contrasted with the red gold of his hair. A well-groomed beard and mustache framed the lower half of his jawline.

“I’m going to go.” The man’s voice had a gruff drawl to it. “You don’t have to know my name but I will tell you someone else’s name. Alma Bertha Reckley. She may not mean a thing to you and that piece of trash lying there but she means the world to me.”

He stabbed a long, thick finger at Dev’s prone figure. “That worthless scum stole my mama’s life savings. So, I’ll say it again. I hope he rots.”

Fire burned her skin like lava flow. A fine trembling wracked her limbs. This man, whoever he was, had no idea what he was talking about.

“My brother,” she gritted out, “did not steal anything from anyone. He was set up. There were four others involved in this scheme and they implicated him.”

“Baloney,” the man scoffed, his thin, narrow brows arching over his intent hazel brown eyes. “If he were set up, then where are these so-called conspirators? Nowhere to be found.”

Gargi stalked over to the man, barely conscious of her actions. All she knew was that she wanted to shut him up.

“Perhaps you don’t understand English well. My brother is innocent. He gave everything of himself to others. Orphanages, charities, churches, the list goes on.” Her arms flung wildly into the air. “How can a person that be the type to rob anyone?”

The man snorted. “People who don’t work for their money tend to part with it faster than those who do. Else, why spend a million dollars on a sports car?”

A haze of red blurred her vision. She snarled like a wild animal. “Get out! You have no right to be here.”

The man’s eyebrow lifted again in an arrogant way that infuriated her. Could he see the steam coming out of her ears? Why wasn’t he running away from the violent urges she fought to contain?

“I think I have every right. I want to see him either rot or do the time the good people of the U. S. of A. justice system ordered him to do.”

Every muscle in her face tightened until she thought she’d turn to stone. “Get out of here now before I call security.”

He shrugged. “Go right ahead.”

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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Freedom and Bondage

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by Sherry Chamblee

The peace of bygone years, when uncovered, shows us that in reality those years were full of corruption. It was peaceful only because evil deeds were being kept out of the limelight. Then when someone comes in and disrupts that peace while rooting out the corruption, we complain about the lack of peace. Even though we hadn’t been experience the true peace of Godly living.

Fake news points us in one direction, telling us to be upset over this issue or another, while the whole time, something bigger is happening – if only we’d look in the opposite direction.

What we, as finite humans, see as freedom is very often truly bondage. And what we perceive to be bondage, is in reality very often freedom.

Sin enslaves us, traps us in consequences we cannot predict, and holds us for a length of time we cannot alter. Yet the world decries freedom from sin as being a form of slavery – Christians even act like it’s slavery ourselves – bemoaning the list of do’s and don’t’s that we think adds up to the Christian life.

We enslave ourselves to our schedule, figuring that’s just having good character. We tie ourselves to our obligations, as if meeting them all means we’ve met all of God’s expectations. We hold ourselves to a standard that we create, so that we can please God, when He hasn’t asked us to hold to any standard besides the one He has set for us in His Word.

Philippians 1:20 - According to my earnest expectation and [my] hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but [that] with all boldness, as always, [so] now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether [it be] by life, or by death.

So I’ve been working lately at just getting rid of all those peripheral distractions, the trappings that we decorate our Christian lives with in the hopes that we’ll wind up looking good. I can’t say that I’ve been successful yet, just that this is a goal in my life.

Christ being magnified doesn’t mean blindly obeying a set of rules, or adhering strictly to a schedule or a timeline. Christ being magnified means a relationship with Him. He’s the One who gets the pre-eminence in the relationship – which does mean what He says is my command. But it’s not a blind, blank following. It’s a willful decision to turn His direction, to walk with Him.

Once I do that, I’ll tell people about Christ boldly. I’ll walk how He wants me to walk. I’ll rely on Him to glorify Himself through me. And there won’t be anything fake about it.

About the Author:

Sherry Chamblee

Sherry grew up in various cities around northern and central California. This gave her all sorts of stories that sat and festered in her brain, waiting to be let loose. She eventually went to college in Wisconsin, where she met her equally frenetic husband, Rich. They have six (yes, count them) children, two dogs and a cat, and currently reside in a madhouse in the southern California area. As a family, they enjoy being active in their local church. Sherry spends her time writing when not caring for Granny, the kids, the dogs, the cat and any number of strays in the neighborhood.

Sherry Chamblee can be found at http://www.sherrychamblee.weebly.com Or check out her books at http://www.amazon.com/Sherry-Chamblee/e/B00BA06RJ2/

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A Review Revisited

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by Paula Rose

This review appeared on Books-N-Reviews on Publishers Marketplace by Paula Rose http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/members/booksnreviews/

Publisher: Harvest House Publishers | Published: March 1, 2015 | Format: eBook (226 pages), Paperback (224 pages), and Hardcover (351 pages) | ASIN: B00TG0KA3M, 9780736961677, and 9781410474650 | Series: Sisters of Mercy Flats | Origin: NetGalley

My Heart Stood Still

Cover: Courtesy of Harvest House Publishers

Thoughts:

In My Heart Stood Still, by Lori Copeland, history comes alive by mixing with old-fashioned lawlessness, recklessness, deception, and secret alliances!

Anne-Marie McDougal is a female Robin Hood, taking what isn’t hers for the orphanage mission where she was raised. Without the funds these McDougal siblings provide, the good sisters wouldn’t survive. Now, Ann-Marie is just rescued from a jail wagon by a “savage” whom she doesn’t know and must sleep outside in the snow with nothing to call her own. Nevertheless, she is safe, for now.

However, her rescuer needs a bath, doesn’t understand a word she is saying and doesn’t need to huddle together for warmth. On top of wondering if she’ll make it through this night alive, Ann-Marie worries about her two siblings, Abigal and Amelia, as each had been rescued by someone different. Are they safe? Will she see them again?

***This opinion is my own.*** 

Preview:

Lori Copeland’s My Heart Stood Still takes us back the old west during the civil war.

Once Ann-Marie McDougal arrives in a civilized town with no money for a train ticket, no food, and no way to afford a hotel to wait the days before a train could even arrive, the person who saved her abandons her. She stalks into the mercantile to find him.

It’s here she discovers her evasive rescuer, Creed Walker, is no savage. In fact, he pays for a weapon with gold, speaks perfect English, and is well educated. Thus, he understood every word she’d said but ignored her.

Once they are both sitting in jail, the drama only increases until another man arrives. Soon, three strangers are in a mess together.

Creed Walker has chosen sides in this war but left his Indian ways long ago. Now, he has a job to do to bring about the end of the war with his side on top. However, Creed has been sidetracked in his duties to retrieve the gold by his rescuing a nun from a jail wagon, and he’s learning fast that this woman isn’t whom she pretends. However, he can’t afford further delays. Creed must get to Quincy and the gold.

Although he does his darnedest to ignore her, this woman is persistent to a fault, and they both wind up behind bars awaiting the hanging. Until John Quincy Adams—no, he’s not that famous gentleman—comes up with his own plan.

Moreover, this plan has its consequences, but with just one shot, everything goes awry.

About the Author:

Paula RoseAuthor Paula Rose brings an “average” family into extraordinary situations, brushes with life-size strokes of reality, adding just a touch of humor, and coats with suspense inside Christian fiction. Paula’s research gives readers a panoramic view from law enforcement and lends to character authenticity. She enjoys writing in the romantic suspense, suspense, and mystery genres, but when she’s not writing, Paula Rose is reading or playing amateur photographer. Member of ACFW. 2015 Genesis Contest judge. NetGalley member. 2014 Grace Awards judge.

Website: http://paularosebooks.com/ Blog: http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/members/booksnreviews/

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