Gems From Pastor Jim

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by Jim Hughes

CrossProv. 11:3 Good people are guided by their honesty, treacherous people are destroyed by their dishonesty.

You have heard it said many times, “Honesty is a good policy.” Everything that we do depends on honesty. Without honesty, there is no trust. And if there is no trust, there is no peace amongst men. We depend on honesty to make accurate decisions. We cringe when we discover someone has not been honest with us. It causes us to develop bad feelings towards them and often leads to bad consequences.

We all know that dishonest people are everywhere. We have to really be on our guard and unfortunately be suspicious of people we don’t know. We live in a world where people are willing to do or say anything for personal gain. We find it to be true in the world and sadly in the church as well.

Honesty comes from a heart of integrity. Honest people know right from wrong and choose to do what is right, regardless of personal gain or not. Being honest often involves personal sacrifices. It often tests the genuiness of one’s character. We are confronted daily with opportunities to be dishonest in our dealings with one another. It is one of the reasons why it is good for the soul to often examine it to see if it is right with God.

Satan is a master at tempting us to compromise our integrity for the sake of our convenience. He relentlessly tries to get us to be less than honest in our dealings or conversations with others. He is good at causing us to lie to ourselves about our relationship with God. He wants us to buy into the lie that we don’t have to be as careful about our soul’s character as God says we should be.

Dishonesty leads the soul away from God and results in very treacherous consequences. In order to be and do good in the sight of God, we must constantly and diligently stand guard over our souls. We must stay deeply connected with the Lord and be in His Word constantly so that we will be able to be honest with ourselves about ourselves and our dealings with others. It may not be convenient or pleasant to be a person of integrity who is honest in all things, but the rewards are eternal. It is far better to be honest and please God than it is to be dishonest and please others or one’s self.

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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Writing Dialogue From Different Perspectives

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by Suzanne D. Williams

I gave this example the other day of how several of my friends would approach the same sentence within a story.

Me:  The horse is blue.

Friend #1:  Horses can’t be blue.

Friend #2:  I’d say turquoise.

Friend #3:  You mentioned the horse’s color back in chapter 2.

Each of us has our own perspective during a situation. Where Friend #1 is logical, Friend #2 accepts the unreality of a blue horse and expands on it. Friend #3 (which is my editor and a good reason why I pay her) has compiled all the facts and given the answer I probably most needed. But here’s the thing. None of them were wrong. They simply have different views of the same thing.

Applying this to dialogue, your characters shouldn’t all talk alike, especially if you’re dealing with genders (male and female) or ethnic backgrounds (black, Irish, Asian) or anything job related (computer tech, auto mechanic, Victorian lady). As a personal example, I cannot write Amish stories (I’ve tried). I don’t sound Amish. I can’t write surf stories either. I’m not up on the lingo. But give me country folk like I grew up with, and I’m your gal.

In this same vein, a man shouldn’t sound like a woman. I saw an example of this just the other day by an author I do not personally know. In this case, the male main character was being romantic with his wife or girlfriend. I kept thinking, “A man would never say all that.” Men are much more simple minded (not necessarily a bad thing). Thinking of the men in my life (husband, brother, father, uncle) and how they’d respond to the sentence about the horse, most of them would either divert the subject or reply with, “I’m going out to <insert task>,” and leave me sitting there.

There must always be an element of reality when a character speaks. Men sound like men. Older women sound like their generation. Someone from California doesn’t sound like she grew up in Georgia.

If you make the character from another country, you’d better be up on the language differences between that country and the setting of your story. Again, as an example, I read a book by a British author set in California. It was a good story. Problem was, she used British terms for things such as parking lots and schools, and that was in all of her reviews.

First, she could have solved this with a knowledgeable editor. Second, she should have thought of it herself. Just as soon as you think you can fudge the truth in a book, someone with more knowledge will correct you. I know, more than once, I’ve used Southern terms that people didn’t understand.

Applying this specifically to dialogue, though your experiences will always reflect in your writing style, not every female main character should sound specifically like you or, between your different books, like all the other characters you’ve created. A friend of mine had an air-headed character that she could not quite grasp hold of how she’d act or talk because she, herself, was far more logical. But though it was difficult for her, she was aware of it, and that made the difference.

Many times, I’ve erased 90% of a man’s conversation because it was too long or reworded segments when a woman talked because it didn’t fit with the character’s personality. Both must be a serious consideration, and if you’re struggling with this, then have a friend read it. I had a man read my first romance novel to make sure the guys sounded like guys.

Also, avoid stereotypes if you can. Not every man from Texas refers to a woman as “darlin’” and not every surfer from Hawaii says, “brah”. A sprinkling of colloquialisms is cute. But overdo it and your readers will go the other way.

Dialogue is incredibly personal. The mood, the style of talk, and the amount of content are all determined by what you wish to convey. Uncertainty, fear, a teenage crush, so many factors change what would be said. Weigh everything, be sure to have someone you trust edit it, and do your own research – listen to how people around you talk. That is often the best way to avoid common dialogue pitfalls.

Free Book Every Month

www.feelgoodromance.com

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 http://www.feelgoodromance.com or link with her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/suzannedwilliamsauthor or on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SDWAuthor.

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The Queen of Tuesday Night Wants You!

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by Parker J. Cole

I showcase Christian authors worldwide. It’s my dream to showcase authors from every continent in the world. My pastor says constantly, “People Everywhere Need Jesus.” The truth of those words rings like bells especially in the world we live in today. 

Perhaps you’re not equipped to be a missionary or a pastor. Maybe you don’t have the courage to stand in front of ungodly organizations and try effect change in their agendas. The thought of standing in front of a lot of people makes your legs shake and get weak. 

Yet, there’s one thing you can do – share your story. Your fiction, your devotions, your prayers, your memoirs. That’s what God has given you – the gift to write!  

I want to be able to help you share your message.  

Interested? Just simply email me at writestuffradio at gmail dot com.  And we’ll take it from there. There’s no cost involved. We can do the show pre-recorded or live. And you won’t be alone because I’ll be there with you. 

Still don’t know? Check out all the others authors who’ve been my show by clicking here: 

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/pjcmedia

Together, let’s get your book out there.

Write Stuff Radio

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Pronoun, Smashwords, and Draft 2 Digital — The”Other” ebook sales sites

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where to sell your ebooks

Many authors have uploaded their ebooks onto Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing site to reach readers. Amazon is a great place, and some authors even choose to be exclusive there, in the Kindle Unlimited program, through KDP Select. However, if you choose to distribute your books widely, here are three options for getting them into many sales avenues at once. Each one has a slightly different distribution range, and the requirements and procedures vary somewhat too, so here we go.

Pronoun is the site I most recently began to work with. It is one of few (or maybe no others do yet) that distributes to Amazon. It also gets you into Apple iBooks, B&N, Kobo, and Google Play, as well as library distributors Overdrive and Bibliotheca. It does not allow you to use their distribution for sites your books already appears on (unlike Smashwords and D2D) so I am just using it for Google Play, Overdrive, and Bibliotheca. The last two are means of getting your books into libraries, so that is a good thing. I was a little conflicted about Google Play, since I have heard Google doesn’t always respect author copyrights, but since I just began putting our books there in June and already have three sales, I am hoping it is worth the risk.

Here is the link to the Pronoun site https://books.pronoun.com. Take a look at the author agreement, which seems very simple and straightforward. If you allow Pronoun to post your titles that are already for sale on Amazon, it will send you rankings and other information that you may find useful. It will email you when you get sales or let you know about any distribution problems you may encounter. When you are choosing the categories and keywords it makes suggestions and gives rankings for past use in searches, so you know better, perhaps, if you have chosen good ones.

An image inside a file can’t be over a certain total pixel count, so don’t put your full size cover into the file, and you must have a TOC in the front, linked or not, and a working ebook NCX (the digital table of contents that automatically displays in an ebook reader), even if your chapters aren’t named, and even if it’s a short story. Yes, if you have just Chapter One, Chapter Two, etc., you still have to list them in the front. I make my own epubs to upload, and if you do that, be sure the title in that metadata file matches your book title.

It is my understanding that they take less revenue than some other sites. They take you through everything step by step and the process is pretty easy. If you are just starting to publish this may be a good site, since it does get you on Amazon along with other well-known retailers, and potentially into libraries.

Draft 2 Digital is a very easy site to upload to, and distributes to

  • iBooks
  • Barnes & Noble
  • Kobo (including Kobo Plus)
  • Inktera (formally Page Foundry)
  • Scribd
  • 24Symbols
  • Tolino
  • Playster

There is no style guide or special requirements. You can just upload a Word document and they say it will become a beautifully formatted ebook. I have not done it this way, but may authors are happy with their results and love how easy it is. You can also get a book formatted for print in PDF format from this site. Here is the link to the site: https://www.draft2digital.com. It does not matter if you already have your books on sites they distribute to. They don’t demand exclusivity.

Smashwords is a more difficult site to upload books to. You can give them Word docs but they have strict requirements for formatting and if you don’t follow them the book will be rejected. Many authors have given up trying to submit to them. I persevered and got our books on there. They do have file size limits — 10 megs for a Word doc and 20 for an epub. Here is a post I wrote simplifying formatting requirements for your book.

https://elkjerkyforthesoul.wordpress.com/2014/05/10/smashwords-formatting-its-not-no-sweat-but-its-also-can-do/

It’s a little harder to pin down where your books are actually distributed by Smashwords, since they list sites they don’t yet distribute to, even on the author dashboard for tracking sales. Some I am fairly sure about are Baker & Taylor’s Blio.com, Library Direct, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Scribd, Kobo, /Inkterra, and txtr. Tracking your sales is much more difficult, also.

Both D2D and Smashwords recently changed their policies so they now pay each month instead of quarterly, no matter the balance owed. Pronoun also pays through Paypal. That goes into the Paypal account you set up with them.

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Gems From Pastor Jim

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by Jim Hughes

CrossProv. 10:25 Disaster strikes like a cyclone, whirling the wicked away, but the godly have a lasting foundation.

The wicked have no sure footing in life. They do not have the resources within them to cope with life’s disasters in a positive way. They tend to react and get bent out of shape instead of dealing with things confidently. They are easily thrown for a loop and their lives become unraveled.

Things are different for the godly. Disasters do come and turn the lives of the godly upside down, but they are not thrown for a loop. They understand that they have an Anchor that will hold them steady and strong during the midst of their storm. They know that they are not alone. They stand firm on the foundation of God’s Word and character. They understand that no matter how bad things are, they will survive and be the better person for it.

The godly face life’s disasters with grateful hearts. They are able to see the bigger picture and understand that the Lord is with them and will not let them down. They understand that momentary hardships are nothing compared to their salvation. They know that it is far better to have the Lord than the ease and comforts of life. They understand that the Lord never promised that it would be heaven on earth for them.

The foundation of the godly is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. He has overcome the world and all those who live in Him are also overcomers. The godly have a sure hope. They know that even if their disaster costs them their lives, heaven awaits them. The godly have no fear of what is to come. With eyes fixed on Jesus, they keep pressing on, not buckling underneath the circumstances of life. They know that whatever life throws at them, it will be worth it all when they see Jesus.

Is Jesus the anchor of your soul today?

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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In Times of Uncertainty We Have His Promises: Two Minute Devotional

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by Lisa Prysock

Almost everywhere we look during these times are troubling circumstances.  During these uncertain times, there is only one place we can look upon which we can rely:  the Word, to Jesus, to the King of all Kings.  He is the only one upon whom we can place our trust in this hour! There are promises in the Word upon which we can place our faith, our hope, and our dreams.

Why the Word?  John 1:1-4 tells us:  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  2 The same was in the beginning with God.  3 All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made.  4 In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. Verse 6-11 tell us about John the Baptist, who was a witness of the light, and that the light was in the world though his own did not receive it. Here he is speaking of Israel.  

Verse 12-14 of John 1 goes on to say:   But as many as received him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name. 13 Which were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.  14 And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

1 Peter 1:25 But the Word of the Lord endureth forever.  And this is the Word by which the gospel is preached to you.  Isaiah 40:8 The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God stands forever.

Because of these verses, we know that when everything else is unsure in our world, we can look to our Lord and His Word.  On this we can stand firm because He is an anchor to our souls.

Some of my favorite promises are these:

Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.  Acts 16:31

For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.  Isaiah 44:3

And if you spend yourselves on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.  Isaiah 58:10

Blessed is he who has regard for the weak; the Lord delivers him in times of trouble.  The Lord will protect him and preserve his life; and will bless him in the land and not surrender him to the desire of his foes.  Psalm 41:1,2

Then Jesus declared, I am the bread of life.  He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.  John 6:35

Everything is possible for him who believes.  Mark 9:23

I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life.  John 6:47

Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.  Psalm 37:4

Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.  Matthew 6:33

The Lord God is a sun and a shield:  the Lord will give grace and glory:  no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.  Psalm 84:11

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.  Jeremiah 29:11

Have a blessed day as you stand on these promises and invite the Lord into all of your circumstances!  He is faithful and as we stand in faith, He releases victory in every situation!

About the Author:

Lisa 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 youngest of their five children (four 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 Warrior and recently released The Shoemakeran Old-Fashioned Regency Christmas 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

Links: 

https://www.facebook.com/LisaMPrysock

https://twitter.com/LPrysock

www.LisaPrysock.com

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00J6MBC64

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Shine as Many Stars

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by Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever”   (Daniel 12:3).

Here is something to wake me up. This is worth living for. To be wise is a noble thing in itself: in this place it refers to a divine wisdom which only the LORD Himself can bestow. Oh, to know myself, my God, my Savior! May I be so divinely taught that l may carry into practice heavenly truth and live in the light of it! Is my life a wise one? Am I seeking that which I ought to seek? Am I living as I shall wish I had lived when I come to die? Only such wisdom can secure for me eternal brightness as of yonder sunlit skies.

To be a winner of souls is a glorious attainment. I had need to be wise if I am to turn even one to righteousness; much more if I am to turn many, Oh, for the knowledge of God, of men, of the Word, and of Christ, which will enable me to convert my fellowmen and to convert large numbers of them! I would give myself to this, and never rest till I accomplish it. This will be better than winning stars at court. This will make me a star, a shining star, a star shining forever and ever; yea, more, it will make roe shine as many stars. My soul, arouse thyself. LORD, quicken me!

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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Wisdom

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by Ruth O’Neil

Years ago I prayed for wisdom about a certain situation. Now, pray for wisdom doesn’t have quite the same results as those who prefer faith or patience (which we should all do time to time), but it definitely opened my eyes to see surprising things. Praying for wisdom has become almost a constant prayer as I have raised my children and have made daily decisions. If you make praying for wisdom a habit God will answer in ways you never expected.

One week, probably a year ago or more, the same book was mentioned (raved about) to me three times in one week. I figured this was a good book to add to my TBR pile. Finally I was able to pick up and read, or at least start reading. With every page I turned in question popped into my head.

“Will this book get any better?”

“Who thought this was a good book?”

“Who told this author he/she could write?”

Then there was the last question that popped into my head, “Wait, is that what the Bible really says?”

That was when I began to do a little research. I looked up the reviews on Amazon, and there were a lot of them. There were plenty of four and five star reviews, but I skipped over them and went right to the one star reviews. It was then I received confirmation of my thoughts while reading. I wasn’t alone in my beliefs. Some nice people had even taken the time to look up Scripture passages against what the author said.

Then, God gave me peace. I had my convictions and I stood by them.

You may have had similar circumstances. Sometimes standing on your convictions can put you in a very small minority; but we have to have faith that God has spoken to our hearts. Sometimes people get so caught up in the feel-good aspects of life that they don’t look any deeper or seek out God’s wisdom. They take everything in place value and don’t ever realize repercussions could be damaging.

In our writing, we often need to make choices. Should we include that graphic scene or leave it out? Do we use “realistic” language, or do we come up with another way to get our point across? Don’t worry, as a Christian writer, if you ask God what you should do, He will answer. But we must also remember that we all have different convictions.

Make it a point to day to ask for wisdom in everything you do. Even the smallest of choices can have the biggest consequences.

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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Gems From Pastor Jim

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by Jim Hughes

CrossProv. 10:21 Doing wrong is fun for a fool, while wise conduct is a pleasure to the wise.

Have you ever watched a fool having fun? They are everywhere. Take a few minutes and just watch with a critical eye those who are playing in sin. We know that those who live in sin are heading straight to hell. Do the things the fool does make much sense to do, knowing where it is getting them? How long does their sin give them the pleasure they are seeking? Is the fool ever satisfied with the momentary thrill they may get? Does sin ever make a person a better person? Who can ever say that sin has been good for their life, that it has given them a worthwhile purpose for living? Has doing wrong ever been worth dying for?

Everybody wants to have fun in life. It is our nature to do things that bring us a sense of pleasure. We feed on making our lives more enjoyable. We create many different ways to enjoy ourselves. There is nothing wrong with having fun in and of itself. It is good for the soul to break away from the normal routines of life once in a while and do something that brings us pleasure. But when fun leads us away from the Lord whom we profess to love, is it really fun after all? When we are plagued with guilt and shame is that really good for us? When we participate in things that honor Satan rather than God, is that what we should be doing? Do we really think that God is pleased with us when we seek fun by doing those things which are wrong, those things which allow sin to enter into our hearts and minds?

On the other hand, when we seek pleasure by doing things that do not harm our souls with sin, it is good. There are many wonderful and creative ways to have fun without entering into the sin world. God has provided a wonderful world for us to enjoy and explore. There are many opportunities for fellowship with other believers that do not involve sin. There are many different ways we can build up our souls and have fun doing it. We can simply get away for a while alone with God in His creation and rest our souls in Him. We don’t have to indulge in sin in order to thrill our souls. When we delight ourselves in the Lord and the things that satisfy the soul, it is not here today and gone tomorrow.

Don’t be foolish. Do not seek pleasure in the things that destroy. Do not let sin take root in you. Do not glorify sin in your heart. Wise are those who seek pleasure in the things that God approves of.

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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A Choice of a Lifetime

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by BJ Robinson

Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? James 2:5

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6:14

It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. Mark 10:25

Born in New Orleans, I have always devoured books about the South. As an avid reader and lover as well as writer of such novels, I hope you will enjoy my bayou books titled Cypress Hideaway Bayou Series. There will be three novels in the series, and this is the first one.

Years ago, I visited Cutoff and loved it. Recently my husband and I vacationed in Grand Isle and drove through Golden Meadows and Cutoff. From the salty air, marshes, shrimp boats, crabs, seagulls, and sand to the purple and orange hues of the setting sun, I deeply love the area and love to visit. As a teen, I once read a book from the library I have not been able to find again. I can’t remember the name of it, but it was about a young girl who spent a summer in Grand Isle and had a friend she thought was real. Later, she discovers the little girl she played with on the beach had died years before. I think it was in a hurricane. Sure wish I could find that novel again. I loved it. One of my favorite things is riding down the bayou roads and being able to gaze at the water lapping and the shrimp boats. It’s like going down the river in a car. I love it and just enjoy riding down bayou roads gazing at the scenery.

Ever since I read that novel as a teen, I always wanted to visit Grand Isle, and I finally got to as an adult. My husband and I have often vacationed and fished there. I’ve read so many wonderful authors work just to read about the area, and I decided to write my own series about the place I love so much. I hope you will enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing the novels. The main character, Jo, has a choice of a lifetime to make, one that will impact her life and her future children’s. Will she make the right choice?

Cypress Hideaway is the first novel in the series and my current work-in-progress. A choice of a lifetime is the theme. Below is a short blurb about the first book in the three-book series:

Cypress Hidaway

Airboat swamp tour guide Josette (Jo) Breaux’s only problem is choosing between Victor Blanchard or Bernard Bergeron, two of the small bayou town’s most-sought-after men competing for her hand in marriage. To Jo, there’s really no competition. Bernard Bergeron is her best friend’s brother, and they’ve been pals since she was knee-high to a crawfish. Jo is comfortable around Bernard and can be herself. She loves his shining brown eyes, brown hair, handsome build, and his voice. He is hardworking, an animal lover, and would give anyone the shirt off his back. Bernard has a heart full of love to offer, and he’s deeply in love with her, but all he can offer is an old rundown camp on the bayou given to him by his parents, Cypress Hideaway.

Victor can offer a mansion when he inherits Sugarcane Plantation, but he is controlling just like his father. He has deep blue eyes and dark black hair and could have any girl he wanted, but he wants the one he can’t have, Jo. He expects her to dress befitting his lifestyle. That isn’t Jo. She’s just a tee shirt and jeans kind of gal.

Meanwhile, something is not right in Gumbo, Louisiana. Bayou country never has much crime, maybe a stolen boat motor or fishing boat, but never a murder. Jo calls the Chief of Police and Sheriff, Uncle Adam Landry, and reports her find. The town’s only road in and out becomes a crime scene when two men are run down and left for dead on the side of the road, like Louisiana road kill. Next, the body of a local fisherman is found in the bayou. How many more accidents can Jo stomach? Is there a bayou serial killer? Surely, all these deaths can’t be accidents. They say the bayou will heal you if it doesn’t kill you first. Will it heal Jo? Will Bernard’s shining brown eyes full of love and the love of a golden retriever be enough with Cypress Hideaway, or will the bayou killer strike again and take away the choice of a lifetime?

Since Jo is a Christian, she must use God’s Word in making her decision, and she bases it on the three above-captioned scriptures. Victor will be a rich unbeliever, but Bernard is a poor, humble believer, so whom do you think she will choose in the end? Meanwhile will a bayou killer take away the choice of a lifetime for some? Will the killer take away Jo’s lifetime choice? This is a sweet Christian romance, but also romantic suspense.

The first novel will be released in by September, if not before. Thanks to Donna Hale, beautiful covers have been made for all three novels in the series since I like to have my covers before I write the books.

The three scriptures above fit this novel beautifully, and if you’ve never read a bayou book before, I hope you will give these a chance. As you know Louisiana and Texas have problems with floods from all the rainfall. The last novel in the series ends on this note and how the people in the affected areas come together to help each other during a crisis, which brings to light God’s Word about loving your neighbor.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ©1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Bio

B. J. RobinsonB.J. Robinson writes sweet romance, historical romance, short stories, and contemporary romance for the Amazon Kindle. She writes in various genres to provide reader choice. A mother of five and grandmother of thirteen, she hugs her children and grandchildren with prayer and was blessed to see two more graduate from high school this year. She loves animals and flowers and is also a fur-baby mom to a golden cocker spaniel named Sunflower, a golden retriever named Honi, and a husky named Cherokee. She is hard at work on Cypress Hideaway, and it is coming soon! Watch for it. If you would like to check out the selection of her work, please check her Amazon page at http://www.amazon.com/B.-J.-Robinson/e/B007DNJIKU/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1458731934&sr=1-2-ent

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