Holiday Horror Story 11/22/2019

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by C.J. Peterson

“Christmas is a holiday that persecutes the lonely, the frayed, and the rejected.”

– Jimmy Cannon

“Since I’m always working, my best holiday memories are definitely when I can just go home and spend time with my family.”

– Chris Brown

After weeks of making lists, checking the ads for sales, cleaning the house beyond immaculate, the day had finally arrived! Christmas Eve! It should have been a day of joy and blessing, but to her, but it was a day of pressure. It was a test she passed throughout the years, but would this be the year of failure? Her mother-in-law would visually inspect the house. Her father-in-law did his best to ease the tension. Her mother criticized the way she made the stuffing, because she didn’t follow the exact family recipe. Her father just wanted to watch the football game. Her brother and sister-in law were late, which caused a disagreement between her brother and mother – who wanted everything perfect. Her sister, the one blessing to her, didn’t show up this year, because she spent the holidays with her husband’s side of the family. Then there were the nieces and nephews running around the house, teasing each other…

…She lost it, and shouted, “CALGON, TAKE ME AWAY!”

“Sharing the holiday with other people, and feeling that you’re giving of yourself, gets you past all the commercialism.”

– Caroline Kennedy

The term ‘Happy Holidays’ seems to have been replaced by ‘Holiday Horror Stories.’ Come September, the holidays seem to blend together and get shoved out into the stores. It seems that Christmas decorations come out near the end of September…this year, the same time as the Halloween decorations came out. As far as Thanksgiving, you might as well hang it up. It has gotten lost in the blend. As soon as Halloween is over, the Christmas push began! In the middle of all of that, we have the hustle and bustle of preparing for family to come to the house, or for holiday travels to their house, creating havoc of Biblical proportions! There is not enough caffeine to help some moms through this time blessed, yet stressful, time!

In looking at our own family, we decided a few years ago to scale it way back. We are blessed, and have decided that family is a precious gift that is invaluable. This is the one time of the year, after all, that the entire family gets together as a group. Yes, we see various parts of the family throughout the year, however, this is the one time we are all together, and that is the best gift any of us could receive. We have a tablecloth project that I started a few years ago. Each person signs the tablecloth, with the year, in permanent marker. Then, after Christmas, I go through and stitch each signature. This will be a huge blessing this year, as my father passed in July. While we will not have him around the table, we will have his signature to remember him. So, in essence, he will be there in spirit.

To ease the tension of the Christmas meal on my sister, over the last few years, the various family members bring a portion of the meal with us. We also exchange names, so each person will receive a ‘stocking gift’ at a maximum price, and a ‘big gift’ at a maximum price. This eases the pocketbook on all family members, and knocks down the massive amount of gifts that tends to come from a big family.

As for Thanksgiving this year? Super Hubby and I are spending it at home. I’ll cook a turkey, along with some of the fixings, and we’ll eat off it for a few days, and then store the uneaten turkey in the freezer for future dinners.

In looking around this holiday, can you take some pressure off the head cook or the meeting house of choice for the holidays? If not, be prepared to leave the espresso on the counter and back away slowly!

Make it a Happy Holiday this year, instead of a Holiday Horror Story! 🙂

I'm a Little Stressed

About the Author:

CJ PetersonI was raised in a Christian military home, but it was far from tranquil. Like many young people, I left home as soon as possible, and went my own way, thinking I knew better. To me anything was better than where I was. Unfortunately, some of the choices I made led me away from the Lord, and sometimes that path was a dangerous one.
God is faithful, even when His children are lost and wandering. When I needed Him most, the Lord was there for me. He led me out of that danger and into a new life…a life where I am loved and appreciated. He taught me what ‘real love’ is, and what it’s supposed to look like through my family and wonderful husband.
Who knew that “Prince Charming” actually existed? I hoped and prayed he was out there, and I found him! He is a 24 year Navy veteran and the love of my life! With his encouragement, I rediscovered the creativity I thought I had lost a long time ago, and have begun to publish the books I have written through the years. The words in these books helped me through my struggles, and my prayer is they will help others.
The way in which I write my Christian Books, is unique to say the least. I am a realistic Christian. People are people, they stumble, they fall, they trip, but God continues to dust us off, and set us back on the path again, if we just learn to trust in Him.
The challenges faced in my past give me a perspective on the realities of living the Christian life that some people may never see. There are times we wander away from God…there are times when we draw closer to Him. In our arrogance we think we can make it on our own. However, the One who made this world, and who made you, has the answers, and thankfully, He forgives our impudence and petulance and loves us through it all. God is a God of love, mercy, grace, and guidance. He loves us and only wants the best for us.
Those who have read my books, describe them as encouraging, frustrating, and a wonderful read all at the same time. The same character that could have you crying one minute, will have you cheering the next! One of my editors, stated that ‘she was so into the story, that she forgot to edit, and had to go back to do the editing’.
I pray you will enjoy my books as well!

While the stories are fiction, the journey is real.

Visit CJ’s websitehttp://cjpetersonwrites.com/

Follow her on FB http://www.facebook.com/writingbycjpeterson

Follow her on Twitterhttp://www.twitter.com/authoress_cj

Follow her on Pinterest http://pinterest.com/authoresscj/

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CrossReads Book Spotlight: Overcoming the Seesaw of Wisdom against Fear

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CrossReads Book Spotlight

CrossReads Book Spotlight

Overcoming the Seesaw of Wisdom against Fear

by Dr. Shon Shree Lewis

Overcoming the Seesaw of Wisdom against Fear

I am so thankful that at almost forty years young, God gave me His revelation and a spiritual treasure about wisdom and began to teach me in my personal relationship with Him, how to understand the difference of living in His wisdom and not tolerating fear. Because the most common similarity wisdom and fear have is the action of apprehension or caution in decision-making in order to grow in life. Soon after, I was inspired and received an urgent call from God to log in my journal my learning experiences about how God’s wisdom began giving me understanding, power, and healing to resist the seesaw of fear by using God’s wisdom as a Spiritual compass to help me make wise and righteous decisions in my daily Christian life.

As an author, I truly understand the emotional battle one can experience when needing healing from living in fear because of negative experiences from ungodly people and negative experiences in the world.
Whether one is a new Christian or has been a Christian (living for God through Jesus and the Holy Spirit), this beautiful lifestyle with God is a continuous journey of learning how to live in God’s love through challenging times while resisting evil and treating others kindly and making better choices in life to live a spiritually and physically healthy life on this earth until we go back home to heaven to live with God for eternity one day.
I pray that my readers learn God’s wisdom (His supernatural intelligence) for their practical living and for them to apply the ways to conquer the seesaw of fear through their learning of my experiences and growing in the Lord. Realize that I am still growing and continuing to be blessed in my relationship with God by using this powerful principle of God’s kingdom, wisdom! Indeed, let your soul be refreshed in reading this anointed word of God in Jesus’s name!

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CrossReads Short Takes: Shadow of the Mountain & Reflections of a Southern Boy

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CrossReads Short Takes

Shadow of the Mountain

A Novel of the Flood

(The Children of Ararat Book 1)

by Scott R. Rezer

Shadow of the Mountain

Chosen… or delusional? How does one man persevere when he is given a message that will either test the strength of his faith or convince him he has lost his mind?

NOACH BEN-LEMEKH is one of the few men on earth who still worships the One True God. With his barren wife, he leads a simple life as a trader in the provincial city of Beth-Aden, away from the intrigues that infest the capital of the League of Sippar. But when God warns him of the coming Flood, his mission thrusts him into the arena of world affairs. As civil war erupts, a tide of evil arises across the face of the earth around a newly proclaimed lord of the Nephilim… the ill-begotten son of a fallen angelic prince and the seed of a woman. As the world rushes headlong into war and ever-increasing violence, Noach stands between one world’s cataclysmic destruction and the promised birth of another to become the second father of mankind.

God never told him though that sin would find him again in the shadow of the mountain…

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Reflections of a Southern Boy

Devotions from the Deep South

by Jack Cunningham

Reflections of a Southern Boy

What do kudzu, fiddler crabs, and an undeserved trophy have in common? They’re all part of Mister Cunningham’s experiences growing up in the Deep South. He compiles these stories and others into a series of devotionals and Bible studies. A few stories, though, just have a Southern theme. Some are humorous and others more serious, but all teach life lessons readers can apply to their own faith journeys.

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Author Interview With Carol Nemeth 11/19/2019

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by Carol Nemeth

Our guest today is Carol Nemeth. Thanks Carol for being here today and for agreeing to do this Interview.

Question 1: What do you think prepared you or qualifies you to write in your chosen genre?

Answer: Honestly, I’m not sure I am qualified. I just know that I love to write, and the Lord has blessed me as I writeAfter twenty-six years of rejections, putting my writing away, praying, trying again, getting rejected, giving up, praying and trying once again before the Lord saw fit for me to finally get Yorkshire Lass, my debut novel, published with Winged Publications. My time is not His time, and His time is perfect.

Question 2: Tell us a little about your “real” (Non-writing) life — family, job, church life. Does it give you inspiration for your writing? Does it get in the way of your writing, or are there times when you get help, from people or circumstances?

Answer: As a native North Carolinian, I’ve always loved reading and enjoyed making up stories since junior high school. Most have been based on the places I’ve lived or traveled toI worked in the National Park Service as a Park Aid and proudly served in the US Army where I was stationed in Pisa, Italy. While living in Italy, I was privileged to have traveled to over thirteen countries during my deploymentI met the love of my life, Mark Nemeth, also an Army veteran, in Italy. After we marriedwe lived in various locations, including North Yorkshire, England. We now live in West Virginia, where, in our spare time, we enjoy RVing, sightseeing and are active in our church. We have a son, Matt, who is active duty Armya daughter, Jennifer, her husband Flint, who serves in the Air Force, and three grandchildren, Martin, Ava and Gage. Our four-footed kid, Holly, a black Lab, loves traveling in our RV, and when we pack up to go, she’s waiting inside for us to head out.

How does work fit into my writing? I’m currently writing a series set in various national parks. The firstMountain of Fear, Faith in the Parks Book 1, is set in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. That’s the park where I worked many years ago, and, although fiction, is based on a lot of my own experiences. How does family fit into my writing? I’ve used several family members names in my books. All of my grandkid’s names have been used as well as my son’s. Several of our dog’s names have been used. My daughter, Jennifer, appears on the cover of Canyon of Death, Faith in the Parks Book 2. She’s wearing my old park service uniform from…well…several years ago. 

Question 3: Tell us about things you enjoy — what you do for fun or personal satisfaction?

Answer: As most authors do, I love to read, but don’t get to as much as I’d like. Besides that, I love to travel. I research for my booksin history, local information and settings. My husband indulges me, and we pack up the RV and head to the locations to check out every avenue of information we can find. For Canyon of DeathMark was unable to go with me, so I incorporated the birth of my 3rd grandchild in Colorado with a trip to the Grand Canyon in Arizona. My son-in-law’s parents live not far from the Canyon, and I stayed with them. His sister works as editor for three local newspapers in that area. She also previously worked at the Grand Canyon. A dream come true for me. After digging up articles, she passed them along to me, then gave me a great interview. Another research road trip was to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina for A Beacon of Love, prequel to Ocean of Fear, Faith in the Park Book 3 and Ocean of Fear itself. Our trip was in the wake of Hurricane Maria. Details for another day. 

Question 4: Tell us about working with any people who help you create your books — Do you use Beta readers? Hire an editor or proofreader? How do you get your covers?

Answer: I have used beta readers before. I have mixed thoughts about this. I’ve come to the conclusion that you have to be careful about using authors as beta readers. Don’t take offense, but some tend to rip your manuscript to shreds. Others, however, give great feedback and are beyond helpful. You have to have a thick skin and be ready to take what you need from the feedback. Just remember it’s your manuscript. Consider the source and the experiences of the author giving the feedback. I tend to find reader’s feedback more beneficial. They are the ones who are going to enjoy the book after all. Or not.

I have an editor, and I don’t know what I would do with out her. She’s amazing. Grammar is not my strong suit. As you’re reading through this you’ve probably figured that out. I proofread and edit at least three times before I send my manuscript to her, then she proofreads and edits, sending it to me for corrections three times. Once she’s read the final corrections, then I send it to my publisher.

My publisher, Cynthia Hickey from Winged Publications, creates my covers. She comes up with beautiful covers. We talk about what are the best aspects to bring out of the book and she makes it happen.

Question 5: Tell us about your newest book. Make us want to read it.

Answer: My newest release, The Peaceful Valley Wounded Soldiers Anthology, began when I published a short story, The Soldier’s Heart, for my newsletter as a free download when folks would subscribe. My publisher made it available for purchase at the same time on Amazon for those who didn’t subscribe. I got the idea to write a series as a tribute to our wounded military. A new short story was published as a new “freebie” every few months, changing the theme with the season. Each one built on the last, incorporating new characters into the story. My publisher recently released The Peaceful Valley Wounded Soldiers Anthology in eBook and paperback. As a veteran, the wife of a veteran and the mother of an active duty service member, I understand the sacrifice the men and women of our armed forces make to secure the freedoms we enjoy. Beyond those sacrifices are the sacrifices their families make and those aren’t always recognized. This book is my small tribute to our wounded veterans and their families. Thank you for your sacrifice. 

Question 6: What is the “message” of your writing? (For example, is your purpose to encourage old-fashioned values, encourage romance, or do you have different purposes in different books?)

Answer: The message of my writing is to bring glory to my Lord. As a born-again believer in Christ, I can do no less. I don’t want to be “preachy”, but I do want to be a beacon. Before I begin writing a book and all through the writing process, I pray for guidance and for the Lord’s will to be done. I pray that His message will come through. Not every book has the gospel message. Some have spiritual growth; others deal with a His child returning to Christ. I attempt to be open to the Spirit’s leading.

Question 7: What’s the worst trouble you ever had with getting a book written (plots, finding needed information, getting a cover done)?

Answer: The worst trouble I’ve had getting a book written is my current one. The plot has had a lot to do with it, but so has life in general. Life has just gotten in the way the last several months making it difficult to concentrate, and that may be why getting the plodown has been so difficult. 

Question 8: What’s your next project? Tell us so we can’t wait for it to come out!

Answer:  My next project? I’ve signed on to write a quick novella for my publisher, Winged Publications, that will be included in a Christmas collection due out Christmas 2020. The theme is Christmas Lights and Loves centered around a Christmas celebration. I hope you’ll look for it when the collection releases next fall. This will give me a short break from my park series before I begin Battlefield of Deceit, Faith in the Parks Book 5. Book 5 will be the last in the park series. 

Question 9: What is your current WIP?

Answer: My current WIP? I’m writing the fourth book in the Faith in the Parks series now. It takes place in Denali National Park during late winter. All the rest of my park series books have taken place in the spring/summer. March in Alaska is quite different, and as I’ve written this, partly during the summer, I’ve had to really put my mind into it. I traveled to Denali National Park on two separate occasions to research, and both were in summer, so I still didn’t get the effect I wanted. I got to travel into the backcountry of the park where some of the story takes place (not by plane, however), and I got a feel for the massive size of the park. I saw Mt. McKinley in all its beauty. I saw caribou, a grizzly, many moose, and mountain goats. Sadly, I can’t use the grizzly in my story. He’ll be asleep. Glacier of Secrets, Faith in the Parks Book 4 will release in early spring. So be watching for it. 

Question 10: How many books do you have out?

Answer: I have published seven books.

Yorkshire Lass – https://amzn.to/2Ivddxd 

Dedication to Love, Prequel to Mountain of Peril – https://amzn.to/2IJMnBF 

Mountain of Peril, Faith in the Parks Book 1 – https://amzn.to/2MBoIIF 

Canyon of Death, Faith in the Parks Book 2 – https://amzn.to/2MC06Q3 

A Beacon of Love, Prequel to Ocean of Fear – https://amzn.to/2K8KzoU 

Ocean of Fear, Faith in the Parks Book 3 – https://amzn.to/2F2LpPF 

The Peaceful Valley Wounded Soldiers Anthology – https://amzn.to/2Kb6QRa

Question 11: Are their characters/stories/scenes/etc based on anything in real life?

Answer: My novel Yorkshire Lass is set in North Yorkshire England. I wrote it while we lived there and my daughter was born during our time in England. She’s now the mother of three. The settings in this book are mostly authentic. We lived in Harrogate, North Yorkshire for four years and drove through the Yorkshire Dales all the time. The towns and villages in the story are authentic. I’ve used creative license for the insides of many of the buildings unless I’ve actually been inside, and then I’ve recorded that information in the story. Yorkshire Lass is full-length romantic suspense novel that takes place at the end of WWI. You’re going to love it.

About the Author:

Carol NemethA native North Carolinian, J. Carol Nemeth has always loved reading and enjoyed making up stories ever since junior high school, most based in the places she has lived or traveled to. She worked in the National Park Service as a Park Aid and served in the US Army where she was stationed in Italy, traveling to over thirteen countries while there. She met the love of her life, Mark Nemeth, also an Army veteran, while stationed in Italy. After they married, they lived in various locations, including North Yorkshire, England. They now live in West Virginia, where, in their spare time, Carol and Mark enjoy RVing, sightseeing and are active in their church. They have a son, Matt, who is Army Special Forces and a daughter, Jennifer, her husband Flint, who serves in the Air Force, and three grandchildren, Martin, Ava and Gage. Their four-footed kid is pretty special too. Holly, a black Lab loves traveling in their RV, and when they pack up to go, she’s waiting inside for them to head out.

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CrossReads Weekly Devotional: Gems From Pastor Jim 11/18/2019

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by Jim Hughes

crossMatt. 1:18-24 Now this is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant by the Holy Spirit. Joseph, her finance’, being a just man, decided to break the engagement quietly, so as not to disgrace her publicly. As he considered this, he fell asleep, and an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to go ahead with your marriage to Mary. For the child within her has been conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him, Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

Just like Mary, his fiancé’, Joseph’s heart was troubled. First of all, he too was visited by an angel, but his was in a dream. Some speculate that it was Gabriel who visited him as well, but the Scriptures do not tell us that it was him. For much the same reason as Mary, Joseph did not expect to be visited by an angel since no one had had any visible connect with God in Israel for the past 400 years.

Joseph was troubled as well by the news that Mary was now pregnant. As a young, righteous man, this indeed would have been troubling news. Everything he thought he knew about Mary was now up in the air. “How could she have done this to him? Who was she with? Why did she do it? Or, was it rape? Was it a one-night stand?”

He knew the Law. Mary deserved to be stoned to death. But…., he loved her! What could he do to protect her? Could he put her away quietly? Mary was a godly woman. “Why, Mary?” With a broken heart he had to have pondered these things. Disappointed, disillusioned, discouraged, defeated, who could blame Him?

But Gabriel quieted Joseph’s heart. “Joseph, things aren’t as they appear to be. Yes, Mary is pregnant, but this is of God and not man. Mary is going to have a child, not just any child, He is the Messiah, the one you and the nation of Israel have been looking for for so many years. His name will be Jesus, for He will save the world from its sins. Joseph, all that is happening now with Mary is the fulfillment of the Scriptures. He is Immanuel, God with us.” Joseph listened to this message from God and took it to heart. He did not send Mary away. He did not ask her all kind of questions. He simply did any righteous person would do; he yielded to God’s will and took Mary as his wife.

We can learn much from Joseph and Mary and how they prepared their hearts for the birth of Jesus. As we each celebrate Christ’s birth in our own unique ways, let us take the time to prepare our hearts for this very special celebration. Jesus is the reason we have the season. He is God with us, our Immanuel. He is our only source of lasting love, joy, peace and hope. O come, let us worship Him, Christ the Lord.

Before and After the Honeymoon

About the Author:

Jim Hughes

Spending 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.

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Verse of the Day and Devotional 11/15/2019

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by Bible League International

Verse of the Day and Devotion

“Now begin the work. And may the Lord be with you.”   – I Chronicles 22:16 ERV

Devotion

King David wanted to build a temple for the Lord. However, the Lord would not let him build it because of all the blood that was on his hands. (I Chronicles 22:8) The Lord decided that David’s son Solomon, a man of peace, would build it. As a result, David limited his contribution to gathering all the materials necessary for the temple. He said to Solomon, “Now, son, may the Lord be with you. May you be successful and build the Temple for the Lord your God, as he said you would . . . Be strong and brave. Don’t be afraid.” (I Chronicles 22:11,13)

And that’s when David spoke the words of our verse for today, “Now begin the work. And may the Lord be with you.”

Like Solomon, the Lord has given you a project that you’re responsible for. Maybe, on the one hand, it’s not as big and important as Solomon’s project was. Maybe, on the other hand, it is big and important. Whatever the case may be, it’s your project and you’re responsible for it. Like Solomon, there have probably been people who came before you who wanted to do it, but never did. Maybe they got some things started, but they never finished the job. As a result, it’s your project for the most part and it’s your job to get it done.

The people around you are urging you in the same way David urged Solomon. They’re saying, “Now begin the work. And may the Lord be with you.”

It’s time, then, to get things started! It’s time to step out in faith. The Lord gave you the word about the project and you must obey His word. You really don’t have a choice in the matter. You’re a follower of Jesus and this is the way He wants to go. (Matthew 16:24) Don’t let reluctance to enter the unknown keep you from getting started. Don’t let reluctance to leave behind the known and the familiar keep you from it either. Be what David said Solomon should be: “Be strong and brave. Don’t be afraid.”

Let the words of the Apostle Paul encourage you: “Yes, it is God who is working in you. He helps you want to do what pleases him, and he gives you the power to do it.” (Philippians 2:13)

Til the Whole World Know

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CrossReads Book Spotlight: The Genecrom Project

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CrossReads Book Spotlight

CrossReads Book Spotlight

The Genecrom Project

by S Graham

The Genecrom Project

Dr. Benjamin Hyram has just completed the best scientific project of his lifetime. He has created a race of humanoid beings on a man-made planet, that sits in the center of his laboratory. They started from a male and female similar to Adam and Eve. These artificial beings reproduce and create a new history. One that unfolds onto a series of astonishing events, similar to the stories of the bible. These humanoid beings go through an epic history. One of love, betrayal, politics, and war. All while they struggle for peace on this man-made planet called Genecrom.

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CrossReads Short Takes: The Chaplain’s Daughter & Journey To Forgiveness

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CrossReadsShortTakes

CrossReads Short Takes

The Chaplain’s Daughter

(Sons of the Shenandoah Book 2)

by Kathleen L. Maher

The Chaplain's Daughter

A feisty army laundress must disarm a grieving Confederate captain’s pride to win his heart.

A minister’s daughter abandoned during war must rely on faith to survive. A wounded widower feels God has forsaken him. Will her devout care bring medicine to his soul or rub salt in his wounds?
Ellen White is assigned to attend a debilitated artillery captain after the Battle of Second Manassas. She offers God’s strength, but Gideon Sharpe would rather rely on his own. He would prove himself devoted to his motherless infant daughters, the sort of father he never had.
Ellen longs for the security of a home and to feel cherished. Can a jaded and broken man be God’s plan to fulfill her fondest hopes?

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Journey To Forgiveness

by Laurean Brooks

Journey To Forgiveness

It’s 1938 and times are hard. The Great Depression strikes the South, forcing many residents to sell their farms. When boll weevils infest her family’s cotton crop, Jenny Largent must move to Chicago to find work to support her family.

At the Kankakee depot along the way, Jenny confronts a tall handsome stranger after he runs off with vanity case. She retrieves her case, but this same man surprises her when he takes the pulpit in her aunt’s church to coerce the congregation to give to his “worthy cause.” Tornadoes struck a small Illinois town, leaving it in ruins. Austin Brady pleads for money from the church to rebuild South Pekin. When he asks for volunteers to join a 12-day mission trip to the stricken area, Jenny signs up, but only to expose Austin. When she has proof, the world will know the truth.

When Austin lifts a large roll of money from the mission strongbox, Jenny has the evidence. So why doesn’t she report him? Has this charming man with the periwinkle eyes mesmerized her? At the sight of him, her heart races. Is Jenny hopelessly in love with a thief?. But he’s an embezzler! She will not compromise her convictions by joining herself to a man who lacks any. Or…will she?

Jenny’s abusive father left her with emotional scars before he deserted the family fours years ago. She’s vowed never to marry. Until she falls for Austin. Will Jenny obey God’s nudging to reconcile with her estranged father?

Will she ask Austin the tough questions that will ultimately make or break their relationship?

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Gems From Pastor Jim 11/12/2019

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by Jim Hughes

crossLuke 1: 26-29 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!” Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean.

In these verses we see that Mary’s heart was troubled. Wouldn’t your heart be? Think about it. Out of nowhere Mary had a visit with an angel. Being visited by angel was probably the last thing she would ever imagine happening to her. God had not made himself known in Israel for the past 400 years. In the midst of the silence Gabriel paid her a visit. Why Mary? She was just a common young woman, probably in her teens. If God were to pay a visit to anyone, you would naturally think it would be to one of the religious leaders of the land. But no, He choose to visit Mary.

Notice the unexpected greeting she received from Gabriel. She was highly favored by God. Mary was no one special to anyone other than perhaps Joseph, her family and her closest friends. Yet God noticed her and declared that she was highly favored by Him. I wonder how many of us would be greeted in a similar fashion by God if He were to pay us an unexpected visit. If that were not enough, Gabriel told Mary that she was not alone, that God was with her. Now, that is news that every child of God wants to hear. It is something that Mary had to know, because what was going to happen next would be impossible to handle without knowing it.

Mary was going to have a baby, and not just any ordinary baby, he was going to be the Messiah! She was going to be the mother of the Son of God! But before she could let that sink in, she had to deal with being pregnant. Now what? She was a virgin and everyone who knew her knew it and respected her for it. How would she explain this to everyone? Her parents? Joseph? Her friends? How would people treat her? In Israel at that time she would be deemed to be worthy of being stoned to death. Favored by God and now facing almost certain death?

Yet, in spite of all the issues that confronted her, Mary had an unshakeable confidence in God. She believed what God said and believed that He would see her through this. She was willing to let God have His way with her, even if it meant her death. In verse 38 Mary readily yielded to the will of God for her. Even if she would never understand it all, she understood enough to know that God was with her and it would be alright.

Do you have such confidence in God’s goodness and love for you that you are willing to trust Him with your very life in order for His will to be done in your life?

Before and After the Honeymoon

About the Author:

Jim Hughes

Spending 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.

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CrossReads Weekly Devotional: Is there no balm in Gilead?

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by Rebekah Beene

It was Senior night for our oldest grandson last night. He and his parents were on the field along with the other seniors all of them being honored.  We’ve been watching the games on tv but went to see the festivities last night.  Imagine our concern (horror?) as our grandson was injured.  The word we got was broken arm.

The rest of us went home and waited while grandson and parents went to the hospital.  Finally we heard the news.  And the injury was slight enough that he wanted to go back and finish the game.   Doc said not this game, but we were all relieved.  Aren’t we thankful?

Oh beloved,  the truth is there will be injuries in life. They are impossible to avoid.   It’s impossible to keep yourself, your spouse, your kids and grands from experiencing injury.   Whether it’s a slight physical injury or a terrible emotional blow, you will need to learn how to get back in the game of life.  Don’t allow the enemy to convince you to give up, tap out or go home.

You aren’t meant to live an injured life. Healing is always found in relationship with Christ.   He is your Healer and He binds up all wounds and heals all scars.

God loves you and He’s for you. Run to Him this morning (or limp if you must) and thank Him for His provision for you. And then live with wild abandon, forgetting what you’ve been through, in the light of His wonder working power on your behalf!

Jeremiah 8:22  Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is there no healing for the wound of my people?

Matthew 19:20-22 Suddenly a woman who had suffered from bleeding for twelve years came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His cloak.  She said to herself, “If only I touch His cloak, I will be healed.” Jesus turned and saw her. “Take courage, daughter,” He said, “your faith has healed you.”

Genesis 22:14  Abraham named that place Jehovah Jireh. It is still said today, “On the mountain of The Lord it will be provided.

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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